Boyd County
County
The Boyd County Courthouse in Catlettsburg, with a statue of John Milton Elliott
The Boyd County Courthouse in Catlettsburg, with a statue of John Milton Elliott
Motto(s): 
Unity and Progress
Map of Kentucky highlighting Boyd County
Location within the U.S. state of Kentucky
Map of the United States highlighting Kentucky
Kentucky's location within the U.S.
Coordinates: 38°22′N 82°41′W / 38.36°N 82.69°W / 38.36; -82.69
Country United States
State Kentucky
Founded1860
Named forLinn Boyd
SeatCatlettsburg
Largest cityAshland
Area
 • Total162 sq mi (420 km2)
 • Land160 sq mi (400 km2)
 • Water2.2 sq mi (6 km2)  1.3%%
Population
 (2020)
 • Total48,261
 • Estimate 
(2021)
47,899 Decrease
 • Density310/sq mi (120/km2)
Time zoneUTC−5 (Eastern)
 • Summer (DST)UTC−4 (EDT)
Congressional districts4th, 5th
Websiteboydcountyky.gov

Boyd County is a county located in the U.S. state of Kentucky. As of the 2020 census, the population was 48,065.[1] The county seat is Catlettsburg,[2] and its largest city is Ashland. The county was formed in 1860.[3] Its 160 square miles (410 km2) are found at the northeastern edge of the state near the Ohio River and Big Sandy River, nestled in the verdant rolling hills of Appalachia. Boyd County is in the Huntington-Ashland, WV-KY-OH Metropolitan Statistical Area.

History

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Boyd County was the 107th of 120 counties formed in the state of Kentucky and was established in 1860 from parts of surrounding Greenup, Carter, and Lawrence counties.[3] It was named for Linn Boyd of Paducah, former U.S. congressman, Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, who died in 1859 soon after being elected lieutenant governor of Kentucky.[4]

The earliest evidence of human habitation in Boyd County exists in the forms of numerous earthen mounds containing human skeletons and burial goods giving evidence that prehistoric Native Americans inhabited the area. A 1973 archeological find revealed a serpent-shaped mound built of rocks dating to 2000 BC and stretching for 900 feet (270 m) along a ridge parallel to the Big Sandy River south of Catlettsburg.[5]

One of the early settlers in what is now Boyd County was Charles ("One-handed Charley") Smith, from Virginia. A veteran of the French and Indian War who had served under Col. George Washington in 1754, Smith received for that service roughly 400 acres (1.6 km2) around Chadwicks Creek, where he built a cabin in 1774.[5] Smith died in 1776 and in 1797 this land passed to Alexander Catlett for whom the town of Catlettsburg is named.

The Poage family arrived from Staunton, Virginia, in October 1799 and formed Poage's Landing, later renamed the city of Ashland.[6]

The first courthouse built in 1861 was replaced in 1912.[7]

Industry

Members of the Poage family built the steam-powered Clinton iron furnace in 1832, the earliest industry in present-day Boyd County. A total of twenty-nine charcoal-fueled iron furnaces operated on the Kentucky side of the Ohio River, seven of them in present-day Boyd County.

The Kentucky Iron, Coal and Manufacturing Company was incorporated on March 8, 1854, and it laid out the town of Ashland, then within Greenup County. The company purchased thousands of acres of coal, timber, and ore lands throughout the county. It invested US$210,000 in bonds of the Lexington & Big Sandy River Railroad Company, with the stipulation that the eastern division of that line extend into Ashland instead of ending, as originally planned, in Catlettsburg. The early presence of the railroad in Ashland was largely responsible for this city becoming the dominant municipality of the county.

Ashland furnace was sold to American Rolling Mill Company in 1921, which developed into Armco Steel Corporation. In 1963 Armco constructed the Amanda furnace, one of the largest blast furnaces in the world. Known today as AK Steel, the industry remains a major employer in northeastern Kentucky.

Ashland Oil, Inc., at one time the largest corporation headquartered in Kentucky, was started in 1924 at Leach Station, south of Catlettsburg, by Paul G. Blazer.[8] Best known for their Valvoline Oil products, Ashland Oil relocated to Covington, Kentucky in 1999, merged with Marathon Oil, and sold its remaining petroleum shares to Marathon in 2005, dissolving their petroleum division. The original oil refinery, located in Catlettsburg, is still in operation today and is currently owned by Marathon Petroleum Corporation.

Calgon Carbon constructed the Big Sandy Plant in 1961 and it has since become the world's largest producer of granular activated carbon. The facility produces in excess of 100 million pounds of granular activated carbon annually.[9]

Alcohol sales

On November 3, 2020, residents voted in favor of allowing full retail sales of alcohol countywide.[10] Prior to November 2020, Boyd County only allowed alcohol sales in restaurants that seated over 100 people and derived at least 70% of their income from food sales.[11] The one exception was three election precincts within the city of Ashland, covering the downtown area, where all retail alcohol sales were permitted.

Geography

According to the United States Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 162 square miles (420 km2), of which 160 square miles (410 km2) is land and 2.2 square miles (5.7 km2) (1.3%) is water.[12]

Adjacent counties

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
18708,573
188012,16541.9%
189014,03315.4%
190018,83434.2%
191023,44424.5%
192029,28124.9%
193043,84949.8%
194045,9384.8%
195049,9498.7%
196052,1634.4%
197052,3760.4%
198055,5136.0%
199051,150−7.9%
200049,752−2.7%
201049,542−0.4%
202048,261−2.6%
2021 (est.)47,899[13]−0.8%
U.S. Decennial Census[14]
1790-1960[15] 1900-1990[16]
1990-2000[17] 2010-2020[1]

As of the census[18] of 2000, there were 49,752 people, 20,010 households, and 14,107 families residing in the county. The population density was 311 per square mile (120/km2). There were 21,976 housing units at an average density of 137 per square mile (53/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 95.97% White, 2.55% Black or African American, 0.16% Native American, 0.30% Asian, 0.14% from other races, and 0.88% from two or more races. 1.12% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 20,010 households, out of which 28.90% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 55.70% were married couples living together, 11.60% had a female householder with no husband present, and 29.50% were non-families. 26.50% of all households were made up of individuals, and 12.20% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.38 and the average family size was 2.86.

The age distribution was 21.80% under the age of 18, 8.30% from 18 to 24, 28.70% from 25 to 44, 25.60% from 45 to 64, and 15.60% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40 years. For every 100 females there were 96.00 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 93.10 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $32,749, and the median income for a family was $41,125. Males had a median income of $35,728 versus $22,591 for females. The per capita income for the county was $18,212. About 11.50% of families and 15.50% of the population were below the poverty line, including 22.40% of those under age 18 and 12.10% of those age 65 or over.

Infrastructure

Federal Correctional Institution, Ashland

The Federal Bureau of Prisons operates the Federal Correctional Institution, Ashland in Summit, unincorporated Boyd County,[19][20] 5 miles (8.0 km) southwest of Ashland.[21]

Kentucky State Police Post 14 is located on U.S. 60 in Summit, next to Armco Park. In addition to Boyd County, troopers from Post 14 serve Carter, Greenup and Lawrence Counties.[22]

Politics

Similar to many other Eastern Kentucky counties, Boyd County voted primarily for Democratic candidates at the presidential level before shifting hard to the right in the 2000s. However, local Democratic support remains strong, as Democrat Andy Beshear won the county by about 6 points over incumbent Republican Matt Bevin in the 2019 gubernatorial election.

Voter registration

Boyd County Voter Registration & Party Enrollment as of February 17, 2020[23]
Political Party Total Voters Percentage
Democratic 20,542 50.85%
Republican 16,144 39.96%
Independent 2,031 5.03%
Others 1,529 3.78%
Libertarian 128 0.32%
Green 17 0.04%
Constitution 8 0.02%
Total 40,399 100%
United States presidential election results for Boyd County, Kentucky[24]
Year Republican Democratic Third party
No.  % No.  % No.  %
2020 14,295 65.72% 7,083 32.56% 373 1.71%
2016 13,591 66.45% 6,021 29.44% 842 4.12%
2012 10,884 57.14% 7,776 40.82% 389 2.04%
2008 11,430 55.30% 8,886 42.99% 354 1.71%
2004 11,501 52.81% 10,132 46.53% 144 0.66%
2000 9,247 48.21% 9,541 49.74% 394 2.05%
1996 7,054 37.34% 9,668 51.17% 2,171 11.49%
1992 7,387 34.93% 10,496 49.63% 3,264 15.43%
1988 9,379 49.39% 9,552 50.31% 57 0.30%
1984 10,925 52.98% 9,601 46.56% 95 0.46%
1980 10,367 47.79% 10,702 49.33% 626 2.89%
1976 9,106 44.51% 11,150 54.50% 203 0.99%
1972 12,812 65.92% 6,434 33.10% 191 0.98%
1968 8,632 45.43% 7,914 41.65% 2,455 12.92%
1964 6,941 37.65% 11,436 62.03% 60 0.33%
1960 11,305 55.42% 9,094 44.58% 0 0.00%
1956 11,502 57.28% 8,546 42.56% 34 0.17%
1952 10,426 50.32% 10,245 49.44% 49 0.24%
1948 6,707 41.98% 9,006 56.38% 262 1.64%
1944 6,868 45.66% 8,130 54.06% 42 0.28%
1940 7,322 42.41% 9,868 57.16% 75 0.43%
1936 6,650 40.32% 9,762 59.19% 80 0.49%
1932 6,853 44.67% 8,315 54.19% 175 1.14%
1928 9,118 66.38% 4,611 33.57% 7 0.05%
1924 6,062 55.55% 4,079 37.38% 772 7.07%
1920 6,334 54.78% 5,103 44.13% 126 1.09%
1916 2,883 50.20% 2,738 47.68% 122 2.12%
1912 1,271 28.11% 1,772 39.19% 1,478 32.69%


Education

Colleges

Ashland Community and Technical College, in Ashland, is one of 16 two-year, open-admissions colleges of the Kentucky Community and Technical College System. Morehead State University also has a satellite campus located in Ashland.

Public school districts

Private schools

Other schools

Communities

Cities

Census-designated places

Unincorporated communities

See also

References

  1. ^ a b "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 6, 2022.
  2. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Archived from the original on May 31, 2011. Retrieved June 7, 2011.
  3. ^ a b "Boyd County". Kyenc.org. December 21, 1921. Retrieved April 12, 2013.
  4. ^ The Register of the Kentucky State Historical Society, Volume 1. Kentucky State Historical Society. 1903. pp. 34.
  5. ^ a b Thompson, George E. You Live Where?: Interesting and Unusual Facts about where We Live, p. 150. iUniverse (New York), 2009. Retrieved August 11, 2014.
  6. ^ A history of Ashland, Kentucky, 1854-2004. Ashland Bicentennial Committee. 2004. 11 August 2014.
  7. ^ Hogan, Roseann Reinemuth (1992). Kentucky Ancestry: A Guide to Genealogical and Historical Research. Ancestry Publishing. p. 198. ISBN 9780916489496. Retrieved July 26, 2013.
  8. ^ Kleber, John E. John E. Kleber Editor-in Chief, The Kentucky Encyclopedia: Blazer, Paul Garrett (Lexington : University of Kentucky Press, 1992) Page 87. ISBN 0813128838.
  9. ^ Calgon Carbon Big Sandy Plant Archived March 4, 2016, at the Wayback Machine Retrieved March 21, 2014.
  10. ^ "Election 2020 — Boyd thirsty for growth: Voters make county go wet".
  11. ^ "All precincts but one vote yes". Ashland Independent. Archived from the original on January 2, 2013. Retrieved May 23, 2007.
  12. ^ "2010 Census Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. August 22, 2012. Archived from the original on August 12, 2014. Retrieved August 12, 2014.
  13. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Counties: April 1, 2020 to July 1, 2021". Retrieved July 6, 2022.
  14. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved August 12, 2014.
  15. ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved August 12, 2014.
  16. ^ "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved August 12, 2014.
  17. ^ "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. Retrieved August 12, 2014.
  18. ^ "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 31, 2008.
  19. ^ "FCI Ashland Contact Information." Federal Bureau of Prisons. Retrieved on February 1, 2011. "FCI ASHLAND FEDERAL CORRECTIONAL INSTITUTION ST. ROUTE 716 ASHLAND, KY 41105."
  20. ^ "Admissions & Orientation (A&O) Handbook." Federal Correctional Institution, Ashland. 1 (1/51). Retrieved on February 1, 2011. "The Federal Correctional Institution of Ashland, Kentucky, is located five miles southwest of Ashland in Summit, Kentucky."
  21. ^ "FCI Ashland." Federal Bureau of Prisons. Retrieved on February 1, 2011.
  22. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on March 4, 2016. Retrieved February 26, 2016.((cite web)): CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  23. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on November 26, 2014. Retrieved March 14, 2020.((cite web)): CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  24. ^ Leip, David. "Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections". uselectionatlas.org. Retrieved June 29, 2018.

Coordinates: 38°22′N 82°41′W / 38.36°N 82.69°W / 38.36; -82.69