Caldwell County
Caldwell County courthouse in Princeton
Caldwell County courthouse in Princeton
Map of Kentucky highlighting Caldwell County
Location within the U.S. state of Kentucky
Map of the United States highlighting Kentucky
Kentucky's location within the U.S.
Coordinates: 37°09′N 87°52′W / 37.15°N 87.87°W / 37.15; -87.87
Country United States
State Kentucky
Founded1809, 1809
Named forJohn Caldwell
SeatPrinceton
Largest cityPrinceton
Area
 • Total348 sq mi (900 km2)
 • Land345 sq mi (890 km2)
 • Water3.4 sq mi (9 km2)  1.0%%
Population
 (2020)
 • Total12,649
 • Estimate 
(2021)
12,624 Decrease
 • Density36/sq mi (14/km2)
Time zoneUTC−6 (Central)
 • Summer (DST)UTC−5 (CDT)
Congressional district1st
Websitewww.caldwellcounty.ky.gov

Caldwell County is a county located in the U.S. state of Kentucky. As of the 2020 census, the population was 12,649.[1] Its county seat is Princeton.[2] The county was formed in 1809 from Livingston County, Kentucky and named for John Caldwell, who participated in the George Rogers Clark Indian Campaign of 1786 and was the second lieutenant governor of Kentucky. Caldwell was a prohibition or dry county until 2013, when the citizens voted to lift the ban.

History

Historical marker in Princeton
Historical marker in Princeton

Caldwell County was formed from Livingston County in 1809. Prior to that, Caldwell County had been part of Christian, Logan, and Lincoln Counties — Lincoln County having been one of the three original counties of Kentucky.

In the early nineteenth-century, Caldwell County witnessed the passage of the forced migration of the Cherokee to the West on the Trail of Tears during Indian removal. The Cherokee camped for several weeks in Caldwell County during the winter of 1838, mainly at Big Springs, now in downtown Princeton; at Skin Frame Creek, and in the Centerville area near Fredonia.

In 1860, the construction of Princeton College began, but it was delayed by the Civil War. Confederate troops camped on the grounds of Princeton College in 1861, using one of its buildings as a hospital. Following the Confederate retreat in early 1862, however, Union soldiers occupied Princeton for the remainder of the war. In December 1864, raiding Kentucky Confederate cavalry commanded by General Hylan B. Lyon burned the Caldwell County courthouse in Princeton, since it was being used to house the Union garrison.

The expansion of railroads in the late nineteenth century made Princeton an important junction on several major railway lines, most notably the Illinois Central and the Louisville & Nashville.

By the turn of the century, an agricultural boom in Dark Fired Tobacco had made Caldwell County, along with Christian County, a major tobacco-growing area. It was part of what was called the "Black Patch", which used a special process to cure the tobacco. It included about 30 counties in western Kentucky and Tennessee. But the monopolization of the tobacco market by James B. Duke, who formed the American Tobacco Company, forced prices lower, leaving many farmers in debt and discontented.

In response, planters formed the Dark Tobacco District Planters' Protective Association of Kentucky and Tennessee (PPA), to work together in pooling their commodity in order to gain higher prices. They initially used persuasion to urge other farmers to join them.

Under the leadership of Dr. David Amoss of Cobb in Caldwell County, a vigilante force called the Night Riders was formed to strengthen the persuasion. The Night Riders terrorized those who cooperated with the tobacco company by destroying crops, burning warehouses, and attacking individuals. The Night Riders took over Princeton one night in December 1906, burning all of the Duke tobacco warehouses. They raided other towns, conducting similar raids and destroying resources. The "Black Patch Wars" came to an end around 1908, finally suppressed with the aid of the Kentucky state militia.

Since 1925, Caldwell County has housed the University of Kentucky Research and Education Center, a campus of the University of Kentucky's College of Agriculture. The "UKREC" in Princeton is a leader in horticultural and biological sciences.

In the mid-twentieth century, Caldwell County began to shift from agriculture to industrialization. Caldwell County is still largely agricultural, but it is also home to factories such as Bremner, the largest private cookie and cracker factory in North America.

Geography

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 348 square miles (900 km2), of which 345 square miles (890 km2) is land and 3.4 square miles (8.8 km2) (1.0%) is water.[3]

Adjacent counties

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
18104,268
18209,022111.4%
18308,324−7.7%
184010,36524.5%
185013,04825.9%
18609,318−28.6%
187010,82616.2%
188011,2824.2%
189013,18616.9%
190014,51010.0%
191014,063−3.1%
192013,975−0.6%
193013,781−1.4%
194014,4995.2%
195013,199−9.0%
196013,073−1.0%
197013,1790.8%
198013,4732.2%
199013,232−1.8%
200013,060−1.3%
201012,984−0.6%
202012,649−2.6%
2021 (est.)12,624−0.2%
U.S. Decennial Census[4]
1790-1960[5] 1900-1990[6]
1990-2000[7] 2010-2021[1]

As of the census[8] of 2000, there were 13,060 people, 5,431 households, and 3,801 families residing in the county. The population density was 38 per square mile (15/km2). There were 6,126 housing units at an average density of 18 per square mile (6.9/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 93.89% White, 4.81% Black or African American, 0.15% Native American, 0.16% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 0.39% from other races, and 0.60% from two or more races. 0.61% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 5,431 households, out of which 28.50% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 57.10% were married couples living together, 9.80% had a female householder with no husband present, and 30.00% were non-families. 27.50% of all households were made up of individuals, and 14.00% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.36 and the average family size was 2.85.

In the county, the population was spread out, with 22.40% under the age of 18, 7.00% from 18 to 24, 26.30% from 25 to 44, 26.30% from 45 to 64, and 18.00% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 41 years. For every 100 females there were 92.60 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 89.90 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $28,686, and the median income for a family was $35,258. Males had a median income of $31,475 versus $20,390 for females. The per capita income for the county was $16,264. About 12.20% of families and 15.90% of the population were below the poverty line, including 20.40% of those under age 18 and 15.60% of those age 65 or over.

Communities

Cities

Unincorporated communities

Politics

United States presidential election results for Caldwell County, Kentucky[9]
Year Republican Democratic Third party
No.  % No.  % No.  %
2020 4,906 76.25% 1,433 22.27% 95 1.48%
2016 4,507 75.43% 1,260 21.09% 208 3.48%
2012 3,904 66.62% 1,852 31.60% 104 1.77%
2008 3,866 62.36% 2,212 35.68% 121 1.95%
2004 4,066 64.04% 2,245 35.36% 38 0.60%
2000 3,161 57.66% 2,223 40.55% 98 1.79%
1996 2,067 40.10% 2,434 47.22% 654 12.69%
1992 1,966 34.79% 3,000 53.09% 685 12.12%
1988 2,952 52.93% 2,564 45.97% 61 1.09%
1984 3,162 55.93% 2,427 42.93% 64 1.13%
1980 2,609 46.22% 2,924 51.80% 112 1.98%
1976 1,808 36.91% 3,016 61.56% 75 1.53%
1972 2,952 66.32% 1,345 30.22% 154 3.46%
1968 2,139 42.23% 1,439 28.41% 1,487 29.36%
1964 1,738 37.80% 2,831 61.57% 29 0.63%
1960 3,442 61.70% 2,137 38.30% 0 0.00%
1956 2,681 52.32% 2,417 47.17% 26 0.51%
1952 2,507 53.91% 2,133 45.87% 10 0.22%
1948 1,626 39.33% 2,210 53.46% 298 7.21%
1944 2,242 47.74% 2,444 52.04% 10 0.21%
1940 2,246 43.78% 2,858 55.71% 26 0.51%
1936 2,121 43.75% 2,699 55.67% 28 0.58%
1932 2,020 40.09% 2,971 58.96% 48 0.95%
1928 2,855 62.61% 1,695 37.17% 10 0.22%
1924 2,498 51.45% 2,183 44.96% 174 3.58%
1920 2,958 51.07% 2,746 47.41% 88 1.52%
1916 1,672 50.01% 1,605 48.01% 66 1.97%
1912 1,263 42.61% 1,231 41.53% 470 15.86%


Education

School districts include:[10]

See also

References

  1. ^ a b "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on September 5, 2015. Retrieved March 6, 2021.
  2. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Archived from the original on May 31, 2011. Retrieved June 7, 2011.
  3. ^ "2010 Census Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. August 22, 2012. Archived from the original on August 12, 2014. Retrieved August 13, 2014.
  4. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved August 13, 2014.
  5. ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved August 13, 2014.
  6. ^ "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved August 13, 2014.
  7. ^ "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. Retrieved August 13, 2014.
  8. ^ "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 31, 2008.
  9. ^ Leip, David. "Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections". uselectionatlas.org. Retrieved June 30, 2018.
  10. ^ "2020 CENSUS - SCHOOL DISTRICT REFERENCE MAP: Caldwell County, KY" (PDF). U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved July 29, 2022. - Text list - For more detailed boundaries of the independent school districts see: "Appendix B: Maps Of Independent School Districts In Operation In FY 2014-FY 2015 Using 2005 Tax District Boundaries – Dawson Springs ISD" (PDF). Research Report No. 415 – Kentucky's Independent School Districts: A Primer. Frankfort, KY: Office of Education Accountability, Legislative Research Commission. September 15, 2015. p. 102 (PDF p. 116/174).

Coordinates: 37°09′N 87°52′W / 37.15°N 87.87°W / 37.15; -87.87