|Named for||William Grayson|
|• Total||511 sq mi (1,320 km2)|
|• Land||497 sq mi (1,290 km2)|
|• Water||14 sq mi (40 km2) 2.8%%|
|Time zone||UTC−6 (Central)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC−5 (CDT)|
Grayson County is a county located in the U.S. state of Kentucky. Its county seat is Leitchfield. The county was formed in 1810 and named for William Grayson (1740-1790), a Revolutionary War colonel and a prominent Virginia political figure. Grayson County was formerly a prohibition or dry county, but Leitchfield allowed limited alcohol sales in restaurants in 2010 and voted "wet" in 2016.
Grayson County was established in 1810 from land taken from Hardin and Ohio counties. The county is named for William Grayson (1740-1790), a Revolutionary War colonel and U.S. Senator from Virginia.
Three courthouses have been destroyed through fire; in 1864 by Confederate troops, and again in 1896 and 1936.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 511 square miles (1,320 km2), of which 497 square miles (1,290 km2) is land and 14 square miles (36 km2) (2.8%) is water.
Grayson County is part of the Western Coal Field region of Kentucky. Only the western third of the county has coal; the rest lies in the Clifty Area, which has similar sandstone bedrock, some of it bituminous but never commercially exploited as tar sands or rock asphalt. The county lies in the Rough Creek Fault System, considered a potential hydrocarbon resource.
Grayson County is home to two U.S. Army Corps of Engineers lakes, Rough River Lake on the northern border of the county and Nolin River Lake on the southeast border. The lakes attract many tourists and have led to the use of "Twin Lakes" to identify some businesses and institutions, such as the Owensboro Health Twin Lakes Medical Center in Leitchfield.
|U.S. Decennial Census|
As of the census of 2000, there were 24,053 people, 9,596 households, and 6,966 families residing in the county. The population density was 48 per square mile (19/km2). There were 12,802 housing units at an average density of 25 per square mile (9.7/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 98.26% White, 0.50% Black or African American, 0.17% Native American, 0.14% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 0.22% from other races, and 0.71% from two or more races. 0.77% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 9,596 households, out of which 32.10% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 58.90% were married couples living together, 10.00% had a female householder with no husband present, and 27.40% were non-families. 24.10% of all households were made up of individuals, and 10.70% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.47 and the average family size was 2.91.
In the county, the population was spread out, with 24.40% under the age of 18, 9.00% from 18 to 24, 28.00% from 25 to 44, 24.60% from 45 to 64, and 14.00% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females there were 98.10 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 95.80 males.
The median income for a household in the county was $27,639, and the median income for a family was $33,080. Males had a median income of $27,759 versus $19,302 for females. The per capita income for the county was $14,759. About 13.90% of families and 18.10% of the population were below the poverty line, including 24.10% of those under age 18 and 15.70% of those age 65 or over.
Grayson County is the home of the Historic Jack Thomas House which is owned and maintained by the Grayson County Historical Society. The Jack Thomas House contains a museum dedicated to the history and families of Grayson County as well as the most extensive genealogical research library for the county. It is open Monday – Friday for tours and research. Three general meetings with guest speakers relevant to the county each year are held for the membership. They are held in March, June, and October and are always open to the public. The house is open during the Twin Lakes National Fiddlers Contest (see below), the Hometown Christmas Parade as well as other special events.
Every July, Grayson County and Leitchfield host the Twin Lakes National Fiddlers Contest, which brings many elite fiddlers from several states to the Town Square area. The contest is a weekend event. Also in July, the City of Leitchfield hosts the annual Freedom Festival which features music, fireworks, and a carnival. In late August and early September, Grayson County hosts the annual Grayson County Fair, which entertains locals and guests with music, a carnival, a Truck and Tractor Pull, a Demolition Derby, and ends on Labor Day with a parade through Leitchfield. In September the city of Clarkson hosts the annual Honeyfest. The Honeyfest kicks off with a parade in which the Grayson County High School Band and the Grayson County Middle School Band performs. Many floats with the main subject of bees and honey are presented and advertise the many businesses in and surrounding Grayson County. This festival celebrates the city and the contributions of Clarkson's Walter T. Kelley Beehive Factory.
In early October, the city of Caneyville holds the annual Caneyville Fair.
Also, the county is home to several attractions. In addition to the previously mentioned lakes is the historic Pine Knob Theatre, located in the community of Pine Knob. Other attractions are Calvin Ray's Live Music just west of Leitchfield, and three golf courses, including 18 hole Lafayette Golf Course in Falls of Rough.