Hardinsburg, Kentucky
Breckinridge County courthouse in Hardinsburg
Breckinridge County courthouse in Hardinsburg
Location of Hardinsburg in Breckinridge County, Kentucky.
Location of Hardinsburg in Breckinridge County, Kentucky.
Coordinates: 37°46′35″N 86°27′18″W / 37.77639°N 86.45500°W / 37.77639; -86.45500
CountryUnited States
Named forWilliam Hardin
 • MayorWayne Macy
 • Total3.54 sq mi (9.17 km2)
 • Land3.46 sq mi (8.96 km2)
 • Water0.08 sq mi (0.21 km2)
709 ft (216 m)
 • Total2,385
 • Estimate 
 • Density689.71/sq mi (266.29/km2)
Time zoneUTC-6 (CST)
 • Summer (DST)UTC-5 (CDT)
ZIP Code
Area code(s)270 & 364
FIPS code21-34552
GNIS feature ID0493730

Hardinsburg is a home rule-class city[4] in Breckinridge County, Kentucky, in the United States. It is the seat of its county.[5] The population was 2,343 at the 2010 census.[6] Hardinsburg was named after Captain William Hardin.


In August 1779, Sinclair Hardin, William's cousin, was the first man killed (by the Shawnee) west of the Alleghenies Mountains at Big Springs during an early excursion into the Kentucky wilderness.

Capt. William Hardin, brother of the Col. John Hardin for whom Hardin County was named, established a frontier fort at the site in 1780. The settlement was known variously as Hardin's Fort and Hardin's Station in the 18th century.[7]

William Hardin received 400 acres as assignee of Benjamin Hardin, Warrant# 2586, dated February 14, 1780, and the tract was surveyed June 8, 1784. According to the description, the land was on Hardin's Creek, a branch of the Ohio River, and it was formally granted on June 21, 1786. This area would become Hardinsburg.

Hardinsburg was laid out in 1782 by William Hardin. It is small and its growth has been slow, having failed to number a thousand inhabitants in its first hundred years. Among its early and prominent citizens were Joseph Allen, Captain Thomas Kincheloe, Reverend James Taylor, Philip Lightfoot, Morris Hensly, Charles Hambleton, William Feaman, B and RM Wathen, John McClarty, William Morton, Stanley Singleton, James and Williamson Cox, William Seaton, Francis Peyton, Joseph Thomas, Thornton Smith, Jefferson Jennings and Dr. S.B. Abel. When Judge Kincheloe, Colonel Alf. Allen, Mr. Vivian Daniel, Rev. RG Gardner and Squire Eskridge die, the "old guard" will have become extinct.[8]

William Hardin received grants from the state of Virginia in 1785 for 3800 acres of land, all near the present site of Hardinsburg, Kentucky.[9]

The murder and scalping of young James Jolly was the second colonizer to be murdered by native Kentuckians at Hardin's Fort. James was the son of Nelson Jolly, Jr., the progenitor of the Jolly family of present-day Breckinridge County. At seventeen years of age, and newly arrived at the fort, James went alone to bring in the horses which were grazing along Clover Creek, a few hundred yards from its palisaded walls. When he did not return, a scouting party eventually found his mutilated body. James Jolly was the first person to die at Hardin's Station and the first to be buried under a hickory tree near the banks of Clover Creek, where, both his father and William Hardin were buried when they died.[10]

Hardinsburg was established in 1800 as the seat of government for the newly established Breckinridge County. The first courthouse was a log house built in 1801. Jack Hardin's family book states family members laid out the town without compass or chain in the Fall of 1781; their only instruments were a vine and ax. Its post office was established on January 1, 1803, as Breckinridge Court House or Hardinburg.[11]

In 1810, a Roman Catholic church was founded. Originally named St. Rumoldus (St. Rumbold) after the Cathedral in Mechelen, Belgium, the name was later changed to St. Romuald.[12] From 1924 to 1982 the church was served by priests from the Missionaries of the Precious Blood.[13]

A Methodist congregation was formed in 1828.[14]

In 1887, a group met at the courthouse and started the Baptist church for the town.[15]

The city was formally incorporated by the state assembly on May 3, 1890.[16]


Hardinsburg is located at 37°46′35″N 86°27′18″W / 37.77639°N 86.45500°W / 37.77639; -86.45500 (37.776336, −86.455010).[17]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 3.6 square miles (9.2 km2), of which 3.4 square miles (8.9 km2) is land and 0.04 square miles (0.1 km2), or 2.34%, is water.[6]


Historical population
2022 (est.)2,433[18]2.0%
U.S. Decennial Census[19]

As of the census[20] of 2010, there were 2,343 people, 964 households, and 583 families residing in the city. The population density was 651.4 inhabitants per square mile (251.5/km2). There were 1,078 housing units at an average density of 302.5 per square mile (116.8/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 90.06% White, 8.61% African American, 0.17% Native American, 0.09% Asian, 0.13% from other races, and 0.94% from two or more races. Hispanics or Latinos of any race were 1.41% of the population.

There were 964 households, out of which 25.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 43.8% were married couples living together, 13.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 39.5% were non-families. 36.8% of all households were made up of individuals, and 19.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.19 and the average family size was 2.83.

The age distribution was 20.3% under the age of 18, 10.3% from 18 to 24, 25.4% from 25 to 44, 23.6% from 45 to 64, and 20.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40 years. For every 100 females, there were 86.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 85.0 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $26,447, and the median income for a family was $36,214. Males had a median income of $29,375 versus $20,331 for females. The per capita income for the city was $18,307. About 14.6% of families and 19.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 21.5% of those under age 18 and 18.9% of those age 65 or over.


Hardinsburg has a public library, a branch of the Breckinridge County Public Library.[21]

Hardinsburg public school students are served by the Breckinridge County School District.

In 1871 and 1872 there was a school in town for black students supported by the Freedmen's Aid Society.[22]

A Catholic school has been located in Hardinsburg since 1876. The school was originally staffed by the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth, the Sisters of Loretto, then by the Ursulines after 1887. Members of the Benedictine Sisters served the school beginning in 1990. In 1991, St. Romuald High School was closed.[12][23]

Notable people


  1. ^ Kentucky Atlas and Gazetteer, "Hardinsburg".
  2. ^ "2020 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved March 18, 2022.
  3. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Incorporated Places in Kentucky: April 1, 2020 to July 1, 2022". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved May 26, 2023.
  4. ^ "Summary and Reference Guide to House Bill 331 City Classification Reform" (PDF). Kentucky League of Cities. Retrieved December 30, 2014.
  5. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved June 7, 2011.
  6. ^ a b "Geographic Identifiers: 2010 Demographic Profile Data (G001): Hardinsburg city, Kentucky". U.S. Census Bureau, American Factfinder. Archived from the original on February 12, 2020. Retrieved November 25, 2013.
  7. ^ "Dictionary of Places: Hardinsburg". Encyclopedia of Kentucky. New York, New York: Somerset Publishers. 1987. ISBN 0-403-09981-1.
  8. ^ http://genealogytrails.com/ken/breckinridge/history.html http://boards.ancestry.com/surnames.hardin/1229.1/mb.ashx
  9. ^ Nassau-Siegen Immigrants; Daisy Decker George; Oran Hardin; Kentucky Records; Entered 6 October 1995.
  10. ^ Powell, Burnett. 1976, July 4. Brave Beginnings. Breckinridge County Herald-News
  11. ^ Rennick, Robert M. (1987). Kentucky Place Names. University Press of Kentucky. p. 130. ISBN 0813126312. Retrieved April 28, 2013.
  12. ^ a b The Roman Catholic Diocese of Owensboro, Kentucky. Paducah, Kentucky: Turner Publishing Company. 1994. p. 169. Retrieved May 16, 2023.
  13. ^ Patterson, Sarah L. (2012). 75 Years of the Diocese of Owensboro Kentucky. Strasbourg, France: Éditions du Signe. p. 141. ISBN 978-2-7468-2874-2.
  14. ^ "The History of the Hardinsburg United Methodist Church". Hardinsburg United Methodist Church. Retrieved May 16, 2023.
  15. ^ "Hardinsburg Baptist Church". USGenwWeb Archives. Retrieved May 16, 2023.
  16. ^ Commonwealth of Kentucky. Office of the Secretary of State. Land Office. "Hardinsburg, Kentucky". Accessed 29 July 2013.
  17. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. February 12, 2011. Retrieved April 23, 2011.
  18. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Incorporated Places in Kentucky: April 1, 2020 to July 1, 2022". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved May 26, 2023.
  19. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Census.gov. Retrieved June 4, 2015.
  20. ^ "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 31, 2008.
  21. ^ "Kentucky Public Library Directory". Kentucky Department for Libraries and Archives. Archived from the original on January 11, 2019. Retrieved June 5, 2019.
  22. ^ Lucas, Marion B. (1992). A History of Blacks in Kentucky: From Slavery to Segregation, 1760-1891 (PDF). Kentucky Historical Society. p. 250. ISBN 0-916968-32-4. Retrieved July 5, 2023.
  23. ^ Patterson, Sarah L. (2012). 75 Years of the Diocese of Owensboro Kentucky. Strasbourg, France: Éditions du Signe. p. 141. ISBN 978-2-7468-2874-2.
  24. ^ Barnes, Mike (November 26, 2012). "Actress Bobbi Jordan Dies at 75, She had a stint on "General Hospital" in the 1970s and appeared in the Lucille Ball musical "Mame."". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved December 8, 2012.
  25. ^ "Lisa Thornhill". metacritic.com. Retrieved February 19, 2019.