Inez, Kentucky
Martin County courthouse in Inez
Location of Inez in Martin County, Kentucky.
Coordinates: 37°51′59″N 82°32′21″W / 37.86639°N 82.53917°W / 37.86639; -82.53917Coordinates: 37°51′59″N 82°32′21″W / 37.86639°N 82.53917°W / 37.86639; -82.53917
CountryUnited States
IncorporatedFebruary 5, 1942
Named forthe daughter of a local postmaster
 • TypeCity Commission
 • MayorEdward Daniels
 • Total1.72 sq mi (4.46 km2)
 • Land1.72 sq mi (4.46 km2)
 • Water0.00 sq mi (0.00 km2)
636 ft (194 m)
 • Total717
 • Estimate 
 • Density359.84/sq mi (138.97/km2)
Time zoneUTC-5 (Eastern (EST))
 • Summer (DST)UTC-4 (EDT)
ZIP code
Area code(s)606
FIPS code21-39430
GNIS feature ID0494986

Inez (/ˈnəz/) is a home rule-class city in and the county seat of Martin County, Kentucky, United States.[3] The population was 717 at the 2010 census.


Inez is located at 37°51′59″N 82°32′21″W / 37.86639°N 82.53917°W / 37.86639; -82.53917 (37.866431, -82.539058).[4] According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 0.7 square miles (1.8 km2), all land.


James Ward first settled the area about 1810; originally, it was named Arminta Ward's Bottom. J.M. Stepp renamed it Eden about the time it became the seat of government for Martin County in 1873. As there was already a post office named Eden, Kentucky, the local postmaster was obliged to rename his Inez on June 23, 1874. The name is usually held to have been derived from that of Inez Frank, the daughter of Louisa's postmaster in neighboring Lawrence County.[5]

Lincoln County Feud

The Lincoln County Feud occurred in Lincoln County, West Virginia, during the 1880s. In October 1889, Milt Haley and Green McCoy, two West Virginia fugitives, were captured and subsequently held at the Martin County Jail. A West Virginia posse gained possession of Haley and McCoy and lynched them at Green Shoal near Harts, West Virginia. In March 1995, songwriter and musician John Hartford and historian/author Brandon Kirk visited Inez as part of their research into the story of the feud.

Presidential visit

President Lyndon B. Johnson visited Inez in 1964,[6] landing by helicopter with his party at an abandoned miniature golf course, to promote the War on Poverty. "At the time, the poverty rate in this coal-mining area was more than 60 percent."[7]


Inez is home to several industrial employers primarily focused on the area's robust energy market. A multitude of coal, gas and oil exploration and affiliated services companies operate in the mineral-rich areas in and around Martin County. Outside the city is another major regional employer, the Big Sandy facility of the Federal Bureau of Prisons.


Historical population
Census Pop.
2019 (est.)620[2]−13.5%
U.S. Decennial Census[8]

As of the census[9] of 2000, there were 466 people, 212 households, and 132 families residing in the city. The population density was 710.5 people per square mile (272.6/km2). There were 253 housing units at an average density of 385.7 per square mile (148.0/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 98.28% White, and 1.72% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.64% of the population.

There were 212 households, out of which 30.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 44.8% were married couples living together, 15.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 37.7% were non-families. 35.4% of all households were made up of individuals, and 14.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.18 and the average family size was 2.83.

In the city, the population was spread out, with 24.0% under the age of 18, 10.3% from 18 to 24, 29.4% from 25 to 44, 22.3% from 45 to 64, and 13.9% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females, there were 75.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 67.0 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $21,875, and the median income for a family was $25,938. Males had a median income of $41,875 versus $17,292 for females. This compares to a median household income in all of the United States of $46,326 in 2006 while the median personal income (including only those above the age of 25) was $32,140. The per capita income for the city was $14,183. About 37.0% of families and 35.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 41.7% of those under age 18 and 21.4% of those age 65 or over.

Government and infrastructure

The United States Postal Service operates the Inez Post Office.[10]

The Federal Bureau of Prisons U.S. Penitentiary, Big Sandy is located near Inez, in unincorporated Martin County.[11]


The Martin County School System serves Inez. Sheldon Clark High School is the former area high school as it has since been replaced by Martin County high school. Eden elementary, Warfield elementary, and Inez elementary now go k-6 so Martin County middle school (mcms) is only 7–8. MCMS is also in Warfield.

Inez has a lending library, a branch of the Martin County Public Library.[12]

Notable residents


  1. ^ "2019 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 24, 2020.
  2. ^ a b "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". United States Census Bureau. May 24, 2020. Retrieved May 27, 2020.
  3. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Archived from the original on 2011-05-31. Retrieved 2011-06-07.
  4. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23.
  5. ^ Rennick, Robert M. (1988). "Place Names". Kentucky Place Names. Lexington, Kentucky: The University Press of Kentucky. ISBN 0-8131-0179-4. Accessed 8 April 2010.
  6. ^ Jarvie, Jenny (March 4, 2019). "Broke, a sheriff in Appalachian coal country struggles to provide law and order". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 5 March 2019.
  7. ^ Fessler, Pam (2014-01-08). "Kentucky County That Gave War On Poverty A Face Still Struggles". NPR. Retrieved 2014-05-31.
  8. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Retrieved June 4, 2015.
  9. ^ "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  10. ^ "Post Office™ Location - INEZ Archived 2011-07-18 at the Wayback Machine." United States Postal Service. Retrieved on February 21, 2011.
  11. ^ "Institution Supplement." United States Penitentiary, Big Sandy. 2 (2/18). Retrieved on February 21, 2011. "USP Big Sandy is located at 1197 Airport Rd, Inez, Kentucky." and "Directions from Interstate 64: From the following areas: Ashland, KY, Huntington, WV, and the Ohio area, travel Interstate 64 to Kentucky Exit 191 to Route 23 South. Follow 23 South for approximately 38 miles until you reach Route 645. Turn left onto Route 645 South and travel approximately 11 miles until you reach Route 3. Turn right onto Route 3 and travel for approximately 10 miles until you reach Airport Road. Turn left onto Airport Road and follow signs to the institution."
  12. ^ "Kentucky Public Library Directory". Kentucky Department for Libraries and Archives. Archived from the original on 11 January 2019. Retrieved 7 June 2019.
  13. ^ Sistersville (WV) Daily Oil Review, 2 July 1903