Kentucky Counties
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Kentucky Counties

Kentucky has one hundred and twenty counties, third in the US behind Texas's (254) and Georgia's (159.) Washington County was the first county formed in the Commonwealth of Kentucky when it reached statehood, and the sixteenth county formed

Ballard County, Kentucky

Ballard County Education, Geography, and HistoryBallard County, Kentucky Courthouse

Ballard County is a county located in the state of Kentucky. Based on the 2010 census, the population was 8,249. Ballard County was created on February 15, 1842. The county seat is Wickliffe. The county is named for Captain Bland Ballard, a soldier, statesman, and member of the Kentucky General Assembly.

Ballard County is part of the Paducah, KY-IL Micropolitan Statistical Area.

Etymology - Origin of Ballard County Name

The county is named for Bland W. Ballard (1761-1853), Indian fighter and scout for General George Rogers Clark; fought in the War of 1812; Kentucky legislator. One of those honored after the Battle of River Raisin.


County QuickFacts: CensusBureau Quick Facts

Ballard County History

Ballard county was formed in 1842. It is located in the Jackson Purchase region of the state. The elevation in the county ranges from 285 to 495 feet above sea level. In 2000 the county population was 8,286 in a land area of 251.16 square miles, an average of 33.0 people per square mile. The county seat is Wickliffe.

On February 17, 1880, the courthouse was destroyed by a fire, which also destroyed most of the county's early records. The county seat was transferred from Blandville to Wickliffe in 1882

Geography: Land and Water

As reported by the Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 274 square miles (710 km2), of which 247 square miles (640 km2) is land and 27 square miles (70 km2) (9.9%) is water.

Ballard county is located in west Kentucky. Axe Lake Swamp State Nature Preserve is a 458 acres nature preserve located in this county.

Neighboring Counties

Bordering counties are as follows:

  • Northeast: Massac County, Ill.
  • East: McCracken County
  • South: Carlisle County
  • Southwest: Mississippi County, Mo.
  • Northwest: Alexander County, Ill.; Pulaski County, Ill.

Notable residents

  • Morris E. Crain, Medal of Honor recipient for his bravery during WWII.
  • Kenny Rollins, an American basketball player who was a member of the University of Kentucky's "Fab Five" who won the 1948 NCAA Championship, the 1948 Gold Medal Winning US Olympic Team, and the NBA's Chicago Stags and Boston Celtics.
  • Oscar Turner (1825-1896), State Senator, U. S. Representative and namesake of Oscar, Kentucky.


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