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

Boyd County, Kentucky

Boyd County Education, Geography, and HistoryBoyd County, Kentucky Courthouse

Boyd County is a county located in the state of Kentucky. Based on the 2010 census, the population was 49,542. The county  was created on February 16, 1860. The county seat is Catlettsburg. Boyd county is named in honor of Linn Boyd, United States Congressman and Lieutenant Governor of Kentucky (1859). 

Boyd County is part of the Huntington-Ashland, WV-KY-OH Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA).

Etymology - Origin of Boyd County Name

The county is named for Linn Boyd (1800-1859), congressman, Speaker of the United States House of Representatives; elected Lieutenant Governor, but died before serving term.


County QuickFacts: CensusBureau Quick Facts

Boyd County History

The earliest evidence of human habitation in Boyd County exists in the forms of numerous earthen mounds containing human skeletons and burial goods giving evidence that prehistoric Native Americans inhabited the area. A 1973 archeological find revealed a serpent-shaped mound built of rocks dating to 2000 BC and stretching for 900 feet (270 m) along a ridge parallel to the Big Sandy River south of Catlettsburg.

One of the early settlers in what is now Boyd County was Charles ("One-handed Charley") Smith, from Virginia. A veteran of the French and Indian War who had served under Col. George Washington in 1754, Smith received for that service roughly 400 acres (1.6 km2) around Chadwicks Creek, where he built a cabin in 1774. Smith died in 1776 and in 1797 this land passed to Alexander Catlett for whom the town of Catlettsburg is named.

The Poage family arrived from Staunton, Virginia, in October 1799 and formed Poage's Landing, later renamed the city of Ashland.

Boyd county was formed in 1860. It is located in the Eastern Coal Field region of the state. The elevation in the county ranges from 515 to 1140 feet above sea level. In 2000 the county population was 49,752 in a land area of 160.17 square miles, an average of 310.6 people per square mile. The county seat is Catlettsburg.

The first courthouse built in 1861 was replaced in 1912

Geography: Land and Water

As reported by the Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 162 square miles (420 km2), of which 160 square miles (410 km2) is land and 2.2 square miles (5.7 km2) (1.3%) is water.

Boyd county is located in east Kentucky. The county is found at the northeastern edge of the state near the Ohio River and Big Sandy River, nestled in the lush rolling hills of Appalachia.

Neighboring Counties

Bordering counties are as follows:

  • Northeast: Lawrence County, Ohio
  • Southeast: Wayne County, W.Va.
  • South: Lawrence County
  • West: Carter County
  • Northwest: Greenup County



Ashland Community and Technical College, in Ashland, is one of 16 two-year, open-admissions colleges of the Kentucky Community and Technical College System. Morehead State University also has a satellite campus located in Ashland.

Public school districts

Boyd County Public School District serves the city of Catlettsburg and the surrounding county communities outside Ashland city and Westwood CDP
Ashland Independent School District serving the city of Ashland.
Fairview Independent School District serving the census-designated place of Westwood .

Private schools

Holy Family. Holy Family is affiliated with the Holy Family Catholic Church and currently offers K-8 education.
Rose Hill Christian. Rose Hill is affiliated with the Rose Hill Baptist Church and offers K-12.
Calvary Christian School. Calvary Christian School is a ministry of Grassland Community Church and offers K-12.

Other schools

Ramey-Estep High School

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