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

Clay County, Kentucky

Clay County Education, Geography, and HistoryClay County, Kentucky Courthouse

Clay County is a county located in the state of Kentucky. Based on the 2010 census, the population was 21,730.  The county was created in 1807. The county seat is Manchester. Clay county is named in honor of General Green Clay (1757-1826). Clay was a member of the Virginia and Kentucky State legislatures, first cousin once removed of Henry Clay, United States Senator from Kentucky and Secretary of State in the 19th century.

Etymology - Origin of Clay County Name

The county is named for General Green Clay (1757-1826), military leader in the War of 1812; represented Kentucky County in the Virginia General Assembly; cousin of Henry Clay.


County QuickFacts: CensusBureau Quick Facts

Clay County History

Clay county was formed in 1807. It is located in the Eastern Coal Field region of the state. The elevation in the county ranges from 690 to 2235 feet above sea level. In 2000 the county population was 24,556 in a land area of 471.01 square miles, an average of 52.1 people per square mile. The county seat is Manchester. Most of Clay county is within the Daniel Boone National Forest.

Geography: Land and Water

As reported by the Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 471 square miles (1,220 km2), of which 469 square miles (1,210 km2) is land and 1.8 square miles (4.7 km2) (0.4%) is water.

Clay county is located in east Kentucky. Most of the county is heavily wooded, approximately 61,000 acres.

Neighboring Counties

Bordering counties are as follows:

  • North: Owsley County
  • East: Perry County; Leslie County
  • South: Bell County
  • Southwest: Knox County
  • West: Laurel County
  • Northwest: Jackson County


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