Kentucky Counties
Kentucky County map
Click Image to Enlarge

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

Lee County, Kentucky

Lee County Education, Geography, and HistoryLee County, Kentucky Courthouse

Lee County is a county located in the state of Kentucky. Based on the 2010 census, the population was 7,887. Lee County was created on March 1, 1870. The county seat is Beattyville. Lee county is named for Confederate general Robert E. Lee or possibly General Lighthorse Harry Lee, a Revolutionary War officer and Virginia Governor.

Etymology - Origin of Lee County Name

Lee county is named for General Robert E. Lee (1807-1870), Confederate general, commander of the Army of Northern Virginia, who eventually commanded the entire Southern army or possibly General Lighthorse Harry Lee (1756-1818), Revolutionary War officer and Virginia governor.


County QuickFacts: CensusBureau Quick Facts

Lee County History

Lee county was formed in 1870. It is located in the Eastern Coal Field region of the state. The elevation in the county ranges from 610 to 1367 feet above sea level. In 2000 the county population was 7,916 in a land area of 209.86 square miles, an average of 37.7 people per square mile. The county seat is Beattyville.

The town of Proctor, named for the Reverend Joseph Proctor, was the first county seat. The first court was held on April 25, 1870 in the Old Howerton House. The local economy at the time included coal mining, salt gathering, timber operations, and various commercial operations. It featured a post office from 1843 until 1918.

The current county seat, Beattyville, was first known as Taylor's Landing. It was renamed to Beatty in 1850 after early settler Samuel Beatty. The town incorporated in 1872 as Beattyville and became the new county seat due to its location along the Kentucky River.

Although Lee County contained taverns in the 19th century, it is currently a prohibition or dry county.

Geography: Land and Water

As reported by the Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 211 square miles (550 km2), of which 209 square miles (540 km2) is land and 2.4 square miles (6.2 km2) (1.1%) is water.

Lee county is located within the Eastern Mountain Coal Fields region of Kentucky. The county has a rugged terrain greatly describes the area. Approximately half of the county lies within the Daniel Boone National Forest. Timber and coal remain economically important. Harmful effects from strip mining and clear cut logging are still being corrected. The spread of kudzu has proved challenging to tackle. In spite of this, with the growing environmental movement and the developing tourism industry more action is being taken.

Neighboring Counties

Bordering counties are as follows:

  • Northeast: Wolfe County
  • East: Breathitt County
  • South: Owsley County
  • Southwest: Jackson County
  • Northwest: Estill County; Powell County


Compare More Colleges and Universities
Find the Right School

Find more schools to match to your needs.

County Resources
US Counties
Click Image to Enlarge