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

Letcher County, Kentucky

Letcher County Education, Geography, and HistoryLetcher County, Kentucky Courthouse

Letcher County is a county located in the state of Kentucky. Based on the 2010 census, the population was 24,519. Letcher County was created on March 3, 1842. The county seat is Whitesburg. Letcher county is named for Robert P. Letcher, Governor of Kentucky from 1840-1844.

Etymology - Origin of Letcher County Name

Letcher county is named for Robert P. Letcher (1788-1861), United States Congressman, United States Minister to Mexico and Governor of  Kentucky from 1840-1844.


County QuickFacts: CensusBureau Quick Facts

Letcher County History

Letcher county was formed in 1842. It is located in the Eastern Coal Field region of the state. In 2000 the county population was 25,277 in a land area of 339.04 square miles, an average of 74.6 people per square mile. The county seat is Whitesburg. Letcher County is a dry county, with the only exceptions being the Highland Winery, the city of Whitesburg, and the city of Jenkins.

Geography: Land and Water

As reported by the Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 339 square miles (880 km2), of which 338 square miles (880 km2) is land and 1.1 square miles (2.8 km2) (0.3%) is water.

 Letcher county is located in east Kentucky. The county's natural areas include Bad Branch Falls and the Lilley Cornett Woods. The elevation in the county ranges from 940 to 3720 feet above sea level. Part of the Jefferson National Forest is in this county.

Neighboring Counties

Bordering counties are as follows:

  • Northeast: Pike County
  • Southeast: Wise County, Va.
  • Southwest: Harlan County
  • Northwest: Perry County; Knott County


Two public school districts operate in the county.

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