Friday, January 8, 2010

Friday Night Fun with Kentucky's Counties. "And then there were 55."



During most every session of the General Assembly, someone laments the fact that Kentucky has 120 counties, although we can only afford about 75 of them. Commissions are formed, arguments are made, and nothing ever happens - and nothing ever will. Over time, I've often thought about how I would arrange the counties if given the chance. Since I'm never going to be given the chance - and it is my blog, I have, here below, came up with a list of Kentucky's new arrangement of counties, a total of 55 counties of varying shapes and sizes. I've tried to accomodate geographical similarities as well as transportation alignments. I've ignored politics.

It isn't all pretty - there are two in particular which I do not care for, but they went where they could only go. I've also proposed which present county seats would remain as the county seats in the newly formed counties. In that regard, I've moved two county seats altogether (marked with an (*) in the lists below) for reasons which make sense if you look at them on a map. (For the record, I've kept Eddyville as a county seat which means, that if my plan were approved, this new county would be the fourth different county Eddyville has served as the seat of government).

I've also applied new names altogether to most of the new counties. There are a few names I'm not happy with but I've done the best I can. So listed below are my 55 counties, some of which you'll recognise since they aren't changed from the present. These tend to be the population centers. There are fourteen of them. At the end, the new counties are listed alphabetically (along with their proposed county seats), since that is the way most of us are used to seeing them.

It is all fantasy. Do you think Georgia or Texas ever worry about their number of counties? Let me know what you think.

*****

1. Mississippi County: composed of the former counties of Ballard, Carlisle, Fulton, and Hickman, named for the Mississippi River. County Seat: Wickliffe.
2. McCracken County: unchanged. County Seat: Paducah.
3. Mayfield County: composed of the former counties of Calloway and Graves, named for Mayfield Creek. County Seat: Mayfield.
4. Grand Rivers County: composed of the former counties of Livingston and Marshall, named for the Cumberland and Tennessee rivers. County Seat: Benton.
5. Barkley County: composed of the former counties of Caldwell, Lyon, and Trigg, named for former Vice President Alben Barkley. County Seat: Eddyville.
6. Tradewater County: composed of the former counties of Crittenden, Union, and Webster. County Seat: Morganfield.
7. Henderson County: unchanged. County Seat: Henderson.
8. Daviess County: unchanged. County Seat: Owensboro.
9. Pond River County: composed of the former counties of Hopkins and McLean, named for the Pond River. County Seat: Madisonville.
10. Christian County: unchanged. County Seat: Hopkinsville.
11. Jefferson Davis County: composed of the former counties of Logan and Todd, named for Jefferson Davis. County Seat: Russellville.
12. Paradise County: composed of the former counties of Muhlenberg and Ohio, named for the town on the Green River. County Seat: Greenville.
13. Warren County: unchanged. County Seat: Bowling Green.
14. Three Rivers County: composed of the former counties of Butler, Edmonson, and Grayson, named for the Green, Nolin, and Rough rivers. County Seat: Leitchfield.
15. Breckinridge County: composed of the former counties of Breckinridge, Hancock, and Meade, named for the historic Breckinridge family in Kentucky. County Seat: Hardinsburg.
16. Tennessee County: composed of the former counties of Allen, Monroe, and Simpson, named for the bordering state. County Seat: Scottsville.
17. Barren County: composed of the former counties of Barren and Metcalfe, named for the former Barren County. County Seat: Glasgow.
18. Hardin County: unchanged. County Seat: Elizabethtown.
19. Salt River County: composed of the former counties of Bullitt and Spencer, named for the Salt River. County Seat: Mount Washington (*)
20. Jefferson County: unchanged. County Seat: Louisville.
21. Abraham Lincoln County: composed of the former counties of Hart and Larue, named for President Abraham Lincoln. County Seat: Munfordville.
22. Nelson County: unchanged. County Seat: Bardstown.
23. Isaac Shelby County: composed of the former counties of Henry and Shelby, named for Governor Isaac Shelby. County Seat: Shelbyville.
24. Oldham County: composed of the former counties of Oldham and Trimble. County Seat: LaGrange.
25. Franklin County: composed of the former counties of Anderson and Franklin. County Seat: Frankfort.
26. Eagle County: composed of the former counties of Carroll, Gallatin, Grant, and Owen. County Seat: Owenton.
27. Boone County: unchanged. County Seat: Burlington.
28. Kenton County: unchanged. County Seat: Independence.
29. Campbell County: unchanged. County Seat: Alexandria.
30. Green River County: composed of the former counties of Adair, Green, and Taylor. County Seat: Campbellsville.
31. Washington County: composed of the former counties of Marion and Washington, named for President George Washington. County Seat: Springfield.
32. Kentucky County: composed of the former counties of Boyle and Mercer, named for the roles Harrodsburg and Danville played in the founding of the county and later state of Kentucky. County Seat: Harrodsburg.
33. Fayette County: unchanged. County Seat: Lexington.
34. Herrington County: composed of the former counties of Garrard and Jessamine, named for Herrington Lake. County Seat: Lancaster.
35. Midway County: composed of the former counties of Scott and Woodford, named for the community of Midway. County Seat: Georgetown.
36. Kincaid County: composed of the former counties of Bracken, Pendleton, and Robertson, named for Kincaid Lake. County Seat: Falmouth
37. Hinkston County: composed of the former counties of Bourbon, Harrison, and Nicholas, named for Hinkston Creek. County Seat: Cynthiana.
38. Cumberland River County: composed of the former counties of Clinton, Cumberland, and Wayne, named for the Cumberland River. County Seat: Monticello.
39. Lake Cumberland County: composed of the former counties of Pulaski and Russell, named for Lake Cumberland. County Seat: Somerset.
40. William Whitley County: composed of the former counties of Casey, Lincoln, and Rockcastle, named for pioneer William Whitley. County Seat: Crab Orchard (*)
41. Boonesborough County: composed of the former counties of Estill and Madison, named for the pioneer Fort Boonesborough. County Seat: Richmond.
42. Cumberland Falls County: composed of the former counties of Knox, McCreary, and Whitley, named for the Cumberland Falls. County Seat: Williamsburg.
43. Wilderness County: composed of the former counties of Clay, Jackson, Laurel, and Owsley, named for the Wilderness Road. County Seat: London.
44. George Rogers Clark County: composed of the former counties of Clark and Montgomery. County Seat: Winchester.
45. Limestone County: composed of the former counties of Bath, Fleming, and Mason, named for the historic name of Maysville. County Seat: Flemingsburg.
46. Natural Bridge County: composed of the former counties of Lee, Menifee, Powell, and Wolfe, named for the geological formation. County Seat: Campton.
47. Tygarts County: composed of the former counties of Carter, Greenup, and Lewis, named for Tygarts Creek. County Seat: Grayson.
48. Pike County: unchanged. County Seat: Pikeville.
49. Pine Mountain County: composed of the former counties of Bell, Harlan, and Leslie, named for the mountain ridge. County Seat: Harlan.
50. Breathitt County: composed of the former counties of Breathitt and Perry, named for the historic Breathitt family. County Seat: Hazard
51. Carr Creek County: composed of the former counties of Knott and Letcher, named for Carr Creek. County Seat: Whitesburg.
52. Floyd County: composed of the former counties of Floyd and Magoffin. County Seat: Prestonsburg.
53. Boyd County: unchanged. County Seat: Catlettsburg.
54. Big Sandy County: composed of the former counties of Johnson, Martin, and Lawrence, named for the Big Sandy River. County Seat: Paintsville.
55. Cave Run County: composed of the former counties of Elliott, Morgan, and Rowan, named for the Cave Run Lake. County Seat: Sandy Hook.

1 Abraham Lincoln County, Munfordville
2 Barkley County, Eddyville
3 Barren County, Glasgow
4 Big Sandy County, Paintsville
5 Boone County, Burlington (unchanged)
6 Boonesborough County, Richmond
7 Boyd County, Catlettsburg (unchanged)
8 Breathitt County, Hazard
9 Breckinridge County, Hardinsburg
10 Campbell County, Newport (unchanged)
11 Carr Creek County, Whitesburg
12 Cave Run County, Sandy Hook
13 Christian County, Hopkinsville (unchanged)
14 Cumberland Falls County, Williamsburg
15 Cumberland River County, Monticello
16 Daviess County, Owensboro (unchanged)
17 Eagle County, Owenton
18 Fayette County, Lexington (unchanged)
19 Floyd County, Prestonsburg
20 Franklin County, Frankfort
21 George Rogers Clark County, Winchester
22 Grand Rivers County, Benton
23 Green River County, Campbellsville
24 Hardin Coumty, Elizabethtown (unchanged)
25 Henderson County, Henderson (unchanged)
26 Herrington County, Lancaster
27 Hinkston County, Cynthiana
28 Isaac Shelby County, Shelbyville
29 Jefferson County, Louisville (unchanged)
30 Jefferson Davis County, Russellville
31 Kenton County, Independence (unchanged)
32 Kentucky County, Harrodsburg
33 Kinkaid County, Falmouth
34 Lake Cumberland County, Somerset
35 Limestone County, Flemingsburg
36 Mayfield County, Mayfield
37 McCracken County, Paducah (unchanged)
38 Midway County, Georgetown
39 Mississippi County, Wickliffe
40 Natural Bridge County, Campton
41 Nelson County, Bardstown (unchanged)
42 Paradise County, Greenville
43 Pike County, Pikeville (unchanged)
44 Pine Mountain County, Harlan
45 Pond River County, Madisonville
46 Oldham County, La Grange
47 Salt River County, Mount Washington (*)
48 Tennessee County, Scottsville
49 Three Rivers County, Leitchfield
50 Tradewater County, Morganfield
51 Tygarts County, Grayson
52 Warren County, Bowling Green (unchanged)
53 Washington County, Springfield
54 Wilderness County, London
55 William Whitley County, Crab Orchard (*)

[The blog was edited 0n 02/13/2012 to add the map which was designed by Michael Garton and his boyfriend Craig Mullins. I am very happy they took the time to do this.]

5 comments:

Tim Havrilek said...

Even if we did not combine them we must take a serious look at combining county services. Regional sheriffs, jailers, jails ect.. Kentucky counties must pool their resources to save money and create jobs. As Bill Cox suggested over 20 years ago-why we don't combine our purchasing power within the 176 school districts? If we buy all our school buses, our our pencils, footballs, ect.. from one company under a long term contract then we could negotiate for a cheaper price and use it as a tool to bring jobs to KY. We can create jobs and opportunities with what we have. Tim H.

Jeff Nolin said...

I agree with Tim. The current map of Kentucky's counties is, for the most part, based on land grants and the property lines of original land owners. It ought to go without saying, that Kentucky could save some money by merging counties, but someone could well argue the counter in pointing out Metro Louisville-Jefferson County government, which has yet to produce any cost-savings. Nonetheless, it's an interesting exercise to consider the geography of combining counties and re-naming them in a way that would pacify naysayers.

Jeff Nolin said...

Is there any way you could upload the "consolidated-county" map you've drawn?

Anonymous said...

JN: There is probably a way for "somebody" to do that. I'm not that talented.

So, you'll have to drive to either Bullitt or Shelby county (Salt River or Isaac Shelby county in the new arrangement) and stop at the Rest Area on either I-65 or I-64, respectively; pick up a Kentucky Highway map, then take some crayons and draw a map.

That's what I did.

JN

Bryan Mathews said...

interesting concepts. There is a lot of regionalism taking place amongst the counties for the sharing of services. Jefferson County hasn't wanted to participate in any of it but we do discuss a lot of these regional services amongst the Ju...dge/Executives at our meetings. Even within some counties there is a sharing of services between the County Government and the City Governments that are producing fantastic results without lengthy legislation. As this county regionalism grows and improves the quality of life, you may see the merging of counties for efficiency in about 20 years. stay tuned!See More

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Louisville, Kentucky, United States
Single, male, bald, overweight, early 50s, seeking . . . Oh wait, that's goes on the other website. How about this - never married, liberal Democrat, opinionated but generally pleasant, member of the Episcopal Church. Graduate of Prestonia Elementary, Durrett High, and Spalding University; the first two now-closed Jefferson County Public Schools, the latter a very small liberal arts college in downtown Louisville affiliated with the Roman Catholic Sisters of Charity of Nazareth. My vocation and avocation is politics. My favorite pastime is driving the backroads of Kentucky and southern Indiana, visiting small towns, political hangouts, courthouses, churches, and cemeteries. You are welcome to ride with me sometime.