Madisonville, Kentucky: Wikis


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City of Madisonville, Kentucky
—  City  —
Hopkins County Courthouse in Madisonville
Nickname(s): Best Town on Earth
Location in the state of Kentucky
Coordinates: 37°19′58″N 87°30′8″W / 37.33278°N 87.50222°W / 37.33278; -87.50222
Country United States
State Kentucky
County Hopkins
 - Mayor Will Cox (D)
 - Total 18.5 sq mi (48 km2)
 - Land 17.8 sq mi (46.1 km2)
 - Water 0.7 sq mi (1.9 km2)
Elevation 470 ft (144 m)
Population (2000)
 - Total 19,307
Time zone CST (UTC-6)
 - Summer (DST) CDT (UTC-5)
ZIP code 42431
Area code(s) 270
FIPS code 21-49368
GNIS feature ID 0497441

Madisonville is a city in Hopkins County, Kentucky, United States of the Western Coal Field region, located along US 41 and The Pennyrile Parkway. The population was 19,307 at the 2000 census. It is the county seat of Hopkins County[1]. The city was named in honor of U.S. President James Madison.[2]

Madisonville is a commercial center of the region and is home to Madisonville Community College.



Madisonville was founded in 1807 and named for James Madison (who was then Secretary of State). Madisonville was named the county seat of Hopkins County in 1808 and was incorporated in 1810.

Hopkins County and Madisonville were divided by the Civil War. Union supporters joined a regiment recruited locally by James Shackleford; Al Fowler recruited Confederate troops. The courthouse in Madisonville was burned by Confederates led by Gen. Hylan B. Lyon on December 17, 1864, as they passed through western Kentucky. The policies imposed by the occupying Union armies caused resentment and sparked sympathy for the Confederate cause.

Farming was the major occupation in Hopkins County for most of the 1800s, with tobacco the leading crop. Around 1837 an outcropping of coal was discovered and the first coal mine in the county opened in 1869. Mining did not become a major industry until the Louisville & Nashville Railroad pushed its line southward from Henderson through Madisonville and toward Nashville in 1870. By the early 1900s, Madisonville was a rail hub, coal mining center, and had a large tobacco market. This continued until the 1960s when manufacturing and service industries came to the area.

On November 15, 2005, a tornado ripped through the city, destroying some parts of it. The tornado began to form around 3:00 PM. The local Country Club neighborhood was greatly affected by the storm. The home of Madisonville resident and former Boston Celtics star Frank Ramsey was destroyed in the storm. Mayor Karen Cunningham, ordered a curfew in parts of the city and declared a state of emergency.

In January 2009, a severe ice storm hit Madisonville. Hopkins County and much of the rest of state of Kentucky were affected. Madisonville was placed under a curfew for the safety of the citizens. The storm was responsible for widespread power outages and damage to homes as well as trees. Many residents were without power for weeks and tree limb clean-up took months to complete. Many out-of-state power companies assisted the local power companies to speed up the process of re-powering the town.


Madisonville is located at 37°19′58″N 87°30′8″W / 37.33278°N 87.50222°W / 37.33278; -87.50222 (37.332660, -87.502190)[3], approximately 125 miles southwest of Louisville, Kentucky.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 18.5 square miles (48.0 km²), of which, 17.8 square miles (46.1 km²) of it is land and 0.7 square miles (1.9 km²) of it (3.94%) is water.

It is at an altitude of 460 feet above sea level.


Historical populations
Census Pop.  %±
1810 37
1830 112
1840 51 −54.5%
1860 602
1870 1,022 69.8%
1880 1,544 51.1%
1890 2,212 43.3%
1900 3,628 64.0%
1910 4,966 36.9%
1920 5,030 1.3%
1930 6,908 37.3%
1940 8,209 18.8%
1950 11,132 35.6%
1960 13,110 17.8%
1970 15,332 16.9%
1980 16,979 10.7%
1990 18,693 10.1%
2000 19,307 3.3%
Est. 2008 19,106 −1.0%
U.S. Census Bureau[4]

As of the census[5] of 2000, there were 19,307 people, 8,077 households, and 5,330 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,085.0 people per square mile (418.8/km²). There were 8,889 housing units at an average density of 499.5/sq mi (192.8/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 86.21% White, 11.24% Black or African American, 0.18% Native American, 0.51% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 0.63% from other races, and 1.20% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.34% of the population.

There were 8,077 households out of which 30.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 48.8% were married couples living together, 14.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 34.0% were non-families. 30.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 13.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.31 and the average family size was 2.87.

In the city the population was spread out with 23.9% under the age of 18, 8.3% from 18 to 24, 27.4% from 25 to 44, 23.6% from 45 to 64, and 16.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39 years. For every 100 females there were 85.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 81.7 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $31,097, and the median income for a family was $38,688. Males had a median income of $32,064 versus $20,940 for females. The per capita income for the city was $19,381. About 13.0% of families and 16.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 27.5% of those under age 18 and 7.8% of those age 65 or over.


Because of its location near important roadways, Madisonville is a leading manufacturing hub for western Kentucky. Industrial and factory production has revitalized the local post-coal economy. GE Aviation, Jennmar, GlitterWrap, Ahlstrom, Carhartt, Rexam and other corporations have operations in the area. The city's economic development authority actively pursues new industries for the city.[1]

During the 1970s, The Regional Medical Center (RMC) and Trover Clinic were built by the Trover Foundation (which is now Trover Health Systems). RMC is a 410 bed hospital that offers services typically found in larger cities (such as life flight, women's health centers, and a comprehensive cancer center). Trover Clinic is a ten level clinic and administration building that offers most medical tests and procedures. Six additional clinics are operated by Trover Foundation in Western Kentucky. Trover is considered a leader among health systems in the region.

Madisonville is a wet city in the county of Hopkins County; making it a moist county, one of only sixteen in the state.[6]


Madisonville is the county seat of Hopkins County. The incumbent mayor is Will Cox, a former city councilman who defeated Karen Cunningham (the former mayor) in the May 2006 Democratic primaries. Cox defeated Republican Ron Sanders in November 2006 and was sworn in on January 1, 2007.

Government operations for the city are based out of several buildings including a government building on Center Street, the Hopkins County Courthouse, the Old Post Office, and the Madisonville City Hall Building al on Main Street. As of 2006, state money has been set aside for an all-encompassing city/county government building, but no formal plans have been made.

A majority of Madisonville residents are registered Democrats. Primary elections are rarely held for the Republican Party.


Madisonville and most of Hopkins County are in the Hopkins County School District. Hopkins County Schools operate eight elementary school, four middle school, and two high school sub-districts.

Elementary schools: Grapevine Elementary, West Broadway Elementary, Pride Avenue Elementary, Hanson Elementary, Earlington Elementary, Jesse Stuart Elementary, Southside Elementary, and West Hopkins School.

Middle schools: Browning Springs Middle School, South Hopkins Middle School, West Hopkins School, and James Madison Middle School.

High schools: Hopkins County Central High School and Madisonville North Hopkins High School.

Madisonville is also home to Madisonville Community College, which consolidated with Madisonville Technical College in 2001. The college is a member of the sixteen-college Kentucky Community and Technical College System (KCTCS). The school is also affiliated with Murray State University, Lindsey Wilson College, the University of Kentucky, and the University of Louisville. Because of these university partnerships, the college offers many associate and bachelor degrees that are normally found only at the university level.


Madisonville is bisected laterally by the Pennyrile Parkway: a north-south corridor that connects Hopkinsville with Henderson and feeds into U.S. 41A at Hopkinsville, leading to I-24 East. This section of the Pennyrile Parkway will be incorporated into the new I-69 Corridor. The Western Kentucky Parkway is a few miles south of the town. The Western Kentucky Parkway's westbound lanes feed into I-24 West; the eastbound lanes feed into I-65 East via the Blue Grass Parkway at Elizabethtown. The Western Kentucky Parkway also intersects I-65, which feeds into Bowling Green to the south. In addition to trucking routes, CSX Railway runs through Madisonville.

The Madisonville Municipal Airport has a runway that is 6,050 feet (1,840 m) x 100 feet (30 m).

Events of interest

Madisonville hosts Kentucky's largest annual Veterans Day parade. The parade features military and veterans units, floats, local marching bands, church groups and other units. The parade route is along Main Street U.S. 41 from North Avenue to McCoy Ave. The route passes the Hopkins County Courthouse and many downtown office buildings and businesses. The city also has a Christmas parade in early December.

On the second Friday of summer months the city hosts Friday Night Live, a street festival located downtown featuring live music, food, and other free entertainment.

Notable natives

The following is a list of notable people who have either been born or resided in Madisonville.



External links


  1. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2008-01-31.  
  2. ^ "Dictionary of Places: Madisonville". Encyclopedia of Kentucky. New York, New York: Somerset Publishers. 1987. ISBN 0403099811.  
  3. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2000 and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2005-05-03. Retrieved 2008-01-31.  
  4. ^ Retrieved on 2010-1-11
  5. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.  
  6. ^ Office of Alcohol and Beverage Control


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