History of Logan County

Logan County, KY

Taken from THE STORY OF LOGAN COUNTY
by Edward Coffman
1962
Now reprinted and updated by Edward F. Coffman, Jr.

THROUGH MY FATHER'S EYES, THE STORY OF LOGAN CO., KY
106 West Seventh Street
Russellville, Kentucky 42276

Logan County, Kentucky, is situated in the southwestern part of the state and is one of the southern tier of counties bordering the northern Tennessee line. It is bounded on the north by Muhlenberg and Butler Counties, on the east by Warren and Simpson Counties, on the west by Todd County, and on the south by Robertson County, Tennessee. Russellville, the county seat, is almost in the center of the county.

Dr. Gordon Wilson, long time head of English Department at Western State College, Bowling Green, Kentucky, says there are five or six counties of southern Kentucky, lying along the Tennessee line, which he calls "a language isle of the old south." Logan County is one of these counties. Dr. Wilson says this section was settled by Virginians and their language, culture and heritage are that of Virginia. He says he can tell a student from one of these counties by his speech as soon as he enters the classroom.

The county was the thirteenth of 120 counties formed, attaining separate status in September 1792 after the state separated from Virginia in June of 1792. Fincastle County, Virginia, from which Kentucky was formed was the frontier county of Virginia from 1772 through 1776. When it was dissolved, Kentucky County, Virginia, was formed. In May 1780, three counties were formed, Fayette, Jefferson and Lincoln from Kentucky County, Virginia. Further divisions were made with additions of Nelson, Bourbon, Mercer, Madison, Mason, Woodford by the time Kentucky became a state. When the first legislature met, they added Washington, Shelby, Scott, Logan, Clark, Hardin and Green Counties.

The county, cut from Lincoln County, ran from Elk Lick on Little Barren River to the North Carolina (now Tennessee) line, westward to the Mississippi River, along the Ohio and Green Rivers on the north. Twenty-eight counties have been formed wholly or in part out of Logan. Size was reduced quickly, however, for in 1796 Christian and Warren Counties were cut off, Muhlenberg in 1798, Butler in 1810, and Todd and Simpson in 1819. Except for minor line adjustments, it has remained the same since the last two named counties.

Finley's history of Logan County says Kasper Mansker, who made a settlement near Goodlettsville, TN, visited Logan County in 1776, being perhaps the first recorded white man in the area.

The county is named for Benjamin Logan, settler of Logan's Fort in Lincoln county, near Stanford. He was elected a representative from Lincoln county to the Kentucky legislature several times and a member of the first two Constitutional Conventions in 1791 and 1799.

Russellville was named for William Russell, born in Culpepper County, Virginia, on May 6, 1735. In 1756 he was captain of a company of rangers under Gen. Braddock in the French and Indian War. In 1776 Capt. Russell was made Colonel in the American regular army. He participated in the battles of Brandywine, Germantown and Monmouth. In 1781 he rejoined the American army under Gen. Washington and he witnessed the surrender of Lord Cornwallis at Yorktown in October 1781. He was given a grant of 2000 acres of land near Russellville and the town was named for him. One of his sons, Henley, was one of the first trustees of the town.