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Magoffin County, Kentucky

Updated 14 Jan 2016
Old Courthouse 1890 - 1957

Salyersville, the Magoffin County seat, is located on the Licking River. A settlement was attempted nearby in 1794. The settlers, Archibald Prather (Prater), John Williams, Ebenezer Hanna, Clayton Cook and others, were subsequently driven off by Indians but returned in 1800. The original settlement was known as Prater's Fort.

The first post office, Licking Station, was established at Prater's Fort in 1839. The post office moved to the present site of Salyersville in 1849 and was renamed
Adamsville for William "Uncle Billy" Adams, a prominent local resident.

Magoffin County was formed in 1860 out of parts of Floyd, Johnson and Morgan Counties. It was named after Gov. Beriah Magoffin (1815-1885). The county seat Adamsville was renamed Salyersville in 1861 for Rep. Samuel Salyers, who sponsored the bill creating the new county.

Salyersville in 1937


Photo courtesy of James E. Allen
Salyersville, KY

Looking north on Church Street, the two-story stone house on the left and the long single-story building beside it were the residence and department store of Eugene B. Arnett. The Magoffin County Historical Society cabins are now located in this spot. The large brick building next to the store is Salyersville Grade and High School, built in 1936. The courthouse tower is visible near the center of the photo.

About Magoffin County

Population (2010): 13,333
Area: 309 Square Miles
County Seat: Salyersville, population (2010) 1,833
Other communities: Ever, Bethanna, Cutuno, Elsie, Foraker, Fritz, Gapville, Gunlock, Gypsy, Harper, Hendricks, Ivyton, Royalton, Stella, Swampton, Waldo, Wheelersburg, Wonnie.
Neighboring Counties: Morgan, Johnson, Floyd, Knott, Breathitt and Wolfe.

Research prior to 1860: Magoffin was formed in 1860 mainly from Morgan to the north and Floyd to the south. Floyd was formed in 1800 mainly from Montgomery to the west and Mason to the east. Morgan was formed in 1822 mainly from Floyd to the south. Montgomery was formed in 1797 mainly from Bourbon, which had been formed in 1785 when Kentucky was still part of Virginia.

County records are retained in whatever county had jurisdiction during the year(s) being researched. Researchers should also be aware of which parent counties have lost records. Bourbon County Courthouse – some records were lost in a fire on 8 May 1872. Floyd County Courthouse – some records were destroyed by fire in Apr 1808. Montgomery County Courthouse – fires on 4 Mar 1851 and 2 Dec 1863 destroyed many records. Morgan County Courthouse – courthouse records were lost twice: in Oct 1862 and in 1925.





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