Russell County Historical Society
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Russell County was formed in 1825. It is located in the Pennyrile region of the state. The elevation in the county ranges from 530 to 1140 feet above sea level. In 1990 the county population was 14,716 in a land area of 253 square miles, an average of 58.2 people per square mile.
The eighty-first county in order of formation, Russell is located in south-central Kentucky and is bordered to the north by Casey, to the east by Pulaski, to the southeast by Wayne, to the south by Clinton, to the southwest by Cumberland, and to the northwest by Adair counties. Russell County, which has an area of 250 square miles, was formed December 14, 1825, from portions of Adair, Wayne, and Cumberland counties. It was named in honor of Col.William Russell, a Revolutionary War officer who fought in the Battle of Kings Mountain. The county seat is Jamestown, located on US 127.
The topography is hilly, with fertile, level bottom land along the Cumberland River and along Alligator, Carrey, Goods, and Greasy creeks. Farms occupy 62 percent of the land area. The county ranks forty-seventh in the state in agricultural receipts, 70 percent of them from poultry and livestock. Crops include hay, corn, tobacco, peppers, and tomatoes.
Settled in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, Russell County had the resources to be an early manufacturing center. In the 1780s, the region south of Jamestown was a center for local manufacturers. By the 1840s, cotton and woolen mills were in production. By the 1890s, the county had a number of resorts, including the Big Boiling Springs health spa, established by Sam Patterson around 1850. A large frame hotel and twelve log cabins accommodated guests who came to take the mineral water and escape the summer heat. Creelsboro was the center of an oil boom in the 1920s. While oil production has declined, the county's wells produced 17,219 barrels of crude in 1989.
The county's industrial growth began in the 1950s, when wood products, furniture, pallets, and railroad ties were first manufactured. In 1960s, Russell Sports Company, which produces women's sportswear, and Medaris Marine, a houseboat manufacturer, came to the county. Russell Sportswear, a division of Marlene Industries, closed down in the mid-1980s. In the 1970s, new operations included Stephens' Pipe and Steel, manufacturers of farm and chain link gates, hay feeders, and dog kennels, and Sutton Shirt Corporation, makers of men's clothing. Other clothing and textile manufacturing plants have opened in and near Russell County, but most have closed down or drastically downsized in recent years, probably due to lower wages abroad.
In 1990 nineteen of the county's twenty-four manufacturing plants were located in Russell Springs, where U.S. 127 intersects the Cumberland Parkway. Fifty-nine percent of the workforce is employed in manufacturing. In 1988 tourism expenditures of $30.6 million generated 1,060 jobs in the county. The $15 million Jamestown Resort and Marina opened in 1990 with 750 boat slips, a dinner boat, houseboat rentals, and a forty-unit motel. The trend in recent years, however, appears to be more toward tourism revenue and less toward traditional manufacturing, since the closing of Russell Sportswear, and Osh Kosh (in adjacent Adair Co.), and the layoff of approx. 1500 workers total at the Jamestown and Campbellsville ( Taylor County) Union Underwear plants, all of which employed large numbers of Russell Countians.
Jamestown, the county seat of Russell County. Jamestown is located on U.S. 127. The town, first called Jacksonville, in honor of President Andrew Jackson, was incorporated on December 23, 1827. When the local Anti-Jacksonian Party came into power in 1826, the community was renamed Jamestown to honor James Wooldridge, donor of the one hundred acre town site. Three Russell County courthouses were built between 1826 and 1978. During the Civil War, Jamestown was the site of two recorded skirmishes; one on Christmas Day, 1861, and the second on June 2, 1863.
completed by the Army Corps of Engineers in 1952, is of great economic
importance to Jamestown for the recreational fishing and boating along
its 1,317 miles of shoreline in the region. Wolf
Creek Dam is located in Russell
County on Lake Cumberland. Wolf Creek Dam, located
in Russell County forming Lake Cumberland, was not only built by the
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), but is also owned and operated by
them. The Wolf
Creek generation schedule included on TVA's automated
lake information line as a courtesy to the public.
Bart, Bigoak, Brady, Catherine, Creelsboro, Decatur, Denmark, Eli, Esto, Fonthill, Helm, Horse Shoe Bottom, Humble, Irvins Store, Jabez, Jamestown, Karlus, Kavito, Longstreet, Lula, Moore Schoolhouse, Olga, Ono, Ribbon, Rowena, Russell Springs, Sewellton, Ucum, Webbs Cross Roads, Whittle.
Big Boiling Springs, Brady, Campbellsburg, Catherine, Clyde, Creelsboro, Creelsburgh, Dallo, Decatur, Dell, Denmark, Duly, Eli, Eller, Esto, Freedom, Helm, Humble, Indian Hills, Irvins Store, Jacksonville, Jamestown, Karlus, Kavito, Kells Shop, Kenwood, Kimble, Lairsville, Longstreet, Lula, Oho, Old Olga, Olga, Ono, Owensby, Ribbon, Rose Crossroads, Rowena, Royville, Russell Springs, Salem, Sano, Sewellton, Stokes, Sunshine, Webbs Cross Roads, Whittle, Wild Goose. (Courtesy of Melissa Robertson.).
|This document maintained by Russell County KyGenWeb. Material Copyright © 2001-2006 Steve Conner - Russell County Coordinator - Last Updated: 03-04-2006|