Hopkinsville

Hopkinsville

[hop-kinz-vil]
Hopkinsville, city (1990 pop. 29,809), seat of Christian co., SW Ky.; inc. 1804. Fertile agricultural lands surround Hopkinsville, which is a leading tobacco and livestock market. There is also diverse manufacturing. Ft. Campbell, a major U.S. army base, is nearby.
Hopkinsville is a city in Christian County, Kentucky, United States. The population was 30,089 at the 2000 census. It is the county seat of Christian County.

History

Hopkinsville was settled in 1796 by Bartholomew and Martha Ann Wood, a couple from Jonesborough, Tennessee. The Wood family established a permanent settlement in the vicinity of present-day West Seventh and Bethel Streets, near what would become known as the Old Rock Spring. Wood staked a claim, based on his service in the American Revolutionary War, on of land. He built a second cabin on what is now the northeast corner of Ninth and Virginia streets and a few years later built a home southeast of Fourteenth and Campbell streets, where he died in 1827. Wood's settlement soon attracted other settlers, and a pioneer village emerged.

Wood donated five acres of land and a half interest in his spring for the county seat. The following year a log courthouse, jail, and "stray pen" were built on the public square facing Main Street. The plat for the town, first called Christian Court House, was surveyed by John Campbell and Samuel Means in 1799. In honor of Wood's eldest daughter, the town was renamed Elizabeth that same year. However, a town in Hardin County had the same name, and when the city incorporated in 1804, the General Assembly renamed the settlement Hopkinsville, in honor of General Samuel Hopkins of Henderson County.

Hopkinsville in the Civil War

The Civil War generated major social and economic division among the people in Hopkinsville and Christian County. A physical evidence of this discord led to the establishment of Union Camp Joe Anderson, located northwest of Hopkinsville. Men who trained there became members of the 35th Kentucky Cavalry, the 25th Kentucky Infantry, and the 35th Kentucky Mounted Infantry. Union General James S. Jackson, a Hopkinsville attorney before the war, was killed in the Battle of Perryville, Kentucky, in October 1862. Private citizens who supported the Union cause provided the army with mules, wagons, clothing, and food. Confederate support in Hopkinsville and Christian County was evident in the establishment of the Oak Grove Rangers and the 28th Kentucky Cavalry.

Christian County was the birthsite of Jefferson Davis, President of the Confederate States of America. Several local businessmen and plantation owners contributed money and war supplies to the "Lost Cause." The war period brought military take-over of Hopkinsville at least half a dozen times by both Confederate and Union forces. In December 1864, Confederate troops under General Hylan B. Lyon captured the town and burned the Christian County courthouse. A skirmish between Union and Confederate forces took place in the field across from Western State Hospital near the end of the war.

The Black Patch Tobacco Wars and the Night Riders

In the early years of the twentieth century, tobacco planters formed a protectionist Dark Tobacco District Planters' Protective Association of Kentucky and Tennessee. This was in opposition to a corporate monopoly: the American Tobacco Company (ATC) trust, owned by James B. Duke.

Many farmers found that they could no longer sell their tobacco crop at a profit and that the ATC was the region's only buyer, now that the many tobacco companies had formed the trust using that agency to purchase all tobacco from any farmer at a fixed price. Upon establishing the protective association and rivaling the monopoly by practicing boycotts of tobacco sales, some farmers formed the Silent Brigade in an effort to apply social pressure for the purpose of terrorizing farmers into joining the Association against the Trust and holding to its boycott of raising no tobacco or selling no tobacco.

The Silent Brigade was later to be infamous as the Night Riders, assembled and regulated by suspected leader Dr. David A. Amoss. The Night Riders, as they were called, were sometimes regarded as heroes by farmers whom they helped although they were often known for violence by some members within their ranks and their organized fight against the changing tobacco industry.

On December 7, 1907, 250 masked night riders captured police and sheriff posts and cut off the town from outside contact. They then pursued city officials and tobacco executives who were buying cheap tobacco from farmers who were not members of the Dark Tobacco District Planters' Protective Association. Three warehouses were burned during a night of lawlessness. Peace Park in Hopkinsville was created on the site of one of the warehouses; it is now one of the town's major visitor attractions.

Geography

Hopkinsville is located in Christian County at (36.854712, -87.488872).

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 24.0 square miles (62.3 km²), of which, 24.0 square miles (62.2 km²) of it is land and 0.04% is water.

Demographics

As of the census of 2000, there were 30,089 people, 12,174 households, and 8,120 families residing in the city of Hopkinsville. The population density was 1,252.4 people per square mile (483.5/km²). There were 13,260 housing units at an average density of 551.9/sq mi (213.1/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 66.05% White, 30.91% African American, 0.23% Native American, 0.76% Asian, 0.09% Pacific Islander, 0.59% from other races, and 1.36% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.69% of the population.

There were 12,174 households out of which 32.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 45.1% were married couples living together, 18.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 33.3% were non-families. 29.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 12.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.39 and the average family size was 2.95.

In the city the population was spread out with 26.4% under the age of 18, 9.7% from 18 to 24, 28.3% from 25 to 44, 20.8% from 45 to 64, and 14.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 35 years. For every 100 females there were 87.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 82.7 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $30,419, and the median income for a family was $37,598. Males had a median income of $30,349 versus $21,259 for females. The per capita income for the city was $15,796. About 13.6% of families and 16.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 23.6% of those under age 18 and 13.7% of those age 65 or over.

Clarksville MSA

Hopkinsville is part of the Clarksville, TN–KY Metropolitan Statistical Area. Clarksville lies approximately to the south of Hopkinsville. Prior to 2003, the area was officially known as the Clarksville-Hopkinsville Metropolitan Statistical Area and included only Montgomery and Christian counties. In 2003, Hopkinsville was removed from the official name as it was no longer considered a principal city. That year, Stewart and Trigg counties were also added to the MSA. The four-county metropolitan area had a population of 232,000 in 2000. A July 1, 2007 estimate placed the population at 261,816. As of 2007, the Clarksville Metropolitan Statistical Area is the 169th largest MSA in the United States.

Industry

Although Hopkinsville may not be considered one of the larger manufacturing centers for leading industries, for ten-pin bowlers around the world it is a manufacturing mecca. Hopkinsville is the headquarters and primary manufacturing facility for Ebonite International, one of the oldest and largest bowling ball manufacturers in existence. Ebonite has a broad market share as they own several well-known brand names including Hammer Bowling, Dyno-Thane, Columbia 300, Track International, and Robby's.

Transportation

Road

Hopkinsville is intersected by US 41, US 41A, US 68, US 68 Bypass, The Ned Breathitt Pennyrile Parkway (usually referred to by only the former name, the Pennyrile Parkway) . A four-lane bypass almost completely circles the city. The Southern portion of the bypass is the route for US 68 Bypass. Congressional funding had been approved for an extension of the Pennyrile Parkway to Interstate 24 in southern Christian County near Fort Campbell. Construction began on the first of three phases at the end of 2006. Phase One will take the parkway to the bypass. Phase Two will extend it to Lover's Lane. Phase Three will see the parkway finally meet I-24.

Air

All commercial air traffic for residents and visitors to Hopkinsville use Nashville International Airport. Hopkinsville is served by the Hopkinsville-Christian County Regional Airport, a general aviation airport with one runway.

Rail

Railroad construction and operation in the late 1860s opened markets for agricultural and industrial products. Railroad service was inaugurated in Hopkinsville on April 8, 1868, by the Evansville, Henderson, & Nashville Railroad. This line was later extended north to Henderson and was acquired by the Louisville & Nashville Railroad (now CSX Transportation) in 1879. The Ohio Valley Railroad, purchased by the Illinois Central Railroad (now Illinois Central Gulf) in 1897, was built from Gracey to Hopkinsville in 1892 and abandoned in the 1980s. In 1903, the western division of the Tennessee Central Railway entered Christian County at Edgoten (Edge-of-Tennessee), connecting Clarksville and Hopkinsville. In 1990 the Hopkinsville-Fort Campbell portion was operated by the U.S. Department of Defense.

Attractions and points of interest

  • Hopkinsville was a stop along the Trail of Tears and a park along 9th Street on the Little River commemorates this history. Every September, the Trail of Tears Indian Pow-Wow comes to town to Trail of Tears Park. There is a museum, and a burial ground, including two important Cherokee Chiefs who died during the removal - Fly Smith and Whitepath, along with several large osage orange trees in it and dream catchers hanging from the wrought iron fence. There is also a sunken amphitheater. A group of plaques commemorate the great uprooting and journey, and its devastating effect upon the Cherokee people. It is on the list of List of Kentucky's Registered Historic Places
  • The Pennyroyal Area Museum, located in the old post office building downtown, has exhibits on the history of Hopkinsville and the Pennyrile region. The Pennyroyal Area Museum is owned and funded by the City of Hopkinsville and was established to perpetuate the heritage of Southwestern Kentucky's rich history. In 1974, the City of Hopkinsville acquired the old Post Office Building from the U. S. Government for use as an educational museum. The Pennyroyal Area Museum was established in October 1975, and opened on July 8, 1976. Its board and staff maintain a wide range of activities in its endeavor to preserve and interpret the past. Area citizens have contributed important roles in the Kentucky tradition from the post revolution era to the present. Historical in scope, the museum attempts to portray the development of the nine county Pennyrile region.
    • Exhibits include the night riders of the Black Patch Tobacco Wars; Edgar Cayce, famed local clairvoyant; Jefferson Davis; period room settings; a pioneer bedroom; a miniature circus; antique quilts; black history; historic modes of transportation; as well as historical license plates from Kentucky.
  • Every May, Hopkinsville hosts Little River Days which is a 2 day family fun festival featuring road running, canoe racing, a bicycle tour, arts and crafts, food vendors and live entertainment. All activities take place at Merchant Park in downtown Hopkinsville.
  • During the total eclipse on August 21, 2017 Hopkinsville will be the closest metropolitan area to the expected point of greatest eclipse, which will occur about northwest of the city center.

Notable natives

Willie "Sonny" Killebrew, former saxophonist for The S.O.S.Band

References

See also

External links

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