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Madisonville, Kentucky

Madisonville, Kentucky
Hopkins County Courthouse in Madisonville
Hopkins County Courthouse in Madisonville
Nickname(s): Best Town on Earth
Location in the state of Kentucky
Location in the state of Kentucky
Country United States
State Kentucky
County Hopkins
Incorporated 1807[1]
Named for Sec. James Madison[2]
 • Mayor David Jackson (R)
 • 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 & 364
FIPS code 21-49368
GNIS feature ID 0497441

Madisonville is a home rule-class city[3] in and the county seat of Hopkins County, Kentucky, United States,[4] located along the Pennyrile Parkway in the state's Western Coal Fields region. The population was 19,307 at the 2000 census. Madisonville is a commercial center of the region and is home to Madisonville Community College.


  • History 1
  • Geography 2
  • Climate 3
  • Demographics 4
  • Economy 5
  • Government 6
  • Education 7
  • Transportation 8
  • Events of interest 9
  • Notable people 10
  • References 11
  • External links 12


Madisonville was founded in 1807 and named for Secretary of State James Madison.[2] It was named the seat of Hopkins County in 1808 and formally incorporated in 1810.[1]

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 neighborhood near Madisonville Country Club 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 (37.332660, -87.502190),[5] approximately 125 miles southwest of Louisville.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 18.5 square miles (48 km2), of which 17.8 square miles (46 km2) is land and 0.7 square miles (1.8 km2) (3.94%) is water.


The climate in this area is characterized by hot, humid summers and generally mild to cool winters. According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Madisonville has a humid subtropical climate, abbreviated "Cfa" on climate maps.[6]


As of the census[9] 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 per square mile (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, International Automotive Components Group (IAC), Ahlstrom, Land O' Frost, Carhartt Cutting in Madisonville, Carhartt RCV Distribution in nearby Hanson, Kentucky and other corporations have operations in the area.

During the 1970s, the Regional Medical Center (RMC) and Trover Clinic were built by the Trover Foundation. RMC, now owned by Baptist Healthcare System and operated as Baptist Health Madisonville 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).

Madisonville is a wet city in the county of Hopkins County; making it a moist county, one of only sixteen in the state.[10]


Madisonville is the county seat of Hopkins County. Government operations for the city are based out of several buildings including a government building on Center Street and the Madisonville City Hall on Main Street.

Mayor Term start Term end Party Born Alma mater Profession Other Spouse Religion
David Jackson[11] January 1, 2011 Incumbent Republican University of Kentucky certified public accountant
certified management accountant
licensed minister Leigh Ann Adkins Church of God
Will Cox[12] January 1, 2007 December 31, 2010 Democratic (1967-09-14) September 14, 1967
Madisonville, Kentucky
University of Kentucky
University of Louisville Louis D. Brandeis School of Law
attorney former city council member Marci Disciples of Christ


Madisonville and most of Hopkins County are in the Hopkins County School District.[13] 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's degrees that are normally found only at the university level.


Madisonville is bisected laterally by the Pennyrile Parkway: a north-south corridor that connects to I-24 just south Hopkinsville with Henderson and feeds into US 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 Blue Grass Parkway (via I-65 north) at Elizabethtown. The Western Kentucky Parkway also intersects I-65, which feeds into Bowling Green to the south and the Natcher Parkway. In addition to trucking routes, CSX Transportation and Paducah & Louisville Railway run through Madisonville.

The Madisonville Municipal Airport has a runway that is 6,050 by 100 feet (1,844 m × 30 m).

Events of interest

Madisonville and Hopkins County are home to Kentucky's largest variety of outdoor recreation activities, including scenic trails, tranquil lakes, rolling grasslands and dense forests. Madisonville offers a variety of delectable dining, a state-of-the-art fine arts theatre and gallery, and a wide selection of comfortable and hospitable accommodations.

Events of Interest by Month:

April - Show & Go Car Club Cruise-In (Second Saturday thru Oct), Western Kentucky Speedway (Racing thru Oct), White Plains Civil War Festival, Dave's Sticky Pig Cruise-In (First Saturday thru Oct)

May - Mine Rescue Safety Days, Dawson Spring Fun Weekend

June - Chamber Classic Golf Tournament, Friday Night Live Concert Series (second Friday thru August), Madisonville Open Disc Golf Tournament, Mortons Gap Coalfield Festival, Spring Garden Tour, Highway 41 Yard Sale, Big Blue 5K Run & Fun Walk, Madisonville Miner Baseball (thru July)

July - Dawson Springs Fireworks, Madisonville 4th Fest, Dawson Springs Bar-B-Q Festival & 5K Run, Hopkins County Fair,

August - Eli Barron Golf Tournament

September - 9/11 Heroes Run, Madisonville is an Adventure Race, Gospel Music Extravaganza, Christ the King Old-Fashioned Barbeque Picnic, Hanson Cruise-In, Flea Market & BBQ Cook-Off, Pennyrile Area Cyclists Challenge

October - BAJA Fun Run/Walk, Earlington OctoberFest, Madisonville Kidapalooza Children's Festival, Stanley's Pumpkin Hollow

November - Kentucky's Largest Veterans Day Parade, Historic Hanson & Madisonville Holiday Open House

December - Christmas Parade, Return to Bethlehem, Christmas at Munn's School, Handel's Messiah, Holiday Home Tour

For more information concerning event dates and times visit the Hopkins County Tourist & Convention Commission website at

Notable people


  1. ^ a b Commonwealth of Kentucky. Office of the Secretary of State. Land Office. "Madisonville, Ky". Accessed 25 August 2013.
  2. ^ a b "Dictionary of Places: Madisonville". Encyclopedia of Kentucky.  
  3. ^ "Summary and Reference Guide to House Bill 331 City Classification Reform" (PDF). Kentucky League of Cities. Retrieved December 30, 2014. 
  4. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07. 
  5. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990".  
  6. ^ Climate Summary for Madisonville, Kentucky
  7. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Incorporated Places: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2014". Retrieved June 4, 2015. 
  8. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Retrieved June 4, 2015. 
  9. ^ "American FactFinder".  
  10. ^ Office of Alcohol and Beverage Control
  11. ^ Mayor David Jackson
  12. ^ Mayor Will Cox
  13. ^ "Hopkins County School District". Hopkins County School District. Retrieved June 24, 2012. 

External links

  • Madisonville City Website
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