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Warren County, Kentucky

Warren County, Kentucky
Warren County courthouse in Bowling Green
Map of Kentucky highlighting Warren County
Location in the state of Kentucky
Map of the United States highlighting Kentucky
Kentucky's location in the U.S.
Founded December 19, 1796
Seat Bowling Green
Largest city Bowling Green
 • Total 548 sq mi (1,419 km2)
 • Land 542 sq mi (1,404 km2)
 • Water 6.0 sq mi (16 km2), 1.1%
 • (2014) 120,460
 • Density 210/sq mi (81/km²)
Congressional district 2nd
Time zone Central: UTC-6/-5
Website .com.warrencountygovwww

Warren County is a county located in the U.S. state of Kentucky. As of 2014, the population was 120,460,[1] making it the fifth-most populous county in Kentucky. The county seat is Bowling Green.[2] Generally the county is dry, prohibiting the sale of alcohol, but retail alcohol sales are allowed in the "wet city" of Bowling Green; Warren County is classified as a moist county.[3]

Warren County is included in the Bowling Green, KY Metropolitan Statistical Area. It is located in the Pennyroyal Plateau and Western Coal Fields regions.[4]


  • History 1
  • Geography 2
    • Geographic features 2.1
    • Major highways 2.2
    • Adjacent counties 2.3
  • Demographics 3
  • Education 4
    • Warren County Public Schools 4.1
      • Elementary schools 4.1.1
      • Middle schools 4.1.2
      • High schools 4.1.3
    • Bowling Green Independent Schools 4.2
      • Elementary schools 4.2.1
      • Junior high schools 4.2.2
      • High schools 4.2.3
    • Colleges and universities 4.3
  • Attractions 5
  • Communities 6
  • See also 7
  • References 8
  • External links 9


Warren County was the location of several Native American villages and burial mounds. The first white men to enter the area were the long hunters in the 1770s. General Elijah Covington was among the first landowners. McFadden's Station, one of the earliest settlements, was established in 1785 by Andrew McFadden/McFadin on the northern bank of the Barren River at the Cumberland Trace.

Warren County became the 23rd county of Kentucky in 1796, from a section of Logan County.[5][6] It was named after General Joseph Warren of the Revolutionary War. He dispatched William Dawes and Paul Revere on their famous midnight ride to warn residents of the approaching British troops. He was also a hero of the Battle of Bunker Hill.

Through the riverboat trade, Warren County thrived in the agricultural market. In 1859, the Louisville and Nashville Railroad (currently CSX Transportation) was laid through the county.

During the Civil War, most residents are said to have favored the Confederacy. Because of its strategic value Warren County was occupied by Confederate forces in September 1861. It was occupied in turn by the Union Army on February 14, 1862, following the Confederate retreat to Tennessee. During the Confederate withdrawal, they destroyed railroad bridges in Barren County, the Bowling Green train depot and other railroad buildings to hinder Union pursuit.

The completion of Interstate 65 and Green River Parkway (currently the William H. Natcher Parkway) in the 1960s and 1970s, brought an industrial boom that transformed the farm-oriented county into a more urban one.

In 1997, Bowling Green became a Tree City USA, sponsored by the National Arbor Day Foundation.


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 548 square miles (1,420 km2), of which 542 square miles (1,400 km2) is land and 6.0 square miles (16 km2) (1.1%) is water.[7]

Geographic features

The Green River forms the northern boundary of the county, and was a means of transportation for settlers. Tributaries of the Green River that flow through Warren County are the Barren and Gasper rivers, Drake's and Jennings creeks and Bay's Fork. In the north the land is possibly the most rugged, since it lies between the Green and Barren rivers, with very tall ridges near Riverside and Richardsville. The major drainage in Warren county is Barren River, which flows through Bowling Green and is surrounded by steep ridges in some areas. Several sizable hills rise in Bowling Green proper. They were favored for forts and other development: a reservoir, hospital, and Civil War fort were built on one; much of Western Kentucky University's campus on another; Hobson Grove, a historic Italian Renaissance style civil war era plantation estate on another; and a second civil war fort on another. In the east the land is rolling (much like central Kentucky's landscape) near Drakes Creek. The land in the south and southwest of the county is predominantly flat. In the western side of the county, the land is hilly with steep ridges and rocky and cliff-ridden near Gasper River. Shanty Hollow Lake is in the northwest corner of the county.

The flat elevated areas in the west and the flatland in the south and southwest have soil that is fertile and supports tobacco, hay, corn and soybean crop production. The rest of the land is predominantly clay soil; it is rocky and not very suitable for agriculture. Many residents rear livestock and horses, or hunt in these areas.

Major highways

Adjacent counties


Graph of Warren County population by decade

At the 2000 census,[14] there were 92,522 people, 35,365 households and 23,411 families residing in the county. The population density was 170 per square mile (66/km2). There were 38,350 housing units at an average density of 70 per square mile (27/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 86.98% White, 8.58% Black or African American, 0.24% Native American, 1.35% Asian, 0.08% Pacific Islander, 1.33% from other races, and 1.45% from two or more races. 2.67% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 35,365 households of which 31.40% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 51.40% were married couples living together, 11.20% had a female householder with no husband present, and 33.80% were non-families. 26.10% of all households were made up of individuals and 8.30% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.46 and the average family size was 2.97.

The age distribution was 23.10% under the age of 18, 16.20% from 18 to 24, 29.10% from 25 to 44, 21.10% from 45 to 64, and 10.50% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 32 years. For every 100 females there were 96.20 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 93.00 males.

The median household income was $36,151, and the median family income was $45,142. Males had a median income of $32,063 versus $22,777 for females. The per capita income for the county was $18,847. About 10.80% of families and 15.40% of the population were below the poverty line, including 17.80% of those under age 18 and 13.80% of those age 65 or over.


Two public school districts operate in the county:

There are also private schools including

Warren County Public Schools

Elementary schools

Middle schools

High schools

Bowling Green Independent Schools

Elementary schools

Junior high schools

High schools

Colleges and universities



See also


  1. ^
  2. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07. 
  3. ^ "Wet & Dry Counties in Kentucky" (PDF). Kentucky Office of Alcoholic Beverage Control. Archived from the original ( 
  4. ^ Kentucky Atlas & Gazetteer
  5. ^ "Warren County". The Kentucky Encyclopedia. 2000. Retrieved August 23, 2014. 
  6. ^ Collins, Lewis (1882). Collins' Historical Sketches of Kentucky: History of Kentucky, Volume 2. Collins & Company. p. 26. 
  7. ^ "2010 Census Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. August 22, 2012. Retrieved August 20, 2014. 
  8. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Incorporated Places: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2014". Retrieved June 4, 2015. 
  9. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved August 20, 2014. 
  10. ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved August 20, 2014. 
  11. ^ "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved August 20, 2014. 
  12. ^ "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. Retrieved August 20, 2014. 
  13. ^ "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved March 6, 2014. 
  14. ^ "American FactFinder".  
  15. ^ Warren County Public Schools - Elementary School List
  16. ^ Warren County Public Schools - Middle School List
  17. ^ Warren County Public Schools - High School List
  18. ^ Bowling Green Independent Schools

External links

  • Warren County Government
  • Warren County Public Library
  • Beech Bend Park - Official Page
  • Bowling Green Daily News
  • Corvette Museum
  • Corvette Bowling Green Plant
  • KYGenWeb Project, Warren County
  • Lost River Cave - Official Page
  • WKU Library and Museum

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