Warren County

Historical Marker #987 recognizes the formation of Warren County. The twenty-fourth county in order of formation, it is named for Major General Joseph Warren.

Born near Boston on June 11, 1741, Warren entered Harvard at age fourteen. He studied medicine, and, after graduation, ran a successful practice in Boston. Warren is best known for his heroism during the Revolutionary War; he is credited with dispatching William Dawes and Paul Revere on their famous midnight ride to alert the countryside of the approaching British. Warren also earned acclaim at the Battle of Bunker Hill on June 17, 1775.

Warren County was approved by the Kentucky legislature on December 19, 1796, and it was officially created on March 1, 1797. The approximately 546 square miles were taken from portions of Logan County. One of the earliest settlements in the area was at McFadden Station on the north bank of the Barren River. This strategic location connected the settlement with the Cumberland River settlement of Nashville and the Green River settlements to the northeast. As McFadden’s Station prospered, other smaller communities were soon established all around the Warren County area. The first courthouse, located at what today is Fountain Square, was a log structure completed in March 1798. That same year, the county seat, Bolin Green (Bowling Green), was created.

Besides the waterways, rail played an important role in the expansion of Warren County. The Bowling Portage Railroad Company was organized during the early development of Warren County. The one-mile track connected the Barren River with a warehouse for storing freight and merchandise. The company was the first in Kentucky to use iron cars, which were drawn by mules. The Bowling Green Portage Railroad Company was sold to the Louisville and Nashville Company in 1855 for $20,000.

Images

The Barren River

The Barren River

One of the first settlements in Warren County was McFadden Station, located on the Barren River. The Barren River played an important role in the history of Warren County, especially during the Civil War. View File Details Page

Bunker Hill

Bunker Hill

Warren County was named for Major General Joseph Warren who fought and was killed in the Battle of Bunker Hill during the Revolutionary War. Courtesy of the Library of Congress. View File Details Page

Louisville and Nashville Railway

Louisville and Nashville Railway

The L&N railway completed lines in Warren County, which contributed to the growth and expansion of the area. Courtesy of the University of Kentucky. View File Details Page

Warren County Courthouse

Warren County Courthouse

Warren County has had a handful of courthouses over the years, including this one built ca. 1870. Courtesy of the Kentucky Historical Society. View File Details Page

Cite this Page:

McKenzie Martin, “Warren County,” ExploreKYHistory, accessed May 29, 2017, http://explorekyhistory.ky.gov/items/show/375.

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