County Named, 1799

Historical Marker #817 in Prestonsburg remembers the life of Captain John Floyd, for whom Floyd County is named.

Floyd County, located in the eastern part of the state, was the fortieth county established. Named for John Floyd, a Virginia surveyor and military figure, the county was named in December 1799, but not formally established until the summer of 1800. It was created from portions of Fleming, Montgomery, and Mason counties.

Floyd, born in 1750 in Amherst, Virginia, led a group of explorers to Kentucky in 1774 to study the terrain and survey land claims. At this time Kentucky was still part of Virginia. Many veterans from the Revolutionary War were awarded land claims in Kentucky for their service. After he moved to Kentucky, the surveyor founded Floyd's Station in Jefferson County. Floyd was mortally wounded in a Native American attack in 1783. From 1806 to 1884, all or parts of fifteen other Kentucky counties were formed from Floyd's original tract of land.

During the Civil War, the Floyd County seat, Prestonsburg, changed hands a number of times. Floyd County was the site of two Union victories. The Battle of Ivy Mountain fought in November 1861, and the Battle of Middle Creek fought in January 1862, in which future president James Garfield defeated Confederate General Humphrey Marshall.

Images

John Floyd Monument

John Floyd Monument

This monument was erected in Jefferson County, Kentucky, in honor of Captain John Floyd who was killed in a battle with Native Americans in 1783. Courtesy of the Kentucky Historical Society. View File Details Page

Floyd County Mountains

Floyd County Mountains

This photograph shows parts of Floyd and Pike County from Lookout Peak on Pine Mountain. Courtesy of the Kentucky Historical Society. View File Details Page

Floyd County Courthouse

Floyd County Courthouse

This 1915 postcard shows the Floyd County courthouse in Prestonsburg. Courtesy of the Kentucky Historical Society. View File Details Page

Prestonsburg

Prestonsburg

This photograph postcard shows a street scene in Prestonsburg in the early-twentieth century. Courtesy of the Kentucky Historical Society. View File Details Page

1889 Map

1889 Map

Floyd County, in mountainous eastern Kentucky, is shown on this 1889 map. Courtesy of the Kentucky Historical Society. View File Details Page

Cite this Page:

Katie Crawford-Lackey, “County Named, 1799 ,” ExploreKYHistory, accessed July 24, 2017, http://explorekyhistory.ky.gov/items/show/477.

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