Located in eastern Kentucky, Floyd County was named for early Kentucky explorer and surveyor, John Floyd. The county was established by an act of the Kentucky legislature in December 1799, and was formed the following summer from parts of Fleming, Montgomery, and Mason counties.
The rugged Appalachian Mountains and the tributaries of the Big Sandy River have influenced much of Floyd County's history. Floyd County's early history includes the famous frontiersman Daniel Boone, who discovered an important source of salt there. Solomon Stratton was another early visitor to the county. Stratton, a Revolutionary War veteran and Virginia native, along with his extended family eventually developed a permanent community on Mare Creek in the 1790s.
The county seat of Prestonsburg was one of eastern Kentucky's first centers of commerce. Prestonsburg's geographical position along the Levisa Fork of the Big Sandy River and its significance made it the scene of early Civil War engagements at Ivy Mountain and Middle Creek. The Civil War also brought notable military personalities to Floyd County such future president James Garfield and General William “Bull” Nelson.
After the Civil War, Floyd County's natural resources attracted industrialists to the area. Timber and coal were their primary focus. In order to extract these valuable assets railroads eventually penetrated the mountainous region. With the opening of the railroads in the early-twentieth century other internal improvements such as better roads, bridges, and dams followed.
The people and places of Floyd County have left a lasting impact on both state and national history. Many of these people, places, and events are examined here. We hope you will use this app to learn more about Floyd County's interesting past.