Knox County, located in state’s southeastern region, was created in 1799. The county was formed from parts of Lincoln County. Over the course of the nineteenth century, Knox County was broken up to create the counties of Clay, Rockcastle, Whitley, Harlan, Laurel, and Bell. The Cumberland River runs through the mountainous county. Daniel Boone and Dr. Thomas Walker both explored this area with expeditions in the eighteenth century.
The county is named after Henry Knox, the famed Revolutionary War veteran and later George Washington’s Secretary of War. In addition, Kentuckians who made their mark on history came from this area.
Two governors grew up in Knox County-James D. Black and Flem D. Sampson. Both men also have connections to the county’s primary institution of higher learning, Union College. Black, Sampson, and the school are all featured on this tour.
Knox County and Barbourville played an important role in Kentucky’s history, from its people to the county’s involvement during the Civil War. We hope that you will use this app to better understand Knox County’s importance to Kentucky's past.