Collier's New Encyclopedia (1921)/Kentucky (State)

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KENTUCKY, a State in the South Central Division of the North American Union; bounded by Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, West Virginia, Virginia, Tennessee, and Missouri; area, 40,000 square miles; admitted to the Union, June 1, 1792; number of counties, 119; pop. (1890) 1,858,635; (1900) 2,147,174; (1910) 2,289,905; (1920) 2,416,630; capital, Frankfort.

Topography.—The surface of the State is in general a plateau, sloping from the mountains in the E. to the rivers on the N. and N. W. The mountains in the S. E., the Cumberland and the Pine, run parallel and include the valley of the Cumberland river. This valley is 75 miles in length, 15 miles in width and has an elevation of 1,000 to 1,500 feet above sea-level. The mountain peaks bounding the valley often reach a height of 2,500 feet and give it more picturesque beauty than in any other part of the Appalachian system. The Mississippi, Ohio, and Big Sandy rivers form over one-half the boundary line of Kentucky, and besides these the Licking, Kentucky, Salt, and Green lie entirely within the State. The Tennessee and Cumberland rivers rise in Virginia and Kentucky respectively, the Tennessee running through Tennessee and Alabama, and the Cumberland through Tennessee alone, enter the State and cross it in parallel courses and empty into the Ohio within 15 miles of each other. These rivers are all navigable.

Geology.—The principal geological formations of the State are the Upper and Lower Silurian, Devonian, and sub-Carboniferous, with extensive coal measures. The entire State was at one time a great Lower Silurian lake, which has been pushed up by some subterranean force to a position 5,000 feet above that which it originally occupied. The sub-Carboniferous limestone areas in the Green river region, contain numerous gigantic caverns, of which Mammoth Cave (q. v.) is the largest.

Mineral Production.—The chief mineral production of the State is coal. In 1919 there were produced about 25,500,000 tons. The production of petroleum in 1918 was 4,367,768 barrels, valued at $11,286,162. Other products are clay products and fluorspar.

Soil.—The soil is as a rule exceedingly rich and fertile, especially in that part known as the Blue Grass section, an area of over 10,000 square miles. The fertility of this region is due to the constant decay of a rich sub-stratum of lower Silurian limestone. It is said that there are not over 200 square miles of irreclaimable land in the entire State. There are quite extensive forests in the mountain regions. The principal trees are the ash, elm, pine, tulip, hickory, sweet gum, black walnut, maple, oak, honey locust, Cottonwood, pecan, catalpa, cypress, apple, and beech.

Agriculture.—The great fertility of the river bottoms and the Blue Grass section makes Kentucky one of the foremost agricultural States in the Union. In 1919, the acreage, production and value of the leading agricultural products were as follows: corn, 3,300,000 acres, production 82,500,000 bushels, value $127,875,000; oats, 440,000 acres, production 9,900,000 bushels, value $9,009,000; wheat, 1,046,000 acres, production 12,029,000 bushels, value $25,381,000; tobacco, 550,000 acres, production 456,500,000 pounds, value $174,380,000; hay, 1,115,000 acres, production 1,561,000 tons, value $39,649,000; potatoes, 72,000 acres, production 5,040,000 bushels, value $10,584,000.

Manufactures.—In 1914 there were 4,184 manufacturing establishments in the State, employing 64,586 wage earners. The capital invested amounted to $193,423,000, the wages paid were $31,830,000, the value of the materials used was $114,829,000, and the value of the finished product was $230,249,000.

Transportation.—The total railway mileage in the State in 1919, was 4,118. About 50 miles were constructed during the year.

The principal industries were in connection with tobacco, liquors, flour and grist mill products, lumber and timber products, iron and steel, slaughtering and meat packing, and foundry and machine-shop products.

Banking.—On Oct. 31, 1919, there were 125 National banks in operation. There were also 426 State banks, with $15,155,000 capital, and $7,891,000 surplus; and 20 trust and loan companies, with $4,551,000 capital and $1,348,000 surplus. In the year ending Sept. 30, 1920, the exchanges at the United States clearing house at Louisville aggregated $993,855,000.

Education.—The total school population of the State is about 560,000, and the enrollment in the elementary schools in the various sub-districts is about 356,000 white, and about 35,000 colored. The average daily attendance is about 280,000 white and about 25,000 colored. There are about 3,600 male white teachers, and about 5,000 female. The average monthly salary for white teachers is about $45.00, and for colored teachers, about $43.00. The total expenditure for the year for school purposes is about $8,500,000.

Charities and Corrections.—The State institutions which are governed by the State board of control include the Reformatory at Frankfort; penitentiary, at Eddyville; houses of reform, at Greendale; Eastern Hospital, at Lexington; Central Hospital, at Lakeland; Western Hospital, at Hopkinsville; and the Feeble-minded Institute, at Frankfort. Among the colleges and universities the most noted are Central University at Richmond, Berea College at Berea, Kentucky University at Lexington, Georgetown College at Georgetown, Center College at Danville, and the Agricultural and Mechanical College of Kentucky at Lexington. Among the women's colleges are Potter College at Bowling Green, Hamilton Female College at Lexington, Caldwell College at Danville, and Jessamine Female Institute at Nicholasville.

Churches.—The strongest denominations in the State are the Regular Baptist, S.; Roman Catholic; Methodist Episcopal, S.; Disciples of Christ; Regular Baptist, colored; Methodist Episcopal; African Methodist; and Presbyterian, S.

State Government.—The governor is elected for a term of four years. Legislative sessions are held biennially, and are limited to 60 days each. The Legislature has 38 members in the Senate and 100 in the House. There are 11 representatives in Congress.

History.—With the earliest history of Kentucky is associated the name of Daniel Boone, whose exploits in hunting and Indian fighting in the then distant and unexplored wilderness dates as far back as 1769. He founded Boonesborough in 1775, and Harrodsburg being settled about the same time, these two towns are, with the exception of the French settlements, the oldest in the W. Soon after Kentucky was made a county of Virginia, and the first court held at Harrodsburg in 1777. In 1790 Kentucky became a separate territory, and in 1792 was admitted into the Union. Since then, with the exception of the interruption occasioned by the Civil War, its progress has been very rapid.


Collier's 1921 Kentucky.jpg
Copyright, L. L. Poates Eng. Co., 1921