Graves County

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Basic Information

Address: 101 East South Street Mayfield, KY 42066
Phone Number: 270-247-1274
Fax Number: 270-247-3626
County Seat: Mayfield

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Additional Information

Year Organized: 1824
Square Miles: 556 Square Miles
Size of Board: 556 Square Miles
Cites: 2 Incorporated = Mayfield (County Seat); Wingo, KY
School Districts: 2
Libraries: 1
Museums: 1
Population: 37,719

37,719 at the end of July 2009 (30% urban, 70% rural)

Medium Income: $38,086 in 2008
County History:

Graves County was named for Captain Benjamin Franklin Graves, who was one of numerous Kentucky officers killed after being taken as a prison in the disastrous 1813 Battle of Raisin River in Michigan Territory during the War of 1812. He disappeared while being forced by Potawatomi to walk to the British Fort Malden in Amherstburg, Ontario. The Indians killed prisoners who could not keep up. Nearly 400 Kentuckians died in the January 22 battle, the highest fatality of any single battle during the war.

Graves is one of Kentucky's largest counties. The fertile land attracted early settlers from Virginia, North Carolina, South Caroline and Tennessee, who brought with them education, culture, and a fierce determination to succeed. They put down roots to blend a political, economic, and social environment unique, perhaps only to Graves County.
Tobacco was important to the local economy. Graves County developed the dark-fired and dark-air-cured leaf tobacco used in smokeless tobacco. A woolen mill began operating before the Civil War and continued to expand with the men's clothing market. Several clothing manufacturing companies were added in the area. The county seat's minor league baseball team was named the Mayfield Clothiers for this historical connection.

Among noted county natives have been a US Vice President, four US Congressmen, famous heroes, singers and songwriters, and noted writers. The county has numerous historic sites.