ABOUT US: Some Internet info on Russell County
Posted: Feb 3 2008
The Internet can be a great resource for discovering and learning tidbits about where you live, and the people you live with. Using Wikipedia.org, here are some interesting things to know.
Russell County, which was created in 1825 out of portions of Adair County (1802), Wayne County (1800) and Cumberland County (1798), was named for William Russell III. Born on March 6, 1758 and died July 3, 1825, he was a soldier, pioneer, and politician from Virginia and Kentucky.
He was born in Culpepper County, Virginia to William Russell and Tabitha (Adams) Russell. William Russell, Sr., was a prominent citizen of southwestern Virginia and a colonel in the Continental Army during the American Revolutionary War. In 1773, the elder Russell took his family, including William Jr., westward in the first attempt by British colonists to establish a permanent settlement in Kentucky. The expedition, guided by Daniel Boone, was abandoned after an attack by American Indians. Boone's son James and Henry Russell, brother of William Russell, Jr., were captured and tortured to death in the attack.
During the Revolutionary War, William Russell, Jr., fought as a captain in the Virginia militia, taking part in the Battle of Kings Mountain as an aide to Colonel William Campbell. After the war he relocated to Kentucky, settling in 1783 in Fayette County on land that had been granted to his father for military service. Russell served in the Virginia state House of Representatives in 1790 and 1791 and in the Kentucky house in 1792, 1796-1780, 1802, and 1823.
Russell County, Kentucky is named for him, but Russellville, Kentucky and Russell County, Virginia are named for his father.
At the first US Census to county the new Russell County, in 1830, there were 3,879 citizens residing here. By the year 2000 it had grown to 16,315. Over that 170 year period, there were three decades of population loss. The first of which occured during the Civil War, when the county's population dropped from 6,024 in 1860 to 5,809 in 1870.
Interestingly, the county suffered a severe loss of residents in the 1950s and 1960s, the first two decades of the existence of Lake Cumberland, which had just inundated a significant portion of river land. In 1950, the population was 13,717. By 1960 it fell to 11,076 and even further to 10,542 in the 1970 census. That was a 25% loss of population in two decades, 1 out of every 4 persons having left.
However, with increase in factory jobs and other opportunities, the county' population showed a quick recovery during the 1970s, and by 1980 there was a 30% increase to 13,708 residents. The population grew another nearly 20% in the following two decades.