During the Civil War, Kentucky was officially neutral, but the state was divided in its loyalties, with many citizens fighting on both sides of the conflict.
Boyle County, Kentucky has a rich history that dates back to its establishment in 1842. Named after Judge John Boyle, a prominent figure in Kentucky's early history, the county was formed from parts of Mercer and Lincoln counties. The area was initially settled by pioneers who were drawn to the fertile soil and abundant waterways.

During the 19th century, Boyle County became known as an important center for agriculture. The county's vast farms produced tobacco, hemp, and livestock, which were primarily transported along the nearby Kentucky River. In addition to agriculture, the county also developed a strong manufacturing industry, with businesses specializing in textiles, furniture, and iron works.

One significant event in Boyle County's history was the Battle of Perryville, which took place during the Civil War in 1862. This battle, one of the largest in Kentucky, saw Union and Confederate forces clash near the town of Perryville. Although the Confederate army was eventually forced to retreat, the battle left a lasting impact on the county and is remembered today through reenactments and historic sites.

In the 20th century, Boyle County experienced a transformation as it became home to one of the largest military training camps in the country during World War II. Known as Camp Atterbury, the camp provided training for hundreds of thousands of soldiers. After the war, the camp was converted into a rehabilitation hospital for veterans, playing a crucial role in helping veterans reintegrate into civilian life.

Today, Boyle County remains a vibrant community with a diverse economy and a strong sense of history. Its rich agricultural heritage, coupled with its scenic natural beauty, attracts visitors and residents alike. The county continues to preserve its historic sites, such as the Perryville Battlefield, and celebrates its past through community events and festivals.

This timeline provides a condensed summary of the historical journey of Boyle County, Kentucky.

  • 1775: The area now known as Boyle County was first explored by settlers.
  • 1785: The county was officially formed and named after John Boyle, a U.S. Congressman.
  • 1787: Danville, the county seat, was established as the first post office in Kentucky.
  • 1803: Centre College, the oldest college in Kentucky, was founded in Danville.
  • 1813: The Perryville Battlefield, the site of the largest Civil War battle in Kentucky, was established.
  • 1840: The Louisville and Nashville Railroad reached Danville, spurring economic growth.
  • 1851: The Constitution Square Historic Site was opened in Danville, commemorating the drafting of Kentucky's first constitution.
  • 1920: Dr. Ephraim McDowell's home became the first site recognized as a national historic landmark in Kentucky.
  • 1942: Camp Boyle, a World War II training camp, was established in the county.
  • 1993: The Great American Brass Band Festival, an annual event celebrating brass music, began in Danville.