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The word "Kentucky" is derived from the Native American word "ken-tah-ten," which means "land of tomorrow."
Floyd County is located in eastern Kentucky, encompassing the Appalachian Mountains and the Big Sandy River. The region that would later become Floyd County was originally inhabited by various Native American tribes, including the Shawnee and Cherokee. European settlement began in the late 18th century when pioneers started to establish communities along the river valleys and the Kentucky Trace, an important pioneer route.

In 1799, Floyd County was established by the Virginia General Assembly, named in honor of Virginia governor John Floyd. The county initially included a vast territory that later became several other counties as the region developed. The early settlers in Floyd County relied on subsistence farming and hunting for their livelihoods. The county also became an important center for salt production, as numerous salt springs were discovered in the area.

During the Civil War, Floyd County witnessed its share of conflict. The region was divided in its loyalties, with some residents supporting the Union and others the Confederacy. Guerrilla warfare was prevalent, with both sides engaging in raids and attacks. In 1862, Confederate forces under General Humphrey Marshall clashed with Union troops at the Battle of Middle Creek, resulting in a Union victory. This battle was a significant moment in the county's history, as it helped secure eastern Kentucky for the Union cause.

In the early 20th century, the development of the coal industry brought significant changes to Floyd County. Coal mining became the primary economic driver, attracting large numbers of miners and their families to the area. However, the industry also brought labor disputes, environmental challenges, and economic fluctuations. Today, Floyd County is known for its rich coal heritage, beautiful natural landscapes, and a vibrant community that celebrates its history while striving for a prosperous future.

This timeline provides a concise overview of the key events in the history of Floyd County, Kentucky.

  • 1799: Floyd County is established as a county in Kentucky.
  • 1800: The first permanent settlement is established in the county.
  • 1803: The county's first courthouse is constructed.
  • 1807: Prestonsburg is officially established as the county seat.
  • 1861-1865: Floyd County residents actively participate in the American Civil War.
  • 1920s: The county experiences a boom in the coal mining industry.
  • 1984: The Big Sandy Community and Technical College is established in Floyd County.