BBQ Capital of the World
Location of Owensboro in Daviess County, Kentucky.
|Settled (as Yellow Banks)||1797|
|Established (as Owensborough)||1817|
|• Mayor||Tom Watson|
|• Mayor Pro Tem||Larry Maglinger|
|• City Manager||Nate Pagan|
|• City||20.4 sq mi (52.9 km2)|
|• Land||19.1 sq mi (49.5 km2)|
|• Water||1.3 sq mi (3.4 km2) 6.47%|
|Elevation||394 ft (120 m)|
|• Estimate||59,809 (Kentucky: 4th)|
|• Density||3,057/sq mi (1,180.4/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC−6 (CST)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC−5 (CDT)|
|Area code(s)||270 & 364|
|GNIS feature ID||0500082|
Owensboro is a home rule-class city 107 miles (172 km) southwest of Louisville, and is the principal city of the Owensboro metropolitan area. The 2018 population was 59,809. [ failed verification ] The metropolitan population was estimated at 120,702. The metropolitan area is the sixth largest in the state as of 2018, and the seventh largest population center in the state when including micropolitan areas.in and the county seat of Daviess County, Kentucky, United States. It is the fourth-largest city in the state by population. Owensboro is located on U.S. Route 60 and Interstate 165 about
Daviess County ( "Davis"), is a county in the U.S. state of Kentucky. As of the 2010 census, the population was 96,656. Its county seat is Owensboro. The county was formed from part of Ohio County on January 14, 1815.
U.S. Route 60 (US 60) in the state of Kentucky parallels the Ohio River from Cairo, Illinois, to Louisville, and then takes a direct eastward route to rejoin the Ohio River in downtown Ashland, Kentucky as it joins US Route 23 southbound and continues as a multiplex to Catlettsburg where it turns east and exits the state and enters Kenova, West Virginia.
Interstate 165 (I-165) is a 70.2-mile-long (113.0 km) auxiliary Interstate Highway in the U.S. state of Kentucky. A spur route of I-65, it extends from I-65 in Bowling Green to U.S. Route 60 (US 60) and US 231 in Owensboro. It opened in 1972 as the William H. Natcher Parkway, and following the commencement of upgrades to bring it to Interstate Highway standards, it was re-signed as I-165 in 2019.
Evidence of American Indian settlement in the area dates back 12,000 years. Following a series of failed uprisings with British support, however, the last Shawnee were forced to vacate the area before the end of the 18th century.
The indigenous peoples of the Americas are the Pre-Columbian peoples of North, Central and South America and their descendants.
The Shawnee are an Algonquian-speaking ethnic group indigenous to North America. In colonial times they were a semi-migratory Native American nation, primarily inhabiting areas of the Ohio Valley, extending from what became Ohio and Kentucky eastward to West Virginia, Virginia, Pennsylvania, and Western Maryland; south to Alabama and South Carolina; and westward to Indiana, and Illinois.
The first European descendant to settle in Owensboro was frontiersman William Smeathers or Smothers in 1797, for whom the riverfront park is named. The settlement was originally known as "Yellow Banks" from the color of the land beside the Ohio River. The Lewis and Clark Expedition wintered at what is today's Owensboro prior to departing on their famous travels. In 1817, Yellow Banks was formally established under the name Owensborough, named after Col. Abraham Owen. In 1893, the spelling of the name was shortened to its current Owensboro.
William "Bill" Smeathers, also known as Smithers or Smothers, was a pioneer settler of Kentucky and later Texas.
Yellow Banks, Kentucky, was the name of the rustic community founded by pioneer William Smeathers or Smothers around 1790 on the banks of the Ohio River. The name was derived from the yellowish banks along the river. In 1817, Yellow Banks became the established town of Owensborough, in honor of Col. Abraham Owen.
The Ohio River is a 981-mile (1,579 km) long river in the midwestern United States that flows southwesterly from western Pennsylvania south of Lake Erie to its mouth on the Mississippi River at the southern tip of Illinois. It is the second largest river by discharge volume in the United States and the largest tributary by volume of the north-south flowing Mississippi River that divides the eastern from western United States. The river flows through or along the border of six states, and its drainage basin includes parts of 15 states. Through its largest tributary, the Tennessee River, the basin includes several states of the southeastern U.S. It is the source of drinking water for three million people.
In August 1864, Owensboro was subject to a raid by a band of Confederate guerrillas from Tennessee led by Captain Jack Bennett, an officer in Stovepipe Johnson's Partisan Rangers. Bennett's men rode into Owensboro, tried and failed to rob a local bank, took 13 Union soldiers of the 108th Colored Infantry prisoner, executed them, burned the bodies on a supply boat, and escaped back to Tennessee, having covered a total of 300 miles (480 km) on horseback in six days. Another major battle occurred 8 miles (13 km) south of Owensboro and is today signified by a monument marking the battle located beside US Highway 431.
The Confederate States of America, commonly referred to as the Confederacy, was an unrecognized country in North America that existed from 1861 to 1865. The Confederacy was originally formed by seven secessionist slave-holding states—South Carolina, Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, and Texas—in the Lower South region of the United States, whose economy was heavily dependent upon agriculture, particularly cotton, and a plantation system that relied upon the labor of African-American slaves. Convinced that white supremacy and the institution of slavery were threatened by the November 1860 election of Republican candidate Abraham Lincoln to the U.S. presidency on a platform which opposed the expansion of slavery into the western territories, the Confederacy declared its secession from the United States, with the remaining states becoming known as the Union during the ensuing American Civil War. According to Confederate Vice President Alexander H. Stephens in his famous Cornerstone Speech, Confederate ideology was centrally based "upon the great truth that the negro is not equal to the white man; that slavery, subordination to the superior race, is his natural and normal condition".
Tennessee is a state located in the southeastern region of the United States. Tennessee is the 36th largest and the 16th most populous of the 50 United States. Tennessee is bordered by eight states, with Kentucky to the north, Virginia to the northeast, North Carolina to the east, Georgia, Alabama, and Mississippi to the south, Arkansas to the west, and Missouri to the northwest. The Appalachian Mountains dominate the eastern part of the state, and the Mississippi River forms the state's western border. Nashville is the state's capital and largest city, with a 2017 population of 667,560 and a 2017 metro population of 1,903,045. Tennessee's second largest city is Memphis, which had a population of 652,236 in 2017.
Adam Rankin "Stovepipe" Johnson was an antebellum Western frontiersman and later an officer in the Confederate States Army during the American Civil War. Johnson obtained notoriety leading the Newburgh Raid using a force of only about 35 men. Johnson and his men confiscated supplies and ammunition without a shot being fired by tricking Newburgh's defenders into thinking the town was surrounded by cannons. In reality, the so-called cannons were an assemblage of a stove pipe, a charred log, and wagon wheels, forever giving the Confederate commander the nickname of Adam "Stovepipe" Johnson. Permanently blinded during a skirmish in 1864, Johnson in 1887 founded the town of Marble Falls, Texas, which became known as "the blind man's town."
Several distillers, mainly of bourbon whiskey, have been in and around the city of Owensboro. The major distillery still in operation is the Glenmore Distillery Company, now owned by the Sazerac Company.
Bourbon whiskey is a type of American whiskey, a barrel-aged distilled spirit made primarily from corn. The name ultimately derives from the French Bourbon dynasty, although the precise inspiration for the whiskey's name is uncertain; contenders include Bourbon County in Kentucky and Bourbon Street in New Orleans, both of which are named after the dynasty. Bourbon has been distilled since the 18th century. The use of the term "bourbon" for the whiskey has been traced to the 1820s, with consistent use beginning in Kentucky in the 1870s. Although bourbon may be made anywhere in the United States, it is strongly associated with the American South and with Kentucky in particular. As of 2014, distillers' wholesale market revenue for bourbon sold within the U.S. was about $2.7 billion, and bourbon made up about two-thirds of the $1.6 billion of U.S. exports of distilled spirits. According to the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States, U.S. distillers derived $3.6 billion in revenue from bourbon and Tennessee whiskey sold in the United States.
Glenmore Distillery Company was a large distillery company based in Owensboro, Kentucky best known as a producer of Bourbon whiskey. In 2009, the company was acquired by the Sazerac Company, and is still operated under the name "The Glenmore Distillery".
Sazerac Company, Inc is a privately held American alcoholic beverage company headquartered in Metairie in the metropolitan area of New Orleans, Louisiana, but with its principal office in Louisville, Kentucky. The company is owned by billionaire William Goldring and his family. As of 2017, it operated nine distilleries, had 2,000 employees, and operated in 112 countries. It is one of the two largest spirits companies in the U.S., with annual revenue of about $1 billion made from selling about 300 mostly discount brands.
On August 14, 1936, downtown Owensboro was the site of the last public hanging in the United States. A 26 year old African American man, Rainey Bethea, was convicted and sentenced for the rape and murder of 70-year-old Lischa Edwards in a very short time (only 37 days lapsed between the crime and the execution). A carnival atmosphere was in place with vendors selling hotdogs, attended by a large crowd including children and many reporters. [ clarification needed ] Before Bethea was dead, the crowd had already begun to tear at his clothes and even his body for souvenirs. The Kentucky General Assembly quickly abolished public executions after the embarrassment this caused.The execution was presided over by a female sheriff, Florence Shoemaker Thompson, who gained national media attention for her role in the process, although she declined to spring the trap.
Hanging is the suspension of a person by a noose or ligature around the neck. The Oxford English Dictionary states that hanging in this sense is "specifically to put to death by suspension by the neck", though it formerly also referred to crucifixion and death by impalement in which the body would remain "hanging". Hanging has been a common method of capital punishment since medieval times, and is the primary execution method in numerous countries and regions. The first known account of execution by hanging was in Homer's Odyssey. In this specialised meaning of the common word hang, the past and past participle is hanged instead of hung.
Rainey Bethea was the last person publicly executed in the United States. Bethea, who confessed to the rape and murder of a 70-year-old woman named Lischia Edwards, was convicted of her rape and publicly hanged in Owensboro, Kentucky. Mistakes in performing the hanging, and the surrounding media circus, contributed to the end of public executions in the United States.
Florence Katherine Shoemaker Thompson Riney was the first female sheriff in the United States of America to carry out an execution. Rainey Bethea, the last man to be publicly executed in the U.S., was convicted of rape and sentenced to death by hanging in Daviess County, Kentucky.
The end of the Second World War brought civil engineering projects which helped turn Owensboro from a sleepy industrial town into a modern, expanding community by the turn of the 1960s. Many of the projects were set in motion by Johnson, Depp & Quisenberry, a firm of consulting engineers then engaged in a runway redesign at the County Airport; the "Depp" in question was a member of an old and prominent Kentucky family which includes the town's most famous son, actor Johnny Depp.
As of 1903, Owensboro was home to several stemmeries.Pinkerton Tobacco produced Red Man chewing tobacco in Owensboro. Swedish Match continues to make Red Man in a plant outside city limits.
The Owensboro Wagon Company, established in 1884, was one of the largest and most influential wagon companies in the nation. With eight styles or sizes of wagons, the company set the standard of quality at the turn of the 20th century.
Frederick A. Ames came to Owensboro from Washington, Pennsylvania, in 1887. He started the Carriage Woodstock Company to repair horse-drawn carriages. In 1910, he began to manufacture a line of automobiles under the Ames brand name. Ames hired industrialist Vincent Bendix in 1912, and the company became the Ames Motor Car Company. Despite its product being called the "best $1500" car by a Texas car dealer, the company ceased production of its own model in 1915. The company then began manufacturing replacement bodies for the more widely sold Ford Model T. In 1922, the company remade itself and started to manufacture furniture under the name Ames Corporation. The company finally sold out to Whitehall Furniture in 1970.
The start of the Kentucky Electrical Lamp Company, a light bulb manufacturing company was in 1899; it eventually was acquired by Kentucky Radio Company (Ken-Rad) in 1918 and later acquired by General Electric in 1945 and in 1987 acquired by MPD, Inc.,created the light bulbs that illuminated the first night game in the history of Major League Baseball on May 24, 1935, between the Reds and Phillies at Cincinnati's Crosley Field. The Owensboro plant was a major part of General Electric's vacuum tube manufacturing operations, producing both receiving types and military/industrial ceramic types. In 1961, engineers at the General Electric plant in Owensboro introduced a family of vacuum tubes called the Compactron.
In June 1932, John G. Barnard founded the Modern Welding Company in a small building located near the Ohio River at First and Frederica Streets where the Commonwealth of Kentucky office building sits today. Today, Modern Welding Company has nine steel tank and vessel fabrication subsidiaries located throughout the United States, and five welding supply stores located in Kentucky and Indiana. The company is the country's largest supplier of underground and aboveground steel storage tanks for flammable and combustible liquids. The company celebrated its 75th anniversary in 2007.
Texas Gas Transmission Corporation was created in 1948 with the merger of Memphis Natural Gas Company and Kentucky Natural Gas Corporation and made its headquarters in Owensboro. Since that time, Texas Gas changed ownership four times. The company was bought by CSX Corp. in 1983, by Transco Energy Corp. in 1989, by Williams in 1995, and by Loews Corporation in 2003.
Owensboro is located at 37 miles (60 km) southeast of Evansville, Indiana.(37.757748, −87.118390), at the crook of a bend in the Ohio River. Owensboro is
According to the United States Census Bureau, Owensboro has a total area of 20.4 square miles (52.9 km2), of which 19.1 square miles (49.5 km2) is land and 1.3 square miles (3.4 km2), or 6.47%, is water.
Owensboro has a humid subtropical climate which is characterized by hot, humid summers and moderately cold winters. Day-to-day temperature differences can be high during the winter. Summers, in comparison, are much more stable. Severe weather, including the threat of tornadoes, is not uncommon throughout much of the year, with several notable events occurring throughout the city's history.
|Climate data for Owensboro, Kentucky|
|Average high °F (°C)||41.2|
|Average low °F (°C)||23.2|
|Average precipitation inches (mm)||3.3|
|U.S. Decennial Census|
As of the census of 2010, there were 58,083 people and 23,380 households within the city. The population density was 2,999.1 people per square mile (1,198.4 per km2). There were 26,072 housing units at an average density of 1,394.7 per square mile (538.6/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 87.5% White, 7.3% African American, 0.9% Asian, 0.1% Native American, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 0.55% from other races, and 2.5% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 3.2% of the population.
There were 23,380 households out of which 23.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 44.7% were married couples living together, 13.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 37.8% were non-families. 33.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 14.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.29 and the average family size was 2.91.
In the city, the population was spread out with 23.7% under the age of 18, 9.8% from 18 to 24, 27.4% from 25 to 44, 22.4% from 45 to 64, and 16.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females, there were 87.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 82.6 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $37,289, and the median income for a family was $41,333. Males had a median income of $33,429 versus $21,457 for females. The per capita income for the city was $21,183. About 12.2% of families and 18.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 20.9% of those under age 18 and 12.4% of those age 65 or over.
According to the 2007 census, the Owensboro Metropolitan Area includes Daviess, Hancock, and McLean counties.
According to Owensboro's 2018 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report, the top employers in the city were:
|#||Employer||# of Employees|
|1||Owensboro Medical Health System Hospital||3,606|
|2||U.S. Bank Home Mortgage||1,950|
|3||Owensboro Public Schools||767|
|5||Walmart / Sam's Club||718|
|7||Audubon Area Community Services||441|
|8||City of Owensboro||428|
|9||Owensboro Community and Technical College||391|
Owensboro was named an All-American City in 2013.Owensboro placed fourth on Area Development's Top 20 Southern Cities, with a 9th-place ranking for its "recession busting factors" among the Top 25 Small Cities.
In 1937, Pope Pius XI established the Roman Catholic Diocese of Owensboro, which spans approximately the western third of the state. It includes 32 counties and covers approximately 12,500 square miles (32,000 km2). Though the area has been considered by many to be predominately Catholic, evangelical denominations such as Southern Baptists have increased dramatically over the past several decades. The Kentucky Baptist Convention has many churches in the area. Owensboro is also home to Temple Adath Israel, which is among the oldest synagogues in the United States.
Owensboro has operated under a City Manager form of government since 1954. Citizens elect a mayor and four city commissioners who form the Board of Commissioners. The Board of Commissioners is the legislative body of the city government and represents the interests of the citizens. The Board of Commissioners hires a city manager who administers the day-to-day operations of the city.
The mayor is elected for a term of four years. Each city commissioner is elected for a term of two years. The term of the city manager is indefinite and based on performance.
The Owensboro Public Schools, Daviess County Public Schools, and the Diocese of Owensboro's Catholic School System oversee K-12 education in and around Owensboro.
Owensboro is home to two private, four-year colleges, Brescia University (Catholic) and Kentucky Wesleyan College, and one public community college, Owensboro Community and Technical College. A campus of Daymar College is also located in Owensboro, and Western Kentucky University has a regional campus there.
In 2006, plans were announced for a research center operated by the University of Louisville to be located at the Mitchell Memorial Cancer Center, a part of the Owensboro Medical Health System, to study how to make the first ever human papilloma virus vaccine, called Gardasil, from tobacco plants. U of L researcher Dr Albert Bennet Jenson and Dr Shin-je Ghim discovered the vaccine in 2006. If successful, the vaccine would be made in Owensboro.
Owensboro has a lending library, the Daviess County Public Library.
The daily newspaper is the Messenger-Inquirer , owned by the Paxton Media Group of Paducah, Kentucky.
Radio stations include WBIO, WXCM, WLME, WOMI, WVJS and WBKR broadcasting from Owensboro. One, WSTO-FM, is actually licensed to Owensboro, although its studios are now located in Evansville.
Although no television stations are based in the city, it is part of the Evansville television market, which is the 100th-largest in the United States, according to Nielsen Media Research.However, in early 2007, WFIE-TV opened a bureau in Owensboro which covers news on the Kentucky side of the market. Many of the local television stations often promote themselves as serving Evansville, Indiana, Owensboro, Kentucky, and Henderson, Kentucky.
I-165, US 60, and US 431 serve Owensboro, with US 431 terminating at the former US 60 Bypass (now signed US 60). US 231 and US 60 form a partial beltway around Owensboro. KY 81, KY 56, KY 331, KY 298, KY 54, and KY 144 also serve the city.
Owensboro-Daviess County Regional Airport serves, along with Evansville Regional Airport, as one of the region's primary commercial airports.
The Owensboro Transit System (OTS) offers bus transit to residents, and the Green River Intra-County Transit System (GRITS) offers specialized bus services to residents with disabilities who are not able to ride fixed-route public transportation buses.
Owensboro has two sister cities, as designated by Sister Cities International:
McLean County is a county located in the U.S. state of Kentucky. As of the 2010 census, the population was 9,531. Its county seat is Calhoun. McLean is a prohibition or dry county.
Henderson County is a county located in the U.S. state of Kentucky. As of the 2010 census, the population was 46,250. The county seat is Henderson. The county was formed in 1798 and named for Colonel Richard Henderson who purchased 17,000,000 acres (69,000 km2) of land from the Cherokee Indians, part of which would eventually make up the county.
Hancock County is a county located in the U.S. state of Kentucky. As of the 2010 census, the population was 8,565. Its county seat is Hawesville.
Morgantown is a home rule-class city in, and the seat of, Butler County, Kentucky, United States. The population was 2,394 at the time of the 2010 census.
Masonville is an unincorporated community and census-designated place (CDP) in Daviess County, Kentucky, United States. The population was 1,014 at the 2010 census. It is included in the Owensboro Metropolitan Statistical Area.
Whitesville is a home rule-class city in Daviess County, Kentucky, United States. The population was 552 at the 2010 census, down from 632 at the 2000 census. It is included in the Owensboro, Kentucky Metropolitan Statistical Area. The city was founded in 1844 by Dr. William White, and named for him. The current mayor of Whitesville is Greg Beyke.
Henderson is a home rule-class city along the Ohio River in Henderson County in western Kentucky in the United States. The population was 28,757 at the 2010 U.S. census. It is part of the Evansville Metropolitan Area, locally known as the "Tri-State Area". It is considered the southernmost suburb of Evansville, Indiana and its population area of the Evansville metropolitan area was 58,702 as of 2018, making it the twelfth largest city, in the state the ninth most populous metro area in the state and, the fourteenth largest population center in the state when including micropolitan areas.
Central City is a home rule-class city in Muhlenberg County, Kentucky, in the United States. The population was 5,978 at the 2010 census. It is also the largest city in the county and the principal community in the Central City Micropolitan Statistical Area, which includes all of Muhlenberg County.
Southwestern Indiana is an 11-county region of southern Indiana, United States located at the southernmost and westernmost part of the state. As of the 2010 census, the region's combined population is 474,251. Evansville, Indiana's third-largest city, is the primary hub for the region, as well as the primary regional hub for a tri-state area which includes Kentucky and Illinois. Other regional hubs include Jasper, Vincennes, and Washington.
WQXQ is a radio station broadcasting a Sports talk radio format. Licensed to Central City, Kentucky, United States, the station serves the Central City, and the Owensboro, Kentucky and Evansville, Indiana areas. The station is currently owned by Radio Active Media, Inc. WQXQ is considered a "Heritage Broadcast Station."
The Owensboro Metropolitan Statistical Area, as defined by the United States Census Bureau, is an area consisting of three counties in Kentucky, anchored by the city of Owensboro. As of the 2000 census, the MSA had a population of 109,875. In the 2010 Census the population was 114,752. Owensboro is part of the Illinois-Indiana-Kentucky tri-state area and sometimes referred to as Kentuckiana.
U.S. Route 231 in Kentucky runs 86.465 miles (139.152 km) from the Tennessee state line near Adolphus to the William H. Natcher Bridge on the Ohio River near Rockport, Indiana. It crosses the state mainly in the west-central region, traversing Allen, Warren, Butler, Ohio, and Daviess Counties.
Yelvington is a small unincorporated community in the U.S. state of Kentucky, located approximately 12 miles east of Owensboro along U.S. Route 60 east and near the Daviess-Hancock county line.
U.S. Route 431 in Kentucky runs 86.465 miles (139.152 km) from the Tennessee state line south of Adairville to US 60 at Owensboro. It crosses the state in mainly west-central portions of the state, passing through or near towns such as Russellville, Lewisburg, Central City and Livermore. The route goes through Logan, Muhlenberg, McLean County, and Daviess Counties.
The Illinois–Indiana–Kentucky tri-state area is a tri-state area where the U.S. states of Illinois, Indiana, and Kentucky intersect. The area is defined mainly by the television viewing area and consists of ten Illinois counties, eleven Indiana counties, and nine Kentucky counties, centered upon the Ohio and Wabash Rivers.
Kentucky Route 140 is a 23.473-mile-long (37.776 km) state highway in Kentucky. It runs from KY 256 in rural McLean County northwest of Calhoun to U.S. Route 231 (US 231) in rural Daviess south of Owensboro.
Kentucky Route 142 is a 11.200-mile-long (18.025 km) state highway in Daviess County, Kentucky. It runs from U.S. Route 231 (US 231) southeast of Masonville to KY 144 in rural Daviess County east of Owensboro
Kentucky Route 331 (KY 331) is a 3.1-mile-long (5.0 km) state highway in the U.S. state of Kentucky. The highway travels through northwestern parts of Owensboro, within Daviess County.
Kentucky Route 2831 is a 3.056-mile (4.918 km) state highway in Owensboro, Daviess County, Kentucky. It runs from U.S. Routes 60 and 431 in southern Owensboro to West Fifth and Frederica Streets in downtown.
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