Mayfield, Kentucky

Mayfield, Kentucky
Mayfield, Kentucky
—  City  —
Graves County Courthouse in Mayfield, Kentucky
Location of Mayfield, Kentucky
Coordinates: 36°44′16″N 88°38′24″W / 36.73778°N 88.64°W / 36.73778; -88.64Coordinates: 36°44′16″N 88°38′24″W / 36.73778°N 88.64°W / 36.73778; -88.64
Country United States
State Kentucky
County Graves
 – Total 6.7 sq mi (17.3 km2)
 – Land 6.7 sq mi (17.3 km2)
 – Water 0.0 sq mi (0.0 km2)
Elevation 476 ft (145 m)
Population (2000)
 – Total 10,349
 – Density 1,549.8/sq mi (598.4/km2)
Time zone Central (CST) (UTC-6)
 – Summer (DST) CDT (UTC-5)
ZIP code 42066
Area code(s) 270
FIPS code 21-50898
GNIS feature ID 0497715

Mayfield is a city in Graves County, Kentucky, United States. The population was 10,349 at the 2000 census. It is the county seat of Graves County[1]. Mayfield is in the center of the Jackson Purchase, an eight-county region purchased by Isaac Shelby and Andrew Jackson from the Chickasaw Indians in 1818.



According to Story of Mayfield Through a Century, 1823-1923,[2] published by D. Trabue Davis in 1923, Mayfield was established as the county seat of Graves County in 1821, and the county was formally organized in 1823. John Anderson is thought to have been the first settler, arriving in 1819 at a location on Mayfield Creek about two and a half miles from the eventual site of Mayfield. In December 1821 he was appointed county court clerk and moved to the place that became Mayfield. Davis relates "an interesting story" of how the town got its name: that a gambler named Mayfield was kidnapped around 1817 at a racetrack near what became Hickman, Kentucky. He was carried to the site of what is now Mayfield, carved his name into a tree, and was killed trying to escape. The creek in which he was said to have drowned was named Mayfield Creek, and later the town received the same name.

The completion of the Memphis, New Orleans and Northern Railroad in 1858 connected Mayfield to the larger world. Beginning with the establishment of the Mayfield Woolen Mills in 1860, the manufacture of clothing was a major industry in Mayfield for a century. The town was also a large market for loose-leaf tobacco.

During the Civil War, the Jackson Purchase region of Kentucky, including Mayfield, was the area of strongest support for the Confederate cause. On May 29, 1861, a group of Southern sympathizers from Kentucky and Tennessee met at the Graves County Courthouse to discuss the possibility of aligning the Purchase with West Tennessee. Most records of the event were lost, possibly in an 1887 fire that destroyed the courthouse. In 1907, Fulton County judge Herbert Carr declared in a speech that the Mayfield Convention adopted a resolution for secession, and a historical marker in front of the courthouse also proclaims this as fact. However, the surviving records of the meeting, authored by a Union sympathizer, make no mention of this resolution, and historian Berry Craig opines that the convention believed the whole of Kentucky would eventually secede and make a resolution for the Purchase to break away unnecessary. Records do show that the convention adopted resolutions condemning President Lincoln for "waging a bloody and cruel war" against the South, urging Governor Beriah Magoffin to resist Union forces and praising him for refusing to answer Lincoln's call for soldiers, and condemning the provision of "Lincoln guns" to Union sympathizers in Kentucky. The convention also nominated Henry Burnett to represent Kentucky's First District in Congress. The Mayfield Convention was a precursor to the later Russellville Convention, which formed the provisional Confederate government of Kentucky.[3]


Mayfield is located at 36°44′16″N 88°38′24″W / 36.73778°N 88.64°W / 36.73778; -88.64 (36.737693, -88.640122)[4].

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 6.7 square miles (17 km2), all of it land.


Historical populations
Census Pop.
1860 556
1870 779 40.1%
1880 1,839 136.1%
1890 2,909 58.2%
1900 4,081 40.3%
1910 5,916 45.0%
1920 6,583 11.3%
1930 8,177 24.2%
1940 8,619 5.4%
1950 8,990 4.3%
1960 10,762 19.7%
1970 10,724 −0.4%
1980 10,705 −0.2%
1990 9,935 −7.2%
2000 10,349 4.2%
Est. 2008 10,186 [5] −1.6%
U.S. Census Bureau[6]

As of the census[7] of 2000, there were 10,349 people, 4,358 households, and 2,667 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,549.8 people per square mile (598.2/km²). There were 4,907 housing units at an average density of 734.8 per square mile (283.6/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 60.57% White, 13.31% African American, 0.21% Native American, 0.37% Asian, 3.48% from other races, and 2.07% from two or more races. Hispanics or Latinos of any race were 25.86% of the population. Recent years have seen a large influx of Amish residents nearby.

There were 4,358 households out of which 26.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 42.4% were married couples living together, 15.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 38.8% were non-families. 35.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 18.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.27 and the average family size was 2.89.

The age distribution was 23.3% under the age of 18, 9.2% from 18 to 24, 24.9% from 25 to 44, 20.9% from 45 to 64, and 21.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39 years. For every 100 females there were 86.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 80.0 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $20,400, and the median income for a family was $27,463. Males had a median income of $29,324 versus $18,575 for females. The per capita income for the city was $15,327. About 23.4% of families and 27.5% of the population were below the poverty line, including 40.4% of those under age 18 and 15.9% of those age 65 or over.

Despite being in a dry county (Graves), sales by the drink in restaurants of the city limits of Mayfield seating at least 100 diners and at the Mayfield Golf & Country Club are allowed. There are no Sunday sales of alcoholic beverages permitted, except at Mayfield Golf and Country Club.


Local media in Mayfield includes the Mayfield Messenger, a five-day (Monday through Friday) daily newspaper. Radio stations WLLE-FM, WNGO-AM, and WYMC-AM are licensed to Mayfield.

Sports teams

Mayfield was home to the Class D "Kitty League" Mayfield Pantsmakers, Mayfield Clothiers, and Browns from the 1920s to the 1950s.[1]

In 2009, Mayfield will be the home of the new KIT League team, West Kentucky Mavericks. Despite being based in Mayfield, the team will not play any home games and will play all of its games as "away" games.

Mayfield High School has won nine Kentucky High School Athletic Association championships in classes A and AA in a total of 17 appearances, with historical winning competition against larger schools, including arch rival Paducah Tilghman, Franklin-Simpson, Murray and Hopkinsville. Both consolidation and population loss have altered Kentucky high school competition classes, but many traditional rivalries continue.

The Graves County High School Co-Ed Cheerleading Team won the titles of National Champions in 2006 and 2007, and State Champions in 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2008.

Public high schools

Mayfield Independent City School District was established on July 1, 1908 with the selection and meeting of its first Board Members, organized by Mr. W.J. Webb.[8]

Mayfield High School has statistically been the best in Western Kentucky in terms of test scores for the past three years.

Mayfield High School- mascot "Cardinals"
Graves County High School- mascot "Eagles"

Mid-Continent University, formerly Mid-Continent Baptist Bible College, is also located just north of Mayfield off U.S. Route 45.

Board of Zoning controversy

August 24, 2010 the Board of Zoning reversed the decision to allow a group of refugees to establish a place of worship in a local building. Dick Conner, who owns a flower shop adjacent to the proposed mosque, complained to the media that, "If the neighbor was a Baptist church it might be different". The five member board of zoning adjustment, chaired by Austin Copeland, voted 4-0 with one board member absent. The board cited violations State Zoning Statute 100 in denying the permit.

Later on the same day, one of the Somali refugees was accused and charged with attempting to kidnap a teenage girl. The events surrounding the alleged incident have met with sharp criticism, with local news agencies ignoring it as an attempt to belittle the character of the Muslims, and thus reinforce the ruling of the zoning board.[9]

Despite this there is a Somali Community Center and a Muslim Prayer Center in the location previously afformentioned.

Notable residents


  • Craig, Berry F. (Autumn 2001). "The Jackson Purchase Considers Secession: The 1861 Mayfield Convention". The Register of the Kentucky Historical Society 99 (4): pp. 339–361. 

External links

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