History of Taylor County
Taylor County is truly the "heart of Kentucky." In addition to being shaped like a heart, the county is near the geographical center of the state. Campbellsville, the county seat of Taylor County, is approximately eighty-five miles from Louisville, Lexington, Bowling Green, and Somerset.
Formed by the Kentucky legislature from the northeast half of Green County, effective March 1, 1848, Taylor County was the 100th county in order of establishment and was named for Zachary Taylor. It has an area of 284 square miles.
The town of Campbellsville was established by the Kentucky legislature in 1817 and was named for Andrew and Adam Campbell, two of five brothers who migrated from Augusta County, Virginia to what was then Green County.
From the 1830s to the 1870s, Campbellsville served as a stage coach stop on the national Mail Route between Zanesville, Ohio and Florence, Alabama. Existing stage lines between Lebanon, Campbellsville, Columbia, and Greensburg became feeder lines to the railroad when it came to Lebanon in the 1850s. The stage coach between Campbellsville and Columbia continued until 1914.
During the Civil War, Campbellsville was on the invasion routes of both the northern and southern armies. Confederate General John Hunt Morgan campaigned extensively in Taylor County. After the stunning Union victory at the Battle of Tebbs Bend on Green River in 1863, privates homes and churches in Campbellsville were converted to hospitals.
After a rail spur between Lebanon and Greensburg was opened in 1879, Campbellsville entered a new era of development. By 1890, Campbellsville's population was 1,018. Chandler Novelty opened its doors in 1892 and today is the oldest business in continuous operation in Campbellsville.
From 1910 through 1950, Campbellsville's population grew by over 25 per cent each decade. However, in the 1950's it registered a 100 per cent increase due to the coming of Union Underwear Company.
Campbellsville, a third class city, remains the only incorporated city in Taylor County. The city was named to the All-Kentucky City Hall of Fame in 1972 and has been listed by the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce as a Certified City since 1987.