History of Lexington, KY

Lexington was founded in June 1775 in what was then still the state of Virginia. William McConnell and a bunch of other frontiersman were camped out at what is now McConnell Springs when they heard about the colonists winning the Battles of Lexington and Concord. They promptly named this area Lexington.

A view of one of the springs at McConnell Springs.

Indian Attacks and a Growing Town

Due to attacks by Native Americans, Lexington didn't become a permanent settlement until they could build cabins and a fort in the Bryan Station settlement. Lexington quickly grew, and by 1820, became one of the most wealthiest towns west of the Allegheny Mountains, hence the nickname, "Athens of the West."

Transylvania University in the 1800's.

Famous Historical Figures From Lexington

One famous Kentuckian was Henry Clay, who made his home on the Ashland estate, once on the outskirts of Lexington. A major political figure during his lifetime and even today, he was elected to the US House of Representatives in 1806 at the age of 29. He was eventually elected Speaker of the House and is best known for his work during the Missouri Compromise, which outlined the expansion of slavery.

Henry Clay and his home, Ashland

Civil War in Lexington

The war was fought nearby in Perryville.

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