Boone County Kentucky

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General Description. Boone County is the northernmost in the state. With a practically straight line separating it from Kenton County on the east, and an irregular line marking its southern border, the Ohio River courses along its northern and western sides, with both Ohio and Indiana its trans-river neighbors. The county was formed out of Campbell County in 1798 and named after Daniel Boone. Early settlers found earthenware vessels and utensils of stone, together with an ancient fortification, left by aborigines. Big Bone Lick is well known because of the discovery there of large numbers of mastodon bones. In 1840 it was estimated that the bones of at least 100 mastodons had been collected there. The place is also famous because of the fact that it was there the first white woman who trod Kentucky soil, Mrs. Mary Ingles, was taken and held as a captive by Indians. The elevations along the Ohio River range around 430 feet above sea level. An elevation of 848 feet is reached at Burlington, the county seat. The county had an area of 160,640 acres, of which 148,228 acres were in farm land in 1925.

Population. According to the latest Bureau estimate, the county’s population is 9,625, a slight increase over the 1920 census report of 9,572. One percent of the whites are foreign-born. The number of males between the ages of 18 and 44 was 1,804 in 1920, and the number of females in the same age groups was 1,780.

Mineral Resources. The bedded rocks exposed in this county consist of the upper Ordovician limestones, shaly limestones, and shales. These comprise about 75% of the area of the county, the remainder being occupied by glacial sands, gravels, and silts of Pleistocene age, and alluviums of Pleistocene and Recent age along the southern shore of the Ohio River.

The mineral resources of Boone County consist principally of limestones suitable for use in rough building construction, in cement manufacture, and as road material and railroad ballast. Clays along the flood plains of the Ohio River are suitable for brick making. Upland deposits of glacial sands and gravels, as well as those of the Ohio River, exist in inexhaustible quantities and are suitable for all purposes, including that of metal molding. Big Bone Lick on Big Bone Creek, a westwardly flowing tributary of the Ohio River in the southern part of the county, is one of the most ancient and celebrated mineral springs in this district. It is of recognized therapeutic value. A good geographical map of Boone County is available.

Bonded Indebtedness. The county has issued bonds to a total of $400,000 for the improvement of its highways.

Surface and Soil. The surface is undulating to hilly in the central and eastern parts, with rather deep ravines in the south and west. More than half the county’s area, or 94,948 acres, is rated as pasture land.

Water Supply. Wooper, Gunpowder, and Mudlick creeks flow westwardly across the county all emptying into the Ohio River and cause it to be classified as a well-watered district.

Industries. Agricultural activities chiefly engage the attention of the citizens. All farm property in the county was given a valuation of $12,397,366 by Government enumerators in 1925, with average value of land and buildings per county acre reaching $75. Two canning factories, one at Walton and the other at Verona, bear evidence of the importance of truck growing in this district.

Crops. The county produced 42,398 bushels of white potatoes in 1924, ranking among the leaders in the state in that respect. The apple crop amounts to 29,080 bushels. The corn crop totaled 369,719 bushels, and the harvest of tobacco was 2,474,365 pounds. The estimated milk production in 1924 amounted to 2,678,343 gallons, with dairy products having a total value of $382,772. Chickens and eggs produced in the county had a value of $267,491. The estimated wool production was 46,673 pounds.

Transportation. The Southern Railway and the Louisville & Nashville Railroad traverse the eastern edge of the county, their lines crossing at Walton, the largest town. Towns along the Ohio River are served by Louisville-Cincinnati Packet Company steamboats. Motor bus and truck lines connect Burlington, the county seat, and other towns with railroad points in and out of the county, and place it is easy reach of the metropolitan area including Covington and Newport and Cincinnati, Ohio.

Highways. The Dixie Highway runs through the county parallel with the eastern boundary from Florence to Walton, thus placing the section on the fine-surfaced artery connecting Cincinnati and the North with Lexington and the South. A road of like excellence connects Burlington, the county seat, with this prominent thoroughfare. The present road program calls for gradual improvement of other important roads throughout the county.

Tourist Attractions. Mineral springs at Bigbone, about twelve miles northwest of Walton, are noteworthy for their sulphur waters, said to possess medicinal value. The place is widely regarded as a picnic grounds by citizens of Boone and adjoining counties.

Educational. There are 12 high schools located in the county, employing 23 teachers, and there is 1 private school. Twenty-six elementary schools employing 35 teachers are also located in this county, and 5 colored elementary schools with 5 colored teachers. In 1926 there was an average attendance of 1,261 pupils in the county’s public schools. The Walton High School is accredited as a Class A school.

Cities and Towns. Walton, the metropolis of the county, is a thriving town of about 700 inhabitants, located as above indicated, on the Southern and Louisville & Nashville railroads and on the Dixie Highway. It is a shipping point for the products of the surrounding agricultural district, is attractive as a residential community, has 1 newspaper and 2 banks. Shipping facilities and the labor supply are cited as advantages offered by this town to moderate-sized industries.

Burlington, the county seat, is a village of about 200 population, located near the center of the county. It is 848 feet above sea level. It has a bank and a newspaper. Other banking towns are: Florence, Grant, Hebron, Petersburg, Union, and Verona.

Opportunities. Proximity to an important market, the metropolitan area on both sides of the Ohio River at Covington and Newport, is cited as a factor in the varied agricultural opportunities offered throughout the county. Citizens point to developments along numerous lines as indicative of advantages awaiting others interested in this community. Agricultural limestone testing 85.5% to 93% calcium carbonate equivalent, described as an excellent grade of limestone for soil improvement, is said to be found in abundance over practically the whole county. Within the last year over 3,000 tones of limestone were spread on county farms, thus showing, citizens declare, the improvement now in progress.

It is claimed by students of the county that Boone is rapidly assuming leadership in the dairy cattle industry, the nearby market cited above being regarded as an inspiration to practically unlimited expansion of this industry. Production of milk in 1924 was shown under “Crops.” The same census gave $502,899 as the value of all cattle in Boone. Some estimators believe the value at present is greatly in excess of that given in the last census report by reason of the systematic campaign for pure-bred sires waged in recent years.

Those interested in the dairying and cattle raising opportunities of the territory call attention to the fact that the World’s Champion Senior two-year-old Jersey is found in Boone County. The cow, Raleigh’s Jolly Sunbeam, is the property of James W. Huey, of Union. The record of the champion is 11,448 pounds of milk, 659.01 pounds of butter fat in 305 days.

Persons engaged in lines for which there are declared to be exceptional advantages in the district herein treated may find value in the fast there are some 40 breeders of pure-bred Jerseys in the county, 8 breeders of pure-bred Holsteins, 1 of Guernseys, and 1 of Ayrshires. Ten years ago, it is pointed out, less than half a dozen raisers of pure-bred cattle were found in the entire county.

With a valuation of $106,469 placed by Government census on sheep in 1925 it will be seen, champions of the county say, that a considerable industry has already been developed, and they declare further expansion may be made with prospects of profit to the grower. Wool from Boone County is reported by those acquainted with conditions to be much sought because of the clean pasture lands on which most of the sheep are raised. The big near-by market is a constant consumer of lambs raised in this county.

There are at present 15 commercial orchards in the county, devoted to both apples and peaches, and ranging in size from 15 to 20 acres each. Additional orchards are being planted each year, and hundreds of acres are available for fruit growing. Soil over most of the county is likewise said to respond readily to treatment which makes it profitable for truck gardening, where again the nearness of an extensive market is cited as one of the advantages to be considered by those interested in such an enterprise.


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published by Kentucky Opportunities Department of Associated Industries of Kentucky, 1927