Established 1987 in Barbourville, Kentucky

Knox Historical Museum

History & Genealogy Center


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The Knox Countian

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Latest News

Museum closed on Wed., Nov. 27, for Thanksgiving holiday

The Knox Historical Museum will reopen the following Wednesday, Dec. 3, 2014 with regular hours of 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.


Museum adds photo showcases of '79 Boone Festival and Knox church folk

1979 Daniel Boone Festival Photos

Knox County, Kentucky church folk



Knox County's political leaders in 1965





The political leadership of Knox County in 1965 posed together for a photo at the courthouse. Seated, left to right, are John Dixon, County Attorney; Lester Broughton, Jailer; and Floyd Sowders, Circuit Court Clerk. Standing from left are J.E. McDonald, County Judge; W.B. Frazier, Sheriff; and Clyde Williams, County Clerk.






Click to view
full size photo


The Speed Legacy To Union College

Editor's Note: The following article, with its author unspecified, describes the founding of Union College. It was presented to the Knox Museum in Fall 2014 by Union College staff. The author makes it clear that without the support of husband and wife Joshua F. and Fanny Henning Speed and Barbourville City residents, Union College may have never existed. In the early days of Union, the family's and city residents' philanthropy made the college successful.

The beneficence of Joshua Fry and Fanny Henning Speed provided endowment, constructed buildings, paid faculty salaries, and insured permanency of Union College.

It is interesting to note the ancestors of this illustrious Louisville family. Captain James and Mary Spencer Speed, grandparents of Joshua, came to Kentucky from Charlotte County, Virginia, in 1792 and settled near Danville after Captain Speed had served in the American Revolution. The son John was ten years old at the time.


New Boone Trace film highlights crossing in Knox County

retracing-boone-trace3A new film called "Retracing Boone Trace" was created in Fall 2014 to highlight and depict the crossing of the trace through Knox County. First blazed in 1775, Boone Trace was the original trail leading the early settlers west. Approximately 500,000 people moved west via the route.

The film is a cooperative effort between Union College, the Knox Historical Museum and the Daniel Boone Festival Committee and is approximately 15 minutes in length.

Both Union College and the Knox County Public Schools are airing the film locally over the Barbourville Cable TV system. Union is showing the film on Channel 62, currently each day at 10 a.m., noon, 2 p.m., 6:30 p.m. and 8:15 p.m. The Knox School District's TV-4 is showing the film on Channel 4.

TV-4  is also airing an interview with Dr. Marley Frederick of Union College and Mike Mills and Steve Valentine of the Knox Historical Museum and the Daniel Boone Festival Committee. Here are links to both the film and interview.



Boone Trace

Making of "Retracing
Boone Trace"


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What Our Patrons Have to Say...

I did not realize you had a website until I received the current issue of the Knox Countian. Susan Arthur was my aunt.

Just wanted to let you know that I found a list of postmasters on line that included my ancestor Ambrose Arthur, who served as postmaster at Flat Lick between 1848-52. List is at
This list includes all postmasters from Knox County.
Mike Arthur
Michael Arthur
I would love to see the resurrection of the Christmas Party that was so enjoyable. My mom, Janice Potter Trent, was very active during that time. I truly miss the mingling, the great food we all prepared, and the stories told. Please consider doing this again. Thanks!
Penny Trent-Norman
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