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Washington County Kentucky History

The Heart of the Lincoln Legacy


Washington County was the first county created by the Kentucky State Legislature and named for the first U.S. President, George Washington. Established in 1792 from land given by Nelson County, the county seat at Springfield is home to the oldest Kentucky courthouse completed in 1816. This building now houses the Lincoln Legacy Museum.

Washington County citizens take pride in the historical sites found in Beechland, an area five miles north of Springfield where President Lincoln's grandfather, Captain Abraham Lincoln, brought his family in 1782. He was in the process of purchasing by Title Bond the westernmost 200 acres of the 600 acres of the Richard Berry tract, when he was murdered by a Native American in 1788. He is buried in the Pioneer Cemetery near the Beechfork River.

Captain Abraham's son, Thomas, married Nancy Hanks in 1806 at the Francis Berry home in Beechfork. Their second child, Abraham Lincoln, the 16th U.S. President was likely born at Beechland where his parents married and where they lived until Abraham was eighteen months old.

Check out the Springfield Tourism page here!

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