Prestonsburg, Kentucky

Prestonsburg, Kentucky
Front Street
Front Street
Nickname(s): "Star City of Eastern Kentucky"
Location of Prestonsburg in Floyd County, Kentucky.
Location of Prestonsburg in Floyd County, Kentucky.
Prestonsburg is located in Kentucky
Location in Kentucky
Coordinates: 37°40′4″N 82°45′32″W / 37°40′4″N 82°45′32″W / 37.66778; -82.75889
CountryUnited States
EstablishedJanuary 2, 1818[1]
IncorporatedMarch 9, 1867[1]
Named forJohn Preston, a local landowner
 • TypeMayor-Council
 • MayorLes Stapleton
 • Total12.9 sq mi (33.4 km2)
 • Land12.7 sq mi (32.9 km2)
 • Water0.2 sq mi (0.5 km2)
Elevation633 ft (193 m)
Population (2010)
 • Total3,255
 • Estimate (2016)[2]3,541
 • Density256/sq mi (98.9/km2)
Time zoneEastern (EST) (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST)EDT (UTC-4)
ZIP code41653
Area code(s)606
FIPS code21-62940
GNIS feature ID0501307

Prestonsburg is a home rule-class city[3] in and the county seat of Floyd County, Kentucky, United States.[4] The population was 3,255 at the time of the 2010 census,[5] down from 3,612 at the 2000 census.


The area was part of the 100,000-acre (400 km2) grant to the family of Col. John Preston's wife, which he administered on her behalf. The grant was intended to permit British colonization beyond the Blue Ridge Mountains, but subsequent French and Indian resistance and a reversal of British policy limited its impact. The land was not settled until John Spurlock of Montgomery County, Virginia, arrived in 1791. He laid out the town of "Preston's Station" in 1797.[6] It became the seat of Floyd County upon its formation in 1799 and was formally established in 1818.[1] The post office was known as "Floyd Court House" from its establishment in 1816 until the late 1820s, when it was renamed "Prestonsburg".[6]

On January 10, 1862, nearby Middle Creek was the scene of the largest battle of the Civil War to occur in eastern Kentucky. The town was also the site of one of the worst school bus disasters in American history on February 28, 1958.

The town had a pack horse library in the late 1930s to bring library materials to rural mountain residents.[7]

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