Carroll County History


Carroll county was formed in 1838. It is located in the Outer Bluegrass region of the state. In 2002 the county population was 10,223 in a land area of 130.09 square miles. In 1838, Carroll County was formed from Gallatin and Henry counties. Carroll county was named for Charles Carroll, a signer of the Declaration of Independence. The county seat is now Carrollton.  But was originally established in 1794 as city of Port William which was the county seat of old Gallatin County. The Port William block house, located at the apex of the Ohio and Kentucky rivers,  is now marked by a monument. It's nearest neighbors are Henry county, Trimble county, Gallatin county, Owen county and Jefferson and Switzerland counties in Indiana. The Kentucky river splits Carroll county with three precincts west of the Kentucky River: Locust, Prestonville, and Mill Creek. And four precincts east of the Kentucky River: Carrollton, Ghent, Liberty Station, and Jordan. One precinct, Worthville, has land on either side of  the Kentucky river. Centrally located on Interstate 71 between Louisville, Kentucky, and Cincinnati, Ohio, Carroll county is the third largest Burley tobacco market in the U.S.A. and the home of General Butler State Park. Carroll County lies in a bend of the Ohio River at its confluence with the Kentucky River. 

Once an area where riverboats docked to re-supply, deliver goods and allow passengers to stretch their legs, Carroll County is still an attraction for water sports enthusiasts and pleasure boaters. With great fishing and boating available on both rivers, folks get off the river to visit the historic districts in Carrollton and Ghent. There you can walk along the waterfront, visit local shops, dine and see the historic sites dating back as far as 1790.


- Carroll County Facts -

The CCC in Carroll County - 1930's

Kentucky County Lines - 1784-1834

General Butler State Park - History



Text of Act Creating New County: 

CHAPTER 773. An ACT to establish the County of Carroll. Approved February 9, 1838.

SECTION 1. BE it enacted by the General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Kentucky, That from and after the first day of March next, all the parts of the counties of Gallatin, Henry, and Trimble, included within the following bounds, to-wit: Beginning on the bank of the Ohio river about one half mile below Agniel’s branch, at the upper corner of James Smith’s land; thence a direct line to the forks of Lick creek; thence down the same to Eagle creek; thence down Eagle creek to the Kentucky river; thence crossing the Kentucky river, and binding thereon, to Bell Gullion’s, including her; thence a direct line to where the old line between Gallatin and Henry crosses the main west fork of Mill creek; thence with said old line to where it crosses George’s creek; thence down George’s creek to the Little Kentucky river; thence a direct line to the lane between Thomas B. Spilman and Isaac Gray, to the Ohio river; thence up the Ohio river and binding thereon to the beginning, shall be one distinct county, called and known by the name of Carroll, in honor of Charles Carroll, of Carrollton.

SECTION 2. That the seat of justice for the said county of Carroll, shall be and the same is hereby permanently located in the town of Port William, and that the County and Circuit Courts of said county shall be held at said court house.

SECTION 3. That the County Courts of the said county of Carroll, shall be held on the first Monday in every month, except the months in which Circuit Courts are held.

SECTION 4. There shall be allowed to the said county of Carroll nine Justices of the Peace, to be commissioned by the Governor, according to the provisions of the Constitution.

SECTION 5. The Justices of the Peace for said county shall meet at the court house in the town of Port William on the first Saturday in March next, and, having severally taken the oaths prescribed by the constitution and laws of this State, proceed to appoint and qualify a Clerk.

SECTION 6. The Governor shall appoint a suitable person, resident in the said county of Carroll, Sheriff thereof.

SECTION 7. The said county of Carroll shall be entitled to five Constables, to be appointed by the County Court thereof; and the Sheriff and Constables aforesaid, when appointed, shall enter into bond, with security, in said County Court, agreeably to law.

SECTION 8. The voters of said county of Carroll shall vote, as heretofore, in the several counties out of which the said county of Carroll is formed, as though this act had not passed, until the next apportionment of representatives.

SECTION 9. Process shall issue, and be made returnable as heretofore, and the several courts of the counties out of which said county of Carroll is formed, shall have cognizance of all matters of controversy, both in law and equity, until the second Monday in March next, at which time all their power and jurisdiction shall cease and determine; provided that all suits or actions commenced in either of said original counties shall be tried and determined therein respectively.

SECTION 10. The revenue and county levy, collectable during the present year, shall be collected and accounted for by the Sheriff and collectors of said original counties, out of which the said county of Carroll is formed, as though this act had not passed.

SECTION 11. That James Sayer, of the county of Gallatin, Jeremiah Strother, of the county of Trimble, and Daniel J. King, of the county of Carroll, be and they are hereby appointed Commissioners, whose duty it shall be to run and mark the boundary lines between said county of Carroll and the counties of Gallatin, Henry and Trimble; and that they make out and return to each of the County Courts of said counties a report of their proceedings, to be entered of record by said courts, respectively: Provided however, that any two of said Commissioners may act; and that they shall not mark or run such lines as have a fair natural boundary.

SECTION 12. That the Judge of the fourth Judicial District shall hold a special term of the Circuit Court of the said county of Carroll, at the court house in the town of Port William, on the first Saturday in March next, and proceed to appoint and qualify a Clerk of said court.                                 REF: “Acts of the Kentucky General Assembly”, 1838, pages 170-172.

Kentucky Land Office