Kentucky, officially known as the Commonwealth of Kentucky, is a state located in the Upper South region of the United States. The state borders Ohio, Illinois, and Indiana to the north, Tennessee to the south, Virginia and West Virginia to the east, and Missouri to the west. Kentucky is the 37th largest and the 26th most populous state of the 50 states in the USA, with a population of 4.468 million.
Frankfort is the capital city of the Commonwealth of Kentucky. Located along the Kentucky River, Frankfort is also the county seat of Franklin County and the principal city of the Frankfort, Kentucky Micropolitan Statistical Area. Frankfort is located 26 miles northwest of Lexington and 50 miles east of Louisville. Together these three cities comprise more than 20% of Kentucky’s entire population.
Frankfort was founded in 1786 by General James Wilkinson. The city received its name from the events that took place in the 1780s. Native Americans attacked a group of early European-American pioneers who were making salt at a ford in the Kentucky River. During the attack pioneer, Stephen Frank was killed, and as a result, the settlers named the ford ‘Frank’s Ford.’
The name ‘Frankfort’ resulted from the corruption of the name Frank’s Ford.
After splitting from Virginia, Kentucky was admitted into the Union as the 15th state of the United States on 1st June 1792. Five commissioners were appointed to choose a location for the capital. The commissioners were instructed to find the most suitable site that would provide more assistance towards constructing the state capitol building. Several towns and cities competed for the prestigious honor, but Frankfort won.
According to history, Andrew Holme’s offering his log house as the capitol for seven years, the high number of town lots, ten boxes of glass, £50 worth of hinges and locks, 1,500 pounds of nails, and $3,000 worth of gold helped the decision to favor Frankfort. The city also pledged more workforce towards the construction of the statehouse compared to any other city. Additionally, during the Civil War, Frankfort was the only Union capital occupied by Confederate troops. The commission recommended Frankfort on 5th December 1972, and the city was approved by the legislature three days later.
During Frankfort’s early history as the capital of Kentucky, the capitol building was burned twice, in 1813 and 1824. At both times, the larger cities of Lexington and Louisville attempted to seize the seat. However, Frankfort was retained because of its central location.
In 1813, the general contributions by the citizens of Frankfort to build a new capitol kept the city as the state’s seat of government, and the new capitol was completed in 1816. After the 1824 capitol fire, a new building was built and was used for eight years. When the third capitol building was deemed too small to meet the state’s needs, a new capitol building was constructed in South Frankfort. It began being used in 1920 and has remained the state’s capital.