The American Cyclopædia (1879)/Lexington (Kentucky)
LEXINGTON, a city and the capital of Fayette co., Kentucky, situated on the Town fork of Elkhorn river, a tributary of the Kentucky, at the intersection of the Louisville, Cincinnati, and Lexington, and the Kentucky Central railroads, 65 m. E. by S. of Louisville, and 20 m. S. E. of Frankfort; pop. in 1860, 9,321; in 1870, 14,801, of whom 7,171 were colored. The surrounding country is of unsurpassed beauty and fertility. The streets are wide, laid out at right angles, and are well paved, lighted with gas, and bordered with trees. Main street is more than 2 m. long; at its W. end is a beautiful cemetery, containing a monument to Henry Clay. Lexington has an important trade, and contains carriage factories and extensive bagging and rope factories. There are three national banks, with an aggregate capital of $900,000, and a state bank, with $550,000. It contains one of the state insane asylums and an orphan asylum, and is the seat of the state university, which in 1871-'2 had 21 professors, 9 other officers and instructors, 579 students in all departments, and 20,000 volumes in its libraries. This institution was chartered in 1858, and opened at Harrodsburg in 1859. In 1865 it was removed to Lexington, and Transylvania university was merged in it. (See Kentucky.) Lexington contains five female educational institutions, viz.: Hocker female college (Disciples'), the Sayre institute, a Baptist female school, an Episcopal female school, and St. Catharine's academy (Roman Catholic), each having handsome and commodious buildings. There are three free schools for white children, with an average attendance of 650 pupils; four for colored children, average 455; and two Catholic schools, average 180. The Lexington library company has 16,000 volumes. There are two semi-weekly and two weekly newspapers and 18 churches.—The first settlement was made in 1775 by Col. Robert Patterson. The news of the battle of Lexington reached the settlers while they were laying out the town, and they immediately named it after the first battle field of the revolution. The town was incorporated by an act of the Virginia legislature in 1782. The first legislature of Kentucky met here.