About Fleming County...

Fleming County was the twenty-sixth county formed in Kentucky, established in 1798 from part of Mason County in the northeastern portion of the state.  In turn, some of the original area of Fleming County was taken to form Floyd County in 1800 and Rowan County in 1856.  Fleming County is bordered by Rowan, Robertson, Mason, Bath, and Nicholas counties, along with the Licking River and its North Fork.  The Southwest boundary of the county is formed by the Licking River.  Mason County, which lies to the north, extends to the Ohio River.  Lewis County borders Fleming on the northeast and also extends to the Ohio River.  To the east and south of Fleming County lies Rowan County, the Northern half of which was formed from Fleming County in 1856.  Bath County forms most of the Southern border of Fleming County.  The borders of Nicholas and Robertson Counties form the Western boundary of Fleming County.

Flemingsburg, the county seat, and the county itself were named for Col. John Fleming, a Virginian who settled Fleming's Station in 1790.  Fleming County is located in the Buffalo Trace area of Northeastern Kentucky.  John Finley, an associate of Daniel Boone's, settled in the county in 1796 on a 1,000-acre tract.  The Civil War brought small skirmishes to Fleming County, including one in 1862 as Gen. John Hunt Morgan's raiders retreated from their attack on central Kentucky towns.

Fleming County is drained by the Licking River and its tributaries.  Its 351 square miles of terrain are rolling to almost level except for the western portion, which is hilly.  The land is more than 25 percent wooded, mostly in hardwoods.  Mineral resources include limestone, sandstone, and sand.  A number of the mineral springs at one time were commercialized by resorts, including Fox Springs, an old spa site in the east-central portion of the county.

The elevation in the county ranges from 590 to 1420 feet above sea level. In 1990 the county population was 12,292 in a land area of 351 square miles, an average of 35.0 people per square mile.  The county seat is Flemingsburg, whose major highways are Kentucky State #11, #32 and #57. Route #11 connects Flemingsburg to Maysville, which lies across the Ohio River from Aberdeen, Ohio.  Route #11, if followed southward from Flemingsburg, crosses the Licking River at Sherburne, and continues to Mt. Sterling in Montgomery County.  Highway #32 connects Flemingsburg to Morehead in Rowan County.  In the opposite direction, Route #32 runs an eastward course, through Elizaville and Cowan, and eventually leads to Cynthiana in Harrison County. Route #57 follows a northeasterly route through the countryside, ending at the Lewis County town of Concord, which lies on the Ohio River.  The population of Flemingsburg in 1990 was 3,071, a figure which belies the town's historic importance to the region.

A Fleming County native was one of the World War II heroes memorialized in Associated Press photographer Joe Rosenthal's well-known image of the flag raising on Iwo Jima.  Franklin R. Sousley, who helped raise the American flag on Suribachi on February 23, 1945, was killed later in the battle for the other islands of Iwo Jima; he is buried at Elizaville.  Three covered bridges are still standing in the county:  Hillsboro Bridge near Grange City, built in 1865; Ringo's Mills Bridge, built in 1867; and Goddard Bridge, built in 1867.  One of the early schools in the area was Flemingsburg Christian Collegiate Institute (1863-1885).