charles m. meacham


Industrial Survey of Hopkinsville, Compiled by the Kentucky-Tennessee Light and Power Company; Historical Sketch.



Location—Christian County, Kentucky.
Railroads—Louisville & Nashville, Illinois Central, Tennessee Central. Distance from Nearest important Cities—St. Louis, 300 miles; Memphis, 299 miles; Chicago, 375 miles; Louisville, 184 miles; Nashville, 71 miles; Evansville, 80 miles.
Altitude—541 feet above sea level.
(a) Range of Winter Temperature—Zero to 40 degrees above zero.
(b) Range of Summer Temperature—GO degrees to 95 degrees.
(c) Prevailing Wind Directions—West to southwest.
(d) Average Annual Rainfall—49 inches.
(e) Very little snowfall—some years none, other years from 5 to 6 inches.
(f) Average annual number of days without rain—275.
(g) Climate mild in winter, pleasant in summer. Work can be carried on outdoors practically during entire year. Drouths and long wet spells very rare.
 Population and Rate of Growth; Three Decades—

1900 1910 1920
(a) City 7,280 9,640 9,720
(b) County 40,200 45,700 50,300
 Above population for city not including suburbs.

Federal Census of 1920

Male Female Foreign Born White Colored
(c) 5,390 4,330 95 3,940 3,780
(d) 30,210 20,090 100 32,800 17,500

 Recent Estimates of  Population—
(e) City, 11,000; including suburbs, 14,000.
(f) County, 50,000.
Local Government—Commission form of government for city, consisting of mayor and two commissioners. Mayor elected for four years, commissioners two years.

Sewerage—Sanitary system with 12 miles of sewer lines. Sewerage system empties into septic tanks.
Water Works—
(a) Source of Supply—Creek and artificial lakes.
(b) Storage Capacity of Lakes and Creeks—750,000,000 gal.
(c) Size of Mains—From 4-inch to 12-inch.
(d) Pressure Per Square Inch—85 pounds average.
(e) Pumping Capacity of Plant—1,000,000 gallons.
(f) Water is clarified, treated, and seasoned, but not filtered.
(g) Water Rates per Thousand Gallons— Domestic Rate—40 cents per 1,000 gallons.
Manufacturers’ Rates—16 2/3 cents per 1,000 gallons. Street Paving—
(a) Sixty miles of paving, consisting of Bithulithic, Asphalt, and Tarvia.
(b) Pavements—Concrete.
Street Lighting—Series system 6.6 ampere, two circuits feeding city. City well lighted with incandescent lamps of following sizes: 100 CP, 400 CP, and 600 CP; White Way in business section. Power and gas supplied by same company.

Police Department is headed by the commissioner of public safety. A chief of police and nine patrolmen constitute the force, day and night shifts.

Fire Department is well equipped, motorized, with day and night force of twelve men. Headed by commissioner of public safety. Equipment as follows: 1 service truck; 1 ladder truck; 1 300-gallon pumper; 1 1,000-gallon pumper.

Taxation and Tax Rate

Real Intangible Tangible
(a) State .30 .50 .60
(b) County .60 .10 .60
 (c) City tax flat $2.40 per hundred; total  per hundred State, Coun ty and City varies according to type of property. See above    rates.

Assessed Valuation of City Property

1920 $5,600,000 1923 $6,888,000 1926 $7,237,000
1921 $6,200,000 1924 $6,864,000 1927 $6,893,000
1922 $6,500,000 1925 $7,168,000 1928 $7,800,000

Above valuation does not include property of state, city, churches, denominational colleges, etc., but does include public utilities. Estimated valuation of this property $1,500,000.
Rate of assessment compared with actual values, 70 per cent.

State and County taxes on machinery, tools, and equipment used in manufacture—State, SOc; County, lOc.
No direct tax on capital employed in business.

No charter taxes or fees paid annually based on the capitalization. Excepting as reflected in estimate of franchise tax made by State Tax Commissioner.

No difference for taxes between domestic or foreign corporations in this state.

No state income tax on corporations.

Post Office—Rating, First Class. Postal Receipts:

1920 $60,000.00 1924 $64,000.00
1921 $61,000.00 1925 $66,000.00
1922 $61,000.00 1926 $68,000.00
1923 $62,000.00 1927 $71,000.00

Number of money orders issued and the amount in dollars and cents by years from 1920 to date, approximately $17,000.00 per year. Publication of exact figures forbidden.

Number of Banks in City—Four; number banks in county, three. Total bank clearings, $13,229,000.00 List of banks:

 Surplus, Undivided

Name Capital Profits Deposits Loans
Bank of Hopkinsville $100,000 $100,000 $1,015,000 $349,000
City Bank & Trust Co $ 60,000 $212,389 $1,166,000 $861,800
First National Bank $100,000     38,000      912,000 755,500
Planters Bank & Trust $100,000  126,500      992,000 654,000
Bank of Lafayette   15,000    13,000      100,000   87,000
Bank of Crofton   25,000      5,000      211,000 100,500
Bank of Pembroke   20,000      6,100      127,000 107,000
Educational Facilities—
 (a) Grammar Schools— Enrollment
   West Side School, white 320
   Virginia Street School, white 346
   Belmont School, white 363
   Booker Washington School, colored 750

 (b) High School, white 450
  Attucks High School, colored 250

 (c) Colleges:
   Bethel Woman’s College, white 200
   Hopkinsville College, colored 50

Churches—There are twenty-eight churches in the city. The Baptists have two for whites and seven for colored people; the Christians one white and one colored; Church of Christ, one white and one colored; Episcopal, one white and one colored; Hebrews, Catholics, Holiness, Universalist, Salvation Army, one each; Methodists, one white, three colored; Presbyterian, two; Cumberland Presbyterian, one. The leading denominations all have splendid edifices and the smaller churches are in good and commodious houses. Some of the buildings are worth more than $100,000 and the total valuation exceeds $500,000. The seating capacity of the larger exceed 1,000 and the others range from 200 to 800.

Libraries—Carnegie Municipal Public Library, Bethel Woman’s College has a library for students comparable to any standard college.

Hospitals—Jennie Stuart Memorial Hospital, 50 beds.

Civic Organizations—
 Rotary Club 50
 Kiwanis Club 50
 Athenaeum 30
 Woman’s Club 250
 U.D.C 30
 D.A.R 25
 History and Literature 18
 Music Club 25

Newspapers— Circulation
Daily New Era 4,000 Weekly New Era                              2,250

 Latham Hotel 120
Central Hotel 30
Main Hotel 20

Many good boarding houses and two first-class restaurants.
(a) Ample supply of homes suitable for workers and their families in sections convenient to industrial locations.
(b) Rate of Rentals:
 For white skilled workers $20.00 to $30.00 per month
 For white unskilled workers.   15.00 to 20.00 per month
 For colored workers  5.00 to 15.00 per month

Recreation Facilities—
(a) Two opera houses.
Two picture shows.
Golf Club.
Hunting and Fishing Club.
 (b) High School Ball Park.
 (c) Other places of amusement:
   2 parks for whites.
   3 playgrounds for white children.
   1 park for colored people.
   1 aviation field and amusement park.
   1 swimming pool and picnic grounds.

Cost of Living Low—Lower than that prevailing in larger cities in this section.
Labor Supply—
(a) Plentiful.
(b) Female help available.
(c) Skilled help available for wood working industries.
Clothing concerns, and mechanics in various lines.
(d) Native-born labor.
(e) Small towns in county have plentiful supply of labor. Wage Scale—
(a) Male, from $15.00 to $35.00 per week.
(b) Male average, $20.00 to $30.00 per week.
(c) Piece work is practiced in some plants.
(d) Female beginners, from $5.00 to $8.00 per week.
(e) Female experienced, from $8.00 to $15.00 per week.
(f) Piece work is practiced in some plants.
(g) Prevailing hours per week, 50 hours. Fuel for Industrial Plants—
(a) Grades—Bituminous, mine run and pea and slack.
(b) Obtained from mines within 30 miles of Hopkinsville.
(c) No anthracite coal in this section.
(d,) Bituminous coal ranges from $2.00 to $2.50 per ton de— livered Hopkinsville.
(e) Freight rate on coal, 79c ton, Hopkinsville.
(f) No stocks of fuel oil carried in Hopkinsville with the exception of gasoline.
(g) Market prices prevail. Transportation—
(a) Louisville & Nashville; Illinois Central, Tennessee Central.
(b) Switching service is available.
(c) I. C. and T. C. joint terminal. Warehouse sq. ft. area, 19,500; terminal capacity, 150 cars. L. & N. warehouse sq. ft. area. 22,000; terminal capacity, 200 cars.
(d) Hopkinsville is largest dark tobacco market in world.
(e) Highways and motor roads leading to nearby important centers are in good condition.
Freight Service—
(a) Fast railroad freight service is available.
(b) To all points and in every direction. Several trains daily.
(c) Freight truck service available to neighboring towns and coal mines.
Freight Rates—Very favorable on all commodities both in and out. Natural Resources—Coal, limestone, clays, lumber, oil prospects.

Present Industries—
(a) Forbes Manufacturing Co.—Desks, chairs and barrels; em-employees, male, 70; payroll, $1,800.00 per week.
Elk Brand Overall Company—Overalls, suits, shirts, etc.; employees, female, 180; male, 20; payroll, $3,100.00 per week.

Wadsworth-Campbell Box Company—Cigar boxes; employees, female, 30; male, 15; $780.00 per week.
Three small cigar factories; employees, male, 30; payroll, $750.00 per week.

Creamery—Employees, male, 15; payroll, $410.00 per week.
Number of tobacco exporters.

Devil Grip Company—Tire patch; employees, 10; payroll, $280.00 per week.

Acme Mills—Flour and feed; employees, 75; payroll, $1,100.00 per week.

Hopkinsville Milling Company—Flour and corn meal; employees, male, 30; payroll, $500.00 per week.
Christian County Milling Company—Corn meal and feed; employees, 6; payroll, $120.00 per week.
Cook Stone Company—Rock dust, stone; employees, male, 30; female, 35; payroll, $430.00 per week.
Dalton Brick Company—Brick; employees, male, 50; payroll, $600.00 per week.

Metcalfe Greenhouse Company—Florist, wholesale and retail; employees, female, 8; male, 18; payroll, $500.00 per week.

Bass & Company—Lumber mill work; employees, male, 50; payroll, $1,250.00 per week.
Metcalfe Laundry Company—Laundry, employees, male, 6; female, 34; payroll, $400.00 per week.
Model Laundry Company—Dry cleaning; employees, male, 3; female, 3; payroll, $100.00 a week.

Glove Manufacturing Company—Canvas work gloves; employees, male, 10; female, 35; payroll, $555.00 per week.

(b) Total number of plañts—20.
(c) Total number of help employed—481.
(d) Yearly payroll—$459,680.00. Manufacturing Sites—
(a) Plenty acreage available alongside of railroad tracks.
 (b) Belt line connecting three railroads gives ample facilities for factory sites.
(c) Several buildings available. Built, for handling tobacco. Good locations.
Hopkinsville and surrounding section is well located for any industry or manufacturing plant. The labor supply is good and plentiful and the climate ideal.



Hopkinsville became the county seat of Christian County in 1797, and is beautifully situated on the hills and in the valleys separating the two forks of Little River, that come together a few miles south of the town. The streams are only a mile apart, the city extending from one to the other and spreading out west of the west branch. Four bridges cross these streams and three railroads. Eight improved highways extend into a fertile farming region on three sides and into wooded hills and coal mines to the north. There is an abundance of limestone everywhere and the soil about the city produces fine crops of nearly everything growing in the temperate zone. It is essentially an agricultural town, the center of a fine section, the largest city within a radius of fifty miles. It is well watered, close to coal mines and well adapted to manufacturing. It has a number of such plants and all are doing well.
The people of the city are happy and contented. Almost equally divided politically. The city has a non-partisan government and all mingle together pleasantly in business circles, in churches, civic organizations and society. About forty per cent of the population is colored and the colored people have their own churches, schools and business houses. They live largely in one section of the city and there has never been any race troubles in the city.
Hopkinsville is a beautiful city with many beautiful homes, well improved streets, with all of the public utilities that contribute to the welfare and happiness of the people. It aspires to become a manufacturing city and all new enterprises are exempted from city taxes for a period of five years. An Industrial Foundation stands ready to extend substantial aid to new factories. Hopkinsville maintains a Chamber of Commerce, a Farm Bureau, and is the center of activities in Southwestern Kentucky.

 Return to Table of Contents

All Rights Reserved