The City of Fordsville sits in the hill country of North Ohio County at the junction of Kentucky highways 54 and 69. It is a sixth-class city with 531 residents per the 2010 census. The community was first settled by the Huff family in the early 1830’s, though one of the first homes was established much earlier by the Mobberley family in 1790. The Mobberley home is still standing.
Fordsville is said to be the second oldest town in Ohio County and was incorporated March 18, 1886. First named Kelly Precinct the change to Fordsville was made on January 16, 1847 in honor of Elisha Ford the communities first merchant. He had a grocery and general store. U. S. Senator Wendell Ford was a descendant.
Despite its rural nature, Fordsville was the first Green River area community to receive telephone service in 1894 (even before Owensboro), and it also boasted one of the region’s first movie houses, the Princess Theater, quite the hot spot in it’s day.
The Great Depression did not hit Fordsville as hard as many small U. S. cities, as it experienced a significant “Oil Boom” in the 1930s. However, the town’s prosperity began four decades earlier when in 1889 a railroad spur was completed between Owensboro and Fordsville. This allowed coal, timber, tobacco and other freight to be shipped economically, and for 85 cents roundtrip ticket, Fordsville residents could catch one of two daily passenger trains to Owensboro. The 1893 extension to the Illinois Central rail line at Horse Branch, further connected Fordsville to markets across Kentucky and beyond.
Sadly, on June 15, 1941 the last train ran the tracks between Irvington and Fordsville, and soon the tracks were taken up. This proud history is preserved today in the Fordsville L & N Depot Museum. The museum is operated by the Fordsville Historical Society and is open to visitors Thursdays 12:30 to 5:00 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays from 11 a.m. till 5 p.m. and Sundays 1:00 to 5 p.m.
Fordsville’s primary employers are the National Office Furniture factory, a unit of Kimball International, Inc., and the Dunaway Timber Company. For more information on our local businesses click on our Business link below.
In addition to a City Hall and Post Office, Fordsville is also home to a branch of the Ohio County Clerks office. The Fordsville Community Fire Department is housed at the Jack and Joan Edge Community Center, named in honor of former Mayor Jack Edge and his wife (current Mayor) Joan Edge. The Fordsville area Medical Clinic is located on Main Street next to the beautiful new Rice Pharmacy Building. Fordsville is also home to Fordsville Elementary School and more than a half dozen churches. Churches are listed on our Merchant and Business page as well.
INFRASTRUCTURE: :In 2004 GRADD assisted the City with a major infrastructure improvement project. They utilized a $500,000 Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) to interconnect with the Ohio County Water District (OCWD) to extend water service to several residents. In that same year, Wilda Hardesty became Mayor of Fordsville when then Mayor Jack Edge passed away. Hardesty carried forward Jack Edge’s initiative to switch totally to OCWD as the city’s water source. “The ones before me did all the work,” she noted. “I just need to keep it going.” Note: Mayor Hardesty retired from office in 2015 and Jack's wife, Joan Edge is now serving as Fordsville's Mayor.
North Ohio County Park sits approximately two miles West of the city limits and features a 0.9-mile walking trail, playground, and a track once used for Friday night go-cart races. In addition, residents can enjoy Bobby Rusher Nature Park just East of town and Rough River State Resort Park is only a 17 mile drive from downtown Fordsville.
Learn more about our businesses click link below:
Since 1990 the Fordsville Historical Society & Museum Inc. has played host to one of Ohio County’s largest events. Fordsville Days has grown into more than just a fundraiser for the L & N Depot Museum. It has become a community tradition! Featuring; Carnival Rides, Beauty Pageants, Free Musical Entertainment, Craft and Vendor Booths, Car, Motorcycle and Tractor Shows and a Tractor Pull on Sunday.
All profits go to the Fordsville Historical Society and Museum Inc. a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization which operates the Fordsville L & N Depot Museum located at 32 Ridge Road, Fordsville, KY. Monies raised through booth rentals, food, Tee-shirt sales and business sponsorships assist the Society with upkeep of the museum and allows for the non-profit to support other events in our community such as the annual Christmas celebration, Summer Saturday Events and the Rex Denton Jr. Artistic Achievement Awards.
Charles Mattingly, President of the Fordsville Historical Society and City Council Member is another citizen of Fordsville that has taken initiative to improve, rejuvenate and uplift his community. In January 2014 he invited citizens, business owners, churches, clubs and organizations to Community Revitalization meetings held on the first Tuesday of each month. These brainstorming sessions delve into how the community as a whole can make Fordsville a place tourists want to visit, enjoy, remember and return to again and again. The meetings encourage an exchange of ideas on how to promote our businesses, uplift the spirits of our citizens and establish programs and activities that encourage positive financial outcomes and community participation. Fordsville Historical Society and Revitalization meetings continue throughout the year with various knowledgeable speakers invited to attend. Open to the public, join us, share your ideas and help us make our beautiful community even better!
Read a message from Mayor Joan Edge and meet the members of our City Council and the City Hall Staff.Learn more