West Liberty is a city in Morgan County, Kentucky, which is in the
Eastern Coal Field region.
It is the county seat located on the Licking River.
The latitude of West Liberty is 37.921N. The longitude is -83.259W.
It is in the Eastern Standard time zone. Elevation is 817 feet.
The estimated population, in 2003, was 3,344.
Median household income:
Local - $21,429 National - $41,994
Source: 2000 census, U.S. Census Bureau
As of the censusGR2
of 2000, there were 3,277 people, 696 households, and 446 families
residing in the city. The population
density was 285.6/km˛ (739.3/mi˛). There were 758 housing units at
an average density of 66.1/km˛ (171.0/mi˛). The racial makeup of the
city was 79.43% White,
18.19% African American, 0.40% Native American, 0.21% Asian,
0.06% Pacific Islander, 0.21% from other races, and 1.50% from two or more races.
Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.25% of the population.
There were 696 households out of which 27.6% had children under the age
of 18 living with them, 47.7% were married couples living together, 14.1% had a female householder with no
husband present, and 35.8% were non-families. 32.8% of all households were
made up of individuals and 14.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years
of age or older. The average household size was 2.15 and the average
family size was 2.71.
In the city the population was spread out with 10.1% under the age of
18, 14.8% from 18 to 24, 44.2% from 25 to 44, 19.4% from 45 to 64, and
11.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For
every 100 females there were 264.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and
over, there were 297.4 males. This unusual ratio is explained by the
presence of the Eastern
Kentucky Correctional Complex, as mentioned below.
The median income for a household in the city was $21,429, and the
median income for a family was $30,875. Males had a median income of
$25,417 versus $19,464 for females. The per
capita income for the city was $11,215. About 25.7% of families and
28.6% of the population were below the poverty
line, including 41.6% of those under age 18 and 26.4% of those age 65
West Liberty is located within the state's eastern region foothills
about 20 miles from Cave
Run Lake and Daniel
Boone National Forest. West
Liberty celebrates the annual Sorghum
Festival on the last full weekend of September. Generally, the
festival garners a few thousand each year, featuring a moderate variety of
crafts, local art, food, and other sundry items for sale and/or
show. The Sorghum
Festival also hosts a number of bluegrass
performers. The festival is locally known for the "old mill,"
a horse-drawn sorghum
mill, as well as the Sorghum Bowl, the local high school's homecoming
Liberty is home to the Eastern
Kentucky Correctional Complex. An extended campus branch of Morehead
State University and University
of Kentucky's Regional Technology Center are both located within our
Lincoln's uncle, Fielding Hanks, is reportedly one of several that
helped establish the town and county in 1822.
War hero and Medal
of Honor recipient William
E. Barber was a graduate of the local high school.
William Earl Barber (1919-2002) was an officer in the United
States Marine Corps awarded with the Medal
of Honor for his actions in the Battle
of Chosin Reservoir during the Korean
War. With only 220 men under his command, Barber held off more than
Republic of China soldiers during six days of fighting. Despite the
extreme cold weather conditions and himself suffering a bone fracturing
wound to the leg, Barber refused an order to leave his position fearing
that a retreat would trap 8,000 other Marines. Barber and his limited
number of men killed over 1,000 enemy troops; only 82 of his men were able
to walk away after eventually being relieved.
William Barber also earned a Purple
Heart in the Battle
of Iwo Jima during World
War II and a Legion
of Merit citation during Vietnam.
Barber was born in Dehart, Kentucky on November
30, 1919 and was
a graduate of Morgan County High School located in West
Liberty, Kentucky. He attended Morehead
State Teachers College (Kentucky) prior to enlisting in the Marine
Corps in March 1940