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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 or over.

West Liberty is located within the state's eastern region foothills about 20 miles from Cave Run Lake and Daniel Boone National ForestWest 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 Appalachian 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 football game.

West 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 town.

Abraham 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 1,400 People's 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

Place of birth

Dehart, Kentucky

Place of death

Irvine, California



Years of service





2nd Marine Regiment
3rd Reconnaissance Battalion


World War II
Battle of Iwo Jima
Korean War
Battle of Chosin Reservoir
Vietnam War


Medal of Honor
Silver Star
Legion of Merit
Purple Heart

For more information about Morgan County and West Liberty click on one of the following links.

Morgan County Quick Facts

West Liberty Census Information

West Liberty Hometown Information























A view of Main St
A few of the businesses that the WLPD protect and serve.

Another view of Main St
More business on the WLPD patrol route.

The Morgan County Courthouse
A place of justice.



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Copyright © 2007 West Liberty Police Department
Last modified: July 18, 2012