The following information has been gleaned from the Thirteenth Biennial Report of the Bureau of Agriculture, Labor and Statistics of the State of Kentucky 1898-1899, Lucas Moore, Commissioner and accessed through Google Books.
By an act of the Legislature of Kentucky, approved December 29, 1806, Hopkins was, in the year 1807, formed into a county. This territory was taken from the southern portion of Henderson county. It is bounded on the north and northwest by Webster county, on the west by Caldwell, on the south by Christian and on the east by Muhlenberg and McLean. Tradewater river, a small and unnavigable stream, forms the boundary between Hopkins and Caldwell, while Pond river, another small stream, marks the boundary between this and Muhlenberg and McLean counties. The county was named in honor of General Stephen Hopkins, one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence.
Where orchards have received proper care and attention they have paid most liberally. The Rev. J.F. Storey, who lives near Madisonville, the county seat, has been a most successful grower of all kinds of fruit and more especially of strawberries.
The coal fields of Hopkins county are almost inexhaustible. More than one fourth of the coal mined in the State of Kentucky is taken from the mines of this county. The St. Bernard, with headquarters at Earlington, has three large mines, one at Earlington, one at Morton's Gap, and one at St. Charles. There is the Hecla, near Earlington, the Ilsey mines, the Carbondale mines, the Stull mines, the mines at Barnsley, and two at Madisonville, the Rienecke, and the Monarch. All these mines are in a prosperous condition. This gives employment to a large force of men and their families. One good thing may be said for our mines and their management, we have no strikes here.
Hopkins county is a fine agricultural district. Here nearly everything that can be grown in Kentucky can be produced from our soil. Tobacco is the leading staple and this finds a ready sale in the markets of the world. There are less than a dozen countries in the world that produce more pounds of tobacco than does Hopkins county.
There are 88 white school districts and about 30 districts for the education of the colored students. In each and every one of these district there is a public school taught every year for a term of five months. In many of these districts the terms are 8, 9 or 10 months. In Madisonville are several private schools where the higher branches are taught. The West Kentucky Normal School is located here and has a good patronage.
Madisonville is the county seat. It is on the Henderson division of the L. & N. railroad, 50 miles south of Evansville, Ind. and 107 miles north of Nashville, Tenn. It has a population of about 4,500 and is one of most progressive towns in this portion of the state. Other post offices include: Ansonia, Ashbyburg, Barnsley, Charleston, Dalton, Dawson Springs, Earlington, Gilliland, Hamby Station, Hanson, Ilsley, Manitou, Morton's Gap, Nebo, Nortonville, Olney, Richland, St. Charles, Silentrum, Veazy, Whiteplains, Yarbro.
Published 6 July 2013, Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog, http://wkygenealogyblogspot.com/