city, seat of Graves county, southwestern Kentucky, U.S., about 25 miles (40 km) west of Kentucky Lake and 25 miles south of Paducah. It was settled about 1820 and named for a local creek into which according to legend a George Mayfield fell, mortally wounded by robbers. The New Orleans and Ohio Railroad (now part of the Paducah & Louisville Railway) arrived in 1854 and boosted its development as a market centre for dark-leaf tobacco, livestock, and grain. Extensive local deposits of ball clay are used for ceramics and china, and other manufactures include telecommunications towers, tires, and air compressors. A monument marks the site of Camp Beauregard (1861), a Confederate base during the American Civil War evacuated (1862) and then captured by Union forces after an epidemic killed more than 1,000 Confederate troops. Inc. 1823. Pop. (1990) 9,935; (2000) 10,349
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