Bullitt County History

Bullitt County Census Data 1870-1880

The purpose of this page is to provide summary statistics from the censuses of 1870-1880 for Bullitt County. This information was obtained from the University of Virginia Library Historical Census Browser.


The summary data we are accessing does not give as complete a picture of the 1870 census as some previous ones. We know that there were 7,781 people in Bullitt County, that 3,996 were male and 3,785 were female.

Of the males, 1,281 were between the ages of 5-18, 1,532 were 18-45, and 1,849 were over 20. Unfortunately these tallies overlap so that we may not draw further conclusions about the age breakdown.

Of the females, we know that 1,241 were between the ages of 5-18. Other than that, we have no information from this source about their ages.


The 1870 census summary tells us a bit about the origins of those who lived in Bullitt County.

Total Population 7781
native-born whites 6384
native-born colored 1194
foreign-born 203

There were 203 foreign-born from these places:

Ireland 90 Germany 77 England/Wales 14
France 11 Switzerland 4 Scotland 3
British America 1 Austria 1 unknown 2

Of the 7,578 native-born, 6,985 were native Kentuckians. Of the others, 132 were born in Virginia (or the new state of West Virginia), 77 were born in Indiana, 63 in Tennessee, 57 in Ohio, and 22 in North Carolina. 242 either did not know where they were born or refused to say.


We know that 778 persons were attending school in Bullitt County in 1870. Of those, 367 were white males, 399 were white females, 5 were colored males, and 7 were colored females.

Illiteracy was a problem for many with a count of 1,723 over the age of 10 who could not read or write. The summary lists several categories of people who were unable to write.

Ageswhite maleswhite femalescolored malescolored females


Of the 656 farms in the county, only one was 500 acres or more. Of the others, 244 were between 100-499 acres, 224 were between 50-99 acres, 141 were 20-49 acres, 35 were 10-19 acres, 10 were 3-9 acres, and 1 was under three acres.

These farms included 58,757 acres of improved land, 79, 818 acres of unimproved woodland, and 2,967 acres of other unimproved land.

Farmers valued their implements and machinery at $92,271. They paid wages to hired farm laborers that totaled $74,205.

Livestock was important with a total value of $397,544. Livestock slaughtered for home use or for sale was valued at $183,021. Other sources of income included home manufacturers ($1,738), orchard products ($6,959), and forest products ($26,096). The total value of all farm products was estimated at $600,009.

Taxes and Assessed Value of Property

Real and personal estates were valued at $2,419,859. A total of $10,889 were paid in state taxes, $3,600 in county taxes, and $165 in town taxes.

Neither the county or any of its towns had any public debt.


The following numbers were available regarding manufacturing.

manufacturing establishments 40
total hands employed in manufacturing 264
total wages paid in manufacturing $71,965
value products manufacturing $388,114
value materials used in manufacturing $169,894
total capital invested in dollars in manufacturing $422,655


There were 17 religious edifaces (churches) in Bullitt County, with property valued at a total of $17,100. The breakdown is shown below.

Roman Catholic2300


In 1880 the total population of Bullitt County was 8,521. Of those, there were 4,409 males and 4,112 females. By race, there were 7,214 whites, and 1,307 colored. The summary data available to us shows that there were 2,087 males 21 years of age and over. Two other counts give us 1,423 males between 6-17, and 1,686 males between 18-44. The only separate female count we have is 1,307 females between 5-17.


In 1880 there were 8,360 native born persons living in Bullitt County. Of those 7,736 were born in Kentucky. Of the others, 172 were born in Indiana, 87 were born in Virginia, 80 in Tennessee, 36 in Ohio, 20 in Missouri, 19 each in Illinois and Pennsylvania, 16 in North Carolina, and 11 in New York.

In that year there were 161 foreign-born persons in the county. Of these 71 were born in Ireland, 52 were born in the German Empire, 19 in England and Wales, 8 in Switzerland, and 3 each in France, Scotland, and British Ameica.


There were 1,055 farms in Bullitt County in 1880. The average size farm was 162 acres. There were 8 farms 1000 acres or larger, 36 between 500-999 acres, 506 between 100-499 acres, 232 between 50-99 acres, 171 between 20-49 acres, 71 between 10-19 acres, 30 between 3-9 acres, and 1 under 3 acres.

Of the 170,467 acres in farms, 65,060 acres were tilled, 15,135 acres were in meadows or pastures, 85,716 was in unimproved woodlands and forests, and 4,556 acres were otherwise unimproved.

Crops produced included 526,157 bushels of corn, 55,389 bushels of wheat, 43,899 bushels of oats, and 3,246 bushels of rye.

The value of livestock on farms on June 1, 1880 was $325,411. Other identified values include cost of farm fertilizers purchased in 1879 ($374), cost of building and repairing fences in 1879 ($15,693), value of farm implements and machinery ($80,738), value of farm land, fences and buildings ($1,945,716), and estimated value all farm products ($333,991).

The following chart shows three categories of farmers, those who rented for shares of the products, those who rented for fixed money, and those who cultivated their own farms.

Farm AcresRented for
shares of
Rented for
Money Rental
by Owners
Under 3100

Property Values and Taxes

The assessed valuation of real estate in Bullitt County was $1,380,577, and the assessed valuation of personal property was $403,010.

The records show that taxes collected by the state were $8,115; by the county, $5,067; and by towns, $2,156.


There were 38 manufacturing establishments in Bullitt County in 1880 that employed 127 males 16 years of age and older, and apparently 1 who was younger than 16. The total annual wages paid in manufacturing was $27,900.

The capital invested in manufacturing was $94,775; the value of raw materials used in manufacturing was $127,065; and the value of maunfactured products was $202,940.

If you, the reader, have an interest in any particular part of our county history, and wish to contribute to this effort, use the form on our Contact Us page to send us your comments about this, or any Bullitt County History page. We welcome your comments and suggestions. If you feel that we have misspoken at any point, please feel free to point this out to us.

The Bullitt County History Museum, a service of the Bullitt County Genealogical Society, is located in the county courthouse at 300 South Buckman Street (Highway 61) in Shepherdsville, Kentucky. The museum, along with its research room, is open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. Saturday appointments are available by calling 502-921-0161 during our regular weekday hours. Admission is free. The museum, as part of the Bullitt County Genealogical Society, is a 501(c)3 tax exempt organization and is classified as a 509(a)2 public charity. Contributions and bequests are deductible under section 2055, 2106, or 2522 of the Internal Revenue Code. Page last modified: 12 Jan 2024 . Page URL: bullittcountyhistory.org/bchistory/census/census03.html