The City of Firsts
On December 4, 1787, the Virginia Legislature established Danville as a Town in Virginia. Danville became a part of the Commonwealth of Kentucky when Kentucky became a state in 1792.
Danville, "The City of Firsts," was the location of the first Courthouse in Kentucky (1785), the first U.S. Post Office west of the Alleghenies (1792), the first Capital of Kentucky (1785), and the first Political Club in the West (1786). In 1809, Danville's own Dr. Ephraim McDowell became the first physician in the world to successfully remove an ovarian tumor. His patient was Mrs. Jane Todd Crawford.
Danville was also the location of the first college in the West (1783) and the first law school in the West (1799). The first state-supported School for the Deaf opened in Danville in 1823. Among the "firsts" in Danville was the development of education for blacks. Danville was the site of the first black home school in Boyle County. The school was taught by Willis Russell, a teacher listed in the 1850 census. The first kindergarten for blacks was established by the City Federation of Women's Clubs. In 1881, John W Bate established Danville's first public school for blacks.
The Birthplace of the Bluegrass
Danville is called the "Birthplace of the Bluegrass" since the first Constitutional Convention in the West was held at Constitution Square in 1792 when Kentucky's first Constitution was signed.
Today in Danville
Today, the City of Danville, which is the county seat of Boyle County, is a thriving community of 16,292 on the southern edge of Kentucky's famed Bluegrass Region. The City is blessed with an abundant water supply, highly efficient roads and infrastructure, and a well-educated workforce.
Danville, which is located 35 miles southwest of Lexington, covers an area of approximately 15.09 square miles.
Danville is the home of Centre College. Founded in 1819, Centre is one of the most prestigious small liberal arts colleges in America.
The City's broad-based economy includes agricultural, commercial, industrial, and educational enterprises. Danville, as the economic hub of Boyle County, has evolved into a regional commerce center. Residents of the City and surrounding areas shop, work, obtain a college education, and receive medical care in Danville.