Russell County is a county located in the U.S. Commonwealth of Kentucky. As of the 2010 census, the population was 17,565. Its county seat is Jamestown. The county was formed on December 14, 1825 from portions of Adair, Cumberland and Wayne Counties and is named for William Russell. It has been a prohibition or dry county, meaning that the sale of alcohol was prohibited, but in a referendum on Jan. 19, 2016, the county voted 3,833 to 3,423 to go “wet.”
In 2015, the cities of Jamestown and Russell Springs became two of the first gigabit Internet communities in Kentucky with the completion of a state-of-the-art optical fiber network by the local telephone cooperative. Wolf Creek Dam is located in southern Russell County. The dam impounds Cumberland River to form Lake Cumberland, a major tourism attraction for the county. Wolf Creek National Fish Hatchery is also located in Russell County just below the dam. Russell County is part of the historically and currently rock-ribbed Republican bloc of southeastern Kentucky that also includes such counties as Clinton, Cumberland, Casey, Pulaski, Laurel, Rockcastle, Monroe, McCreary, Clay, Jackson, Owsley and Leslie. These counties were opposed to secession during the Civil War era, and consequently became and have remained intensely Republican ever since.[14] The last Democrat to win Russell County was Grover Cleveland in 1884, and the last Republican to not gain a majority was William Howard Taft in 1912 when his party was divided.
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