HENDERSON, Ky. (WEHT) – McLean County, Kentucky was the home of the first American World War I soldier killed in action, as well as was the boyhood home of the senator who owned My Old Kentucky Home.

According to McLean County’s official website, the county was named for Judge Alney McLean, who was a lawyer and politician. The county was established in 1854 from parts of Daviess, Ohio, and Muhlenberg counties, and the county seat is Calhoun.

McLean County has had its share of veterans. The county website says James Bethel Gresham, the first American killed in action in World War I, was born in Beech Grove. The website says William Worthington served in the Revolutionary War under George Rogers Clark, became circuit court judge then became postmaster of current-day Island. Charles Hansford was a Revolutionary War soldier enlisted in Virginia in 1775 and served six months; enlisted in 1777 and discharged in nine months. Officials say Charles Hansford then ran away and went to sea as a privateer.

The website says Edward Rumsey was a US Congressman from the area of current-day Rumsey, named for his father. Officials say John Calhoun, circuit judge and Congressman, was the namesake of the town Calhoun. County officials say Calhoun was the boyhood home of the builder and master of My Old Kentucky Home, Senator John Rowan.

The McLean County Judge Executive says the main employers of the county are the school system and the healthcare system. The Judge Executive says the county’s industries include agriculture, poultry and manufacturing.

According to the United States Census Bureau, as of the 2020 census, the population of McLean County was 9,152.

This is the sixth of a weekly twenty-one-part series that will help educate about each of the counties in the Eyewitness News viewing area. Check in every Tuesday at 9 a.m. for the next one! Last week’s story can be found here.