The Heart Of It All

Campbellsville-Taylor County KY

History of Campbellsville Book Now Available

Highlights of CampbellsvilleNew Local Book Reveals History of Campbellsville

"All profits from book sales will go to the Taylor County Historical Society"


Taylor County became the 100th county in the commonwealth of Kentucky when it was created on March 1, 1848.  The county was named after Zachary Taylor, who gained fame as a general in the Mexican War and eventually became president of the United States. The town of Campbellsville, founded in 1817, was selected to serve as the county's seat of government.

In a new pictorial history book by local authors Joseph Y. DeSpain, John R. Burch Jr. and Timothy Q. Hooper, over 200 vintage photographs chronicle the growth of Campbellsville and Taylor County - growth that has been marked by both boom periods and years of severe trials and tribulations.

The authors hope the book will “serve Campbellsville and Taylor County residents as a photographic and historical record of the city and county’s first 125 years” and be a “source to revive memories and engender discussions of the community.”


• All images have been donated by the Taylor County Historical Society, the Taylor County Public Library and a number of local residents
• The book includes photos of several former Campbellsville residents who played major and minor league sports
• The book contains a significant collection of pictures showing how Campbellsville has changed over its hundred plus year history

Available at area bookstores, independent retailers, and online retailers, or through Arcadia Publishing at 888.313.2665 or

Arcadia Publishing is the leading publisher of local and regional history in the United States.  Our mission is to make history accessible and meaningful through the publication of books on the heritage of America’s people and places.  Have we done a book on your town?  Visit

Campbellsville by Joseph Y. DeSpain, John R. Burch Jr., Timothy Q. Hooper
Images of America Series
Price: $21.99
128 pages/ softcover
Available: November 29, 2010

 About the Co-author of Campbellsville

Joseph Y. DeSpain, 68, is a native of Green County, KY, the home county of Campbellsville and Taylor County.  His keen interest in local history comes honestly; his family first settled in present day Green County, KY, in the early 1800s.  He has been a resident of Campbellsville since 1982.

A graduate of Western Kentucky University and the University of Kentucky, DeSpain spends his time researching local history.  He was delighted by the opportunity to compile and edit this photographic history on behalf of the Taylor County Historical Society.

DeSpain is an active volunteer for the historical society serving as Vice President and editor of its quarterly publication, the Central Kentucky Researcher.

He hopes that this work will bring back fond memories and inspire the telling of more colorful stories.  DeSpain regards the book as a present to the City of Campbellsville and Taylor County, a present that both he and the Historical Society were delighted to give.

What lasting impact do you hope your book will leave?

First, I hope the book will serve Campbellsville and Taylor County residents as a photographic and historical record of the city and county’s first 125 years, the approximate time span of the photographs included.  Next, I hope it will serve as a source to revive memories and engender discussions of the community.  Thirdly, I hope it will encourage future residents to maintain interest in the community, its people, and its history.  Fourthly, I hope it will serve as a challenge to preserve the community’s architectural heritage, along with its written and photographic record.  Finally, I hope it will stimulate the community to develop and support a local history museum that will preserve a broad scope of community records, that will provide exhibits and educational opportunities for all residents and that will foster community pride in preserving Campbellsville and Taylor County history and heritage.

About the Co-author of Campbellsville

John R. Burch, Jr. is presently serving as Dean of Distance Learning and Library Services at Campbellsville University.  He received his doctorate in history from the University of Kentucky.  His professional activities include serving as a book reviewer for Library Journal, CHOICE: Current Reviews for Academic Libraries, and American Reference Books Annual (ARBA).  In addition to writing numerous journal and encyclopedia articles, he is the author or co-author of four books, including Owsley County, Kentucky, and the Perpetuation of Poverty (McFarland, 2007).
In today’s world of flashy e-mail, celebrity book deals and millennium madness, these humble photo-essays on the late 19th and early- to mid-20th century have struck a chord with Americans looking for their past.”      - Associated Press

About the Images of America Series

Since its inception in 1993, the Images of America series has preserved and shared the history of hundreds of individual communities throughout the country.  Each title records a town or city’s unique story through more than two hundred historic images. Due to the popularity of this series, it has expanded over time to include worthy local and regional historical topics including the examination and celebration of transportation, industry, architecture, ethnic groups and more.