About This Place
Mayfield is a city in Graves County, Kentucky, United States. The population was 10,349 at the 2000 census. It is the county seat of Graves County. Mayfield is in the center of the Jackson Purchase, an eight-county region purchased by Isaac Shelby and Andrew Jackson from the Chickasaw Indians in 1818.
According to Story of Mayfield Through a Century, 1823-1923, published by D. Trabue Davis in 1923, Mayfield was established as the county seat of Graves County in 1821, and the county was formally organized in 1823. John Anderson is thought to have been the first settler, arriving in 1819 at a location on Mayfield Creek about two and a half miles from the eventual site of Mayfield. In December 1821 he was appointed county court clerk and moved to the place that became Mayfield. Davis relates "an interesting story" of how the town got its name: that a gambler named Mayfield was kidnapped around 1817 at a racetrack near what became Hickman, Kentucky. He was carried to the site of what is now Mayfield, carved his name into a tree, and was killed trying to escape. The creek in which he was said to have drowned was named Mayfield Creek, and later the town received the same name.
The completion of the Memphis, New Orleans and Northern Railroad in 1858 connected Mayfield to the larger world. Beginning with the establishment of the Mayfield Woolen Mills in 1860, the manufacture of clothing was a major industry in Mayfield for a century. The town was also a large market for loose-leaf tobacco.