Louisville is located in Jefferson County and it is the county seat. It lies northwest of Lexington along Interstate 64, on the banks of the Ohio River. Fort Knox is 30 miles south. The population estimate for 1998 was 255,045, a decrease of 14,510 since 1990.
George Rogers Clark, explorer of the Northwest Territory, led settlers to the Louisville region in 1778. A settlement was established at the mouth of Beargrass Creek. The town was incorporated in 1828 and named for Louis XVI of France in recognition of French help during the Revolutionary War. During the Civil War, Louisville was a Union Army supply depot.
Greater Louisville is a diverse community with strong ties to its history as a major river port. The Kentucky Derby, one of the world's most famous horse races, is held there each May at Churchill Downs. The city is the home of the University of Louisville, the oldest coeducational municipal university in the United States, and the Kentucky School for the Blind, among others.