Paducah is located northeast of Lubbock on US 70 and US 83, on a branch of Salt Creek. It is the seat of Cottle County.
The Quanah, Acme and Pacific Railroad arrived in Paducah on Christmas Day, 1909, and the town was incorporated the next year, when its population stood at 1,350.
In the 1980s Paducah was a farm and ranch center; cotton, grains, alfalfa, and cattle were raised in its vicinity. Its hospital closed in 1985. The town's businesses during the 1980s included a gasoline manufacturing plant and a shipping point for the Burlington Northern line. At that time Paducah still maintained a library and museum, an airport, and a retirement home. It also held an annual Cotton Festival each September and an Old Settler's Reunion each April.
In 1990 the town's population was 1,788.