On Monday, January 1, 1900 the twentieth century began in Madisonville, Kentucky much as it did in many other Kentucky communities. Madisonville was, at the turn of the century, a small county seat city with a population of 3,628 and served as the governmental and commercial center for the 30,995 persons living in Hopkins County. (Population statistics for Madisonville researched by Mr. Vernon M. Smith of KSDC in Louisville, Kentucky). The promise of a new century may have been in the thoughts of some residents, merchants, professionals, and government officials as they prepared for the workweek ahead. Who among them could have envisioned just what the next forty years would bring to their community. Each of the next four decades would present the city with challenges and opportunities from within the region and state, as well as from national and international events.