How Paducah, Kentucky got its name

George Rogers Clark flood wall mural. (Photo by John Cashon)

A great post about how the city of Paducah, Kentucky actually got its name and puts to rest previous incorrect stories.

Reflecting on History with John Cashon

A common story told in the Paducah area is that William Clark, of the Lewis and Clark fame, named Paducah for a Chickasaw chieftain called Chief Paduke, but this is incorrect. Clark was actually referring to a tribe he learned about during his travels exploring the west.

In a letter to his son on April 27, 1827, Clark wrote:

“I expect to go to the mouth of the Tennessee River, and be absent about two weeks. I have laid out a town there and intend to sell some lots in it, the name is Paducah, one of the largest Indian nations known in this country, and now almost forgotten.”

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