County's birth: 1800 (the 43rd of Kentucky's 120 counties in order of formation)
Named for: General Anthony Wayne, one of the most able military leaders that served on the American side in the Revolutionary War with England.
Population: 20,652 (2010 U.S. Census Bureau data)
Demographics: Whites 20,175; Hispanics 620; Blacks 307; Other/multi-race 187; American Indian/Alaska natives 50; Asians 29; Native Hawaiian/other Pacific Islanders 0.
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County seat: Monticello (102 miles south of Lexington)
2008 U.S. Presidential Election: McCain 4,868; Obama 2,201.
No John Wayne, but a stagecoach: The last stagecoach to operate in Kentucky connected Monticello to Burnside until 1915 (source: Kentucky Encyclopedia)
Roots of a Jane Fonda movie: The author Harriette Louisa Simpson Arnow (July 7, 1908-March 21, 1986) was born in Wayne County. Her most popular novel, The Dollmaker, chronicles a Kentucky family's difficult move to a Detroit housing project during World War II and the prejudice and economic uncertainty that results. The book was made into a 1984 TV movie starring Jane Fonda, who won an Emmy for her performance.
The 'second' county: Both Monticello High School and Wayne County have made it to the championship game of the Kentucky boys' high school state tournament. Both lost. In 1960, Coach Joe Harper's Monticello Trojans got 24 points from Don Frye and 13 from Gene Pendleton in the state title game, but fell to Ted Deeken and Louisville Flaget 65-56. In 1989, Coach Rodney Woods' Wayne County Cardinals got 28 points, 26 in the second half, from Julius Green and 20 from Jimmy John Owens but lost 75-73 to Pleasure Ridge Park.
Most famous athlete: Kenny Davis was an All-State basketball player at Wayne County High and an All-American at Georgetown College but is likely best remembered as the captain of the U.S. men's basketball team that lost a controversial one-point decision (51-50) to the Soviet Union in the finals of the 1972 Olympics in Munich. Twice it appeared the Americans had won the game, only to have time (three seconds) put back on the clock each time. For the Russians, the third time was the charm as Aleksander Belov caught a full-length pass, split two U.S. defenders and laid the ball in the basket just before time expired. Feeling they had been cheated, the U.S. players refused to accept the silver medal. Davis is determined that no one in his family ever accept that medal. He has the following clause in his will: I devise and bequeath at my death that my wife Rita and children Jill and Bryan and their descendants never accept a silver medal from the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich, Germany.