Daviess County was the 58th county formed in Kentucky, coming into existence on January 14, 1815 from portions of Ohio County. A portion of Daviess County was taken for the formation of Hancock County in 1829, and a small portion was taken for McLean County in 1854. These counties along with Henderson County, Kentucky and Warrick and Spencer Counties, Indiana form Daviess County's borders today.
The first settlers were William Smeathers/Smothers settled at Yellow Banks (now Owensboro) 1797/8 and Valentine Husk at about the same time. There were Indian trails here including the Elizabethtown-Shawneetown Trail. The county was named for Col. Joseph Hamilton Daveiss who was killed at the Battle of Tippecanoe. The courthouse suffered from a fire 5 Jan 1865. The County Clerk has marriage and land records from 1815; probate records; Circuit Clerk has divorce and civil court records.
Daviess County is located in the Western Coal Field Region of Kentucky. The elevation in the county ranges from 347 to 680 feet above sea level. In 1990 the county population was 87,189 in a land area of 462 square miles, an average of 188.7 people per square mile. The county seat is Owensboro.