On December 4, 1787, the Virginia Legislature established Danville as a Town in Virginia. Danville became a part of the Commonwealth when Kentucky became a state in 1792.
Danville, “The City of Firsts,” was the location of the first Courthouse in Kentucky (1785), the first U.S. Post Office west of the Alleghenies (1792), the first Capital of Kentucky (1785), and the first Political Club in the West (1786). In 1809, Danville’s own Dr. Ephraim McDowell became the first physician in the world to successfully remove an ovarian tumor. His patient was Mrs. Jane Todd Crawford.
Danville was also the location of the first college in the West (1783) and the first law school in the West (1799). The first state-supported School for the Deaf opened in Danville in 1823. Among the “firsts” in Danville was the development of education for blacks. Danville was the site of the first black home school in Boyle County. The school was taught by Willis Russell, a teacher listed in the 1850 census. The first kindergarten for blacks was established by the City Federation of Women’s Clubs. In 1881, John W. Bate established Danville’s first public school for blacks.