Lewisport, the largest city in Hancock County, KY, began its days as a sleepy little river town in 1839. Two local landowners, James and John Prentis, donated the land on which Lewisport sits. Interestingly, the town carries the name of John Lewis, an early settler who was also a large landowner. Lewisport sits nine miles west of the county seat Hawesville on the banks of the Ohio River.
Dubbed “Little Yellow Banks” at its founding, Lewisport sits on flat, fertile bottomland that extends past the city on the east and west. The Ohio River forms the northern boundary of Lewisport, and Hancock County. Gently rolling hills sit to the south of Lewisport.
The city’s government consists of a city council and mayor. Lewisport derives revenue from property taxes, franchise taxes, business license fees and from gas, water and sewer system charges.
At Lewisport’s founding, the Ohio River formed the city’s economic lifeline, and the river’s imprint on Lewisport remains today. Characteristic of river towns, with river front access being the crucial element in the town’s existence, Lewisport grew east-west along the Ohio River. Though several subdivisions now comprise part of the city’s make-up, the main settlement pattern continues to follow an east-west axis.
In the last 1950s, Lewisport started the industrial boom that soon swept over Hancock County. The first major industry was Murray Tile. In the mid-1960s Harvey Aluminum announced plans to build a large rolling mill outside Lewisport, on flat ground in the Ohio River plain. Harvey Aluminum went through several name changes. It changed hands from Harvey Aluminum to Martin-Marietta to Commonwealth Aluminum to now Aleris.
Lewisport also contains an industrial park. Industries located in or near the park include Precision Roll Grinders, Crescent Paper Tube, McElroy Metals and First Class Services.
Two strip malls sit along U.S. Hwy 60, one on the north and one on the south side of the roadway. In addition, a truck stop now sits at the intersection of state Route 657 and U.S. Hwy 60, helping to make Lewisport the commercial hub for Hancock County.