Olive, Kentucky

Olive, Kentucky is a small community located in southeastern Marshall County, about seven miles southeast of Benton.

History of Olive

Olive can be traced back to the times before the Civil War. A nearby grist mill known as Bishop’s Mills had a post office established there on July 3, 1856 by John W. Barnett.   It’s not known to us where the location of Bishop’s Mills, but it was likely on Jonathan Creek north of present-day Kentucky 402 – perhaps near Barnett Cemetery, and likely under Kentucky Lake.

The post office didn’t last long at Bishop’s Mill.  It was moved two miles northwest to the present-day site of Olive on June 19, 1857.  The first postmaster was Francis M. Chandler.  It’s unknown how Olive received its name.

Records show in 1884 Olive featured the post office, a school, grist mill, blacksmith shop, and two stores.

Olive had a population of 125 in 1895, and according to Rand McNally, 65 people lived there in 1905. 

Olive is the birthplace of Newton W. Utley, who served as the acting Lieutenant Governor of Kentucky in 1902-1903.  A marker was placed in September 2020 honoring his service in Olive.

Mail service was off-and-on after the Civil War at Olive, but on February 15, 1905, the Olive post office permanently closed and mail began to be routed through Hardin.

Location of Olive

This map from 1885 shows the location and surrounding area of Olive.


Historical Population of Olive

1895:  125
1905:  65

Contributions Wanted

If you have any interesting historical information to share about Olive, please get in touch with us.


  • Kentucky Place Names – Robert M. Rennick
  • Rand McNally Atlas – 1905
  • Marshall County Tribune Courier – September 1, 2020
  • Lemon’s Handbook of Marshall County – 1894
  • R.L. Polk & Co.’s Kentucky State Gazetteer and Business Directory for 1895-96

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