Betsey Lane/Betsy Layne


Camp Status:

Begin Year: 
End Year: 
Post Office Address/Status: 
Operated 1908-present
Latitude: 37.551488000000
Longitude: -82.633488400000

"This village with PO lies on both sides of the Levisa Fork of the Big Sandy River, 9 miles southeast of Prestonsburg.  The community is said to have been founded around 1875 on the Betsy Layne Branch of the Levisa at the site of that section of the present community known as Justell.  It was named for Elizabeth Layne (nee Elizabeth Johns), the wife of Tandy Middleton Layne.  The Betsy Layne Post Office was not established, however, until May 1, 1908, with Clayton Hitchens, postmaster.   Justell [the community adjacent to Betsy Layne] was founded in the early 1920s as a seperate community by Clyde Layne and named for Messrs. Justice and Elliot, ownsers of the local coal company (Rennick 1998:23)."

From:  Rennick, Robert (1988) Kentucky Place Names.  The University Press of Kentucky, Lexington, KY.


Betsy Layne began as a coal town, operating the first successful coal mines
in Floyd County.

Name of Coal Company               Years of Operation           # of Employees
Betsey Lane Coal Company                1909-1911                          25
Betsey Lane Coal Corporation             1942-1944                          50
Big Elkhorn Coal Company                  1919-1924                         100
Peerless Elkhorn Coal Company          1924-1927                         170
Pike-Floyd Coal Company                   1923-1936                          425
Pike Floyd Coal & Mining Company     1931-1936                          375
Big Elkhorn Coal Company (Justell)      1934-1936                          50
Hatton Brown & Company, Inc. (Justell) 1927-1928                        170

From:  The Kentucky Foundation's Coal and Energy Edication Project website:                                      _________________________________________________________

   Notable folks: Stage actress Bette Henritze (born 1924) is a native of Betsy
Layne. She played in many films, Broadway, and television series such as
“The Doctors” and “Third Watch.”

   The song “Sweet Georgia Brown” is surrounded by mystery and rumor. No one
really knows, or have they admitted, who the song was written for. However,
Georgia Brown, of Betsy Layne is supposedly, the inspiration for the famous
song.  Early in life, she moved to New York City the rumored mistress of a
member of the Rockefeller Family and later moved back to Pikeville after his

   Betsy Layne is also home to the All A State Championship Basketball Team the Betsy Layne Bobcats.

Submitted by Lisa Stumbo, Director of ECHO (Embracing Cultural Heritage Opportunities), Big Sandy Community & Techinical College:  

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