Hickman County is a county located in the U.S. state of Kentucky. As of the 2010 census, the population was 4,902, making it the third-least populous county in Kentucky. Its county seat is Clinton. The county was formed in 1821. It is the least densely populated county in the state and is a prohibition or dry county.
Founded in 1821, Hickman County was the seventy-first in order of formation. It was named for Captain Paschal Hickman of the 1st Rifle Regiment, Kentucky Militia. A resident of Franklin County, Kentucky, Hickman was wounded and captured at the Battle of Frenchtown in January 1813 and was killed by Indians in the Massacre of the River Raisin.
Columbus, in the northwest of the county on the Mississippi River, was the original county seat. A log structure built in 1823 served as the courthouse. In 1830, the county seat was moved to the more centrally located Clinton. Early in the American Civil War, the Confederate Army established Fort de Russey on the strategically located bluffs across the river from Belmont, Missouri. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant attacked Belmont in November 1861 his first battle of the war, but was defeated by Confederate troops from Columbus. The site of the Battle of Belmont is now a state park.