Harlan County was first settled by Samuel and Chloe Howard in 1796. Upon the founding of Harlan County which was named after Kentucky pioneer Silas Harlan in 1819. The Howards then donated 12 acres of land to serve as the county seat. The community there was already known as “Mount Pleasant”which apparently was due to owing a nearby Indian Mound. With a square mileage of only 1.33 sqaure miles, its population is only a mere 1,745 residents.