In April of 1750, Dr. Thomas Walker was the first recorded person to discover and use coal in Kentucky.  In 1820 the first commercial mine, known as the "McLean drift bank" opened in Kentucky, near the Green River and Paradise in Muhlenberg County. By 1830, production had reached 2,000 tons of coal mined and by 1830, 10,000 tons were reportedly mined. The 100,000 ton threshold was reached in 1843. Prior to the start of the Civil, the 1860 production record reached 285,760 tons mined. The 1,000,000 ton mark was reached in 1879.

See my Pictoral History of Kentucky Coal Mining website
Creek Coal Co No 1 Mine - Pineville, KY