From humble beginnings, Radcliff today is a city of approximately 22,000 citizens. Incorporated in 1956, Radcliff was actually born in 1919, when a man named Horace McCullum subdivided lots along Wilson Avenue and sold them at auction to the highest bidder. McCullum named the new community after his friend Major William Radcliffe, head of the Quartermaster Corps at the newly established Camp Henry Knox. After selling the general store which he had opened in the new town, McCullum no longer played a role in the development of the town into Kentucky's fastest growing city.
The next significant step in Radcliff's history happened during the 1930's when Fort Knox expanded and dislocated the towns of Stithton and New Stithton causing various residents and businesses of those communities to move to Radcliff. During World War II, thousands of soldiers trained at Fort Knox and spent their leisure hours at the USO in Radcliff.
Hardin Water District No. 1 was formed in 1953, and became a reality in 1955 with the sale of bonds to finance the project. Today, the Water District is the principle source of fresh water to all Hardin County. Radcliff's Fire Department was established in 1955, with Joseph B. Hutcherson named the first Fire Chief. The Radcliff Civic Club was also organized that year with the city being incorporated in March 1956 as a 6th class city. Radcliff Police Department was formed with officers paid on a fee basis. The population was estimated at 800. The population growth of Radcliff over the last 50 years has been nothing short of amazing. Starting with 800 in 1956, the Census Bureau reported populations of 3,381 in 1960, 8,281 in 1970, 14,519 in 1980, and 21,961 in 2000. Compiled by Paul W. Urbahns