Central City is the largest city Muhlenberg county. It is located on the Western Kentucky Parkway and is about eight miles northeast of Greenville. It began as a nineteenth century settlement known as Morehead's Horse Mill, for a mill owned by Charles S. Morehead. It was incorporated as Stroud City in 1873, named for John Stroud. It was renamed Central City in 1882 for the Central Coal and Iron Company, which mined coal in the area. Central City is at the crossing of the Owensboro and Russellville Railroad (later part of the Louisville and Nashville) and the Elizabethtown and Paducah Railroad (later part of the Illinois Central). The post office opened in 1871 as Owensborough Junction (anticipating the coming railroad). It was renamed Stroud in 1880 and Central City in 1882. The population in 1990 was 4,979.
Central City is the home of the annual Everly Brothers Homecoming Festival.