Paintsville, the seat of Johnson county, is located along Paint Creek at its mouth on the Levisa Fork of the Big Sandy River. The town began as Paint Creek Station early in the nineteenth century. The town was laid out in 1826 and was established in 1834. The name of the creek and town refer to Indian drawings found on trees in the area. The post office may have originally been known as Paint Creek, but was called Paintsville by 1843. The population of Paintsville in 1990 was 4,354.