Providence is a city in Webster County, Kentucky, United States. The population was 3,611 at the 2000 census. The city is named after Providence, Rhode Island. It is located in the southwestern part of the county, east of the Tradewater River. The town was founded by Richard B. Savage, who arrived in the vicinity from Virginia in 1820 with his eldest sister, Mary (Savage) Settler. On February 18, 1840, when the town of Providence was officially sanctioned, it had a population of 150, including three physicians, as well as five stores, two hotels, a school, a Baptist church, a Masonic hall and three tobacco stemmeries. In the heart of the state's Black Patch tobacco-growing region, Providence eventually became the third largest stemming market in America. Providence was incorporated in 1860. The onset of the Civil War slowed economic growth in the city, although no major battles took place there. A Confederate reconnaissance and foraging force commanded by General Nathan Bedford Forrest passed through between November and December of 1861. Commercial coal mining began in 1888, and by 1930 Providence residents numbered 4,742. In the 1930s depressed conditions in the coal fields resulted in a loss of population that continued through the 1960s. Providence' economy remains tied to coal and agriculture.