Olive Hill began as a rural trading post established by the Henderson brothers in the first part of the 19th century. Although Olive Hill was allegedly named by Elias P. Davis for his friend Thomas Oliver, there is no evidence to support this popular contention. In 1881, the town was moved from a hillside location to the current location in the Tygarts Creek valley, where the Elizabethtown, Lexington and Big Sandy Railroad had laid tracks. The hillside location become known as Old Olive Hill and now serves as the citys residential area. On March 24, 1884, Olive Hill incorporated as a city and served as the county seat of the short-lived Beckham County from February 9 to April 29, 1904.