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Originally known as Gaines Crossroads, the town established its first post office in 1815. Shortly after the death of Abner Gaines in 1840, the town was renamed Walton. It is one of the oldest settlements in Boone County, and grew to be the largest town in the county in the late 19th century, due to the Covington-Lexington Turnpike and the advent of the railroads. With the move to interstate travel, Florence has overtaken Walton as the largest town.