This study investigated the Taylor coal bed in Johnson and Martin counties, eastern Kentucky, using field and petrographic techniques to develop a depositional model of the coal bed. Petrography and chemistry of the coal bed were examined. Multiple benches of the Taylor coal bed were correlated over a 10 km distance. Three sites were studied in detail. The coal at the western and eastern sites were relatively thin and split by thick clastic partings. The coal at the central site was the thickest and unsplit. Two major clastic partings are included in the coal bed. Each represents a separate and distinct fluvial splay. The Taylor is interpreted to have developed on a coastal plain with periodic flooding from nearby, structurally-controlled fluvial systems. Doming is unlikely due to the petrographic and chemical trends, which are inconsistent with modern Indonesian models. The depositional history and structural and stratigraphic setting suggest contemporaneous structural influence on thickness and quality of the Taylor coal bed in this area.