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Kanawha County, West Virginia

Kanawha County (/kəˈnɔː/ kə-NAW or /kəˈnɔːə/ kə-NAW) is a county in the U.S. state of West Virginia. As of the 2010 census, the population was 193,063,[1] making it West Virginia's most populous county. Its county seat is Charleston,[2] the state capital. Kanawha County is part of the Charleston, WV Metropolitan Statistical Area.

Kanawha County
Kanawha County Courthouse in Charleston
Official seal of Kanawha County
Seal
Map of West Virginia highlighting Kanawha County
Location within the U.S. state of West Virginia
Map of the United States highlighting West Virginia
West Virginia's location within the U.S.
Coordinates: 38°20′N 81°32′W / 38.34°N 81.53°W / 38.34; -81.53
Country United States
State West Virginia
FoundedOctober 5, 1789
Named forKanawha River
SeatCharleston
Largest cityCharleston
Area
 • Total911 sq mi (2,360 km2)
 • Land902 sq mi (2,340 km2)
 • Water9.3 sq mi (24 km2)  1.0%%
Population
 (2010)
 • Total193,063
 • Estimate 
(2018)
180,454
 • Density210/sq mi (82/km2)
Time zoneUTC−5 (Eastern)
 • Summer (DST)UTC−4 (EDT)
Congressional district2nd
Websitewww.kanawha.us

HistoryEdit

The county began taking formation on November 14, 1788, under authorization of the Virginia General Assembly and was founded on October 5, 1789. The county was named for the Kanawha River, which in turn was named after the Indian tribe that lived in the area.[3] During the American Civil War, a number of state infantry and cavalry regiments were organized in the county for Union Army service.

In 1863, West Virginia's counties were divided into civil townships, with the intention of encouraging local government. This proved impractical in the heavily rural state, and in 1872 the townships were converted into magisterial districts.[4] Kanawha County was divided into ten districts: Big Sandy, Cabin Creek, Charleston, Elk, Jefferson, Loudon, Malden, Poca,[i] Union, and Washington. In the 1970s the historic districts were consolidated into five new magisterial districts: District 1, District 2, District 3, District 4, and District 5. A District 6 was created in the 1980s, but in the 1990s the county was redistricted again, reducing the number of magisterial districts to four: District 1, District 2, District 3, and District 4.[5]

Kanawha County was the site of a bloody miners' strike in 1912, and a school textbook controversy in 1974, that resulted in bombings, and received national attention.

GeographyEdit

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 911 square miles (2,360 km2), of which 902 square miles (2,340 km2) is land and 9.3 square miles (24 km2) (1.0%) is water.[6] It is the fourth-largest county in West Virginia by area.

Adjacent countiesEdit

Major highwaysEdit

DemographicsEdit

Census Pop.
18003,239
18103,86619.4%
18206,39965.5%
18309,32645.7%
184013,56745.5%
185015,35313.2%
186016,1505.2%
187022,34938.4%
188032,46645.3%
189042,75631.7%
190054,69627.9%
191081,45748.9%
1920119,65046.9%
1930157,66731.8%
1940195,61924.1%
1950239,62922.5%
1960252,9255.5%
1970229,515−9.3%
1980231,4140.8%
1990207,619−10.3%
2000200,073−3.6%
2010193,063−3.5%
Est. 2018180,454[7]−6.5%
U.S. Decennial Census[8]
1790–1960[9] 1900–1990[10]
1990–2000[11] 2010–2018[1]

2000 censusEdit

As of the census[12] of 2000, there were 200,073 people, 86,226 households, and 55,960 families residing in the county. The population density was 222 people per square mile (86/km²). There were 93,788 housing units at an average density of 104 per square mile (40/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 90.46% White, 6.97% Black or African American, 0.21% Native American, 0.85% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 0.21% from other races, and 1.27% from two or more races. 0.59% of the population were Hispanics or Latinos of any race.

There were 86,226 households out of which 26.50% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 49.00% were married couples living together, 12.30% had a female householder with no husband present, and 35.10% were non-families. 30.80% of all households were made up of individuals and 12.50% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.28 and the average family size was 2.84.

The age distribution was 21.30% under the age of 18, 8.40% from 18 to 24, 28.10% from 25 to 44, 25.60% from 45 to 64, and 16.50% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40 years. For every 100 females, there were 90.70 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 87.10 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $33,766, and the median income for a family was $42,568. Males had a median income of $33,842 versus $24,188 for females. The per capita income for the county was $20,354. About 11.20% of families and 14.40% of the population were below the poverty line, including 20.60% of those under age 18 and 10.50% of those age 65 or over.

2010 censusEdit

As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 193,063 people, 84,201 households, and 52,172 families residing in the county.[13] The population density was 214.1 inhabitants per square mile (82.7/km2). There were 92,618 housing units at an average density of 102.7 per square mile (39.7/km2).[14] The racial makeup of the county was 89.1% white, 7.3% black or African American, 1.0% Asian, 0.2% American Indian, 0.3% from other races, and 2.0% from two or more races. Those of Hispanic or Latino origin made up 0.9% of the population.[13] In terms of ancestry, 14.8% were German, 14.2% were Irish, 13.9% were English, and 13.4% were American.[15]

Of the 84,201 households, 27.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 44.3% were married couples living together, 13.1% had a female householder with no husband present, 38.0% were non-families, and 32.5% of all households were made up of individuals. The average household size was 2.26 and the average family size was 2.84. The median age was 42.4 years.[13]

The median income for a household in the county was $42,669 and the median income for a family was $54,203. Males had a median income of $42,522 versus $31,754 for females. The per capita income for the county was $25,439. About 9.7% of families and 13.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 20.5% of those under age 18 and 8.3% of those age 65 or over.[16]

PoliticsEdit

Kanawha County was dominated by the Democratic Party for much of the 20th century, albeit to a lesser extent than much of West Virginia. However, since 2004 it has been won by Republicans in presidential elections, although as an urban county the swing to the Republicans has not been as vast as in much of the rest of the state.

Presidential election results
Presidential election results[17]
Year Republican Democratic Third parties
2016 57.0% 43,850 36.8% 28,263 6.2% 4,775
2012 54.9% 41,364 43.1% 32,480 2.0% 1,468
2008 49.4% 40,952 49.0% 40,594 1.6% 1,341
2004 50.5% 44,430 48.9% 43,010 0.6% 488
2000 48.0% 36,809 50.3% 38,524 1.8% 1,337
1996 38.3% 29,311 52.8% 40,357 8.9% 6,827
1992 38.4% 31,358 46.9% 38,315 14.7% 11,998
1988 48.0% 38,140 51.7% 41,144 0.3% 258
1984 57.5% 51,499 42.3% 37,832 0.2% 211
1980 46.4% 42,604 46.7% 42,829 6.9% 6,327
1976 44.1% 42,213 55.9% 53,602
1972 63.1% 65,021 36.9% 38,032
1968 41.8% 41,712 46.7% 46,650 11.5% 11,524
1964 35.3% 38,383 64.8% 70,511
1960 51.2% 57,130 48.8% 54,484
1956 53.8% 58,597 46.2% 50,289
1952 51.0% 56,861 49.0% 54,540
1948 43.5% 41,144 56.2% 53,213 0.4% 338
1944 43.5% 36,488 56.5% 47,400
1940 40.9% 40,113 59.1% 57,932
1936 41.0% 35,387 58.9% 50,801 0.1% 113
1932 47.4% 35,455 51.6% 38,617 1.0% 749
1928 58.2% 35,788 41.5% 25,563 0.3% 184
1924 49.1% 26,018 42.9% 22,726 8.0% 4,207
1920 54.3% 23,781 44.1% 19,284 1.6% 704
1916 48.1% 10,096 49.0% 10,276 2.9% 598
1912 10.0% 1,780 37.3% 6,658 52.8% 9,431[18]

Elected officialsEdit

Agency Elected Official
Kanawha County Commission Commissioner W. Kent Carper, President
Commissioner Ben Salango
Commissioner Henry "Hoppy" Shores
Kanawha County Assessor Sallie Robinson
Kanawha County Circuit Clerk Cathy Gatson
Kanawha County Clerk Vera McCormick
Kanawha County Prosecutor Charles "Chuck" Miller
Kanawha County Sheriff Johnny Rutherford

EconomyEdit

According to the 2010 U.S. Census there are approximately 5,481 private sector businesses within Kanawha County. There are 89,768 people that are currently employed that live in Kanawha County.[19]

RecreationEdit

Parks Golf
Coonskin Park Coonskin Golf Course
Shawnee Park Shawnee Golf Course
Meadowood Park Edgewood Country Club
Pioneer Park Little Creek Golf Course
Wallace Hartman Nature Preserve Sleepy Hollow Golf Club
Cato Park Sandy Brae Golf Course
Ridenour Park Berry Hills Country Club
Big Bend Park Big Bend Golf Course
Kanawha State Forest
Saint Albans City Park

EventsEdit

AttractionsEdit

SportsEdit

CommunitiesEdit

Notable peopleEdit

See alsoEdit

FootnotesEdit

  1. ^ Originally "Pocatalico".

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on June 7, 2011. Retrieved January 10, 2014.
  2. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Archived from the original on May 31, 2011. Retrieved June 7, 2011.
  3. ^ "West Virginia Counties". West Virginia Division of Culture and History. Archived from the original on September 23, 2001. Retrieved February 24, 2014. (WV County Etymology)
  4. ^ Otis K. Rice & Stephen W. Brown, West Virginia: A History, 2nd ed., University Press of Kentucky, Lexington (1993), p. 240.
  5. ^ United States Census Bureau, U.S. Decennial Census, Tables of Minor Civil Divisions in West Virginia, 1870–2010.
  6. ^ "2010 Census Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. August 22, 2012. Retrieved July 24, 2015.
  7. ^ "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". Retrieved May 21, 2019.
  8. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on April 26, 2015. Retrieved January 10, 2014.
  9. ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved January 10, 2014.
  10. ^ "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 10, 2014.
  11. ^ "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 10, 2014.
  12. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2011-05-14.
  13. ^ a b c "DP-1 Profile of General Population and Housing Characteristics: 2010 Demographic Profile Data". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved April 3, 2016.
  14. ^ "Population, Housing Units, Area, and Density: 2010 - County". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved April 3, 2016.
  15. ^ "DP02 SELECTED SOCIAL CHARACTERISTICS IN THE UNITED STATES – 2006-2010 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved April 3, 2016.
  16. ^ "DP03 SELECTED ECONOMIC CHARACTERISTICS – 2006-2010 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved April 3, 2016.
  17. ^ Leip, David. "Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections". uselectionatlas.org. Retrieved March 27, 2018.
  18. ^ The leading "other" candidate, Progressive Theodore Roosevelt, received 3,071 votes, while Socialist candidate Eugene Debs received 1,780 votes.
  19. ^ "State & County QuickFacts". Archived from the original on June 7, 2011.
  20. ^ "Home | FestivAll". www.festivallcharleston.com. Retrieved March 27, 2018.
  21. ^ "Live on the Levee". liveontheleveecharleston.com. Retrieved March 27, 2018.
  22. ^ "Vandalia Gathering". www.wvculture.org. Retrieved March 27, 2018.
  23. ^ "South Charleston Convention & Visitors Bureau | 18th Annual Barbecue Ribfest". southcharlestonwv.org. Retrieved March 27, 2018.
  24. ^ "2017 Charleston Rod Run & Doo Wop". www.charlestonwvcarshow.com. Retrieved March 27, 2018.
  25. ^ "WV MetroNews – Pinch Lays Claim To Oldest Reunion". wvmetronews.com. Retrieved March 27, 2018.
  26. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on December 26, 2012. Retrieved February 28, 2013.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)

Further readingEdit

  • Scott A. MacKenzie. "The Slaveholders' War: The Secession Crisis in Kanawha County, Western Virginia, 1860-1861," West Virginia History: A Journal of Regional Studies - New Series, Volume 4, Number 1, Spring 2010, pp. 33–57 in Project MUSE

External linksEdit