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List of counties in West Virginia

list of counties in west virginia wikipedia, alphabetical list of counties in west virginia
The US state of West Virginia has 55 counties Fifty of them existed at the time of the Wheeling Convention in 1861, before which West Virginia was part of the Commonwealth of Virginia1 The remaining five Grant, Mineral, Lincoln, Summers and Mingo were formed within the state1 after its admission to the United States on June 20, 18632 At that time, Berkeley County and Jefferson County, the two easternmost counties of West Virginia, refused to recognize their inclusion in the state In March 1866, the United States Congress passed a joint mandate assenting to their inclusion3

The West Virginia Constitution was ratified in 1872, replacing the state constitution created in 1863 when West Virginia became a state4 Article 9, Section 8, of the West Virginia Constitution permits the creation of additional counties if a majority of citizens in the proposed new county vote for its creation and the new county has a minimum area of 400 square miles 1,036 km2 and a population of at least 6,000 Creation of a new county is prohibited if it would bring another county below these thresholds5 Three counties Greenbrier, Kanawha and Randolph have sufficient population and land area to allow a new county to be split off567 The remaining counties cannot be split, as either their land area would decrease to under 400 square miles 1,036 km2 or their population would decrease to under 6,000567 Population figures are based on the 2010 United States Census

The role of counties in local government had been minimized under the 1863 constitution, which vested most local government authority in a system of townships based on the New England model The authors of the 1872 constitution chose to return to the system used in Virginia, in which each county was governed by a county court with combined authority for executive, legislative and judicial functions of the county government8 In 1880, West Virginia amended its constitution and replaced the county court system with an arrangement that divides county government powers between seven county offices, each of which is independently elected: the county commission, county clerk, circuit clerk, county sheriff, county assessor, county prosecuting attorney, and county surveyor of lands9 Counties have only those powers that are expressly granted to them by the state Constitution or by state statute These powers include, but are not limited to, maintaining the infrastructure of the state, funding libraries, maintaining jails and hospitals, and waste disposal9 Reforming public education became a county function in 1933 In May 1933, a county unit plan was adopted Under this plan, the state's 398 school districts were consolidated into the current 55 county school systems This enabled public schools to be funded more economically and saved West Virginia millions of dollars10

Randolph County is the largest by area at 1,040 square miles 2,694 km2, and Hancock County is the smallest at 83 square miles 215 km27 Kanawha County contributed land to the founding of 12 West Virginia counties11 and has the largest population 193,063 in 2010 Wirt County has the smallest population 5,717 in 20107 The oldest county is Hampshire, established in 1754, and the newest is Mingo, established in 18951 Spruce Knob, located in Pendleton County, is the state's highest point at 4,863 feet 1,482 m12 Federal Information Processing Standard FIPS codes, which are used by the United States government to identify counties uniquely, are five-digit numbers For West Virginia, they start with 54 and end with the three-digit county code for example, Barbour County has FIPS code 54001 Each county's code is provided in the table below, linked to census data for that county13


FIPS County Code
County seat
Barbour County 001 Philippi 1843 Harrison, Lewis and Randolph counties Philip Pendleton Barbour
United States Speaker of the House
7004165890000000000♠16,589 7002341000000000000♠341 sq mi
7002883000000000000♠883 km2
Berkeley County 003 Martinsburg 1772 Frederick County Virginia Norborne Berkeley
Royal Governor of Virginia
7005104169000000000♠104,169 7002321000000000000♠321 sq mi
7002831000000000000♠831 km2
Boone County 005 Madison 1847 Cabell, Kanawha, and Logan counties Daniel Boone
American frontiersman
7004246290000000000♠24,629 7002503000000000000♠503 sq mi
7003130300000000000♠1,303 km2
Braxton County 007 Sutton 1836 Kanawha, Lewis, and Nicholas counties Carter Braxton
Signer of the Declaration of Independence
7004145230000000000♠14,523 7002514000000000000♠514 sq mi
7003133100000000000♠1,331 km2
Brooke County 009 Wellsburg 1796 Ohio County Robert Brooke
Governor of Virginia
7004240690000000000♠24,069 7001890000000000000♠89 sq mi
7002231000000000000♠231 km2
Cabell County 011 Huntington 1809 Kanawha County William H Cabell
Governor of Virginia
7004963190000000000♠96,319 7002282000000000000♠282 sq mi
7002730000000000000♠730 km2
Calhoun County 013 Grantsville 1856 Gilmer County John C Calhoun
United States Vice President
7003762700000000000♠7,627 7002281000000000000♠281 sq mi
7002728000000000000♠728 km2
Clay County 015 Clay 1858 Braxton and Nicholas counties Henry Clay
United States Senator Kentucky
United States Speaker of the House
7003938600000000000♠9,386 7002342000000000000♠342 sq mi
7002886000000000000♠886 km2
Doddridge County 017 West Union 1845 Harrison, Lewis, Ritchie, and Taylor counties Philip Doddridge
United States Congressman Virginia
7003820200000000000♠8,202 7002320000000000000♠320 sq mi
7002829000000000000♠829 km2
Fayette County 019 Fayetteville 1831 Kanawha, Greenbrier, Logan and Nicholas counties Marquis de Lafayette
French-born American Revolutionary War General
7004460390000000000♠46,039 7002664000000000000♠664 sq mi
7003172000000000000♠1,720 km2
Gilmer County 021 Glenville 1845 Kanawha and Lewis counties Thomas Walker Gilmer
United States Secretary of the Navy
Governor of Virginia
7003869300000000000♠8,693 7002340000000000000♠340 sq mi
7002881000000000000♠881 km2
Grant County 023 Petersburg 1866 Hardy County Ulysses S Grant
United States President
7004119370000000000♠11,937 7002477000000000000♠477 sq mi
7003123500000000000♠1,235 km2
Greenbrier County 025 Lewisburg 1778 Montgomery County Virginia and Botetourt County Virginia Greenbrier River 7004354800000000000♠35,480 7003102100000000000♠1,021 sq mi
7003264400000000000♠2,644 km2
Hampshire County 027 Romney 1754 Augusta County Virginia and Frederick County Virginia County of Hampshire in England 7004239640000000000♠23,964 7002642000000000000♠642 sq mi
7003166300000000000♠1,663 km2
Hancock County 029 New Cumberland 1848 Brooke County John Hancock
One of the Signers of the Declaration of Independence
Governor of Massachusetts
and 1787–93
7004306760000000000♠30,676 7001830000000000000♠83 sq mi
7002215000000000000♠215 km2
Hardy County 031 Moorefield 1786 Hampshire County Samuel Hardy
Virginia delegate to the Continental Congress
7004140250000000000♠14,025 7002583000000000000♠583 sq mi
7003151000000000000♠1,510 km2
Harrison County 033 Clarksburg 1784 Monongalia County Benjamin Harrison V
Governor of Virginia
7004690990000000000♠69,099 7002416000000000000♠416 sq mi
7003107700000000000♠1,077 km2
Jackson County 035 Ripley 1831 Kanawha, Mason, and Wood counties Andrew Jackson
United States President
7004292110000000000♠29,211 7002466000000000000♠466 sq mi
7003120700000000000♠1,207 km2
Jefferson County 037 Charles Town 1801 Berkeley County Thomas Jefferson
United States President
7004534980000000000♠53,498 7002210000000000000♠210 sq mi
7002544000000000000♠544 km2
Kanawha County 039 Charleston 1789 Greenbrier and Montgomery County Virginia Kanawha River 7005193063000000000♠193,063 7002903000000000000♠903 sq mi
7003233900000000000♠2,339 km2
Lewis County 041 Weston 1816 Harrison County Charles Lewis
American Colonel killed at the
Battle of Point Pleasant14
7004163720000000000♠16,372 7002389000000000000♠389 sq mi
7003100800000000000♠1,008 km2
Lincoln County 043 Hamlin 1867 Boone, Cabell, Kanawha and Putnam counties Abraham Lincoln
United States President
7004217200000000000♠21,720 7002438000000000000♠438 sq mi
7003113400000000000♠1,134 km2
Logan County 045 Logan 1824 Cabell and Kanawha counties, Giles County Virginia and Tazewell County Virginia Chief Logan
Mingo leader
7004367430000000000♠36,743 7002454000000000000♠454 sq mi
7003117600000000000♠1,176 km2
Marion County 049 Fairmont 1842 Harrison and Monongalia counties Francis Marion
American Revolutionary War General
7004564180000000000♠56,418 7002310000000000000♠310 sq mi
7002803000000000000♠803 km2
Marshall County 051 Moundsville 1835 Ohio County John Marshall
United States Secretary of State
Chief Justice of the United States
7004331070000000000♠33,107 7002307000000000000♠307 sq mi
7002795000000000000♠795 km2
Mason County 053 Point Pleasant 1804 Kanawha County George Mason
United States Constitutional Convention
"Father of the Bill of Rights"
7004273240000000000♠27,324 7002432000000000000♠432 sq mi
7003111900000000000♠1,119 km2
McDowell County 047 Welch 1858 Tazewell County Virginia James McDowell
Governor of Virginia
7004221130000000000♠22,113 7002535000000000000♠535 sq mi
7003138600000000000♠1,386 km2
Mercer County 055 Princeton 1837 Giles County Virginia and Tazewell County Virginia Hugh Mercer
American Revolutionary War General
7004622640000000000♠62,264 7002420000000000000♠420 sq mi
7003108800000000000♠1,088 km2
Mineral County 057 Keyser 1866 Hampshire County abundant mineral resources 7004282120000000000♠28,212 7002328000000000000♠328 sq mi
7002850000000000000♠850 km2
Mingo County 059 Williamson 1895 Logan County Mingo Native Americans 7004268390000000000♠26,839 7002423000000000000♠423 sq mi
7003109600000000000♠1,096 km2
Monongalia County 061 Morgantown 1776 Augusta County Virginia Latin derivation for Monongahela River 7004961890000000000♠96,189 7002361000000000000♠361 sq mi
7002935000000000000♠935 km2
Monroe County 063 Union 1799 Greenbrier County James Monroe
United States Senator Virginia
Governor of Virginia
and 1811
United States President
7004135020000000000♠13,502 7002473000000000000♠473 sq mi
7003122500000000000♠1,225 km2
Morgan County 065 Berkeley Springs 1820 Berkeley and Hampshire counties Daniel Morgan
United States Congressman Virginia
7004175410000000000♠17,541 7002229000000000000♠229 sq mi
7002593000000000000♠593 km2
Nicholas County 067 Summersville 1818 Greenbrier, Kanawha and Randolph counties Wilson Cary Nicholas
United States Senator Virginia
Governor of Virginia
7004262330000000000♠26,233 7002649000000000000♠649 sq mi
7003168100000000000♠1,681 km2
Ohio County 069 Wheeling 1776 Augusta County Virginia Ohio River 7004444430000000000♠44,443 7002106000000000000♠106 sq mi
7002275000000000000♠275 km2
Pendleton County 071 Franklin 1788 Augusta County Virginia, Rockinham County Virginia and Hardy Edmund Pendleton
First Continental Congress
7003769500000000000♠7,695 7002698000000000000♠698 sq mi
7003180800000000000♠1,808 km2
Pleasants County 073 Saint Marys 1851 Ritchie, Tyler, and Wood counties James Pleasants, Jr
United States Senator Virginia
Governor of Virginia
7003760500000000000♠7,605 7002131000000000000♠131 sq mi
7002339000000000000♠339 km2
Pocahontas County 075 Marlinton 1821 Bath County Virginia, Pendleton and Randolph Pocahontas
c 1595–1617
Powhatan Native American who assisted early English settlers
7003871900000000000♠8,719 7002940000000000000♠940 sq mi
7003243500000000000♠2,435 km2
Preston County 077 Kingwood 1818 Monongalia County James Patton Preston
Governor of Virginia
7004335200000000000♠33,520 7002648000000000000♠648 sq mi
7003167800000000000♠1,678 km2
Putnam County 079 Winfield 1848 Cabell, Kanawha, and Mason counties Israel Putnam
American Revolutionary War General
7004554860000000000♠55,486 7002346000000000000♠346 sq mi
7002896000000000000♠896 km2
Raleigh County 081 Beckley 1850 Fayette County Sir Walter Raleigh
English explorer and poet
7004788590000000000♠78,859 7002607000000000000♠607 sq mi
7003157200000000000♠1,572 km2
Randolph County 083 Elkins 1787 Harrison County Edmund Jennings Randolph
Governor of Virginia
First United States Attorney General
7004294050000000000♠29,405 7003104000000000000♠1,040 sq mi
7003269400000000000♠2,694 km2
Ritchie County 085 Harrisville 1843 Harrison, Lewis, and Wood counties Thomas Ritchie
nationally influential Virginia newspaper publisher
7004104490000000000♠10,449 7002454000000000000♠454 sq mi
7003117600000000000♠1,176 km2
Roane County 087 Spencer 1856 Gilmer, Jackson and Kanawha counties Spencer Roane
Virginia Supreme Court Justice
7004149260000000000♠14,926 7002484000000000000♠484 sq mi
7003125400000000000♠1,254 km2
Summers County 089 Hinton 1871 Fayette, Greenbrier, Mercer and Monroe counties George W Summers
United States Congressman Virginia
7004139270000000000♠13,927 7002361000000000000♠361 sq mi
7002935000000000000♠935 km2
Taylor County 091 Grafton 1844 Barbour, Harrison, Marion counties John Taylor of Caroline
United States Senator Virginia
1792–94 and
1803 and
7004168950000000000♠16,895 7002173000000000000♠173 sq mi
7002448000000000000♠448 km2
Tucker County 093 Parsons 1856 Randolph County Henry St George Tucker
United States Congressman Virginia
Virginia Supreme Court
7003714100000000000♠7,141 7002419000000000000♠419 sq mi
7003108500000000000♠1,085 km2
Tyler County 095 Middlebourne 1814 Ohio County John Tyler, Sr
Governor of Virginia
7003920800000000000♠9,208 7002258000000000000♠258 sq mi
7002668000000000000♠668 km2
Upshur County 097 Buckhannon 1851 Barbour, Lewis and Randolph counties Abel Parker Upshur
United States Secretary of the Navy
United States Secretary of State
7004242540000000000♠24,254 7002355000000000000♠355 sq mi
7002919000000000000♠919 km2
Wayne County 099 Wayne 1842 Cabell County "Mad" Anthony Wayne
Major General
American Revolutionary War
and 1792–96
United States Congressman Georgia
7004424810000000000♠42,481 7002506000000000000♠506 sq mi
7003131100000000000♠1,311 km2
Webster County 101 Webster Springs 1860 Braxton, Nicholas, and Randolph counties Daniel Webster
United States Senator Massachusetts
1827–41 and
United States Secretary of State
1841–53 and
7003915400000000000♠9,154 7002556000000000000♠556 sq mi
7003144000000000000♠1,440 km2
Wetzel County 103 New Martinsville 1846 Tyler County Lewis Wetzel
noted frontiersman
7004165830000000000♠16,583 7002359000000000000♠359 sq mi
7002930000000000000♠930 km2
Wirt County 105 Elizabeth 1848 Jackson and Wood counties William Wirt
United States Attorney General
7003571700000000000♠5,717 7002233000000000000♠233 sq mi
7002603000000000000♠603 km2
Wood County 107 Parkersburg 1798 Harrison County James Wood
Governor of Virginia
7004869560000000000♠86,956 7002367000000000000♠367 sq mi
7002951000000000000♠951 km2
Wyoming County 109 Pineville 1850 Logan County derived from Lenape Native American term for "wide plain" 7004237960000000000♠23,796 7002501000000000000♠501 sq mi
7003129800000000000♠1,298 km2

See alsoedit

  • West Virginia portal
  • List of Governors of West Virginia
  • List of National Historic Landmarks in West Virginia


  1. ^ a b c d e f Lewis, Virgil 1896 History and Government of West Virginia 1st ed New York NY: Werner School Book Company pp 264–270  WV County Founding Dates and Etymology Other editions available at ASIN B009CI6FRI and Google Books
  2. ^ Littlefield, Charles 1910 Commonwealth of Virginia, plaintiff vs  State of West Virginia, defendant 1st ed Charleston, WV: Lovett Printing Company pp 9–10  WV Statehood Other editions available at ISBN 9781274843111 and Google Books
  3. ^ Rice, Otis; Brown, Stephen 1993 West Virginia, A History 2nd ed Lexington, KY: University Press of Kentucky p 153  WV State Boundaries Other editions available: ISBN 9780813118543
  4. ^ Bastress, Robert 1995 The West Virginia Constitution: A Reference Guide Westport, CT: Greenwood Press p 18 ISBN 0313274096 
  5. ^ a b c Warth, John 1887 The Code of West Virginia Wheeling and Charleston WV: West Virginia Printing Company, Printers and Binders pp 271–273  Other editions available at ISBN 9781231066737 and Google Books
  6. ^ a b c d "Find A County" National Association of Counties Retrieved February 4, 2013  Find a county
  7. ^ a b c d e "West Virginia QuickFacts from the US Census Bureau" United States Census Bureau Retrieved February 4, 2013  2010 Census
  8. ^ Bastress, p 20
  9. ^ a b Brisbin, Richard 1996 West Virginia Politics and Government University of Nebraska Press pp 142–146 ISBN 0803212712 
  10. ^ Rice, p 247
  11. ^ a b c "West Virginia Counties" West Virginia Division of Culture and History Archived from the original on September 23, 2001 Retrieved February 4, 2013  WV County Formation
  12. ^ Morton, Oren 1910 A History of Pendleton County, West Virginia 1st ed Dayton, VA: Ruebush-Elkins Company p 3  Other editions available at ISBN 9781165299102
  13. ^ a b "EPA County FIPS Code Listing" EPAgov Retrieved February 4, 2013 
  14. ^ McCulloch, Delia 1908 American Historical Magazine Volume 3 New York NY: Americana Society pp 628–629  Available at ISBN 1144825210 and Google Books

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