Ohio County, West Virginia

Last updated

Ohio County
West Virginia Independence Hall from southwest.jpg
Map of West Virginia highlighting Ohio County.svg
Location within the U.S. state of West Virginia
West Virginia in United States.svg
West Virginia's location within the U.S.
Coordinates: 40°06′N80°37′W / 40.1°N 80.62°W / 40.1; -80.62
CountryFlag of the United States.svg United States
StateFlag of West Virginia.svg  West Virginia
FoundedOctober 7, 1776
Named for Ohio River
Seat Wheeling
Largest cityWheeling
Area
  Total109 sq mi (280 km2)
  Land106 sq mi (270 km2)
  Water3.2 sq mi (8 km2)  2.9%%
Population
 (2020)
  Total42,425
  Estimate 
(2021)
41,776 Decrease2.svg
  Density390/sq mi (150/km2)
Time zone UTC−5 (Eastern)
  Summer (DST) UTC−4 (EDT)
Congressional district 1st
Website www.ohiocountywv.gov

Ohio County is a county located in the Northern Panhandle of the U.S. state of West Virginia. As of the 2020 census, the population was 42,425. [1] Its county seat is Wheeling. [2] The county was formed in 1776 from the District of West Augusta, Virginia. [3] It was named for the Ohio River, which forms its western boundary with the state of Ohio. West Liberty (formerly Black's Cabin) was designated as the county seat in 1777, serving to 1797.

Contents

Ohio County is part of the Wheeling, WV-OH Metropolitan Statistical Area.

Geography

According to the United States Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 109 square miles (280 km2), of which 106 square miles (270 km2) is land and 3.2 square miles (8.3 km2) (2.9%) is water. [4] It is the third-smallest county in West Virginia by area. The highest point of elevation in Ohio County is approximately 1,420 ft (430 m) and located about 1-mile (1.6 km) southwest of West Alexander, Pennsylvania. [5] The county is drained by Wheeling and other small creeks. [6]

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. [7] Ohio County was divided into five districts: Center, [lower-roman 1] Clay, Liberty, Madison, Richland, Ritchie, Triadelphia, Union, Washington, and Webster. Centre, Clay, Madison, Union, and Webster Districts all lay within the city of Wheeling, as did part of Washington District. [8]

By 1880, part of Ritchie District had also been subsumed by Wheeling. In the 1970s, the ten historic magisterial districts were consolidated into five new districts: Liberty Triadelphia; Madison, Union Clay, Washington District; Titchie Webster Center District, and Triadelphia. These were further consolidated in the 1980s to form District 1, District 2, and District 3. [8]

Major highways

Adjacent counties

Ohio County is one of four counties in the United States to border a state with which it shares the same name (the other three counties are Nevada County, California; Texas County, Oklahoma; and Delaware County, Pennsylvania).

National protected area

Demographics

Historical population
CensusPop.
1790 5,212
1800 4,740−9.1%
1810 9,18293.7%
1820 9,1820.0%
1830 15,58469.7%
1840 13,357−14.3%
1850 18,00634.8%
1860 22,42224.5%
1870 28,83128.6%
1880 37,45729.9%
1890 41,55710.9%
1900 48,02415.6%
1910 57,57219.9%
1920 62,8929.2%
1930 72,07714.6%
1940 73,1151.4%
1950 71,672−2.0%
1960 68,437−4.5%
1970 64,197−6.2%
1980 61,389−4.4%
1990 50,871−17.1%
2000 47,427−6.8%
2010 44,443−6.3%
2020 42,425−4.5%
2021 (est.)41,776 [9] −1.5%
U.S. Decennial Census [10]
1790–1960 [11] 1900–1990 [12]
1990–2000 [13] 2010–2020 [1]

2000 census

As of the census of 2000, there were 47,427 people, 19,733 households, and 12,155 families residing in the county. The population density was 447 people per square mile (172/km2). There were 22,166 housing units at an average density of 209 per square mile (81/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 94.50% White, 3.57% Black or African American, 0.09% Native American, 0.78% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 0.13% from other races, and 0.91% from two or more races. 0.50% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 27.0% were of German, 13.7% Irish, 10.4% English, 8.4% Italian, 8.3% American and 6.7% Polish ancestry.

There were 19,733 households, out of which 25.90% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 47.30% were married couples living together, 11.20% had a female householder with no husband present, and 38.40% were non-families. 33.70% of all households were made up of individuals, and 16.00% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.27 and the average family size was 2.91.

In the county, the population was spread out, with 21.30% under the age of 18, 10.50% from 18 to 24, 25.10% from 25 to 44, 24.40% from 45 to 64, and 18.80% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 41 years. For every 100 females there were 87.80 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 84.00 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $30,836, and the median income for a family was $41,261. Males had a median income of $31,132 versus $21,978 for females. The per capita income for the county was $17,734. About 11.50% of families and 15.80% of the population were below the poverty line, including 20.10% of those under age 18 and 10.40% of those age 65 or over.

2010 census

As of the census of 2010, there were 44,443 people, 18,914 households, and 11,181 families residing in the county. [14] The population density was 420.0 inhabitants per square mile (162.2/km2). There were 21,172 housing units at an average density of 200.1 per square mile (77.3/km2). [15] The racial makeup of the county was 93.2% white, 3.7% black or African American, 0.8% Asian, 0.1% American Indian, 0.2% from other races, and 1.9% from two or more races. Those of Hispanic or Latino origin made up 0.8% of the population. [14] In terms of ancestry, 34.0% were German, 19.1% were Irish, 14.4% were English, 8.5% were Italian, 7.2% were Polish, and 5.7% were American. [16]

Of the 18,914 households, 24.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 43.4% were married couples living together, 11.7% had a female householder with no husband present, 40.9% were non-families, and 35.3% of all households were made up of individuals. The average household size was 2.21 and the average family size was 2.86. The median age was 43.5 years. [14]

The median income for a household in the county was $39,669 and the median income for a family was $54,909. Males had a median income of $42,213 versus $28,211 for females. The per capita income for the county was $23,950. About 11.9% of families and 15.9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 25.2% of those under age 18 and 9.0% of those age 65 or over. [17]

Government

Ohio County is governed by a three-member county commission. The three county commissioners are elected from single-member magisterial districts and serve six-year terms, staggered so that one seat is up for election every even year. The County Commission annually chooses its own President. The Ohio County Commissioners are Commission President Randy Wharton, Zachary Abraham, and Don Nickerson. The county commission typically appoints a county administrator to oversee the daily executive duties for the Commission. The current county administrator is Randy Russell. In addition to the three members of the county commission, other elected officials include a county clerk, currently Michael E. Kelly, and a county assessor, currently Tiffany Hoffmann.

Ohio County is part of the West Virginia's First Judicial Circuit, which also includes nearby Hancock and Brooke counties. In West Virginia, circuit judges are elected in non-partisan elections to eight-year terms. The current judges of the First Judicial Circuit are Jason A. Cuomo, Michael J. Olejasz, David Sims, and Ronald E. Wilson. The clerk of the circuit court is elected in a partisan election and serves a six-year term. The current clerk of the First Judicial Circuit in Ohio County is Brenda Miller. Ohio County is part of the First Family Court Circuit of West Virginia, which covers the same three territories as the First Judicial Circuit. In West Virginia, Family Court judges have been elected to eight-year terms since 2008. The current judges of the First Family Circuit are Joyce D. Chernenko and Heather Wood.

Magistrates are elected in non-partisan elections serving four-year terms. Vacancies occurring in unexpired terms can be filled by a respective Circuit Court judge. Unlike Circuit Court and Family Court judges, magistrates are not required to be attorneys. Ohio County currently has four magistrates: Charles W. Murphy, Patricia L. Murphy, Joseph E. Roxby, and Janine L. Varner.

In West Virginia, prosecuting attorneys in each county are elected in partisan elections to four-year terms, currently Scott R. Smith. County sheriffs (who also serve ex-officio as county treasurer) are elected by each county to a four-year term, currently Thomas J. Howard. They are limited to two terms.

Politics

In the West Virginia Senate, most of Ohio County is part of the first Senate district, along with Hancock, Brooke, and Marshall counties. The district is represented by Owens Brown (D-Wheeling) and Ryan Weld (R-Wellsburg).

In the West Virginia House of Delegates, parts of Ohio County are represented by the second, third, and fourth House of Delegates districts. The Second District is represented by Delegate Philip Diserio (D-Follansbee). The Third District is represented by Delegate Shawn Fluharty (D-Wheeling) and Delegate Erikka Storch (R-Wheeling). The Fourth District is represented by Delegate Charlie Reynolds (R) and Delegate Lisa Zukoff (D-Moundsville). All Delegates to the state House serve two-year terms.

In the United States House of Representatives, Ohio County is part of the West Virginia's 1st congressional district, which includes nearly all of the northern part of the state. The current Representative is David McKinley, a Republican from Wheeling in Ohio County. West Virginia’s two senators, who represent the entire state, are Shelley Moore Capito and Joe Manchin, a Republican from Charleston and a Democrat from Fairmont, respectively.

Although powerfully Unionist during the Civil War, [18] Ohio County politics differs substantially from the two more northerly counties of the Northern Panhandle. The county was a competitive swing county for most of the period between Reconstruction and the end of the twentieth century, voting for the popular vote winner in every election except 1916, 1968 and 1976. Since 2000, like all of West Virginia, its conservative white voters have trended Republican due to a combination of declining unionization [19] and differences with the Democratic Party’s liberal views on social issues. [20] The trend has been less extreme than in most counties of the state.

United States presidential election results for Ohio County, West Virginia [21]
Year Republican Democratic Third party
No.%No.%No.%
2020 12,35462.08%7,22336.30%3231.62%
2016 11,13961.16%5,49330.16%1,5828.69%
2012 10,76859.96%6,78637.79%4052.26%
2008 10,69454.73%8,59343.98%2531.29%
2004 11,69457.35%8,54341.89%1550.76%
2000 9,60753.48%7,65342.60%7043.92%
1996 7,26739.92%8,78148.23%2,15811.85%
1992 7,42135.97%9,52246.15%3,69017.88%
1988 10,34150.25%10,12149.18%1160.56%
1984 13,44756.83%10,16342.95%520.22%
1980 11,41447.81%10,97345.96%1,4866.22%
1976 12,47651.36%11,81748.64%00.00%
1972 18,43563.73%10,49136.27%00.00%
1968 13,07343.20%15,02649.65%2,1647.15%
1964 12,00636.18%21,17863.82%00.00%
1960 17,36748.52%18,42351.48%00.00%
1956 22,16562.69%13,19137.31%00.00%
1952 20,57555.43%16,54644.57%00.00%
1948 15,75747.54%16,99551.27%3951.19%
1944 16,16548.10%17,44551.90%00.00%
1940 18,07345.43%21,71354.57%00.00%
1936 13,74337.39%22,89962.30%1160.32%
1932 15,83645.25%18,62553.22%5321.52%
1928 20,06460.04%13,13239.30%2190.66%
1924 14,40254.09%8,75332.87%3,47113.04%
1920 15,73558.62%10,27838.29%8293.09%
1916 7,34952.75%6,07443.60%5093.65%
1912 3,95628.31%5,77141.30%4,24530.38%

Education

Colleges and universities

Public schools

All public schools within Ohio County operate under the jurisdiction of Ohio County Schools with the consolidated high school housing grades 9–12, middle schools housing grades 6–8, and elementary schools housing grades K-5.

Ohio County Schools has a five-member elected Board of Education Board of Education Archived October 15, 2017, at the Wayback Machine (Molly J. Aderholt, Christine N. Carder, David Croft, Sarah C. Koegler, President Zachary T. Abraham, Superintendent Dr. Kimmberly Miller, and an Assistant Superintendent Rick Jones. In addition, the Board of Education has an Attendance Director (Wm. Jeffrey Laird).

Private and parochial schools

The Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston operates several K-8 schools and one high school in Ohio County.

Additionally, there are two private schools in Ohio County.

Communities

City

Towns

Villages

Magisterial districts

Unincorporated communities

The Communities of Warwood, Woodsdale, Elm Grove, Betty Zane Addition, Greggsville, North Park, Overbrook, Edgwood and Linwood are all incorporated into the city of Wheeling

Notable residents

Miscellaneous information

Dog Races and Gaming

In 2007, the West Virginia Legislature adopted HB2718 which created Chapter 29-22 C of the West Virginia Code and permits county residents where racetracks are located to vote on expansion to table games. Ohio County was the first county in West Virginia to take action concerning the matter when the Ohio County Commission initiated a special election date of June 9 for the referendum. The ballot initiative successfully passed in Ohio County with 66% of the vote. The measure permits Wheeling Island Racetrack and Gaming Center to operate table games such as blackjack and poker. On June 9, Jefferson County voters rejected their ballot measure. On June 30, Hancock County voters approved their ballot measure. Kanawha County has scheduled a special election for August 11. While the West Virginia Family Foundation vowed to challenge the constitutionality of HB 2718, [22] it announced on August 7 that it would not file any appeal on the matter. [23] According to newspaper accounts, the West Virginia Lottery Commission has set November 1, 2007 as the latest date at which table games will begin preliminary operation at Wheeling Island Racetrack and Gaming Center. [24]

Metro government

In 2006, the West Virginia Legislature adopted a new section to the West Virginia code – Chapter 7A – which provided for the consolidation of cities, cities with counties, or counties with counties. [25] Interest has been expressed by some Ohio County residents and officials and has become the main political endeavour of a local council of churches called "Hopeful City". As of March 2007, no official action has been taken in Ohio County on this matter. Other municipalities in West Virginia are considering consolidation including Beckley-Raleigh County and Fairmont-Marion County. [26] The most significant proposals under this legislation include a consolidation of Wirt County with Wood County and a population consolidation for Kanawha-Putnam-Cabell counties. [27]

Other Topics

See also

Footnotes

  1. Spelled "Centre" before 1890.

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References

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  3. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on September 23, 2001. Retrieved July 23, 2013.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
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  19. Schwartzman, Gabe; ‘How Central Appalachia Went Right’; Daily Yonder, January 13, 2015
  20. Cohn, Nate; ‘Demographic Shift: Southern Whites’ Loyalty to G.O.P. Nearing That of Blacks to Democrats’, New York Times , April 24, 2014
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  22. Daily Mail http://www.dailymail.com/story/News/2007042411/Friends-and-foes-of-table-games-ramp-up-their-campaigns/ . Retrieved April 7, 2010.{{cite web}}: Missing or empty |title= (help)[ dead link ]
  23. Archived February 5, 2012, at the Wayback Machine
  24. Nov. 1 Target For Casino Regulators. Tracks prepare to get cards shuffling for poker, The Intelligencer / Wheeling News-Register, September 28, 2007
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Coordinates: 40°06′N80°37′W / 40.10°N 80.62°W / 40.10; -80.62