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Mingo County, West Virginia

Mingo County, West Virginia
Map of West Virginia highlighting Mingo County
Location in the state of West Virginia
Map of the United States highlighting West Virginia
West Virginia's location in the U.S.
Founded January 30, 1895
Named for Mingo people
Seat Williamson
Largest city Williamson
 • Total 424 sq mi (1,098 km2)
 • Land 423 sq mi (1,096 km2)
 • Water 0.9 sq mi (2 km2), 0.2%
Population (est.)
 • (2014) 25,716
 • Density 61/sq mi (24/km²)
Congressional district 3rd
Time zone Eastern: UTC-5/-4
Website .com.mingocountywvwww

Mingo County is a county located in the U.S. state of West Virginia. As of the 2010 census, the population was 26,839.[1] Its county seat is Williamson.[2] Created in 1895,[3] Mingo is West Virginia's newest county, named for the historic Iroquoian Mingo people.[4]


  • History 1
  • Geography 2
    • Major highways 2.1
    • Adjacent counties 2.2
  • Demographics 3
  • Communities 4
    • City 4.1
    • Towns 4.2
    • Census-designated places 4.3
    • Unincorporated communities 4.4
    • Magisterial Districts 4.5
    • Historical Magisterial Districts 4.6
  • Notable people 5
  • Surnames 6
  • See also 7
  • References 8
  • External links 9


Mingo County is the newest county in the state, formed by an act of the state legislature in 1895 from parts of Logan County. Its founding was related to a legal protest by a moonshiner, who claimed that the Logan County Court that had found him guilty did not have jurisdiction over his case, because his still was actually located in Lincoln County. A land survey was taken and discovered that the defendant was correct. The charges were then refiled in Lincoln County court. Although the moonshiner was ultimately found guilty of his crime, the state legislature was made aware of the situation and determined that Logan County was too large for the expeditious administration of justice and decided to create a new county, called Mingo. The county was named in honor of the Mingo Indians.[4]

The attempt to unionize coal miners in the county in the 1920s led to the Battle of Blair Mountain in neighboring Logan County.

Politically, Mingo County is well known for its opposition to current President Barack Obama. In 2008, Obama netted only 8 percent of the vote in the Democratic primary, one of his worst performances. In 2012, despite Obama being the presumptive nominee, Democrats in Mingo County voted for Keith Russell Judd, a convicted felon who was the only other candidate on the ballot, over Obama.[5]

In 2014, Mingo County native Jeremy T.K. Farley published "The Ghosts of Mingo County," a history book of what he described as "the bloodiest county in America." The book was met with mixed reviews; some residents stated that publication portrayed the county as being too lawless, while others believed the book accurately told the county's history.[6]


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 424 square miles (1,100 km2), of which 423 square miles (1,100 km2) is land and 0.9 square miles (2.3 km2) (0.2%) is water.[7]

Major highways

Adjacent counties


As of the census[13] of 2000, there were 28,253 people, 11,303 households, and 8,217 families residing in the county. The population density was 67 people per square mile (26/km²). There were 12,898 housing units at an average density of 30 per square mile (12/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 96.39% White, 2.34% Black or African American, 0.24% Native American, 0.21% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 0.06% from other races, and 0.74% from two or more races. 0.48% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 11,303 households out of which 33.50% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 56.20% were married couples living together, 12.70% had a female householder with no husband present, and 27.30% were non-families. 25.20% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.40% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.49 and the average family size was 2.98.

In the county, the population was spread out with 24.20% under the age of 18, 9.20% from 18 to 24, 29.10% from 25 to 44, 25.00% from 45 to 64, and 12.40% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females there were 93.70 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 90.20 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $21,347, and the median income for a family was $26,581. Males had a median income of $31,660 versus $18,038 for females. The per capita income for the county was $12,445. About 25.90% of families and 29.70% of the population were below the poverty line, including 38.90% of those under age 18 and 18.60% of those age 65 or over.




Census-designated places

Unincorporated communities

Magisterial Districts

  • Beech Ben Mate District
  • Kermit Harvey District
  • Lee District
  • Magnolia District
  • Stafford District
  • Tug Hardee District
  • Williamson District

Historical Magisterial Districts

  • Hardee Magisterial District
  • Harvey Magisterial District
  • Kermit Magisterial District
  • Tug River Magisterial District

Notable people


Most common surnames in Mingo County as of 2014, by order of incidence:[14]

See also


  1. ^ a b "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 10, 2014. 
  2. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07. 
  3. ^
  4. ^ a b "West Virginia Counties". West Virginia Division of Culture and History. Retrieved February 24, 2014.  (WV County Etymology)
  5. ^ Mathesian, Charles. How the felon won. The Politico. Retrieved May 9, 2012.
  6. ^ Wytheville Enterprise Wythe County official pens history of coalfields struggle.
  7. ^ "2010 Census Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. August 22, 2012. Retrieved July 30, 2015. 
  8. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Incorporated Places: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2014". Retrieved June 4, 2015. 
  9. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 10, 2014. 
  10. ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved January 10, 2014. 
  11. ^ "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 10, 2014. 
  12. ^ "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 10, 2014. 
  13. ^ "American FactFinder".  
  14. ^ Most Common Surnames in Mingo County

External links

  • Mingo County official website
  • Mingo County Board of Education
  • Mingo County History
  • East Fork VFD at Dingess, WV
  • West Virginia Mine Wars Museum independent history museum covering the Mine Wars Era in Matewan, WV.

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