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Wetzel County, West Virginia

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Wetzel County, West Virginia
Map of West Virginia highlighting Wetzel 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 1846
Seat New Martinsville
 • Total 361 sq mi (935 km2)
 • Land 359 sq mi (930 km2)
 • Water 2 sq mi (5 km2), 0.59%
 • (2010) 16,583
 • Density 47/sq mi (18/km²)

Wetzel County is a county located in the U.S. state of West Virginia. As of 2010, the population was 16,583.[1] Its county seat is New Martinsville[2]. Its northern border is the Mason-Dixon line. The county, founded in 1846, is named for Lewis Wetzel, a famous frontiersman and Indian fighter.[3]




According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 361 square miles (936 km²), of which 359 square miles (930 km²) is land and 2 square miles (6 km²) (0.59%) is water.

Major highways[edit]

Adjacent counties[edit]

National protected area[edit]


Wetzel County was formed in 1846 out of Tyler County, Virginia

[icon] This section requires expansion.(December 2013)


Historical populations
Census Pop.
1850 4,284
1860 6,703 56.5%
1870 8,595 28.2%
1880 13,896 61.7%
1890 16,841 21.2%
1900 22,880 35.9%
1910 23,855 4.3%
1920 23,069 −3.3%
1930 22,334 −3.2%
1940 22,342 0%
1950 20,154 −9.8%
1960 19,347 −4.0%
1970 20,314 5.0%
1980 21,874 7.7%
1990 19,258 −12.0%
2000 17,693 −8.1%
2010 16,583 −6.3%
Est. 2012 16,422 −1.0%

As of the census[4] of 2000, there were 17,693 people, 7,164 households, and 5,079 families residing in the county. The population density was 49 people per square mile (19/km²). There were 8,313 housing units at an average density of 23 per square mile (9/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 98.92% White, 0.08% Black or African American, 0.10% Native American, 0.32% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 0.03% from other races, and 0.53% from two or more races. 0.42% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 7,164 households out of which 30.20% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 57.70% were married couples living together, 9.30% had a female householder with no husband present, and 29.10% were non-families. 25.70% of all households were made up of individuals and 12.80% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.45 and the average family size was 2.92.

In the county, the population was spread out with 23.80% under the age of 18, 6.80% from 18 to 24, 26.50% from 25 to 44, 26.80% from 45 to 64, and 16.20% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40 years. For every 100 females there were 94.30 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 91.20 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $30,935, and the median income for a family was $36,793. Males had a median income of $37,296 versus $19,339 for females. Theper capita income for the county was $16,818. About 15.30% of families and 19.80% of the population were below the poverty line, including 26.60% of those under age 18 and 15.20% of those age 65 or over.

Local Lore[edit]

In the mid-to-late 19th century a band similar to the James Gang of legend existed that was known as the Jennings Gang. A number of robberies and murders were accounted to this gang. They were known to be located near the head of Doolin Run near Tarpan Ridge. The home they occupied was found to have an escape tunnel that had been used to escape capture on several occasions. A local group of citizens known as the “Redmen” ultimately cornered the gang at this home and a number of the members were killed. A detailed description exists in the Wetzel County History written approximately in 1900.

The oldest oil well location known is of one drilled on Long Run near Doolin Run which reached oil at a depth about 360 ft.

Wetzel County has a long history in the Oil and Gas producing industry. During the Oil boom of the 19th century it is reported that the Proctor Creek watershed had 12 saloons and numerous livery/hotels to accommodate the hundreds of logging and oil field workers.

Cities and towns[edit]

Incorporated towns & cities[edit]

Below is partial listing of known unincorporated communities within Wetzel County. A complete listing is available here

Unincorporated communities[edit]

See also[edit]

Coordinates39.61°N 80.64°W


  1. Jump up^ “Wetzel County, WV”. US Census Bureau Quick Facts. Retrieved 21 June 2012.
  2. Jump up^ “Find a County”. National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07.
  3. Jump up^
  4. Jump up^ “American FactFinder”United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
Marshall County Greene County, Pennsylvania
Monroe County, Ohio Monongalia Countyand Marion County
  Wetzel County, West Virginia
Tyler County Doddridge County Harrison County

Municipalities and communities of Wetzel County, West Virginia, United States