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Hancock County, West Virginia

Hancock County, West Virginia
Map of West Virginia highlighting Hancock 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 15, 1848
Named for John Hancock
Seat New Cumberland
Largest city Weirton
 • Total 88 sq mi (228 km2)
 • Land 83 sq mi (215 km2)
 • Water 5.4 sq mi (14 km2), 6.1%
Population (est.)
 • (2014) 30,112
 • Density 363/sq mi (140/km²)
Congressional district 1st
Time zone Eastern: UTC-5/-4
Website .org.hancockcountywvwww

Hancock County is a county located in the U.S. state of West Virginia. As of the 2010 census, the population was 30,676.[1] Its county seat is New Cumberland.[2] The county was created from Brooke County in 1848 and named for John Hancock, first signer of the Declaration of Independence.[3][4] Hancock County is the farthest north in the state, being at the tip of the state's Northern Panhandle.

Hancock County is part of the Weirton-Steubenville, WV-OH Metropolitan Statistical Area, which is also included in the Pittsburgh-New Castle-Weirton, PA-OH-WV Combined Statistical Area.[5]


  • History 1
  • Geography 2
    • Major highways 2.1
    • Adjacent counties 2.2
  • Demographics 3
  • Government 4
  • Communities 5
    • Cities 5.1
    • Census-designated place 5.2
    • Unincorporated communities 5.3
  • See also 6
  • References 7
  • External links 8


Hancock County was formed from Brooke County in 1848, some 15 years before West Virginia became a state. Both counties were once part of Ohio County, Virginia, which had been formed from West Augusta District in 1776. Hancock County has significant Revolutionary-period roots due to its location on the Ohio River south of Fort Pitt and north of Fort Henry in Wheeling. It was the site of the infamous massacre of Chief Logan's family in 1774 (at Baker's Tavern across the Ohio River from the mouth of Yellow Creek, the current site of Mountaineer Race Track and Casino), an event that sparked Lord Dunmore's War. Adam Poe had his famous fight with the Indian known as Big Foot at the mouth of Tomlinson Run in 1781. Historical markers commemorate both events. Significant Revolutionary War forts and blockhouses in Hancock County included Holliday's Cove Fort (now downtown Weirton) and Chapman's Blockhouse (New Cumberland). Source: "Every Home a Fort, Every Man a Warrior," Michael Edward Nogay, ISBN 978-0-578-01862-1 [Tri-State Publishing Co., 2009].


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 88 square miles (230 km2), of which 83 square miles (210 km2) is land and 5.4 square miles (14 km2) (6.1%) is water.[6] It is the smallest county in West Virginia by area. The highest point of elevation in Hancock County is approximately 1363 ft. and located about 1800 ft. ESE of Emmanuel Mission Church. [1]

Major highways

Adjacent counties


As of the census[12] of 2000, there were 32,667 people, 13,678 households, and 9,506 families residing in the county. The population density was 394 people per square mile (152/km²). There were 14,728 housing units at an average density of 178 per square mile (69/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 96.42% White, 2.30% Black or African American, 0.12% Native American, 0.35% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 0.12% from other races, and 0.69% from two or more races. 0.74% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 13,678 households out of which 26.40% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 54.70% were married couples living together, 10.70% had a female householder with no husband present, and 30.50% were non-families. 26.60% 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 2.36 and the average family size was 2.83.

In the county, the population was spread out with 20.80% under the age of 18, 7.20% from 18 to 24, 27.10% from 25 to 44, 26.40% from 45 to 64, and 18.40% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 42 years. For every 100 females there were 92.40 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 89.40 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $33,759, and the median income for a family was $40,719. Males had a median income of $34,813 versus $19,100 for females. The per capita income for the county was $17,724. About 9.00% of families and 11.10% of the population were below the poverty line, including 16.10% of those under age 18 and 7.10% of those age 65 or over.


Hancock County is governed by a three-member County Commission who each serve in rotating 6-year terms. The terms are designed such that one seat is up for election in even years. The County Commission annually chooses its own president. The Hancock County Commissioners in 2015 are Joe Barnabei, Jeff Davis and Commission President Michael Swartzmiller.[2]

Additionally, Hancock County is part of the First Judicial Circuit of West Virginia, which also includes Brooke and Ohio Counties. In West Virginia, Circuit Judges are elected in partisan elections to eight-year terms. The current judges of the First Judicial Circuit are the Hon. Jason A. Cuomo, the Hon. James Mazzone, the Hon. Arthur M. Recht, and the Hon. Ronald E. Wilson.[3]

Hancock County is part of the First Family Court Circuit of West Virginia, which also includes Brooke and Ohio Counties. In West Virginia, Family Court Judges were first elected to six-year terms beginning in 2002 and were elected to eight-year terms beginning in 2008. The current judges of the First Family Court Circuit are the Hon. Joyce Chernenko and the Hon. William Sinclair, both of whom were elected to eight-year terms in November 2008.[4]

Magistrates are elected in partisan elections serving four-year terms. Vacancies occurring in unexpired terms can be filled by a respective Circuit Court Judge. Unlike Circuit Court judges or Family Court judges, magistrates are not required to be attorneys. Hancock County currently has three magistrates: Mike White, William S. Hicks and Michael Powell.[5]

Other elected officials are Sheriff Ralph Fletcher, Circuit Clerk Brenda Jackson, County Clerk George Foley, Assessor Joe Alongi and Prosecuting Attorney James Davis.[6]



Census-designated place

Unincorporated communities

See also


  1. ^ a b
  2. ^
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  4. ^
  5. ^ http://www.whitehouse.govs/default/files/omb/bulletins/2013/b13-01.pdf
  6. ^
  7. ^
  8. ^
  9. ^
  10. ^
  11. ^
  12. ^

External links

  • Hancock County government official website
  • Top of WV CVB, the Convention & Visitors Bureau for Brooke and Hancock Counties and the City of Weirton
  • WVGenWeb Hancock County
  • Hancock County Economic Development Homepage

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