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Upshur County, West Virginia

Upshur County, West Virginia
The Upshur County Courthouse, designed by architect Harrison Albright, pictured in Buckhannon in 2006
Map of West Virginia highlighting Upshur 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 March 26, 1851
Named for Abel Parker Upshur
Seat Buckhannon
Largest city Buckhannon
 • Total 355 sq mi (919 km2)
 • Land 355 sq mi (919 km2)
 • Water 0.1 sq mi (0 km2), 0.03%
Population (est.)
 • (2014) 24,731
 • Density 70/sq mi (27/km²)
Congressional district 2nd
Time zone Eastern: UTC-5/-4
Website .org.upshurcountywww

Upshur County is a county located in the U.S. state of West Virginia. As of the 2010 census, the population was 24,254.[1] Its county seat is Buckhannon.[2] The county was formed in 1851 from Randolph, Barbour, and Lewis counties and named for Abel Parker Upshur, a distinguished statesman and jurist of Virginia.[3] Upshur served as United States Secretary of State and Secretary of the Navy under President John Tyler.


  • Geography 1
    • Major highways 1.1
    • Adjacent counties 1.2
  • Demographics 2
  • Economy 3
  • Communities 4
    • City 4.1
    • Unincorporated communities 4.2
    • Magisterial districts 4.3
  • Notable natives and residents 5
  • See also 6
  • References 7
  • External links 8


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 355 square miles (920 km2), of which 355 square miles (920 km2) is land and 0.1 square miles (0.26 km2) (0.03%) is water.[4] The county falls within the United States National Radio Quiet Zone.

The highest place in elevation in Upshur County is 3160 feet, near Sugar Run on the Randolph and Upshur County lines just outside of Palace Valley and Hemlock. It is reported there is an elevation marker at the site.

Major highways

Adjacent counties


As of the census[10] of 2000, there were 23,404 people, 8,972 households, and 6,352 families residing in the county. The population density was 66 people per square mile (25/km²). There were 10,751 housing units at an average density of 30 per square mile (12/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 98.19% White, 0.62% Black or African American, 0.17% Native American, 0.31% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 0.13% from other races, and 0.58% from two or more races. 0.59% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 8,972 households out of which 31.10% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 58.20% were married couples living together, 9.10% had a female householder with no husband present, and 29.20% were non-families. 25.20% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.80% 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 22.60% under the age of 18, 12.60% from 18 to 24, 25.70% from 25 to 44, 24.50% from 45 to 64, and 14.70% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females there were 94.20 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 90.40 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $26,973, and the median income for a family was $32,399. Males had a median income of $29,020 versus $18,087 for females. The per capita income for the county was $13,559. About 16.00% of families and 20.00% of the population were below the poverty line, including 27.30% of those under age 18 and 10.50% of those age 65 or over.


Economy includes coal mining and timber, as well as higher education - the Upshur County seat of Buckhannon is home to the small, private, liberal arts institution West Virginia Wesleyan College. The West Virginia State Wildlife Center in French Creek also generates some income as a popular tourist attraction. Upshur County also unintentionally gained some international notoriety during the Sago Mine disaster coal mine explosion on January 2, 2006, in the Sago Mine in Sago, near the Upshur County seat of Buckhannon. The blast and ensuing aftermath trapped 13 miners for nearly two days, only one of whom survived. It was the worst mining disaster in the US since a 2001 disaster in Alabama killed 13 people, and the worst disaster in West Virginia since a 1968 incident that killed 78 people.



Unincorporated communities

Magisterial districts

Upshur County's six districts were formed on July 31, 1863:

  • Banks District, named for Nathaniel Prentiss Banks.
  • Buckhannon District, named for the county seat, the City of Buckhannon.
  • Meade District, named for General George Gordon Meade.
  • Union District, named for military soldiers serving the Union cause.
  • Warren District, named for Gouverneur Kemble Warren.
  • Washington District, named for President George Washington.

Notable natives and residents

See also


  1. ^ a b "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 16, 2014. 
  2. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07. 
  3. ^
  4. ^ "2010 Census Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. August 22, 2012. Retrieved July 31, 2015. 
  5. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Incorporated Places: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2014". Retrieved June 4, 2015. 
  6. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 16, 2014. 
  7. ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved January 16, 2014. 
  8. ^ "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 16, 2014. 
  9. ^ "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 16, 2014. 
  10. ^ "American FactFinder".  

External links

  • Buckhannon-Upshur Chamber of Commerce
  • Upshur County Board of Education
  • Upshur County Development Authority
  • Upshur County Public Library
  • Upshur County Historical Society
  • The Record Delta newspaper
  • West Virginia Strawberry Festival
  • Upshur County WVGenWeb

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