Clarksburg, West Virginia

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City of Clarksburg
Downtown Clarksburg in 2006
Downtown Clarksburg in 2006
Nickname(s): Jewel of the Hills
Motto: Proud Past....Unlimited Future
Location in Harrison County in the State of West Virginia
Location in Harrison County in the State of West Virginia
Coordinates: 39°17′N 80°21′W / 39.283°N 80.350°W / 39.283; -80.350Coordinates: 39°17′N 80°21′W / 39.283°N 80.350°W / 39.283; -80.350
Country United States
State West Virginia
County Harrison
Established 1785
 • Mayor Patsy Trecost
 • City 9.74 sq mi (25.23 km2)
 • Land 9.74 sq mi (25.23 km2)
 • Water 0 sq mi (0 km2)
Elevation 994 ft (303 m)
Population (2010)[2]
 • City 16,578
 • Estimate (2012[3]) 16,439
 • Density 1,702.1/sq mi (657.2/km2)
 • Metro 68,652
Time zone EST (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
Area code 304
FIPS code 54-15628
GNIS feature ID 1537358[4]

Clarksburg is a city in and the county seat of Harrison County, West Virginia, United States, in the north-central region of the state. It is the principal city of the Clarksburg, WV Micropolitan Statistical Area. The population of the city was 16,578 at the 2010 census. Clarksburg was named National Small City of the Year in 2011. (National League of Cities)


The first documented visitor to the area now known as Clarksburg was John Simpson,[5] a trapper, who in 1764 located his camp on the West Fork River opposite the mouth of Elk Creek at approximately 39°16′53″N 80°21′05″W / 39.28128°N 80.35145°W / 39.28128; -80.35145 (39.28128, -80.35145)[6]

As early as the year 1772, settlers began locating their lands near where Clarksburg now stands, and in 1773 Daniel Davisson took up 400 acres (1.6 km2), upon which the principal part of the town is now located. The year 1774 found the following persons settled in the neighborhood of Clarksburg, Daniel Davisson, Thomas Nutter, Samuel Cottrill, Sotha Hickman, Samuel Beard, Andrew Cottrill, Obadiah Davisson, John Nutter, Matthew Nutter and Amaziah Davisson. There was no doubt that there were others located on public lands of which no official records were made.[5]

Clarksburg was formed in 1785 in Virginia. The city is named for General George Rogers Clark, who gained fame on the frontier by his many expeditions against the British and Indians in the Indian Wars and the war of the American Revolution, particularly by his capture of Fort of Vincennes, now in the State of Indiana, in 1778.[7]

The first Court House, which was built in 1787, stood on what is now the North East Corner of Second and Main Streets and the jail stood on the opposite side of Main Street near where the Presbyterian church now stands.

In 1824, Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson was born in Clarksburg.[7]

The Northwestern Turnpike, now known as U.S. Route 50, chartered in 1827, and begun in 1831, reached Clarksburg in 1836 and was macadamized from the Tygarts Valley River to Parkersburg in 1848.

In 1840 a daily line of stages and a regular mail service was established that connected with the Ohio River steamers at Parkersburg.

The Baltimore and Ohio Railroad reached Clarksburg from Grafton in 1856.

During the Civil War, it served as a supply depot of the Union Army from 1861 to 1865. General George B. McClellan headquartered in the area from 1861 until the Battle of Bull Run.

The historic district of Clarksburg is mainly outlined by Hewes Avenue on the north, Main Street on the south, Chestnut Street on the west, and E. B. Saunders Way [formerly Water Street] on the east.

On October 11, 1996, seven men having connections with the Mountaineer Militia, a local anti-government paramilitary group, were arrested on charges of plotting to blow up the Federal Bureau of Investigation's Criminal Justice Information Services Division complex in Clarksburg. While members of the group had been assembling large quantities of explosives and blasting caps, militia leader Floyd Raymond Looker obtained blueprints of the FBI facility from a Clarksburg firefighter. Plastic explosives were confiscated by law enforcement officials at five locations in West Virginia, Pennsylvania, and Ohio. Looker was taken into custody after arranging to sell the blueprints for $50,000 to an undercover FBI agent, whom he believed to be a representative of an international terrorist group. In 1998 Looker was sentenced to 18 years in prison. Two other defendants were sentenced on explosives charges, and the firefighter drew a year in prison for providing blueprints.[8]


Clarksburg is located at 39°16′53″N 80°21′05″W / 39.2813°N 80.3514°W / 39.2813; -80.3514, along the West Fork River and Elk Creek.[9]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 9.74 square miles (25.23 km2), all of it land.[1]

Clarksburg is located in West Virginia's North-Central region. It lies within the ecoregion of the Western Allegheny Plateau.[10]


Clarksburg is at the crossroads of U.S. Route 50 (Corridor D), the main arterial route for Clarksburg, and Interstate 79. Other major highways include West Virginia Route 20, West Virginia Route 58, U.S. Route 19, and West Virginia Route 98.

Landmarks And Attractions[edit]

Statue of Gen. "Stonewall" Jackson in downtown Clarksburg, WV.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1880 2,307
1890 3,008 30.4%
1900 4,050 34.6%
1910 9,201 127.2%
1920 27,869 202.9%
1930 28,866 3.6%
1940 30,579 5.9%
1950 32,014 4.7%
1960 28,112 −12.2%
1970 24,864 −11.6%
1980 22,371 −10.0%
1990 18,059 −19.3%
2000 16,743 −7.3%
2010 16,578 −1.0%
Est. 2012 16,439 −0.8%
U.S. Decennial Census[11]
2012 Estimate[12]

2010 census[edit]

As of the census[2] of 2010, there were 16,578 people, 7,213 households, and 4,179 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,702.1 inhabitants per square mile (657.2/km2). There were 8,132 housing units at an average density of 834.9 per square mile (322.4/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 92.9% White, 3.9% African American, 0.2% Native American, 0.3% Asian, 0.3% from other races, and 2.4% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.6% of the population.

There were 7,213 households of which 28.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 38.0% were married couples living together, 14.7% had a female householder with no husband present, 5.2% had a male householder with no wife present, and 42.1% were non-families. 35.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 14.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.25 and the average family size was 2.91.

The median age in the city was 39.5 years. 21.9% of residents were under the age of 18; 7.9% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 26.8% were from 25 to 44; 27.1% were from 45 to 64; and 16.3% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 48.0% male and 52.0% female.

2000 census[edit]

As of the census of 2000, there were 16,743 people, 7,447 households, and 4,378 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,758.3 people per square mile (679.0/km2). There were 8,662 housing units at an average density of 909.7 per square mile (351.3/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 93.86% White, 3.83% African American, 0.13% Native American, 0.36% Asian, 0.05% Pacific Islander, 0.44% from other races, and 1.34% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino were 1.06% of the population.

There were 7,447 households out of which 25.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 41.6% were married couples living together, 13.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 41.2% were non-families. 36.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 17.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.20 and the average family size was 2.87.

In the city the population was spread out with 21.1% under the age of 18, 8.3% from 18 to 24, 27.3% from 25 to 44, 22.7% from 45 to 64, and 20.7% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40 years. For every 100 females there were 86.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 81.6 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $27,722, and the median income for a family was $35,075. Males had a median income of $30,194 versus $22,388 for females. The per capita income for the city was $17,587. About 14.8% of families and 19.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 28.5% of those under age 18 and 11.9% of those age 65 or over.


Downtown Clarksburg in 2006

During most of the 20th century, Clarksburg was an industrial and manufacturing center, particularly in the glass industry. The coal industry also played a major role in the first half of the 20th century.

Since 1995, Clarksburg has been the location of the Federal Bureau of Investigation's Criminal Justice Information Services Division, the largest division of the FBI.[13] The Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification System, a national fingerprint and criminal history system, became operational in July 1999 at the division's complex. The National Instant Criminal Background Check System,[14] used to screen individuals attempting to receive a firearm, is operated from the facility.[15]

Clarksburg is home to Eastpointe and Newpointe, the largest strip mall in West Virginia, adjacent to Interstate 79. Most of Clarksburg's retail has relocated to the strip malls, and downtown is now home to many professional services.[16]


Clarksburg is a cultural center of the north-central West Virginia region and hosts many events and festivals. Since 1979 Clarksburg has hosted the annual West Virginia Italian Heritage Festival held during Labor Day weekend. Every September since 1991 the city has been the site of the West Virginia Black Heritage Festival. Since 2006 Clarksburg has hosted the annual Glen Elk Wine, Music and Arts festival. Since 1997 Clarksburg has also hosted the Greater Clarksburg 10K race, the official WV 10K State Championship. In 2007 the race was renamed the Jarvis Greater Clarksburg 10K.


The climate in this area is characterized by relatively high temperatures and evenly distributed precipitation throughout the year. According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Clarksburg has a Humid subtropical climate, abbreviated "Cfa" on climate maps.[17]

Climate data for Clarksburg, West Virginia
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 6
Average low °C (°F) −4
Average precipitation mm (inches) 99
Source: Weatherbase [18]

Notable people[edit]


  1. ^ a b "US Gazetteer files 2010". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 24, 2013. 
  2. ^ a b "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 24, 2013. 
  3. ^ "Population Estimates". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved June 26, 2013. 
  4. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  5. ^ a b "History of Clarksburg, WV". April 10, 2008. Retrieved June 2, 2011. 
  6. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23. 
  7. ^ a b [1][dead link]
  8. ^ "Special Report #1: The Mountaineer Militia's Long, Slippery Slope". October 21, 1996. Retrieved June 3, 2011. 
  9. ^ West Virginia Atlas & Gazetteer. DeLorme. 1997. p. 25. ISBN 0-89933-246-3. 
  10. ^ Health and Environmental Effects Research Laboratory "Level III Ecoregions of West Virginia". U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Retrieved September 29, 2013. 
  11. ^ United States Census Bureau. "Census of Population and Housing". Retrieved August 27, 2013. 
  12. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2012". Retrieved August 27, 2013. 
  13. ^ "Federal Bureau of Investigation - Overview of CJIS". Retrieved June 3, 2011. 
  14. ^ "Federal Bureau of Investigation - NCIC- National Crime Information Center". Retrieved September 29, 2013. 
  15. ^ "Federal Bureau of Investigation - CJIS-National Instant Criminal Background Check System Fact Sheet". November 30, 1998. Retrieved June 3, 2011. 
  16. ^ "EZNET - West Virginia Cities - Clarksburg". 1999. Retrieved June 3, 2011. 
  17. ^ Climate Summary for Clarskburg, West Virginia
  18. ^ "". Weatherbase. 2013.  Retrieved on September 15, 2013.
  19. ^ "LEWIS, Charles Swearinger, (1821 - 1878)". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved December 21, 2012. 

External links[edit]