Washington Court House, Ohio
|This article needs additional citations for verification. (June 2007)|
- Washington, Ohio redirects here. For the other municipality in Ohio once known as Washington, see Old Washington, Ohio.
|Washington Court House, Ohio|
|Nickname(s): Washington C.H.|
|• City manager||Joseph J. Denen|
|• Total||8.80 sq mi (22.79 km2)|
|• Land||8.74 sq mi (22.64 km2)|
|• Water||0.06 sq mi (0.16 km2)|
|• Estimate (2012)||14,110|
|• Density||1,623.8/sq mi (627.0/km2)|
|Time zone||Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)|
|• Summer (DST)||EDT (UTC-4)|
Washington Court House is a city in Fayette County, Ohio, United States. It is the county seat of Fayette County and is located approximately halfway between Cincinnati and Columbus, Ohio. The population was 14,192 in 2010 at the 2010 census. Until 2002, the official name of the city was City of Washington, but there also existed a municipality in Guernsey County, Ohio with the name Washington (now known as Old Washington). The area was originally settled by Virginia war veterans who received the land from the government as payment for their service in the American Revolution. In 2002, a new charter was adopted, officially changing the name to the "City of Washington Court House." The name is often abbreviated as "Washington C.H."
Washington C.H. has an unusual street grid layout. Typically, street grids are arranged east-west and north-south, especially in the Midwest. In this case, the streets in the downtown area, centering on the courthouse building, are arranged northeast-southwest and northwest-southeast. This was done so that all four sides of the courthouse building would receive some sunlight every day of the year. In the traditional grid system, the north side of a building never receives direct sunlight during the fall and winter months.
Washington Court House's first settlers appear to have been Edward Smith, Sr., and his family, who emigrated from Pennsylvania in 1810. Smith and his family constructed a rude house in the thick woodlands near Paint Creek, but their efforts to clear the land were interrupted by his departure for military service in the War of 1812. Comparatively soon after returning from his martial pursuits, Smith drowned while attempting to cross a flooded creek, but his widow and ten children survived and prospered despite the absence of their patriarch. Smith's descendents remained prominent in Fayette County for more than a century after his arrival from Pennsylvania, although many had left Washington Court House for other parts of the county. A family residence still stands on U.S. Route 62 not far outside the city's eastern boundary.
Numerous locations in the city are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Downtown, the courthouse square has been named a historic district, and a similar designation has been accorded the city cemetery. Nine individual buildings are separately listed on the Register: Judy Chapel at the cemetery, the former Washington School, the Fayette County Courthouse, the former William Burnett House (no longer standing), and the Barney Kelley, Jacob Light, Rawlings-Brownell, Robinson-Pavey, and Morris Sharp Houses.
As of the census of 2000, there were 13,524 people, 5,483 households, and 3,536 families residing in the city. The population density was 810.8/km² (2,100.8/mi²). There were 5,961 housing units at an average density of 357.4/km² (926.0/mi²). The racial makeup of the city was 94.52% White, 2.71% African American, 0.16% Native American, 0.82% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 0.66% from other races, and 1.12% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.38% of the population.
There were 5,483 households out of which 31.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 46.5% were married couples living together, 13.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 35.5% were non-families. 30.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 14.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.37 and the average family size was 2.93.
In the city the population was spread out with 25.0% under the age of 18, 8.1% from 18 to 24, 28.2% from 25 to 44, 22.0% from 45 to 64, and 16.7% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 37 years. For every 100 females there were 92.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 87.0 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $33,003, and the median income for a family was $40,721. Males had a median income of $31,708 versus $22,382 for females. The per capita income for the city was $18,618. About 9.0% of families and 12.5% of the population were below the poverty line, including 16.3% of those under the age of 18 and 13.2% ages 65 or older.
As of the census of 2010, there were 14,192 people, 5,762 households, and 3,628 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,623.8 inhabitants per square mile (627.0 /km2). There were 6,433 housing units at an average density of 736.0 per square mile (284.2 /km2). The racial makeup of the city was 93.5% White, 2.7% African American, 0.3% Native American, 0.8% Asian, 0.6% from other races, and 2.1% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.8% of the population.
There were 5,762 households of which 32.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 40.7% were married couples living together, 16.6% had a female householder with no husband present, 5.7% had a male householder with no wife present, and 37.0% were non-families. 31.1% of all households were made up of individuals and 12.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.37 and the average family size was 2.92.
The median age in the city was 38.4 years. 25% of residents were under the age of 18; 8.1% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 25.7% were from 25 to 44; 25.2% were from 45 to 64; and 15.9% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 47.7% male and 52.3% female.
Washington Court House is served by the Record Herald and a radio station, Buckeye Country 105.5 FM. Although it is located within the Columbus media market, Washington Court House also easily receives radio and television stations from Dayton and Cincinnati.
- Randall Dale Adams — man wrongly convicted of murder; his release was accomplished by a 1988 documentary film
- Scott Lewis — Cleveland Indians baseball player
- Art Schlichter — Baltimore Colts football player
- Jeff Shaw — Major League Baseball player
The Fayette County Court House is a host of an unusual event in its history (reminiscent of the 1960 Harper Lee novel To Kill a Mockingbird) that is described on a plaque outside the court house. On October 16, 1894, a crowd gathered outside the courthouse with intent to lynch alleged attacker William "Jasper" Dolby. Ohio Governor William McKinley called out the militia to subdue the crowd. The mob was initially thwarted, but on October 17, while Dolby awaited transportation from the jail to the courthouse, the riots intensified.
Despite Dolby's guilty plea to rape and a 20-year sentence, the crowd sought vengeance. They rushed the courthouse doors, and were warned to "disperse or be fired upon." They ignored the warning and continued to batter the doors.
Colonel Alonzo B. Coit ordered his troops to fire through the courthouse doors; five men were killed. Colonel Coit was indicted for manslaughter and was acquitted at trial. After the trial, Governor McKinley stated, "The law was upheld as it should have been...but in this case at fearful cost... Lynching cannot be tolerated in Ohio."
The bullet holes are still visible in the south doors of the courthouse.
City Council, as of 2013
- Steven R. Jennings
- Dale E. Lynch
- Benjamin G. Roby
- Gordon Davis
- Ted Hawk
- Chuck Winkle
- Jim D. Chrisman
City Council-elect members
Other officials, as of 2010
- City Manager - Joe Denen
- Fire Chief - Tom Youtz, interim
- Police Chief - Brian Hottinger
- Municipal Court Judge - Victor D. Pontious Jr
- Director of Finance - Tom Riley
- Asst. Director of Finance - Teena Keaton
- Building and Zoning Inspector - Rod Bryant
- "US Gazetteer files 2010". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2013-01-06.
- "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2013-01-06.
- "Population Estimates". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2013-06-17.
- "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
- Allen, Frank M., ed. History of Fayette County, Ohio: Her People, Industries, and Institutions. Indianapolis: Bowen, 1914, 752.
- Dills, R.S. History of Fayette County, Together With Historic Notes on the Northwest, and the State of Ohio. Dayton: Odell and Mayer, 1881, 459.
- "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2010-07-09.
- Fayette County Comprehensive Use Strategy Plan, Fayette County, 2006, 13. Accessed 2013-05-23.
- "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23.
- "Number of Inhabitants: Ohio". 18th Census of the United States. U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved 22 November 2013.
- "Ohio: Population and Housing Unit Counts". U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved 22 November 2013.
- "Incorporated Places and Minor Civil Divisions Datasets: Subcounty Population Estimates: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2012". U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved 25 November 2013.
- "Washington Court House city council". City of Washington. Retrieved 2010-02-28.
- "Washington Court House Public Safety". City of Washington. Retrieved 2010-02-28.
- "Washington Court House Municipal Court". City of Washington. Retrieved 2010-02-28.
- "Washington Court House Finance". City of Washington. Retrieved 2010-02-28.
- "Washington Court House Building Dept.". City of Washington. Retrieved 2010-02-28.
- Media related to Washington Court House, Ohio at Wikimedia Commons