Brooke County, West Virginia

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Brooke County, West Virginia
Old Main at Bethany College, eastern front.jpg
Map of West Virginia highlighting Brooke County
Location in the U.S. state of West Virginia
Map of the United States highlighting West Virginia
West Virginia's location in the U.S.
Founded November 30, 1797
Named for Robert Brooke
Seat Wellsburg
Largest city Follansbee
Area
 • Total 93 sq mi (241 km2)
 • Land 89 sq mi (231 km2)
 • Water 3.4 sq mi (9 km2), 3.6%
Population (est.)
 • (2017) 22,443
 • Density 264/sq mi (102/km2)
Congressional district 1st
Time zone Eastern: UTC−5/−4
Website www.brookewv.org

Brooke County is a county in the Northern Panhandle of the U.S. state of West Virginia. As of the 2010 census, the population was 24,069.[1] Its county seat is Wellsburg.[2] The county was created in 1797 from part of Ohio County[3] and named in honor of Robert Brooke, Governor of Virginia from 1794 to 1796.[4]

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

History[edit]

The Ohio Company of Virginia petitioned the British King for 500,000 acres of land in the Ohio River Valley in 1747, but the first actual settlers to this area on what later became West Virginia's Northern Panhandle were brothers Jonathan, Israel and Friend Cox who staked a "tomahawk claim" to 1200 acres (400 acres for each brother) at the mouth of Buffalo Creek[6] and extending along the Ohio River. Their cousin George Cox staked an adjacent claim a few years later. In 1788 Charles Prather purchased 481 acres from Friend Cox's heir, John Cox, and by year's end Alexander Wells, formerly of Baltimore, Maryland and later of Cross Creek Township, Pennsylvania established a trading post (associating with his Baltimore cousin Richard Owings). In 1791 the Ohio County Court incorporated the town as "Charlestown" (after Prather's first name). On November 30, 1796 the Virginia General Assembly formed Brooke County, from parts of Ohio County, and made "Charlestown" the county seat. However, confusion existed because across the Appalachian Continental Divide to the east in Jefferson County, another Charlestown had been incorporated, which is now known as Charles Town, and yet another Charleston had been established at the confluence of the Elk and Kanawha Rivers in 1788. Addressing this confusion, the Virginia General Assembly on December 28, 1816 changed the Brooke county seat's name from "Charlestown" to Wellsburg, supposedly to honor Charles Wells, who had married Charles Prather's daughter.[7] The first Masonic Lodge west of the Allegheny Mountains was established in Wellsburg on March 4, 1799, and although under the jurisdiction of the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania for six years, since December 17, 1817 it has been under the jurisdiction of the Grand Lodge of Virginia and later of West Virginia.[8]

The first glass factory in Wellsburg was built in 1813, taking advantage of the relatively easy transportation on the Ohio River, although when the National Road was built around five years later, its crossing (first by ferry) would be slightly further west in Wheeling, West Virginia. Rev. Alexander Campbell) founded the first Virginia school west of the Appalachians in 1818, which the Virginia General Assembly chartered in 1840 as Bethany College. During the American Civil War, Brooke County's elected officials helped found the new state of West Virginia, after their efforts to block secession failed at the Virginia Secession Convention of 1861. Wellsburg received a new charter in 1866 from the new West Virginia legislature, and Samuel Marks became Wellsburg's first elected mayor.[9]

Geography[edit]

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 93 square miles (240 km2), of which 89 square miles (230 km2) is land and 3.4 square miles (8.8 km2) (3.6%) is water.[10] It is the second-smallest county in West Virginia by area. The highest point of elevation in Brooke County is approximately 1372 ft. and located about 1.5 miles south of Franklin.[1]

Major highways[edit]

Adjacent counties[edit]

National protected area[edit]

Demographics[edit]

Historical population
Census Pop.
18004,706
18105,84324.2%
18206,63113.5%
18307,0416.2%
18407,94812.9%
18505,054−36.4%
18605,4948.7%
18705,464−0.5%
18806,01310.0%
18906,66010.8%
19007,2198.4%
191011,09853.7%
192016,52748.9%
193024,66349.2%
194025,5133.4%
195026,9045.5%
196028,9407.6%
197029,6852.6%
198031,1174.8%
199026,992−13.3%
200025,447−5.7%
201024,069−5.4%
Est. 201722,443[11]−6.8%
U.S. Decennial Census[12]
1790–1960[13] 1900–1990[14]
1990–2000[15] 2010–2015[1]

2000 census[edit]

As of the census[16] of 2000, there were 25,447 people, 10,396 households, and 7,152 families residing in the county. The population density was 286 people per square mile (111/km²). There were 11,150 housing units at an average density of 126 per square mile (48/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 97.90% White, 0.85% Black or African American, 0.10% Native American, 0.34% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 0.09% from other races, and 0.69% from two or more races. 0.39% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 10,396 households out of which 26.90% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 55.30% were married couples living together, 9.90% had a female householder with no husband present, and 31.20% were non-families. 27.90% of all households were made up of individuals and 14.40% 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 2.88.

In the county, the population was spread out with 20.40% under the age of 18, 9.40% from 18 to 24, 25.80% from 25 to 44, 26.00% from 45 to 64, and 18.30% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 41 years. For every 100 females there were 91.80 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 89.90 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $32,981, and the median income for a family was $39,948. Males had a median income of $34,397 versus $19,711 for females. The per capita income for the county was $17,131. About 9.50% of families and 11.70% of the population were below the poverty line, including 16.40% of those under age 18 and 9.10% of those age 65 or over.

2010 census[edit]

As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 24,069 people, 10,020 households, and 6,636 families residing in the county.[17] The population density was 269.8 inhabitants per square mile (104.2/km2). There were 10,967 housing units at an average density of 122.9 per square mile (47.5/km2).[18] The racial makeup of the county was 97.0% white, 1.2% black or African American, 0.4% Asian, 0.1% American Indian, 0.2% from other races, and 1.1% from two or more races. Those of Hispanic or Latino origin made up 0.7% of the population.[17] In terms of ancestry, 21.5% were German, 17.5% were Irish, 16.4% were Italian, 11.5% were English, 7.2% were American, 5.9% were Scotch-Irish, and 5.7% were Polish.[19]

Of the 10,020 households, 25.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 50.7% were married couples living together, 10.7% had a female householder with no husband present, 33.8% were non-families, and 29.2% of all households were made up of individuals. The average household size was 2.32 and the average family size was 2.83. The median age was 44.8 years.[17]

The median income for a household in the county was $39,475 and the median income for a family was $52,528. Males had a median income of $39,065 versus $29,824 for females. The per capita income for the county was $22,377. About 7.9% of families and 11.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 16.5% of those under age 18 and 7.8% of those age 65 or over.[20]

Law and government[edit]

Brooke 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 Brooke County Commissioners in 2008 are President Bernard Kazienko, Marty Bartz, and Norma Tarr.[21][22]

Brooke County is part of the First Judicial Circuit of West Virginia, which also includes Hancock and Ohio counties. In West Virginia, Circuit Judges are elected in non-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. David J. Sims, and the Hon. Ronald E. Wilson. All four Circuit Court judges were re-elected in November 2016.

Brooke County is part of the First Family Court Circuit of West Virginia which also includes Hancock 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 who were both elected to eight-year terms in November 2008.[23]

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. Brooke County currently has two magistrates: Robin Snyder and Danielle Diserio.[23]

Politics[edit]

Abutting free states Ohio and Pennsylvania, and with a largely German-American culture unlike any other part of antebellum Virginia,[24] Brooke County and the rest of the Northern Panhandle were central to the vanguard who made West Virginia a new state during the Civil War.[25] For the next six and a half decades the county, aided by its association with Pennsylvania’s powerful ironmonger-led Republican machines, voted solidly Republican to the point of supporting William Howard Taft during the disastrously divided 1912 election. From the New Deal until Bill Clinton, however, powerful unionization meant that Brooke County turned from solidly Republican to solidly Democratic except when the Democrats nominated the liberal George McGovern in 1972. Like all of West Virginia, since 2000 a combination of declining unionization[26] and differences with the Democratic Party’s liberal views on social issues[27] has produced a dramatic swing to the Republican Party.

Presidential elections results
Presidential elections results[28]
Year Republican Democratic Third parties
2016 68.3% 6,625 26.5% 2,568 5.2% 503
2012 54.3% 5,060 42.9% 4,005 2.8% 263
2008 50.3% 4,961 47.9% 4,717 1.8% 179
2004 48.2% 5,189 51.0% 5,493 0.8% 91
2000 44.6% 4,195 49.7% 4,678 5.7% 532
1996 28.9% 2,741 56.2% 5,338 15.0% 1,421
1992 24.8% 2,582 54.7% 5,693 20.6% 2,140
1988 38.9% 4,006 60.7% 6,258 0.4% 42
1984 41.9% 4,819 57.7% 6,636 0.4% 43
1980 39.2% 4,622 54.5% 6,430 6.3% 743
1976 36.9% 4,792 63.1% 8,197
1972 59.1% 7,544 40.9% 5,226
1968 31.9% 4,191 57.1% 7,506 11.0% 1,444
1964 25.5% 3,364 74.5% 9,834
1960 42.3% 5,754 57.7% 7,838
1956 45.7% 5,944 54.3% 7,072
1952 40.1% 5,073 59.9% 7,591
1948 35.4% 3,718 63.6% 6,680 1.1% 114
1944 38.5% 3,588 61.5% 5,726
1940 38.4% 4,004 61.6% 6,416
1936 36.7% 3,485 62.7% 5,955 0.6% 55
1932 43.6% 4,010 53.4% 4,919 3.0% 277
1928 68.1% 5,277 31.2% 2,419 0.6% 48
1924 59.3% 3,858 31.3% 2,037 9.3% 606
1920 57.4% 3,060 39.9% 2,129 2.7% 146
1916 50.7% 1,422 45.0% 1,261 4.3% 120
1912 38.6% 972 33.7% 850 27.7% 697

Education[edit]

Brooke County is the home of Bethany College which is the oldest private college in the state.

Communities[edit]

Cities[edit]

Town[edit]

Villages[edit]

Census-designated places[edit]

Unincorporated communities[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 9, 2014. 
  2. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Archived from the original on 2011-05-31. Retrieved 2011-06-07. 
  3. ^ "West Virginia: Individual County Chronologies". West Virginia Atlas of Historical County Boundaries. The Newberry Library. 2003. Retrieved August 10, 2015. 
  4. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-10-22. Retrieved 2013-01-29. 
  5. ^ http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/omb/bulletins/2013/b13-01.pdf
  6. ^ TX, Jean Suplick Matuson, Plano,. "Washington Co., PA - Geography". www.chartiers.com. Retrieved 2018-03-27. 
  7. ^ Nancy L. Caldwell, A History of Brooke County, (Brooke County Historical Society 1975), p. 4
  8. ^ Caldwell p. 5
  9. ^ Caldwell p. 4 et seq
  10. ^ "2010 Census Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. August 22, 2012. Retrieved July 23, 2015. 
  11. ^ "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". Retrieved Apr 7, 2018. 
  12. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on May 12, 2015. Retrieved January 9, 2014. 
  13. ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved January 9, 2014. 
  14. ^ "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 9, 2014. 
  15. ^ "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 9, 2014. 
  16. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on 2013-09-11. Retrieved 2011-05-14. 
  17. ^ a b c "DP-1 Profile of General Population and Housing Characteristics: 2010 Demographic Profile Data". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2016-04-03. 
  18. ^ "Population, Housing Units, Area, and Density: 2010 - County". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2016-04-03. 
  19. ^ "DP02 SELECTED SOCIAL CHARACTERISTICS IN THE UNITED STATES – 2006-2010 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2016-04-03. 
  20. ^ "DP03 SELECTED ECONOMIC CHARACTERISTICS – 2006-2010 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2016-04-03. 
  21. ^ "Tarr Out in Brooke County". The Intelligencer. Retrieved 17 July 2017. 
  22. ^ "Obituaries: Bernard 'Bernie' L. Kaziensko". Reasner Funeral House. Retrieved 17 July 2017. 
  23. ^ a b See West Virginia Secretary of State; Election Results Center
  24. ^ MacKenzie, Scott; ‘The Fifth Border State: Slavery and the Formation of West Virginia, 1850-1868’ (thesis), Auburn University Electronic Theses and Dissertations
  25. ^ Link, William A.; ‘This Bastard New Virginia: Slavery, West Virginia Exceptionalism, and the Secession Crisis’
  26. ^ Schwartzman, Gabe; ‘How Central Appalachia Went Right’; Daily Yonder, January 13, 2015
  27. ^ Cohn, Nate; ‘Demographic Shift: Southern Whites’ Loyalty to G.O.P. Nearing That of Blacks to Democrats’, The New York Times, April 24, 2014
  28. ^ Leip, David. "Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections". uselectionatlas.org. Retrieved 2018-03-27. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 40°16′N 80°35′W / 40.27°N 80.58°W / 40.27; -80.58