List of magisterial districts in West Virginia

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The U.S. state of West Virginia is divided into fifty-five counties, each of which is further subdivided into magisterial districts. The U.S. Census Bureau defines these districts as non-functioning subdivisions used for various purposes, such as conducting elections, apportioning county officials from different areas, recording land ownership, assessing property taxes, and collecting vital statistics. Magisterial districts possess no governmental organization or authority.[1]

After attaining independence from Virginia in 1863, West Virginia's counties were divided into civil townships, with the goal of placing authority in the hands of local governments. However, township government proved impractical across the heavily rural state, with citizens unable to meet on a regular basis, and inadequate tax revenue to meet township responsibilities.[2] Following the adoption of the Constitution of West Virginia in 1872, the townships were converted into magisterial districts, and the county courts (later county commissions) empowered to establish, consolidate, or otherwise modify them.[3]

Each county shall be laid off by the county court into magisterial districts, not less than three nor more than ten in number, and as nearly equal as may be in territory and population. The districts as they now exist shall remain until changed by the county court. The county court may, from time to time, increase or diminish the number of such districts, and change the boundary lines thereof as necessity may require, in order to conform the same to the provisions of the Constitution of the State.[3]

The only state other than West Virginia to use magisterial districts as a minor civil division of its counties is Virginia,[1] which like West Virginia initially established a system of civil townships, in its Constitution of 1870. These were replaced by magisterial districts in 1874.[4]

There are three hundred and fifty magisterial districts in West Virginia, an average of six districts per county. Greenbrier, Harrison, Mason, Ohio, and Wood Counties each contain ten districts, the maximum number provided for by state law. Brooke, Grant, and Hancock are the only counties with the minimum number of three. Twenty-four different counties include a Union District, thirteen have districts named after Ulysses S. Grant, and nine counties each have districts named for George Washington and Henry Clay.

List of the magisterial districts of West Virginia, sorted by county:[1][5]

Barbour County[edit]

  • Barker
  • Cove
  • Elk
  • Glade
  • Philippi
  • Pleasant
  • Union
  • Valley

Berkeley County[edit]

  • Arden
  • Falling Waters
  • Gerrardstown
  • Hedgesville
  • Martinsburg
  • Mill Creek
  • Opequon

Boone County[edit]

  • Crook
  • Peytona
  • Scott
  • Sherman
  • Washington

Braxton County[edit]

  • Birch
  • Holly
  • Otter
  • Salt Lick

Brooke County[edit]

  • Buffalo
  • Cross Creek
  • Wellsburg

Cabell County[edit]

  • Barboursville
  • Gideon
  • Grant
  • Guyandotte
  • Kyle
  • McComas
  • Union

Calhoun County[edit]

  • Center
  • Lee
  • Sheridan
  • Sherman
  • Washington

Clay County[edit]

  • Buffalo
  • Henry
  • Otter
  • Pleasant
  • Union

Doddridge County[edit]

  • Central
  • Cove
  • Grant
  • Greenbrier
  • McClellan
  • New Milton
  • Southwest
  • West Union

Fayette County[edit]

  • Falls
  • Fayetteville
  • Kanawha
  • Mountain Cove
  • Nuttall
  • Sewell Mountain
  • Quinnimont

Gilmer County[edit]

  • Center
  • De Kalb
  • Glenville
  • Troy

Grant County[edit]

  • Grant
  • Milroy
  • Union

Greenbrier County[edit]

  • Anthony Creek
  • Blue Sulphur
  • Falling Springs
  • Fort Spring
  • Frankford
  • Irish Corner
  • Lewisburg
  • Meadow Bluff
  • White Sulphur
  • Williamsburg

Hampshire County[edit]

  • Bloomery
  • Capon
  • Gore
  • Mill Creek
  • Romney
  • Sherman
  • Springfield

Hancock County[edit]

  • Butler
  • Clay
  • Grant

Hardy County[edit]

  • Capon
  • Lost River
  • Moorefield
  • South Fork

Harrison County[edit]

  • Clark
  • Clay
  • Coal
  • Eagle
  • Elk
  • Grant
  • Sardis
  • Simpson
  • Tenmile
  • Union

Jackson County[edit]

  • Grant
  • Ravenswood
  • Ripley
  • Union
  • Washington

Jefferson County[edit]

  • Charles Town
  • Harpers Ferry
  • Kabletown
  • Middleway
  • Shepherdstown

Kanawha County[edit]

  • Big Sandy
  • Cabin Creek
  • Elk
  • Jefferson
  • Loudon
  • Malden
  • Poca
  • Union
  • Washington

Lewis County[edit]

  • Collins Settlement
  • Court House
  • Freemans Creek
  • Hackers Creek
  • Skin Creek

Lincoln County[edit]

  • Carroll
  • Duval
  • Harts Creek
  • Jefferson
  • Laurel Hill
  • Sheridan
  • Union
  • Washington

Logan County[edit]

  • Guyan
  • Island Creek
  • Logan
  • Triadelphia

Marion County[edit]

  • Fairmont
  • Grant
  • Lincoln
  • Mannington
  • Paw Paw
  • Union
  • Winfield

Marshall County[edit]

  • Cameron
  • Clay
  • Franklin
  • Liberty
  • Meade
  • Sand Hill
  • Union
  • Washington
  • Webster

Mason County[edit]

McDowell County[edit]

  • Adkin
  • Big Creek
  • Browns Creek
  • North Fork
  • Sandy River

Mercer County[edit]

  • Beaver Pond
  • East River
  • Jumping Branch
  • Plymouth
  • Rock

Mineral County[edit]

  • Cabin Run
  • Elk
  • Frankfort
  • New Creek
  • Piedmont
  • Welton

Mingo County[edit]

  • Hardee
  • Harvey
  • Kermit
  • Lee
  • Magnolia
  • Stafford
  • Tug River

Monongalia County[edit]

  • Battelle
  • Cass
  • Clay
  • Clinton
  • Grant
  • Morgan
  • Union

Monroe County[edit]

  • Red Sulphur
  • Second Creek
  • Springfield
  • Sweet Springs
  • Union
  • Wolf Creek

Morgan County[edit]

  • Allen
  • Bath
  • Cacapon
  • Rock Gap
  • Sleepy Creek
  • Timber Ridge

Nicholas County[edit]

  • Beaver
  • Grant
  • Hamilton
  • Jefferson
  • Kentucky
  • Summersville
  • Wilderness

Ohio County[edit]

  • Center
  • Clay
  • Liberty
  • Madison
  • Richland
  • Ritchie
  • Triadelphia
  • Union
  • Washington
  • Webster

Pendleton County[edit]

  • Bethel
  • Circleville
  • Franklin
  • Mill Run
  • Sugar Grove
  • Union

Pleasants County[edit]

  • Grant
  • Jefferson
  • Lafayette
  • McKim
  • Union
  • Washington

Pocahontas County[edit]

  • Edray
  • Greenbank
  • Huntersville
  • Little Levels

Preston County[edit]

  • Grant
  • Kingwood
  • Lyon
  • Pleasant
  • Portland
  • Reno
  • Union
  • Valley

Putnam County[edit]

  • Buffalo
  • Curry
  • Pocatalico
  • Scott
  • Teays Valley
  • Union

Raleigh County[edit]

  • Clear Fork
  • Marsh Fork
  • Richmond
  • Shady Spring
  • Slab Fork
  • Town
  • Trap Hill

Randolph County[edit]

  • Beverly
  • Dry Fork
  • Huttonsville
  • Leadsville
  • Middle Fork
  • Mingo
  • New Interest
  • Roaring Creek
  • Valley Bend

Ritchie County[edit]

  • Clay
  • Grant
  • Murphy
  • Union

Roane County[edit]

  • Curtis
  • Geary
  • Harper
  • Reedy
  • Smithfield
  • Spencer
  • Walton

Summers County[edit]

  • Forest Hill
  • Greenbrier
  • Green Sulphur
  • Jumping Branch
  • Pipestem
  • Talcott

Taylor County[edit]

  • Booths Creek
  • Court House
  • Fetterman
  • Flemington
  • Grafton
  • Knottsville

Tucker County[edit]

  • Black Fork
  • Clover
  • Davis
  • Dry Fork
  • Fairfax
  • Licking
  • St. George

Tyler County[edit]

  • Centreville
  • Ellsworth
  • Lincoln
  • McElroy
  • Meade
  • Union

Upshur County[edit]

  • Banks
  • Buckhannon
  • Meade
  • Union
  • Warren
  • Washington

Wayne County[edit]

  • Butler
  • Ceredo
  • Lincoln
  • Stonewall
  • Union
  • Westmoreland

Webster County[edit]

  • Fork Lick
  • Glade
  • Hacker Valley
  • Holly

Wetzel County[edit]

  • Center
  • Church
  • Clay
  • Grant
  • Green
  • Proctor
  • Magnolia

Wirt County[edit]

  • Burning Springs
  • Clay
  • Elizabeth
  • Newark
  • Reedy
  • Spring Creek
  • Tucker

Wood County[edit]

  • Clay
  • Harris
  • Lubeck
  • Parkersburg
  • Slate
  • Steele
  • Tygart
  • Union
  • Walker
  • Williams

Wyoming County[edit]

  • Baileysville
  • Barkers Ridge
  • Center
  • Clear Fork
  • Huff Creek
  • Oceana
  • Slab Fork

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c United States Census Bureau. Geographic Areas Reference Manual: Chapter 8 - County Subdivisions (PDF). United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2009-08-04..
  2. ^ Otis K. Rice & Stephen W. Brown, West Virginia: A History, 2nd ed., University Press of Kentucky, Lexington (1993), p. 240.
  3. ^ a b W. Va. Code § 7–2–2.
  4. ^ Library of Virginia, "A Guide to the Frederick County (Va.) Township Records, 1871–1875" (2010).
  5. ^ United States Census Bureau. West Virginia: County Subdivisions – Magisterial Districts and Places. United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2019-09-20..