Minden, West Virginia

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Minden, West Virginia
Minden is located in West Virginia
Location within the state of West Virginia
Minden is located in the United States
Minden (the United States)
Coordinates: 37°58′33″N 81°7′10″W / 37.97583°N 81.11944°W / 37.97583; -81.11944Coordinates: 37°58′33″N 81°7′10″W / 37.97583°N 81.11944°W / 37.97583; -81.11944
CountryUnited States
StateWest Virginia
 • Total0.494 sq mi (1.28 km2)
 • Land0.494 sq mi (1.28 km2)
 • Water0 sq mi (0 km2)
1,568 ft (478 m)
 • Total250
 • Density510/sq mi (200/km2)
Time zoneUTC-5 (Eastern (EST))
 • Summer (DST)UTC-4 (EDT)
ZIP code
Area code(s)304

Minden is a census-designated place (CDP) in Fayette County, West Virginia, United States. As of the 2010 census, its population was 250.[2] It has possessed a post office since 1905.[3]

The community was named after Minden, Germany, the native town of a local coal-mining official.[4] The Arbuckle creek runs through Minden.

In 1984, the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources reported PCB transformers at Shaffer Mine, which is on land owned by Berwind Land Co to the EPA. Soil samples from the old Shaffer mine showed PCB levels of 250,000 parts per million (ppm) and the EPA declared it a Superfund Site.[5] There were two clean-ups one in the 1980s and in 1992, including sealing of one part of the mine site. The United States Occupational Safety and Health Administration nevertheless did not monitor employee exposure to PCB.[6] A local doctor said that already in the 1980s he had told EPA agents that he believed PCB exposure was causing a higher number of cancer.[6]

In 2015, the community was annexed into the city of Oak Hill to acquire and upgrade the failing Arbuckle Public Service District. After a lengthy court battle, the annexation was upheld on November 18, 2016 by the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals. The Public Service District had been discharging sewage into Arbuckle Creek, investigated for loss and misappropriation of funds, and defaulted on bonds to the United States Department of Agriculture.[7]

In June 2017, the EPA started sampling soil because of a higher than expected frequency of cancers. More than 30 percent of residents have been diagnosed with a form of cancer, and 100 people who have lived or live in Minden have reported that one or more family members have been cancer patients. Some have multiple myeloma, a very aggressive form of lymphoma.[5][8]


  1. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23.
  2. ^ a b "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2011-05-14.
  3. ^ Post Offices in Fayette County, West Virginia
  4. ^ Kenny, Hamill (1945). West Virginia Place Names: Their Origin and Meaning, Including the Nomenclature of the Streams and Mountains. Piedmont, WV: The Place Name Press. p. 419.
  5. ^ a b Jessica Farrish EPA sampling properties adjacent to Arbuckle Creek The Register-Herald, June 18, 2017, retrieved 22 December 2017
  6. ^ a b Jessica Farrish Doctor plans Minden door-to-door survey of cancer diagnoses. June 22, 2017
  7. ^ Cheryl Keenan Supreme Court ruling on Minden annexation The Register-Herald, 19 November 2016] retrieved 22 December 2017
  8. ^ Baptiste, Nathalie (January 8, 2018). "This Town Is So Toxic, They Want It Wiped off the Map". Mother Jones. Retrieved January 15, 2018.

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