Washington Court House, Ohio

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Washington Court House, Ohio
Downtown Washington Court House from the courthouse lawn
Downtown Washington Court House from the courthouse lawn
Official seal of Washington Court House, Ohio
Seal
Nickname(s): 
Washington C.H.
Location of Washington Court House, Ohio
Location of Washington Court House, Ohio
Location of Washington Court House in Fayette County
Location of Washington Court House in Fayette County
Coordinates: 39°32′11″N 83°26′8″W / 39.53639°N 83.43556°W / 39.53639; -83.43556Coordinates: 39°32′11″N 83°26′8″W / 39.53639°N 83.43556°W / 39.53639; -83.43556
CountryUnited States
StateOhio
CountyFayette
TownshipUnion
Government
 • City managerJoseph J. Denen
Area
 • Total8.85 sq mi (22.93 km2)
 • Land8.79 sq mi (22.77 km2)
 • Water0.06 sq mi (0.16 km2)
Population
 • Total14,192
 • Estimate 
(2019)[3]
16,000
 • Density1,602.71/sq mi (618.80/km2)
Time zoneUTC−5 (Eastern (EST))
 • Summer (DST)UTC−4 (EDT)
ZIP code
43160
Area code740
FIPS code39-81214[4]
Websitehttp://www.cityofwch.com/

Washington Court House (often abbreviated as Washington C.H.) is a city in Union Township, Fayette County, Ohio, United States. It is the county seat of Fayette County and is located between Cincinnati and Columbus. The population was 14,192 in 2010 at the 2010 census. The area was initially settled by Virginia veterans of the American Revolution, who received the land from the government as payment for their service in the war.[6]

Name[edit]

Officially named Washington as far back as 1910, the "Court House" suffix was used to distinguish the city from other places in the state with "Washington" in their name (Ohio also has an Old Washington, New Washington, Washingtonville, and Port Washington).[7] The suffix is attributed to settlers who had come from Virginia, where "Court House" was used with county seats (e.g. Appomattox Court House).[7] "Washington C. H." was added to maps and postal guides, and the de facto use of "Washington Court House" persisted over time.[7] The name was made official when the city adopted a new charter in the early 2000s.[a] "Washington Court House" is the longest city name in the state of Ohio.[9]

History[edit]

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 crude 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.[10] Comparatively soon after returning from his martial pursuits, Smith drowned while attempting to cross a flooded creek,[11] but his widow and 10 children survived and prospered despite the absence of their patriarch. Smith's descendants 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.[10] A family residence still stands on U.S. Route 62 not far outside the city's eastern boundary.[12]

In 1833, Washington Court House (then known as Washington) contained a printing office, seven stores, two taverns, two groceries, a schoolhouse, a meeting house, and about 70 residential houses.[13]

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[14]), and the Barney Kelley, Jacob Light, Rawlings-Brownell, Robinson-Pavey, and Morris Sharp houses.[12]

Streets within the downtown part of the city around the courthouse building are arranged northeast–southwest and northwest–southeast, rather than east–west and north–south, so that each side of the courthouse receives some sunlight every day of the year.[6]

1894 riot[edit]

Ohio Historical Marker on the front lawn of the Fayette County Courthouse

On October 16, 1894, a crowd gathered outside the Fayette County Courthouse with intent to lynch convicted rapist William "Jasper" Dolby, a black man who had raped a white woman. Ohio Governor William McKinley called out the militia to subdue the crowd. On October 17, the crowd rushed the courthouse doors and was 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, killing five men. Colonel Coit was indicted for manslaughter, but 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."[15] The courthouse doors were not repaired or replaced and the bullet holes from the 1894 riot are still present in the southeast doors.[16]

Geography[edit]

Washington Court House is located at 39°32′11″N 83°26′8″W / 39.53639°N 83.43556°W / 39.53639; -83.43556,[17] along Paint Creek.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 8.80 square miles (22.79 km2), of which 8.74 square miles (22.64 km2) is land and 0.06 square miles (0.16 km2) is covered by water.[18]

Demographics[edit]

Historical population
Census Pop.
1820191
183029956.5%
1850569
18601,03581.9%
18702,117104.5%
18803,79879.4%
18905,74251.2%
19005,7510.2%
19107,27726.5%
19207,9629.4%
19308,4265.8%
19409,40211.6%
195010,56012.3%
196012,38817.3%
197012,4950.9%
198012,6481.2%
199012,9832.6%
200013,5244.2%
201014,1924.9%
Est. 201914,091[3]−0.7%
Sources:[4][19][20]

2010 census[edit]

As of the census[2] 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.

2000 census[edit]

As of the census[4] 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 age distribution of the population showed 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 were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 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.

Media[edit]

Washington Court House is part of the Columbus, Ohio, media market, so is served by several Columbus-area television and radio stations.[21] The city has two local radio stations. Buckeye Country 105.5 FM (WCHO-FM) WCHO plays country music and (WCHO-AM) 1250 plays oldies. Both stations cover local news, sports, and agricultural stories. Washington Court House also easily receives radio and television stations from Dayton and Cincinnati.

The hometown newspaper of Washington Court House is the Record Herald. The Record Herald was formed from the merger of two dailies – The Record-Republican and the Washington C.H. Herald – in 1937.[22] The latter paper's publishing history dates back to 1858 when it began as a weekly.[23] As of 2012, the Record Herald reported circulation of 5,143 daily and 21,849 for weekend inserts.[24]

Notable people[edit]

Government[edit]

Aerial view of Washington Court House

In 2016, the municipal government stated that any persons who survive a heroin overdose may be charged with a misdemeanor crime.[25]

City Council, as of 2017[edit]

  • Dale E. Lynch[26]
  • Steve R. Jennings[26]
  • Kendra Redd Hernandez[26]
  • Leah Link-Foster
  • Ted Hawk[26]
  • Kimberlee Bonnell
  • Jim D. Chrisman[26]

Other officials, as of 2017[edit]

  • City Manager – Joseph J. Denen[27]
  • Fire Chief – Tom Youtz[27]
  • Police Chief – Brian Hottinger[27]
  • Municipal Court Judge – Victor D. Pontious Jr[28]
  • Director of Finance – Tom L. Riley[29]
  • Asst. Director of Finance – Teena M. Keaton[29]
  • Building and Zoning Inspector – Rod Bryant[30]

Boards and committees, as of May 2017[edit]

  • City Income Tax Board members: Ron Sockman, Nancy Hammond, Wilma Coulter[31]
  • Civil Service Commission members: Allen Griffiths, Susan Wollscheid, John (Hank) Roszman[32]
  • City Planning Commission members: Keith Eckles, Tim Fogt, John Pfeifer, Kirk Wilson, Scott Snyder[33]
  • Board of Zoning Appeals members: Tammy Bath, Denny Beis, Dave Fish, Dan Leaverton, Donald Moore[34]

Education[edit]

Education in the Washington Court House, Ohio, comprises two public school districts, as well as a private school and a community college.

Washington Court House has a public library, housed in a historic Carnegie library building.[35]

Airport[edit]

Fayette County Airport is a county-owned general aviation facility located northeast of Washington Court House.

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ The city's website gives a 2002 date for the charter change that formally adopted the Washington Court House name;[6] however, the charter itself cites an effective date of January 1, 2004.[8]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "2019 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 28, 2020.
  2. ^ a b "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2013-01-06.
  3. ^ a b "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". Retrieved May 21, 2020.
  4. ^ a b c "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  5. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  6. ^ a b c "Local History & Profile". cityofwch.com. Retrieved April 4, 2020.
  7. ^ a b c "City Explains Its Reason in Deciding Name". The Advocate. Newark, Ohio. AP. September 5, 1931. p. 12. Retrieved April 4, 2020 – via newspapers.com.
  8. ^ "Charter | City of Washington Court House". 2008. pp. 2, 25. Retrieved April 4, 2020. Effective Date of Charter shall be January 1, 2004
  9. ^ Suneson, Grant (November 6, 2017). "The Longest City Name in Every State". 247wallst.com. Retrieved April 4, 2020.
  10. ^ a b Allen, Frank M., ed. History of Fayette County, Ohio: Her People, Industries, and Institutions. Indianapolis: Bowen, 1914, 752.
  11. ^ 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.
  12. ^ a b "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. July 9, 2010.
  13. ^ Kilbourn, John (1833). The Ohio Gazetteer, or, a Topographical Dictionary. Scott and Wright. p. 479. Retrieved 12 December 2013.
  14. ^ Fayette County Comprehensive Use Strategy Plan Archived 2010-06-13 at the Wayback Machine, Fayette County, 2006, 13. Accessed 2013-05-23.
  15. ^ "Col. Coit Acquitted". St. Joseph News-Press. St. Joseph, Missouri. March 9, 1895. p. 1. Retrieved April 4, 2020 – via newspapers.com.
  16. ^ "Bullet Holes in a Courthouse Door". Travel 88. December 5, 2017. Retrieved April 4, 2020.
  17. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23.
  18. ^ "US Gazetteer files 2010". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2013-01-06.
  19. ^ "Number of Inhabitants: Ohio" (PDF). 18th Census of the United States. U.S. Census Bureau. 1960. Retrieved 17 May 2020.
  20. ^ "Ohio: Population and Housing Unit Counts" (PDF). U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved 17 May 2020.
  21. ^ "Columbus Media Market Map". Echo Star. Retrieved January 6, 2014.
  22. ^ "About Washington C.H. Record-Herald". Chronicling America. Library of Congress. Retrieved January 6, 2014.
  23. ^ "About Washington Herald 1858-1860". Chronicling America. Library of Congress. Retrieved January 6, 2014.
  24. ^ Self-reported, sworn statement of circulation (October 1, 2012). "Record Herald Rate Card" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on October 8, 2013.
  25. ^ "Ohio town to charge overdose survivors with 'inducing panic'". Christian Science Monitor. 2017-03-07. Retrieved 2017-03-09.
  26. ^ a b c d e "Washington Court House city council". City of Washington. Retrieved 2010-02-28.
  27. ^ a b c "Washington Court House Public Safety". City of Washington. Retrieved 2010-02-28.
  28. ^ "Washington Court House Municipal Court". City of Washington. Retrieved 2010-02-28.
  29. ^ a b "Washington Court House Finance". City of Washington. Retrieved 2010-02-28.
  30. ^ "Washington Court House Building Dept". City of Washington. Retrieved 2010-02-28.
  31. ^ "City Income Tax Board - Washington Court House, OH". www.cityofwch.com. Retrieved 17 April 2018.
  32. ^ "Civil Service Commission - Washington Court House, OH". www.cityofwch.com. Retrieved 17 April 2018.
  33. ^ "City Planning Commission - Washington Court House, OH". www.cityofwch.com. Retrieved 17 April 2018.
  34. ^ "Board of Zoning Appeals - Washington Court House, OH". www.cityofwch.com. Retrieved 17 April 2018.
  35. ^ "Homepage". Carnegie Public Library of Washington Court House. Retrieved 25 February 2018.

External links[edit]