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Mannington, West Virginia
Location in Marion County and the state of West Virginia.
Location in Marion County and the state of West Virginia.
Country United States
State West Virginia
County Marion
 • Total 1.15 sq mi (2.98 km2)
 • Land 1.10 sq mi (2.85 km2)
 • Water 0.05 sq mi (0.13 km2)
Elevation 974 ft (297 m)
Population (2010)
 • Total 2,063
 • Estimate (2012) 2,070
 • Density 1,875.5/sq mi (724.1/km2)
Time zone Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
ZIP code 26582
Area code(s) 304
FIPS code 54-51100
GNIS feature ID 1542721

Mannington is a city in Marion County, West Virginia, United States located in the hills of North-Central West Virginia. Known as Mannington since 1856, the town is rich with history and heritage – from Native American relics to frontiersmen and their settlements to Civil War legends. Perhaps what makes Mannington most unusual is the impact of the oil and gas boom in 1890 that literally changed the shape of the town. The population was 2,063 at the 2010 census.


Mannington is located at 39°31′38″N 80°20′23″W / 39.52722°N 80.33972°W / 39.52722; -80.33972 (39.527340, -80.339742), along Buffalo Creek.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 1.15 square miles (2.98 km2), of which, 1.10 square miles (2.85 km2) is land and 0.05 square miles (0.13 km2) is water.


Early History

At the time of the first settlement, the west fork of Buffalo Creek was known as Warrior’s Fork, while the North Fork has historically borne the name of Pyle's Fork. One of the first settlers in the area was John Ice, who was born in the valley of the South Branch of the Potomac River in what was then Virginia. As a child, Ice and his father searched in vain for his mother, two sisters and brother who had been captured by the Indians. The mother was never found, although the children ultimately were. Only John's brother, known from then on as "Indian Billy" returned to the family. The sisters chose to remain with their one time captors (Prichard 1983).

Indian activity was not uncommon in the area and many settlers and travelers met their fate at the hands of the Indians, including John Madison, the cousin of James Madison the future president, who was killed on a surveying trip in the area in 1783. Although not necessarily as a result of this, James Madison did procure, as an investment, some land on Brush Run and Pyles Fork just north of Forks of Buffalo.

The earliest population concentration did not occur in what is now Mannington, but rather approximately two miles west of Dent's Run. Most of the land now falling within the city limits, some 1,360 acres (5.5 km2), was owned by Robert Rutherford, a Revolutionary War financier and an intimate friend of George Washington. In 1799, Rutherford sold his Forks of Buffalo holdings to James Brown of Berkeley County, Virginia, who, after experiencing financial setbacks, eventually sold the property at public sale in 1824 to a group of Baltimore, Maryland, investors which included William Baker. Baker apparently bought out his partners and, in turn, sold the parcel to James Hanway, a surveyor living in Monongalia County, who parceled the land and began selling it. This final transaction occurred in 1840 and it was then that the area now known as Mannington had its genesis.

After the parceling of the land around the Forks of Buffalo, interest in the area increased as did the population. A number of log houses began to be built, with the accompanying entrepreneurial activities that one might expect in an early settlement. By 1850 a tavern owned by George and Samuel Koon appeared in the heart of the burgeoning town. Not long after the tavern was opened, the Forks of Buffalo began to be known as Koon Town. While the local inhabitants may have used the newer name, the United States government failed to do so, in 1850 naming their first postal office in the community the Forks of Buffalo Post Office. It was not until 1856 that the village officially became known as Mannington, named after Charles Manning, a civil engineer with the Baltimore and Ohio (B&O) Railroad. Manning was well liked by the community and the inhabitants were eager to have a more "dignified" name for a growing town on the new railroad line.

The coming of the railroad heralded the introduction of heavier industry in the Mannington area. Logging and coal were two of the obvious industries which were developed along the railroad line, but there were a great many peripheral industries which appeared as well. Tree bark was used by the tanneries, which, in turn, produced a wide range of leather goods. New planning mills, sawmills, and woodworking plants were started, and the availability of transportation also witnessed an increase in cattle, sheep and crop production.

During the American Civil War, the B&O railroad, of vital interest to both of the conflicting sides, sustained more damage than Mannington proper did. While Confederate forces succeeded in burning several of the railroad bridges at the very beginning of the conflict, reinforcements from the Union insured the integrity of the Mannington section of the line for the remainder of the war.

Oil and Gas Boom

A new chapter in Mannington's history began in 1889 with the first oil drilling, following recommendations made by Dr. Israel C. White, a well-known geologist who later became West Virginia State Geologist. Although many felt that the area was unfavorable for oil reserves, White persisted and soon gained enough local support to drill. Following the first strike, late in 1889, real estate prices soared 100% in two days in a boom-town mentality. The Mannington field became one of the largest in the State, with the largest well producing about 1,600 barrels per day (250 m3/d).

Dr. White also pushed for natural gas exploration. It was this venture, more successful than any before or since, that was most responsible for Mannington's growth. The population increased from approximately 700 people in the late 19th century to over 4,000 by 1917. By 1900, Mannington was a thriving town, complete with its own trolley system, electricity, theaters, schools, fire department, telephones and other amenities. The Mannington School Building, constructed in 1902-03, was the pride of both the town and the state. In 1923, Albert Heck began the formation of the first community radio cable system from Mannington to its outlying areas.

Boom to Bust

The 1929 stock market crash and the Depression severely affected Mannington's economy. The trolley ceased operation in 1933, factory workers left as demand for products decreased, and the town's population began to decline.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1860 241
1870 411 70.5%
1890 908
1900 1,681 85.1%
1910 2,672 59.0%
1920 3,673 37.5%
1930 3,261 −11.2%
1940 3,145 −3.6%
1950 3,241 3.1%
1960 2,996 −7.6%
1970 2,747 −8.3%
1980 3,036 10.5%
1990 2,184 −28.1%
2000 2,124 −2.7%
2010 2,063 −2.9%
Est. 2015 2,077 0.7%
U.S. Decennial Census

2010 census

As of the census of 2010, there were 2,063 people, 842 households, and 578 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,875.5 inhabitants per square mile (724.1/km2). There were 964 housing units at an average density of 876.4 per square mile (338.4/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 98.8% White, 0.2% African American, 0.2% Native American, 0.3% Asian, and 0.4% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.9% of the population.

There were 842 households of which 31.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 49.5% were married couples living together, 13.3% had a female householder with no husband present, 5.8% had a male householder with no wife present, and 31.4% were non-families. 27.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 13% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.45 and the average family size was 2.95.

The median age in the city was 41.8 years. 23.5% of residents were under the age of 18; 6.8% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 24.6% were from 25 to 44; 27.5% were from 45 to 64; and 17.5% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 47.8% male and 52.2% female.

2000 census

As of the census of 2000, there were 2,124 people, 884 households, and 625 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,823.8 people per square mile (707.0/km²). There were 990 housing units at an average density of 850.1 per square mile (329.5/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 83.9% White,2.54% African American, 0.42% Native American, 0.19% Asian, and 0.71% from two or more races. Hispanics or Latinos of any race were 0.33% of the population.

There were 884 households out of which 28.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 52.7% were married couples living together, 14.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 29.2% were non-families. 26.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 17.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.40 and the average family size was 2.88.

The age distribution was 23.0% under the age of 18, 7.8% from 18 to 24, 25.3% from 25 to 44, 24.7% from 45 to 64, and 19.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40 years. For every 100 females there were 85.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 82.9 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $26,806, and the median income for a family was $31,852. Males had a median income of $25,078 versus $19,464 for females. The per capita income for the city was $13,036. About 12.7% of families and 18.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 37.1% of those under age 18 and 9.8% of those age 65 or over.


The climate in this area is characterized by relatively high temperatures and evenly distributed precipitation throughout the year. According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Mannington has a Humid subtropical climate, abbreviated "Cfa" on climate maps.

Climate data for Mannington, West Virginia
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 5.6
Average low °C (°F) -6.1
Precipitation mm (inches) 99
Source: Weatherbase
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