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Mason County, West Virginia facts for kids

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Mason County
Tu-Endie-Wei State Park
Map of West Virginia highlighting Mason County
Location within the U.S. state of West Virginia
Map of the United States highlighting West Virginia
West Virginia's location within the U.S.
Country  United States
State  West Virginia
Founded January 2, 1804
Seat Point Pleasant
Largest city Point Pleasant
 • Total 445 sq mi (1,150 km2)
 • Land 431 sq mi (1,120 km2)
 • Water 14 sq mi (40 km2)  3.1%%
 • Total 27,324
 • Estimate 
 • Density 61.40/sq mi (23.708/km2)
Time zone UTC−5 (Eastern)
 • Summer (DST) UTC−4 (EDT)
Congressional district 3rd

Mason County is a county in the U.S. state of West Virginia. As of the 2010 census, the population was 27,324. Its county seat and largest city is Point Pleasant. The county was founded in 1804 and named for George Mason, delegate to the U.S. Constitutional Convention. Before the Civil War, the county was in the State of Virginia.

Mason County is part of the Point Pleasant, WV-OH Micropolitan Statistical Area.


In the second half of 1749, the French explorer, Pierre Joseph Céloron de Blainville, claimed French sovereignty over the Ohio Valley, burying a lead plaque at the meeting point of the Ohio and Kanawha Rivers, naming the place Point Pleasant.

In the Battle of Point Pleasant (October 10, 1774), fought on the future site of the town, over one thousand Virginia militiamen, led by Colonel Andrew Lewis (1720–1781), defeated a roughly equal force of an Algonquin confederation of Shawnee and Mingo warriors led by Shawnee Chief Cornstalk (ca. 1720-1777). The event is celebrated locally as the "First Battle of the American Revolutionary War" and in 1908 the U.S. Senate authorized erection of a local monument to commemorate it as such. Most historians, however, regard it not as a battle of the Revolution (1775–1783), but as a part of Lord Dunmore's War (1774). "Camp Point Pleasant" was established by Col. Lewis at the time of the Battle and the settlement that followed also took that name. Although not certain, Point Pleasant may have been permanently settled by whites as early as 1774.

According to Hardesty's West Virginia Counties (1883), regarding the first white settlers in Mason County south of Point Pleasant:

All that part of the district lying on the Ohio river bottoms above Eighteen-mile Creek, was included in the grant made by Congress to the heirs of General Mercer, who was killed at the battle of Princeton, New Jersey, January 3, 1777, while fighting by the side of Washington; hence the name Mercer Bottom. Who located and surveyed the lands cannot now be learned, but his grandson, Charles Fenton Mercer, of Virginia, afterward put the lands in market and sold them in quantities to suit purchasers. Thomas Hannan, whose name is preserved in that of the district, was the first actual settler - locating in the year 1790. Andrew Fleming and a Mr. Mercer, two hunters, had previously erected a cabin on the land which he purchased, and this was occupied by him until he could build a better one. Soon Jesse George purchased seventy acres of land at the mouth of Flatfoot Creek ... and became the second actual settler. Then came John Hereford, Robert Hereford, Thomas Powell, Edward S. Menager, John Morris — who discovered the first salt water on Kanawha river — George Withers, Robert Cremeans, James George, Rev. John Canterbury ...

The settlement at Point Pleasant did not receive an official charter until 1794. The first road through what later became Mason County was laid out by Thomas Hannan (1757-1835) in 1798 under contract to the federal government. It traversed the distance from present-day St Albans, [West] Virginia to Chillicothe, Ohio. This road (parts are still known as "Hannan Trace Road") is one of the oldest roads in Ohio. It became a main highway connecting Chillicothe and points east during the time when that settlement served as the capital of the Northwest Territory and the first capital of Ohio.

Mason County was officially created, from Kanawha County, on January 2, 1804. It was named for George Mason IV (1725–1792), known as the "Father of the United States Bill of Rights" and a Founding Father of the United States. By 1810, the total county population stood at almost two thousand people.


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 445 square miles (1,150 km2), of which 431 square miles (1,120 km2) is land and 14 square miles (36 km2) (3.1%) is water.

Major highways

  • US 35.svg U.S. Highway 35
  • WV-2.svg West Virginia Route 2
  • WV-62.svg West Virginia Route 62
  • WV-87.svg West Virginia Route 87
  • WV-817.svg West Virginia Route 817

Adjacent counties

National protected area

  • Ohio River Islands National Wildlife Refuge (part)


Historical population
Census Pop.
1810 1,991
1820 4,868 144.5%
1830 6,534 34.2%
1840 6,777 3.7%
1850 7,539 11.2%
1860 9,173 21.7%
1870 15,978 74.2%
1880 22,293 39.5%
1890 22,863 2.6%
1900 24,142 5.6%
1910 23,019 −4.7%
1920 21,459 −6.8%
1930 20,788 −3.1%
1940 22,270 7.1%
1950 23,537 5.7%
1960 24,459 3.9%
1970 24,306 −0.6%
1980 27,045 11.3%
1990 25,178 −6.9%
2000 25,957 3.1%
2010 27,324 5.3%
2019 (est.) 26,516 −3.0%
U.S. Decennial Census
1790–1960 1900–1990
1990–2000 2010–2019

2010 census

As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 27,324 people, 11,149 households, and 7,649 families residing in the county. The population density was 63.4 inhabitants per square mile (24.5/km2). There were 13,006 housing units at an average density of 30.2 per square mile (11.7/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 97.7% white, 0.6% black or African American, 0.3% Asian, 0.2% American Indian, 0.1% from other races, and 1.0% from two or more races. Those of Hispanic or Latino origin made up 0.4% of the population. In terms of ancestry, 19.4% were German, 11.3% were Irish, 11.2% were American, and 7.6% were English.

Of the 11,149 households, 29.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 52.5% were married couples living together, 11.6% had a female householder with no husband present, 31.4% were non-families, and 27.4% of all households were made up of individuals. The average household size was 2.39 and the average family size was 2.89. The median age was 42.4 years.

The median income for a household in the county was $36,027 and the median income for a family was $42,054. Males had a median income of $41,607 versus $25,444 for females. The per capita income for the county was $19,609. About 14.6% of families and 18.9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 27.3% of those under age 18 and 10.2% of those age 65 or over.

Mason County Fair

The Mason County Fair, held at the Mason County Fair Grounds in Point Pleasant, is the largest county fair in West Virginia (in terms of attendance). It is held every year during the first week of August.




Census-designated places

Unincorporated communities


Steamboat visit at county seat.

Mason County Schools operates public schools. There are three junior/senior high schools, seven elementary schools and one primary school in Mason County.

  • Point Pleasant Primary School
  • Ashton Elementary School
  • Beale Elementary School
  • Leon Elementary School
  • Mason Elementary School
  • Point Pleasant Intermediate School
  • Roosevelt Elementary School
  • Hannan Junior/Senior High School
  • Point Pleasant Junior/Senior High School
  • Wahama Junior/Senior High School
  • New Haven Elementary School

Notable person

  • Michael Joseph Owens, inventor of machine which automated the production of glass bottles

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