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Mingo County, West Virginia facts for kids

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Mingo County
The Coal House museum in Williamson.
The Coal House museum in Williamson.
Map of West Virginia highlighting Mingo 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 30, 1895
Named for Mingo people
Seat Williamson
Largest city Williamson
 • Total 424 sq mi (1,100 km2)
 • Land 423 sq mi (1,100 km2)
 • Water 0.9 sq mi (2 km2)  0.2%%
 • Total 26,839
 • Estimate 
 • Density 63.30/sq mi (24.440/km2)
Time zone UTC−5 (Eastern)
 • Summer (DST) UTC−4 (EDT)
Congressional district 3rd

Mingo County is a county in the U.S. state of West Virginia. As of the 2010 census, the population was 26,839. Its county seat and largest city is Williamson. Created in 1895, Mingo is West Virginia's newest county, named for the historic Iroquoian Mingo people.


Mingo County is the newest county in the state, formed by an act of the state legislature in 1895 from parts of Logan County. Its founding was related to a legal protest by a moonshiner, who claimed that the Logan County Court that had found him guilty did not have jurisdiction over his case, because his still was actually located in Lincoln County. A land survey was taken and discovered that the defendant was correct. The charges were then refiled in Lincoln County court. Although the moonshiner was ultimately found guilty of his crime, the state legislature was made aware of the situation and determined that Logan County was too large for the expeditious administration of justice and decided to create a new county, called Mingo. The county was named in honor of the Mingo Indians.

The attempt to unionize coal miners in the county in the 1920s led to the Battle of Blair Mountain in neighboring Logan County.

Politically, Mingo County is well known for its opposition to former President Barack Obama. In 2008, Obama netted only 8 percent of the vote in the Democratic primary, one of his worst performances. In 2012, despite Obama being the presumptive nominee, Democrats in Mingo County voted for Keith Russell Judd, a convicted felon who was the only other candidate on the ballot, over Obama.

In 2014, Mingo County native Jeremy T.K. Farley published "The Ghosts of Mingo County," a history book of what he described as "the bloodiest county in America." The book was met with mixed reviews; some residents stated that publication portrayed the county as being too lawless, while others believed the book accurately told the county's history.


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 424 square miles (1,100 km2), of which 423 square miles (1,100 km2) is land and 0.9 square miles (2.3 km2) (0.2%) is water.

Major highways

  • I‑73 (future)
  • I‑74 (future)
  • US 52.svg U.S. Highway 52
  • US 119.svg U.S. Highway 119
  • WV-49.svg West Virginia Route 49
  • WV-65.svg West Virginia Route 65
  • WV-80.svg West Virginia Route 80

Adjacent counties


Historical population
Census Pop.
1900 11,359
1910 19,431 71.1%
1920 26,384 35.8%
1930 38,319 45.2%
1940 40,802 6.5%
1950 47,409 16.2%
1960 39,742 −16.2%
1970 32,780 −17.5%
1980 37,336 13.9%
1990 33,739 −9.6%
2000 28,253 −16.3%
2010 26,839 −5.0%
2019 (est.) 23,424 −12.7%
U.S. Decennial Census
1790–1960 1900–1990
1990–2000 2010–2019

2010 census

As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 26,839 people, 11,125 households, and 7,707 families living in the county. The population density was 63.4 inhabitants per square mile (24.5/km2). There were 12,699 housing units at an average density of 30.0 per square mile (11.6/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 97.1% white, 1.8% black or African American, 0.2% Asian, 0.1% American Indian, 0.0% from other races, and 0.9% from two or more races. Those of Hispanic or Latino origin made up 0.4% of the population. In terms of ancestry, 12.6% were Irish, 11.9% were American, 7.0% were German, and 6.9% were English.

Of the 11,125 households, 30.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 52.6% were married couples living together, 11.8% had a female householder with no husband present, 30.7% were non-families, and 27.7% of all households were made up of individuals. The average household size was 2.40 and the average family size was 2.91. The median age was 40.9 years.

The median income for a household in the county was $32,902 and the median income for a family was $40,199. Males had a median income of $46,917 versus $27,168 for females. The per capita income for the county was $17,629. About 16.9% of families and 21.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 30.1% of those under age 18 and 10.8% of those age 65 or over.




Census-designated places

Unincorporated communities

Magisterial Districts

  • Beech Ben Mate District
  • Kermit Harvey District
  • Lee District
  • Magnolia District
  • Stafford District
  • Tug Hardee District
  • Williamson District

Historical Magisterial Districts

  • Hardee Magisterial District
  • Harvey Magisterial District
  • Kermit Magisterial District
  • Tug River Magisterial District


Most common surnames in Mingo County as of 2014, by order of incidence:

  1. Hatfield
  2. Marcum
  3. Cline
  4. Smith
  5. Maynard
  6. Blankenship
  7. Browning
  8. Lester
  9. Davis
  10. Justice

Notable people

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