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Ohio County, West Virginia facts for kids

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Ohio County
West Virginia Independence Hall
Map of West Virginia highlighting Ohio 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 October 7, 1776
Named for Ohio River
Seat Wheeling
Largest city Wheeling
 • Total 109 sq mi (280 km2)
 • Land 106 sq mi (270 km2)
 • Water 3.2 sq mi (8 km2)  2.9%%
 • Total 44,443
 • Estimate 
 • Density 407.7/sq mi (157.4/km2)
Time zone UTC−5 (Eastern)
 • Summer (DST) UTC−4 (EDT)
Congressional district 1st

Ohio County is a county located in the Northern Panhandle of the U.S. state of West Virginia. As of the 2010 census, the population was 44,443. Its county seat is Wheeling. The county was formed in 1776 from the District of West Augusta, Virginia. It was named for the Ohio River, which forms its western boundary with the state of Ohio. West Liberty (formerly Black's Cabin) was designated as the county seat in 1777, serving to 1797.

Ohio County is part of the Wheeling, WV-OH Metropolitan Statistical Area.


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 109 square miles (280 km2), of which 106 square miles (270 km2) is land and 3.2 square miles (8.3 km2) (2.9%) is water. It is the third-smallest county in West Virginia by area. The highest point of elevation in Ohio County is approximately 1,420 ft (430 m) and located about 1-mile (1.6 km) southwest of West Alexander, PA. The county is drained by Wheeling and other small creeks.

Major highways

Adjacent counties

Ohio County is one of four counties in the United States to border a state with which it shares the same name (the other three counties are Nevada County, California, Texas County, Oklahoma, and Delaware County, Pennsylvania).

National protected area

  • Ohio River Islands National Wildlife Refuge (part)


Historical population
Census Pop.
1790 5,212
1800 4,740 −9.1%
1810 9,182 93.7%
1820 9,182 0.0%
1830 15,584 69.7%
1840 13,357 −14.3%
1850 18,006 34.8%
1860 22,422 24.5%
1870 28,831 28.6%
1880 37,457 29.9%
1890 41,557 10.9%
1900 48,024 15.6%
1910 57,572 19.9%
1920 62,892 9.2%
1930 72,077 14.6%
1940 73,115 1.4%
1950 71,672 −2.0%
1960 68,437 −4.5%
1970 64,197 −6.2%
1980 61,389 −4.4%
1990 50,871 −17.1%
2000 47,427 −6.8%
2010 44,443 −6.3%
2019 (est.) 41,411 −6.8%
U.S. Decennial Census
1790–1960 1900–1990
1990–2000 2010–2019

2010 census

As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 44,443 people, 18,914 households, and 11,181 families residing in the county. The population density was 420.0 inhabitants per square mile (162.2/km2). There were 21,172 housing units at an average density of 200.1 per square mile (77.3/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 93.2% white, 3.7% black or African American, 0.8% Asian, 0.1% American Indian, 0.2% from other races, and 1.9% from two or more races. Those of Hispanic or Latino origin made up 0.8% of the population. In terms of ancestry, 34.0% were German, 19.1% were Irish, 14.4% were English, 8.5% were Italian, 7.2% were Polish, and 5.7% were American.

Of the 18,914 households, 24.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 43.4% were married couples living together, 11.7% had a female householder with no husband present, 40.9% were non-families, and 35.3% of all households were made up of individuals. The average household size was 2.21 and the average family size was 2.86. The median age was 43.5 years.

The median income for a household in the county was $39,669 and the median income for a family was $54,909. Males had a median income of $42,213 versus $28,211 for females. The per capita income for the county was $23,950. About 11.9% of families and 15.9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 25.2% of those under age 18 and 9.0% of those age 65 or over.





Unincorporated communities

The Communities of Warwood, Woodsdale, Elm Grove, Betty Zane Addition, Greggsville, North Park, Overbrook, Edgwood and Linwood are all incorporated into the city of Wheeling

Miscellaneous information

Dog Races and Gaming

In 2007, the West Virginia Legislature adopted HB2718 which created Chapter 29-22 C of the West Virginia Code and permits county residents where racetracks are located to vote on expansion to table games. Ohio County was the first county in West Virginia to take action concerning the matter when the Ohio County Commission initiated a special election date of June 9 for the referendum. The ballot initiative successfully passed in Ohio County with 66% of the vote. The measure permits Wheeling Island Racetrack and Gaming Center to operate table games such as blackjack and poker. On June 9, Jefferson County voters rejected their ballot measure. On June 30, Hancock County voters approved their ballot measure. Kanawha County has scheduled a special election for August 11. While the West Virginia Family Foundation vowed to challenge the constitutionality of HB 2718, it announced on August 7 that it would not file any appeal on the matter. According to newspaper accounts, the West Virginia Lottery Commission has set November 1, 2007 as the latest date at which table games will begin preliminary operation at Wheeling Island Racetrack and Gaming Center.

Metro government

In 2006, the West Virginia Legislature adopted a new section to the West Virginia code – Chapter 7A – which provided for the consolidation of cities, cities with counties, or counties with counties. Interest has been expressed by some Ohio County residents and officials and has become the main political endeavour of a local council of churches called "Hopeful City". As of March 2007, no official action has been taken in Ohio County on this matter. Other municipalities in West Virginia are considering consolidation including Beckley-Raleigh County and Fairmont-Marion County. The most significant proposals under this legislation include a consolidation of Wirt County with Wood County and a population consolidation for Kanawha-Putnam-Cabell counties.

Other Topics

  • The Ohio County Fair is held annually in October at Site 1 in Oglebay Park.
  • When Ohio County was formed in 1776, its area was much larger totaling 1,432 sq mi (3,710 km2) and included portions of what is now Washington and Greene Counties in Pennsylvania. The formation of the Mason–Dixon line and resolution of border disputes between Pennsylvania and Virginia began the first in a long series of reductions in the county's size.


Colleges and universities

  • West Liberty University
  • Wheeling Jesuit University
  • West Virginia Northern Community College
  • West Virginia Business College
  • Bethany College

Public schools

All public schools within Ohio County operate under the jurisdiction of Ohio County Schools with the consolidated high school housing grades 9–12, middle schools housing grades 6–8, and elementary schools housing grades K-5.

Ohio County Schools has a five-member elected Board of Education Board of Education (Molly J. Aderholt, Christine N. Carder, David Croft, Sarah C. Koegler, President Zachary T. Abraham, Superintendent Dr. Kimmberly Miller, and an Assistant Superintendent Rick Jones. In addition, the Board of Education has an Attendance Director (Wm. Jeffrey Laird).

Private and parochial schools

The Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston operates several K-8 schools and one high school in Ohio County.

  • Wheeling Central Catholic High School
  • Corpus Christi Parish School
  • Our Lady of Peace School (Located in Marshall County but also serves Ohio County students)
  • St. Michael Parish School
  • St. Vincent de Paul Parish School
  • Wheeling Catholic Elementary (Closed)

Additionally, there are two private schools in Ohio County.

  • Linsly School
  • Wheeling Country Day School

Notable residents

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Condado de Ohio (Virginia Occidental) para niños

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