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Upshur County, West Virginia facts for kids

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Upshur County
The Upshur County Courthouse, designed by architect Harrison Albright pictured in Buckhannon in 2006
The Upshur County Courthouse, designed by architect Harrison Albright pictured in Buckhannon in 2006
Map of West Virginia highlighting Upshur 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 March 26, 1851
Named for Abel Parker Upshur
Seat Buckhannon
Largest city Buckhannon
 • Total 355 sq mi (920 km2)
 • Land 355 sq mi (920 km2)
 • Water 0.1 sq mi (0.3 km2)  0.03%%
 • Total 24,254
 • Estimate 
 • Density 68.32/sq mi (26.38/km2)
Time zone UTC−5 (Eastern)
 • Summer (DST) UTC−4 (EDT)
Congressional district 2nd

Upshur County is a county in the U.S. state of West Virginia. As of the 2010 census, the population was 24,254. Its county seat is Buckhannon. The county was formed in 1851 from Randolph, Barbour, and Lewis counties and named for Abel Parker Upshur, a distinguished statesman and jurist of Virginia. Upshur served as United States Secretary of State and Secretary of the Navy under President John Tyler.


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 355 square miles (920 km2), of which 355 square miles (920 km2) is land and 0.1 square miles (0.26 km2) (0.03%) is water. The county falls within the United States National Radio Quiet Zone.

The highest elevation in Upshur County is 3160 feet, near Sugar Run on the Randolph and Upshur County lines just outside Palace Valley and Hemlock. It is reported there is an elevation marker at the site.

Major highways

  • US 33.svg U.S. Highway 33
  • US 48.svg U.S. Highway 48
  • US 119.svg U.S. Highway 119
  • WV-4.svg West Virginia Route 4
  • WV-20.svg West Virginia Route 20

Adjacent counties


Historical population
Census Pop.
1860 7,292
1870 8,023 10.0%
1880 10,249 27.7%
1890 12,714 24.1%
1900 14,696 15.6%
1910 16,629 13.2%
1920 17,851 7.3%
1930 17,944 0.5%
1940 18,360 2.3%
1950 19,242 4.8%
1960 18,292 −4.9%
1970 19,092 4.4%
1980 23,427 22.7%
1990 22,867 −2.4%
2000 23,404 2.3%
2010 24,254 3.6%
2019 (est.) 24,176 −0.3%
U.S. Decennial Census
1790–1960 1900–1990
1990–2000 2010–2019

2010 census

As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 24,254 people, 9,619 households, and 6,528 families living in the county. The population density was 68.4 inhabitants per square mile (26.4/km2). There were 11,099 housing units at an average density of 31.3 per square mile (12.1/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 97.6% white, 0.7% black or African American, 0.4% Asian, 0.2% American Indian, 0.2% from other races, and 1.0% from two or more races. Those of Hispanic or Latino origin made up 1.0% of the population. In terms of ancestry, 18.1% were German, 13.8% were American, 10.6% were Irish, and 8.6% were English.

Of the 9,619 households, 28.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 54.0% were married couples living together, 9.6% had a female householder with no husband present, 32.1% were non-families, and 26.9% of all households were made up of individuals. The average household size was 2.40 and the average family size was 2.88. The median age was 40.9 years.

The median income for a household in the county was $36,114 and the median income for a family was $44,937. Males had a median income of $36,517 versus $25,420 for females. The per capita income for the county was $18,823. About 14.1% of families and 19.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 26.7% of those under age 18 and 14.1% of those age 65 or over.



Unincorporated communities

Magisterial districts

Upshur County's six districts were formed on July 31, 1863:


Economy includes coal mining and timber, as well as higher education—the Upshur County seat of Buckhannon is home to the small, private, liberal arts institution West Virginia Wesleyan College. The West Virginia State Wildlife Center in French Creek also generates some income as a popular tourist attraction. Upshur County also gained international attention during the Sago Mine disaster in 2006; the blast and ensuing aftermath trapped 13 coal mining for nearly two days, only one of whom survived.

See also

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

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