Morgan County, West Virginia

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Morgan County, West Virginia
Morgan County Courthouse Complex Jul 11.JPG
Morgan County Courthouse Complex, July 2011
Map of West Virginia highlighting Morgan County
Location in the state of West Virginia
Map of the United States highlighting West Virginia
West Virginia's location in the U.S.
FoundedFebruary 9, 1820
Named forDaniel Morgan
SeatBerkeley Springs
Largest cityBerkeley Springs
Area
 • Total230 sq mi (596 km2)
 • Land229 sq mi (593 km2)
 • Water0.5 sq mi (1 km2), 0.2%
Population (Est.)
 • (2012)17,471
 • Density65/sq mi (25/km²)
Time zoneEastern: UTC-5/-4
Websitewww.morgancountywv.gov
 
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Morgan County, West Virginia
Morgan County Courthouse Complex Jul 11.JPG
Morgan County Courthouse Complex, July 2011
Map of West Virginia highlighting Morgan County
Location in the state of West Virginia
Map of the United States highlighting West Virginia
West Virginia's location in the U.S.
FoundedFebruary 9, 1820
Named forDaniel Morgan
SeatBerkeley Springs
Largest cityBerkeley Springs
Area
 • Total230 sq mi (596 km2)
 • Land229 sq mi (593 km2)
 • Water0.5 sq mi (1 km2), 0.2%
Population (Est.)
 • (2012)17,471
 • Density65/sq mi (25/km²)
Time zoneEastern: UTC-5/-4
Websitewww.morgancountywv.gov

Morgan County is a county located in the state of West Virginia. As of the 2010 census, the population was 17,541.[1] Its county seat is Berkeley Springs.[2] The county was formed in 1820 from parts of Hampshire and Berkeley Counties and named in honor of General Daniel Morgan, prominent soldier of the American Revolutionary War.[3]

Morgan County is included in the Hagerstown-Martinsburg, MD-WV Metropolitan Statistical Area. It is the home of an important mine producing special sand for the glass industry.

History[edit]

Morgan County was created by an act of the Virginia General Assembly in March 1820 from parts of Berkeley and Hampshire counties. It was named in honor of General Daniel Morgan (1736–1802). He was born in Hunterdon County, New Jersey, and moved to Winchester, Virginia as a youth. He served as a wagoner in Braddock's Army during the campaign against the Native Americans in 1755. During the campaign, a British Lieutenant became angry with him and hit him with the flat of his sword. Morgan punched the Lieutenant, knocking him unconscious. Morgan was court-martialed for striking a British officer and was sentenced to 500 lashes. Morgan later joked that the drummer who counted out the lashes miscounted and he received only 499 lashes. For the rest of his life he claimed the British still owed him one.

Early European settlers[edit]

The first English settlers in present-day Morgan County arrived during the 1730s. Because most of these early pioneers were squatters, there is no record of their names. Historians claim that the first cabin in the county was built around 1745. As word of the county's warm springs spread eastward, Thomas Fairfax, 6th Lord Fairfax of Cameron decided that the county needed to be surveyed. In 1748, George Washington, then just 16 years old, was part of the survey party the surveyed the Eastern Panhandle region for Lord Fairfax. He later returned to Bath (Berkeley Springs) several times over the next several years with his half-brother, Laurence, who was ill and hoped that the warm springs might improve his health. The springs, and their rumored medicinal benefits, attracted numerous Indians as well as Europeans to the area.

18th century Morgan County[edit]

As mentioned previously, George Washington visited present-day Berkeley Springs several times with his half-brother, Laurence. When he vacationed in the area in 1767, he noted how busy the town had become. Lord Fairfax had built a summer home there and a "private bath" making the area a popular destination for Virginia's social elite. As the town continued to grow, the Virginia General Assembly decided to formally recognize it. In October 1776, the town was officially named Bath, in honor of England's spa city called Bath. The town's main north-south street was named Washington and the main east-west street was named Fairfax. Also, seven acres (28,000 m²) were set aside for "suffering humanity." When West Virginia gained statehood, that area became West Virginia's first state park.

Bath's population increased during and immediately after the American Revolutionary War as wounded soldiers and others came to the area believing that the warm springs had medicinal qualities. Bath gained a reputation as a somewhat wild town where eating, drinking, dancing, and gambling on the daily horse races were the order of the day.

Bath later became known as Berkeley Springs, primarily because the town's post office took that name (combining Governor Norborne Berkeley's last name with the warm springs found there) to avoid confusion with another post office, located in southeastern Virginia, which was already called Bath. Because the mail was sent to and from Berkeley Springs, that name slowly took precedence.

Geography[edit]

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 229.6 square miles (594.7 km2), of which 229.1 square miles (593.4 km2) is land and 0.5 square miles (1.3 km2) (0.2%) is water.[4]

Major highways[edit]

Adjacent counties[edit]

Rivers and streams[edit]

Magisterial districts[edit]

Demographics[edit]

Historical population
CensusPop.
18202,500
18302,6947.8%
18404,25357.9%
18503,557−16.4%
18603,7324.9%
18704,31515.6%
18805,77733.9%
18906,74416.7%
19007,2948.2%
19107,8487.6%
19208,3576.5%
19308,4060.6%
19408,7434.0%
19508,276−5.3%
19608,3761.2%
19708,5472.0%
198010,71125.3%
199012,12813.2%
200014,94323.2%
201017,54117.4%
Est. 201217,471−0.4%
U.S. Decennial Census[5]
1790-1960[6] 1900-1990[7]
1990-2000[8] 2010-2012[1]

As of the census[9] of 2000, there were 14,943 people, 6,145 households, and 4,344 families residing in the county. The population density was 65 people per square mile (25/km²). There were 8,076 housing units at an average density of 35 per square mile (14/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 98.30% White, 0.60% Black or African American, 0.17% Native American, 0.12% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 0.23% from other races, and 0.57% from two or more races. 0.83% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 6,145 households out of which 28.70% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 57.90% were married couples living together, 8.20% had a female householder with no husband present, and 29.30% were non-families. 24.50% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.20% 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 2.84.

The age distribution is 22.40% under the age of 18, 6.80% from 18 to 24, 27.30% from 25 to 44, 26.90% from 45 to 64, and 16.60% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 41 years. For every 100 females there were 96.60 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 95.00 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $35,016, and the median income for a family was $40,690. Males had a median income of $29,816 versus $22,307 for females. The per capita income for the county was $18,109. About 8.00% of families and 10.40% of the population were below the poverty line, including 11.60% of those under age 18 and 8.80% of those age 65 or over.

Sites on the National Register of Historic Places[edit]

SiteYear BuiltAddressCommunityListed
Ambrose Chapelmid-19th centuryWinchester Grade Road (CR 13)Stotlers Crossroads1998
Berkeley Springs State Parkmid-18th centurySouth Washington & Fairfax StreetsBerkeley Springs1976
Berkeley Springs Train Depot1900–1924504 North Washington Street (US 522)Berkeley Springs2001
Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Parkearly 19th centuryChesapeake & Ohio CanalPaw Paw1966
Clarence Hovermale House (Allen Mendenhall House)late 19th century167 Wilkes StreetBerkeley Springs2003
John Herbert Quick House (Coolfont Manor House)1913Cold Run Valley RoadBerkeley Springs1984
Judge John W. Wright Cottage1872305 South Green StreetBerkeley Springs1986
Morgan County Courthouse1923202 Fairfax StreetBerkeley Springs2005
Samuel Taylor Suit Cottage (Berkeley Castle)1885WV 9Berkeley Springs1980
Sloat-Horn-Rossell House (The Manor)late 19th century415 Fairfax StreetBerkeley Springs1984
T. H. B. Dawson House1880300 South Green StreetBerkeley Springs1983
Western Maryland Railroad Right-of-Way, Milepost 126 to Milepost 16020th centuryMilepost 126 to Milepost 160Jerome1981

Communities[edit]

Towns[edit]

Unincorporated communities[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 10, 2014. 
  2. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07. 
  3. ^ http://www.wvculture.org/history/counties/morgan.html
  4. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23. 
  5. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 10, 2014. 
  6. ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved January 10, 2014. 
  7. ^ "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 10, 2014. 
  8. ^ "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 10, 2014. 
  9. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2011-05-14. 

Further reading[edit]

Morgan County links[edit]

Coordinates: 39°34′N 78°16′W / 39.56°N 78.26°W / 39.56; -78.26