Parsons, West Virginia

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Parsons, West Virginia
City
Central Parsons, with the Tucker County Courthouse visible on the left
Central Parsons, with the Tucker County Courthouse visible on the left
Location of Parsons, West Virginia
Location of Parsons, West Virginia
Coordinates: 39°5′45″N 79°40′46″W / 39.09583°N 79.67944°W / 39.09583; -79.67944Coordinates: 39°5′45″N 79°40′46″W / 39.09583°N 79.67944°W / 39.09583; -79.67944
CountryUnited States
StateWest Virginia
CountyTucker
Incorporated (town)1893-06-12
Incorporated (city)1907-02-18[1]
Named forWard Parsons
Area[2]
 • Total1.20 sq mi (3.11 km2)
 • Land1.11 sq mi (2.87 km2)
 • Water0.09 sq mi (0.23 km2)
Elevation1,647 ft (502 m)
Population (2010)[3]
 • Total1,485
 • Estimate (2012[4])1,435
 • Density1,337.8/sq mi (516.5/km2)
Time zoneEastern (EST) (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST)EDT (UTC-4)
ZIP code26287
Area code(s)304
FIPS code54-62284[5]
GNIS feature ID1555312[6]
 
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Parsons, West Virginia
City
Central Parsons, with the Tucker County Courthouse visible on the left
Central Parsons, with the Tucker County Courthouse visible on the left
Location of Parsons, West Virginia
Location of Parsons, West Virginia
Coordinates: 39°5′45″N 79°40′46″W / 39.09583°N 79.67944°W / 39.09583; -79.67944Coordinates: 39°5′45″N 79°40′46″W / 39.09583°N 79.67944°W / 39.09583; -79.67944
CountryUnited States
StateWest Virginia
CountyTucker
Incorporated (town)1893-06-12
Incorporated (city)1907-02-18[1]
Named forWard Parsons
Area[2]
 • Total1.20 sq mi (3.11 km2)
 • Land1.11 sq mi (2.87 km2)
 • Water0.09 sq mi (0.23 km2)
Elevation1,647 ft (502 m)
Population (2010)[3]
 • Total1,485
 • Estimate (2012[4])1,435
 • Density1,337.8/sq mi (516.5/km2)
Time zoneEastern (EST) (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST)EDT (UTC-4)
ZIP code26287
Area code(s)304
FIPS code54-62284[5]
GNIS feature ID1555312[6]
Tucker County Courthouse, Parsons, West Virginia

The town of Parsons is the county seat[7] of Tucker County, West Virginia, in the United States. The population was 1,485 at the 2010 census. The mayor of Parsons is Dorothy Judy and the city administrator is Jason Myers. The town is also governed by a city council.

History[edit]

Parsons was created in the heart of Tucker County. The town was named for Ward Parsons, described by one source as having once owned the land on which the town was built, and by another as having been an aged wilderness pioneer in the area.[8]

The West Virginia Central and Pittsburg Railway was built into Parsons in 1888. The railway caused the town to boom by the 1890s. The railway was later merged into the Western Maryland Railway and provided passenger train service until the 1950s.

County seat dispute[edit]

In 1889, 1890 and 1892, Ward Parsons and other residents petitioned to have the county seat moved from nearby St. George to Parsons. All attempts failed to gather the necessary 60 percent majority rule. In 1893, the 60 percent was achieved and Parsons collected its title as the new county seat. It was also incorporated in that year.[1] However, prominent citizens of St. George protested the vote, claiming irregularities in the voting. When the court overruled the claim, Adam C. Minear and William M. Cayton took their case to the state government.

Ward and citizens of Parsons eventually became frustrated with the government and took it upon themselves to march into the St. George courthouse and steal the courthouse records for their own. Their attempt was successful; they even stole the bell from their clock tower. Parsons citizens marched back to the town and kept the city records and the bell in a small store until a permanent courthouse was constructed in 1900.[9]

1985 flood[edit]

The 1985 Cheat River flood caused extensive damage in Parsons. Over 90 percent of the businesses and hundreds of homes were damaged or destroyed.[1]

Historic sites[edit]

Located at Parsons and listed on the National Register of Historic Places are the Tucker County Bank Building,[10] Tucker County Courthouse and Jail, and Western Maryland Depot.[11]

Geography[edit]

Parsons is located at 39°5′45″N 79°40′46″W / 39.09583°N 79.67944°W / 39.09583; -79.67944 (39.095721, -79.679465)[12]. The Cheat River is formed at Parsons by the confluence of the Shavers Fork and the Black Fork.[13]

The city has a total area of 1.20 square miles (3.11 km2), of which, 1.11 square miles (2.87 km2) is land and 0.09 square miles (0.23 km2) is water.[2]

Demographics[edit]

2010 census[edit]

As of the census[3] of 2010, there were 1,485 people, 628 households, and 419 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,337.8 inhabitants per square mile (516.5 /km2). There were 730 housing units at an average density of 657.7 per square mile (253.9 /km2). The racial makeup of the city was 98.8% White, 0.1% African American, 0.1% Native American, and 1.1% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.8% of the population.

There were 628 households of which 29.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 50.3% were married couples living together, 10.8% had a female householder with no husband present, 5.6% had a male householder with no wife present, and 33.3% were non-families. 29.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 15.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.36 and the average family size was 2.87.

The median age in the city was 42.7 years. 22.7% of residents were under the age of 18; 6.7% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 24.4% were from 25 to 44; 26.4% were from 45 to 64; and 19.9% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 48.7% male and 51.3% female.

2000 census[edit]

As of the census[5] of 2000, there were 1,463 people, 642 households, and 426 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,332.5 people per square mile (513.5/km²). There were 731 housing units at an average density of 665.8 per square mile (256.6/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 98.97% White, 0.21% Native American, 0.07% from other races, and 0.75% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.34% of the population.

There were 642 households out of which 27.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 52.5% were married couples living together, 10.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 33.5% were non-families. 29.9% of all households were made up of individuals and 14.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.28 and the average family size was 2.82.

In the city the population was spread out with 22.4% under the age of 18, 6.7% from 18 to 24, 27.8% from 25 to 44, 25.2% from 45 to 64, and 18.0% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40 years. For every 100 females there were 89.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 86.8 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $26,424, and the median income for a family was $31,645. Males had a median income of $22,331 versus $20,069 for females. The per capita income for the city was $16,565. About 16.1% of families and 18.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 22.7% of those under age 18 and 13.0% of those age 65 or over.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c West Virginia Encyclopedia: "Parsons." West Virginia Humanities Council, Charleston, WV. Accessed 2013-07-28.
  2. ^ a b "US Gazetteer files 2010". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2013-01-24. 
  3. ^ a b "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2013-01-24. 
  4. ^ "Population Estimates". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2013-06-26. 
  5. ^ a b "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  6. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  7. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07. 
  8. ^ Kenny, Hamill (1945). West Virginia Place Names: Their Origin and Meaning, Including the Nomenclature of the Streams and Mountains. Piedmont, West Virginia: The Place Name Press. p. 475. 
  9. ^ Early History of Tucker County
  10. ^ "National Register of Historic Places Listings". Weekly List of Actions Taken on Properties: 8/23/10 through 8/27/10. National Park Service. 2010-09-03. 
  11. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2009-03-13. 
  12. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23. 
  13. ^ West Virginia Atlas & Gazetteer. Yarmouth, Me.: DeLorme. 1997. p. 37. ISBN 0-89933-246-3.