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 city 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 city is also governed by a city council.

History[edit]

Parsons was created in Southern 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.

In the early 1890s, a dispute known as the Tucker County Seat War took place between the people in the town of Parsons and that of St. George over the location of the county seat. Although nobody was killed in the "war," the situation came to a climax when a mob of armed men from Parsons marched on St. George and took the county records by force.[9][10]

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] Twenty-five years later, in 2010, several empty storefronts lined the street up to the courthouse. Bars, restaurants, clothing stores and other businesses never returned to Parsons. The floods caused an estimated $570 million in damages. More than 3,500 homes and 180 businesses were destroyed.[11][12] The BF Long & Co general store had a "high water mark" more than 7'6" from the floorboards.[11] Flood stage in the shallow riverbed was only 7 feet.[11]

Historic sites[edit]

Located at Parsons and listed on the National Register of Historic Places are the Tucker County Bank Building,[13] Tucker County Courthouse and Jail, and Western Maryland Depot.[14]

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).[15] The Cheat River is formed at Parsons by the confluence of the Shavers Fork and the Black Fork.[16]

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]

Climate[edit]

The climate in this area has mild differences between highs and lows, and there is adequate rainfall year round. According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Parsons has a marine west coast climate, abbreviated "Cfb" on climate maps.[17]

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 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. ^ "Tucker County History - The Tucker County Seat". Retrieved 2014-04-11. 
  10. ^ "Living Places - Tucker County Courthouse and Jail". Retrieved 2014-04-11. 
  11. ^ a b c West Virginia Gazette: "Remembering the '85 floods" (D. White) 4 Nov 2010
  12. ^ "FLOODS IN WEST VIRGINIA, VIRGINIA, PENNSYLVANIA, AND MARYLAND, NOVEMBER 1985" (DH Carpenter) USGS WRI report 88-4213 Towson, MD, 1990
  13. ^ "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. 
  14. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2009-03-13. 
  15. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23. 
  16. ^ West Virginia Atlas & Gazetteer. Yarmouth, Me.: DeLorme. 1997. p. 37. ISBN 0-89933-246-3. 
  17. ^ Climate Summary for Parsons, West Virginia