Monroe County, West Virginia

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Monroe County, West Virginia
Map of West Virginia highlighting Monroe County
Location in the U.S. state of West Virginia
Map of the United States highlighting West Virginia
West Virginia's location in the U.S.
Founded January 14, 1799
Named for James Monroe
Seat Union
Largest town Peterstown
 • Total 474 sq mi (1,228 km2)
 • Land 473 sq mi (1,225 km2)
 • Water 0.9 sq mi (2 km2), 0.2%
Population (est.)
 • (2014) 13,582
 • Density 29/sq mi (11/km²)
Congressional district 3rd
Time zone Eastern: UTC-5/-4

Monroe County is a county located in the U.S. state of West Virginia. As of the 2010 census, the population was 13,502.[1] Its county seat is Union.[2] Monroe County was created from Greenbrier County in 1799 and was named for James Monroe who eventually became the fifth President of the United States.[3]

Monroe County was the home of Andrew Summers Rowan of Spanish–American War fame, who is immortalized in Elbert Hubbard's classic A Message to Garcia. The county was also the site of the 1928 discovery of the 34.48 carat (6.896 g) Jones Diamond by Grover C. Jones and his son, William "Punch" Jones.

Monroe County celebrates its own holiday, Farmer's Day, and is known for its close community.


Monroe County was formed on January 14, 1799 from portions of Greenbrier County. It was named after James Monroe, a Virginia statesman and senator, and the future fifth President of the United States.


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 474 square miles (1,230 km2), of which 473 square miles (1,230 km2) is land and 0.9 square miles (2.3 km2) (0.2%) is water.[4]

Major highways

Adjacent counties


Tributaries of the James River, part of the Chesapeake Bay

Tributaries of the New River

Tributaries of the Greenbrier River

National Natural Landmark

National protected areas


Historical population
Census Pop.
1800 4,188
1810 5,444 30.0%
1820 6,620 21.6%
1830 7,798 17.8%
1840 8,422 8.0%
1850 10,204 21.2%
1860 10,757 5.4%
1870 11,124 3.4%
1880 11,501 3.4%
1890 12,429 8.1%
1900 13,130 5.6%
1910 13,055 −0.6%
1920 13,141 0.7%
1930 11,949 −9.1%
1940 13,577 13.6%
1950 13,123 −3.3%
1960 11,584 −11.7%
1970 11,272 −2.7%
1980 12,873 14.2%
1990 12,406 −3.6%
2000 14,583 17.5%
2010 13,502 −7.4%
Est. 2014 13,582 [5] 0.6%
U.S. Decennial Census[6]
1790–1960[7] 1900–1990[8]
1990–2000[9] 2010–2014[1]

As of the census[10] of 2000, there were 14,583 people, 5,447 households, and 3,883 families residing in the county. The population density was 31 people per square mile (12/km²). There were 7,267 housing units at an average density of 15 per square mile (6/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 92.67% White, 5.98% Black or African American, 0.23% Native American, 0.16% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 0.03% from other races, and 0.92% from two or more races. 0.49% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 5,447 households out of which 29.00% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 59.80% were married couples living together, 7.90% had a female householder with no husband present, and 28.70% were non-families. 25.80% of all households were made up of individuals and 13.10% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.41 and the average family size was 2.88.

In the county, the population was spread out with 20.10% under the age of 18, 8.10% from 18 to 24, 30.30% from 25 to 44, 26.10% from 45 to 64, and 15.40% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40 years. For every 100 females there were 79.70 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 73.80 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $27,575, and the median income for a family was $35,299. Males had a median income of $25,643 versus $22,104 for females. The per capita income for the county was $17,435. About 12.60% of families and 16.20% of the population were below the poverty line, including 21.30% of those under age 18 and 12.30% of those age 65 or over.

Government and infrastructure

FPC Alderson

Alderson Federal Prison Camp entrance.jpg

The Federal Bureau of Prisons' Federal Prison Camp, Alderson was the first women's federal prison in the country.[11] It is located in Monroe and Summers counties just west of Alderson.[12][13]

Natural Landmarks

One of Monroe County's geological features is Haynes Cave, a former saltpeter mine.[14] Strange bones were discovered by the miners at the end of the 18th Century, and mailed to Thomas Jefferson. Jefferson's study of the animal, the Megalonyx jeffersonii was arguably the birth of American paleontology. It is now the official West Virginia state fossil.

However, other saltpeter caves are in private ownership and limited for tourism due to ecological risks. One such is the Greenville Saltpeter Cave, designated a national natural landmark in 1973, and very important during the War of 1812.[15][16][17]

Historic Landmarks


Monroe County Schools operates public schools.

Farmer's Day

Farmer's Day is held every year on the first Saturday in June in Union. Founder Louie H. Peters, held in honor of the countless farming families in the surrounding area, the event is stretched out over the entire weekend, including the Friday evening dance held in the local grocery store's parking lot, the Pancake Breakfast and Farmer's Day Parade on Saturday, and the numerous shows, games, and activities that take place well into Sunday evening.

Fresh food produced by the citizens of Monroe County, is sold along the sidewalks, games for children can be found in the various parking lots, and live music by one of the local bands is played throughout the weekend. Popular events include the annual horse show, car show, and fire works.



Unincorporated communities

See also

External links


  1. 1.0 1.1 "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 10, 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. "2010 Census Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. August 22, 2012. Retrieved July 30, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Incorporated Places: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2014". Retrieved June 4, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 10, 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved January 10, 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 10, 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  9. "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 10, 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  10. "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2011-05-14.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  11. Keller, Julia. "It's a gosh-darned good thing: Stewart heads to West Virginia." Chicago Tribune. October 1, 2004. Tempo 1. Retrieved on January 5, 2010.
  12. "Martha's Prison Thanksgiving." The Cincinnati Post. November 24, 2004. Retrieved on January 5, 2010. "Mullins said the prison dormitories are in Summers County."
  13. "FPC Alderson Contact Information." Federal Bureau of Prisons. Retrieved on January 5, 2010.
  14. Steelhammer, Rick (2008), "W.Va.'s 'Official' Sloth Fossil on Display near Cheat Lake", Charleston Gazette, Thursday, Sept 19, 2008.

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