McDowell County, West Virginia
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Is the southern-most county in the state, geographically. The county is named
in honor of James McDowell, Governor of Virginia from 1843 to 1846. McDowell County was nationally known for its
prominence in the coal mining industry, setting records for coal production and was a major player in the state's
economy. Before the industry's decline that began in the 1950s, McDowell's population was almost at 100,000 residents,
third highest in the state in 1950, then declined at a rapid pace after each decennial census afterwards, setting
the highest percentage in the state for population loss each time as younger residents move out of the county to
seek better futures and leaving behind a much older population and many that lack transportation to find work.
For many years McDowell County was nicknamed the "Free state of McDowell" due to social and political
race relations that is uncommon in the rest of the state. McDowell County is considered as one of the core counties
in Appalachia on which the national War on Poverty focused, a national effort started during President Lyndon B.
Its county seat is Welch. - (source:
Founded February 28, 1858
Named for James McDowell
County Seat and Largest City: Welch
Towns and Cities
Town of Anawalt * Town of Bradshaw * Town of Davy * City of Gary * Town of Iaeger
City of Keystone * Town of Kimball * Town of Northfork * City of War * City of Welch
Algoma * Apple Grove * Asco * Ashland * Atwell * Avondale * Bartley * Beartown
Big Four * Big Sandy * Bishop * Black Wolf * Bottom Creek * Canebrake * Capels * Caretta
Carlos * Carswell * Coalwood * Crumpler * Cucumber * Eckman * Elbert * Elkhorn * English * Ennis *
Erin * Faraday * Filbert * Gilliam * Havaco * Hemphill * Hensley * Hull * Isaban (part) * Jacobs Fork *
Jed * Jenkinjones * Johnnycake * Jolo * Kyle * Landgraff * Leckie * Lex * Lila * Litwar * Maitland *
Maybeury * McDowell * Mohawk * Mohegan * Monson * Newhall * Pageton * Panther * Paynesville *
Powhatan * Premier * Raysal * Ream * Rift * Rockridge * Roderfield * Rolfe * Sandy Huff *
Six * Skygusty * Squire * Superior * Switchback * Thorpe * Twin Branch * Union City * Upland *
Vallscreek * Venus * Vivian * Warriormine * Wilcoe * Worth * Yerba * Yukon
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