Augusta County
The Augusta County Courthouse in March 2005
The Augusta County Courthouse in March 2005
Flag of Augusta County
Official seal of Augusta County
Map of Virginia highlighting Augusta County
Location within the U.S. state of Virginia
Map of the United States highlighting Virginia
Virginia's location within the U.S.
Coordinates: 38°12′N 79°06′W / 38.2°N 79.1°W / 38.2; -79.1
Country United States
State Virginia
Founded1738
Named forPrincess Augusta of Saxe-Gotha
SeatStaunton
Largest communityStaunton
Area
 • Total971 sq mi (2,510 km2)
 • Land967 sq mi (2,500 km2)
 • Water3.9 sq mi (10 km2)  0.4%
Population
 (2020)
 • Total77,487
 • Density80/sq mi (31/km2)
Time zoneUTC−5 (Eastern)
 • Summer (DST)UTC−4 (EDT)
Congressional district6th
Websitewww.co.augusta.va.us

Augusta County is a county in the Shenandoah Valley on the western edge of the Commonwealth of Virginia. The second-largest county of Virginia by total area, it completely surrounds the independent cities of Staunton and Waynesboro. Its county seat is Staunton,[1] but most of the administrative services have offices in neighboring Verona.

The county was created in 1738 from part of Orange County and was named after Princess Augusta of Saxe-Gotha. It was originally a huge area, but many of its parts were carved out to form other counties and several states until the current borders were finalized in 1790.

As of the 2020 census, the county's population was 77,487.[2] Along with Staunton and Waynesboro, it forms the Staunton–Waynesboro, VA Metropolitan Statistical Area.

History

Augusta Stone Church built in 1749
Augusta Stone Church built in 1749

Augusta County was formed in 1738 from Orange County, although, because few people lived there, the county government was not organized until 1745.[3] It was named for Augusta of Saxe-Gotha, Princess of Wales and mother of the future King George III of the United Kingdom.[4]

Originally, Augusta County was a vast territory with an indefinite western boundary. Most of what is now West Virginia as well as the whole of Kentucky were within its early bounds. Additionally, the territory north and west of those areas, theoretically all the way to the Pacific Ocean, were as well.[4]

Reductions in its extent began in 1770, when its southern part became Botetourt County. In 1776 part of western Augusta County, an area also known as the District of West Augusta, became Monongalia County, Ohio County, and Yohogania County (abolished in 1786). In 1778 the portion of Augusta County north and west of the Ohio River became Illinois County (abolished in 1784); the northeastern part of what was remained became Rockingham County, and the southwestern part was combined with part of Botetourt County to form Rockbridge County. In 1788 the northern part of the county was combined with part of Hardy County to become Pendleton County. Augusta County assumed its present dimensions in 1790, when its western part was combined with parts of Botetourt County and Greenbrier County to form Bath County.

During the Civil War, Augusta County served as an important agricultural center as part of the "Breadbasket of the Confederacy." The Virginia Central Railroad ran through the county, linking the Shenandoah Valley to the Confederate capital at Richmond. One of the bloodiest engagements fought in the Shenandoah Valley took place on June 5, 1864, at the Battle of Piedmont, a Union victory that allowed the Union Army to occupy Staunton and destroy many of the facilities that supported the Confederate war effort. Augusta County suffered again during General Philip H. Sheridan's "Burning," which destroyed many farms and killed virtually all of the farm animals.

Staunton, the county seat for many years, was incorporated as a city in 1871 and separated from Augusta County in 1902. However, it remained the county seat.

Geography

View of Augusta County countryside across the Shenandoah Valley toward the Blue Ridge Mountains.
View of Augusta County countryside across the Shenandoah Valley toward the Blue Ridge Mountains.
Map of Augusta County and neighboring Counties.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 971 square miles (2,510 km2), of which 967 square miles (2,500 km2) is land and 3.9 square miles (10 km2) (0.4%) is water.[5] It is the third-largest county in Virginia by land area and second-largest by total area.

Adjacent counties and independent cities

Districts

The county is divided into seven magisterial districts: Beverley Manor, Middle River, North River, Pastures, Riverheads, South River, and Wayne.

School systems

The county is serviced by Augusta County Public Schools.

National protected areas

Regional park

Major highways

I-64 and I-81 in Augusta County
I-64 and I-81 in Augusta County

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
179010,886
180011,7127.6%
181014,30822.2%
182016,74217.0%
183019,92619.0%
184019,628−1.5%
185024,61025.4%
186027,74912.8%
187028,7633.7%
188035,71024.2%
189037,0053.6%
190032,370−12.5%
191032,4450.2%
192034,6716.9%
193038,16310.1%
194042,77212.1%
195034,154−20.1%
196037,3639.4%
197044,22018.4%
198053,73221.5%
199054,6771.8%
200065,61520.0%
201073,75012.4%
202077,4875.1%
U.S. Decennial Census[6]
1790-1960[7] 1900-1990[8]
1990-2000[9]2010[10] 2020[11]

2020 census

Augusta County, Virginia - Demographic Profile
(NH = Non-Hispanic)
Race / Ethnicity Pop 2010[10] Pop 2020[11] % 2010 % 2020
White alone (NH) 68,011 68,375 92.22% 88.24%
Black or African American alone (NH) 2,881 3,072 3.91% 3.96%
Native American or Alaska Native alone (NH) 141 130 0.19% 0.17%
Asian alone (NH) 365 461 0.49% 0.59%
Pacific Islander alone (NH) 13 27 0.02% 0.03%
Some Other Race alone (NH) 40 198 0.05% 0.26%
Mixed Race/Multi-Racial (NH) 774 2,496 1.05% 3.22%
Hispanic or Latino (any race) 1,525 2,728 2.07% 3.52%
Total 73,750 77,487 100.00% 100.00%

Note: the US Census treats Hispanic/Latino as an ethnic category. This table excludes Latinos from the racial categories and assigns them to a separate category. Hispanics/Latinos can be of any race.

2000 Census

As of the Census[12] of 2000, there were 65,615 people, 24,818 households, and 18,911 families residing in the county. The population density was 68 people per square mile (26/km2). There were 26,738 housing units at an average density of 28 per square mile (11/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 95.02% White, 3.60% Black or African American, 0.15% Native American, 0.28% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 0.32% from other races, and 0.61% from two or more races. 0.94% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 24,818 households, of which 33.00% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 63.70% were married couples living together, 8.60% had a female householder with no husband present, and 23.80% were non-families. 20.10% of all households were made up of individuals, and 8.10% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.56 and the average family size was 2.94.

In the county, the population was spread out, with 23.70% under the age of 18, 6.90% from 18 to 24, 29.80% from 25 to 44, 26.80% from 45 to 64, and 12.80% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39 years. For every 100 females there were 101.10 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 99.80 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $43,045, and the median income for a family was $48,579. Males had a median income of $31,577 versus $24,233 for females. The per capita income for the county was $19,744. About 4.20% of families and 5.80% of the population were below the poverty line, including 6.40% of those under age 18 and 6.60% of those age 65 or over.

Area Populations

According to the 2010 US Census data, below are the populations of the two towns and select unincorporated communities within Augusta County:

# Town Population
1 Grottoes 2,668
2 Craigsville 923

The majority of Grottoes is located in Rockingham County. Only seven of the town's 2,668 residents reside in Augusta County.[13]

# Unincorporated Community Population
1 Stuarts Draft 9,235
2 Fishersville 7,462
3 Verona 4,239
4 Weyers Cave 2,473
5 Crimora 2,209
6 Lyndhurst 1,490
7 Dooms 1,327
8 Swoope 1,323
9 Jolivue 1,129
10 Greenville 832
11 Fort Defiance 780
12 Sherando 688
13 Mount Sidney 663
14 Churchville 194

Government

Board of Supervisors

Constitutional Officers

State and Federal

Augusta County is represented by Republican Emmett W. Hanger in the Virginia Senate, Republican John Avoili, Republican Ronnie R. Campbell, and Republican Chris Runion in the Virginia House of Delegates, and Republican Ben Cline in the U.S. House of Representatives.

United States presidential election results for Augusta County, Virginia[14]
Year Republican Democratic Third party
No.  % No.  % No.  %
2020 30,714 72.65% 10,840 25.64% 724 1.71%
2016 26,163 71.99% 8,177 22.50% 2,003 5.51%
2012 23,624 70.16% 9,451 28.07% 597 1.77%
2008 23,120 69.35% 9,825 29.47% 393 1.18%
2004 22,100 74.40% 7,019 23.63% 585 1.97%
2000 17,744 70.21% 6,643 26.29% 884 3.50%
1996 13,458 60.89% 5,965 26.99% 2,679 12.12%
1992 12,896 58.98% 5,190 23.74% 3,780 17.29%
1988 13,251 75.14% 4,170 23.65% 213 1.21%
1984 15,308 79.22% 3,899 20.18% 116 0.60%
1980 11,011 64.32% 5,202 30.39% 907 5.30%
1976 8,452 57.53% 5,626 38.29% 614 4.18%
1972 9,106 81.44% 1,766 15.79% 309 2.76%
1968 6,313 57.92% 2,028 18.61% 2,559 23.48%
1964 4,327 51.68% 4,039 48.24% 6 0.07%
1960 4,034 67.36% 1,914 31.96% 41 0.68%
1956 3,466 68.07% 1,484 29.14% 142 2.79%
1952 3,414 69.97% 1,453 29.78% 12 0.25%
1948 1,690 48.93% 1,355 39.23% 409 11.84%
1944 2,319 44.20% 2,913 55.52% 15 0.29%
1940 1,768 38.74% 2,774 60.78% 22 0.48%
1936 1,668 36.49% 2,872 62.83% 31 0.68%
1932 1,541 36.37% 2,606 61.51% 90 2.12%
1928 2,679 64.00% 1,507 36.00% 0 0.00%
1924 1,265 38.74% 1,920 58.81% 80 2.45%
1920 1,707 44.01% 2,106 54.29% 66 1.70%
1916 845 31.96% 1,751 66.23% 48 1.82%
1912 568 22.90% 1,556 62.74% 356 14.35%

Law enforcement

The Augusta County Sheriff's Office is the primary law enforcement agency in Augusta County. The ACSO was created in 1745 when James Patton was elected as the first sheriff.[15] The ACSO was accredited by the Virginia Law Enforcement Accreditation Coalition.[16] The agency is currently headed by Sheriff Donald Smith. The ACSO currently has 72 sworn deputies and 6 dispatchers.[as of?][citation needed]

In 2021, the sheriff's department arrested eight individuals for protesting outside the Sheriff's Office. In response to the shooting of two men by deputies earlier that year, the protestors wanted deputies to use body cameras.[17] Most of the charges were thrown out by a judge in 2022.[18] Body cameras were not included in the 2022 budget: initially the county board of supervisors instead created a fund for body cameras that the community could donate to, but they shortly rescinded that decision over a desire to avoid contributions to the fund by the protesting group.[19]

Economy

According to the county's 2011 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report,[20] the top employers in the county are:

# Employer # of Employees
1 Augusta County Public Schools 1,000+
2 Augusta Health 1,000+
3 McKee Foods 500-999
4 Hershey 500-999
5 Target 500-999
6 AAF-McQuay 500-999
7 Hollister Co. 250-499
8 Blue Ridge Community College 250-499
9 Augusta Correctional Center 250-499
10 Ply Gem 250-499

Communities

The independent cities of Staunton and Waynesboro (incorporated as such in 1902 and 1948 respectively) are located within the boundaries of Augusta County, but are not a part of the county, despite Staunton's status as the county seat. Most county administrative offices, however, are located in Verona, rather than in Staunton.

Towns

Census-designated places

Other unincorporated communities

Notable people

See also

References

  1. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Archived from the original on May 31, 2011. Retrieved June 7, 2011.
  2. ^ "Augusta County, Virginia". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 30, 2022.
  3. ^ Salmon, edited by Emily J.; Campbell, Edward D.C. Jr. (1994). The Hornbook of Virginia History: A Ready Reference Guide to the Old Dominion's People, Places, and Past (4th ed.). Richmond: Library of Virginia. ISBN 0884901777. ((cite book)): |first1= has generic name (help)
  4. ^ a b "History". Augusta County, Virginia. Archived from the original on November 27, 2019. Retrieved November 27, 2019.
  5. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. February 12, 2011. Retrieved April 23, 2011.
  6. ^ "Census of Population and Housing from 1790-2000". US Census Bureau. Retrieved January 24, 2022.
  7. ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved December 31, 2013.
  8. ^ "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved December 31, 2013.
  9. ^ "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. Archived (PDF) from the original on October 9, 2022. Retrieved December 31, 2013.
  10. ^ a b "P2 HISPANIC OR LATINO, AND NOT HISPANIC OR LATINO BY RACE - 2010: DEC Redistricting Data (PL 94-171) - Augusta County, Virginia". United States Census Bureau.
  11. ^ a b "P2 HISPANIC OR LATINO, AND NOT HISPANIC OR LATINO BY RACE - 2020: DEC Redistricting Data (PL 94-171) - Augusta County, Virginia". United States Census Bureau.
  12. ^ "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved May 14, 2011.
  13. ^ "Incorporated Places and Minor Civil Divisions Datasets: Subcounty Resident Population Estimates: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2014". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on May 23, 2015. Retrieved February 14, 2016.
  14. ^ Leip, David. "Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections". uselectionatlas.org. Retrieved 2020-12-08
  15. ^ Augusta County Sheriff's Office - History
  16. ^ Augusta County Sheriff's Office - Accreditation
  17. ^ Hagi, Randi B. (November 8, 2021). "Local BLM group sues Augusta County sheriff". WMRA and WEMC. Retrieved October 20, 2022.
  18. ^ "Judge throws out majority of Augusta County Sheriff's Office charges from 2021 protests". The News Leader. September 5, 2022. Retrieved October 20, 2022.
  19. ^ Urenko, Cayley; Brooks, Kayla. "Supervisors vote to close body camera donation account for Augusta County Sheriff's Office". NBC 29. Retrieved October 20, 2022.
  20. ^ "Augusta County, Virginia Comprehensive Annual Financial Report, for the Year ended June 30, 2009" (PDF). Retrieved November 4, 2011.[permanent dead link]
  21. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q Who Was Who in America, Historical Volume, 1607-1896. Chicago: Marquis Who's Who. 1963.
  22. ^ John Meriwether McAllister and Mrs. Lura May Boulton Tandy (1906). Genealogies of the Lewis and kindred families. Columbia, Missouri: E. W. Stephens Publishing Company.
  23. ^ 'The History of Dubuque County,' Western Historical, 1880, Biographical Sketch of Thomas McKnight, pg. 975

Further reading

Coordinates: 38°12′N 79°7′W / 38.200°N 79.117°W / 38.200; -79.117