Buchanan County
Buchanan County Courthouse in Grundy
Buchanan County Courthouse in Grundy
Official seal of Buchanan County
Map of Virginia highlighting Buchanan County
Location within the U.S. state of Virginia
Map of the United States highlighting Virginia
Virginia's location within the U.S.
Coordinates: 37°16′N 82°02′W / 37.27°N 82.04°W / 37.27; -82.04
Country United States
State Virginia
Founded1858
Named forJames Buchanan
SeatGrundy
Largest townGrundy
Area
 • Total504 sq mi (1,310 km2)
 • Land503 sq mi (1,300 km2)
 • Water1.1 sq mi (3 km2)  0.2%
Population
 (2020)
 • Total20,355
 • Density40/sq mi (16/km2)
Time zoneUTC−5 (Eastern)
 • Summer (DST)UTC−4 (EDT)
Congressional district9th
Websitewww.buchanancountyonline.com

Buchanan County (/bə.kæn.ən/) is a United States county in far western Virginia, the only Virginia county to border both West Virginia and Kentucky. The county is part of the Southwest Virginia region and lies in the rugged Appalachian Plateau portion of the Appalachian Mountains. Its county seat is Grundy.[1]

Buchanan County was established in 1858 from parts of Russell and Tazewell counties, and it was named in honor of then-President James Buchanan; however, the pronunciation of the county's name differs from that of the 15th president's surname, with locals saying "Buh-can-nin". In 1880, part of Buchanan County was taken to form Dickenson County.

As of the 2020 census, the county population was 20,355[2] and had a double-digit percentage population decrease over the last four censuses. In addition, as of 2012, Buchanan was the fifth-poorest county in Virginia, when ranked by median household income and has been consistently in bottom 5% over the past decade.[3]

History

President James Buchanan, for whom the county was named
President James Buchanan, for whom the county was named

The county was formed in 1858 from parts of Russell County and Tazewell County. It was named for James Buchanan, the 15th President of the United States.[4] In 1880 the southwestern part of Buchanan County was combined with parts of Russell County and Wise County to become Dickenson County.

Helen Timmons Henderson (1877–1925)[5] helped participate in the work of the Buchanan Mission School at Council, Va. She and Sarah Lee Fain (1888–1962) of Norfolk became the first two women to be elected into the Virginia General Assembly. They were both Democrats in the House of Delegates. When Helen was in office, the delegates agreed to let 6.2 miles (10.0 km) of improved road to be placed from Russell County, across Big "A" Mountain, to Council. Route 80 is also known as "Helen Henderson Highway." In 1876, Grundy was chosen and became the county seat of Buchanan County, it was named in honor of Felix Grundy, a Senator from Tennessee.

Geography

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 503.8 square miles (1,304.8 km2), of which 502.7 square miles (1,302.0 km2) is land and 1.1 square miles (2.8 km2) (0.2%) is water.[6] It is home to Poplar Gap Park. An other attraction is the William P Harris Park located in Council Virginia close to the Russell County Line.

Districts

The county is divided into seven supervisor districts: Garden, Hurricane, Knox, North Grundy, Prater, Rock Lick, and South Grundy.

Adjacent counties

Major highways

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
18602,793
18703,77735.2%
18805,69450.8%
18905,8673.0%
19009,69265.2%
191012,33427.3%
192015,44125.2%
193016,7408.4%
194031,47788.0%
195035,74813.6%
196036,7242.7%
197032,071−12.7%
198037,98918.5%
199031,333−17.5%
200026,978−13.9%
201024,098−10.7%
202020,355−15.5%
U.S. Decennial Census[7]
1790–1960[8] 1900–1990[9]
1990–2000[10] 2010[11] 2020[12]

2020 census

Buchanan County, Virginia - Demographic Profile
(NH = Non-Hispanic)
Race / Ethnicity Pop 2010[11] Pop 2020[12] % 2010 % 2020
White alone (NH) 23,205 19,210 96.29% 94.37%
Black or African American alone (NH) 614 613 2.55% 3.01%
Native American or Alaska Native alone (NH) 18 15 0.07% 0.07%
Asian alone (NH) 53 49 0.22% 0.24%
Pacific Islander alone (NH) 2 1 0.01% 0.00%
Some Other Race alone (NH) 4 10 0.02% 0.05%
Mixed Race/Multi-Racial (NH) 107 280 0.44% 1.38%
Hispanic or Latino (any race) 95 177 0.39% 0.87%
Total 24,098 20,355 100.00% 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

Age distribution of Buchanan County, Virginia
Age distribution of Buchanan County, Virginia

As of the census[13] of 2000, there were 26,978 people, 10,464 households, and 7,900 families residing in the county. The population density was 54 people per square mile (21/km2). There were 11,887 housing units at an average density of 24 per square mile (9/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 96.75% White, 2.62% Black or African American, 0.06% Native American, 0.14% Asian, 0.10% from other races, 0.33% from two or more races, and 0.47% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 10,464 households, out of which 30.60% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 60.90% were married couples living together, 10.60% had a female householder with no husband present, and 24.50% were non-families. Of all households, 22.50% were made up of individuals, and 9.40% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.46 and the average family size was 2.87.

In the county, the population was spread out, with 21.40% under the age of 18, 8.50% from 18 to 24, 31.20% from 25 to 44, 27.50% from 45 to 64, and 11.50% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39 years. For every 100 females there were 102.90 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 102.30 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $22,213, and the median income for a family was $27,328. Males had a median income of $29,540 versus $17,766 for females. The per capita income for the county was $12,788. About 19.80% of families and 23.20% of the population were below the poverty line, including 30.20% of those under age 18 and 16.90% of those age 65 or over.

Government

Board of Supervisors

Constitutional officers

Buchanan County is represented by Republican Travis Hackworth in the Virginia Senate, Republican James W. "Will" Morefield in the Virginia House of Delegates, and Republican H. Morgan Griffith in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Buchanan County, a classically ancestral Democratic county, has become a Republican stronghold at the presidential level, in common with much of Appalachia.

United States presidential election results for Buchanan County, Virginia[14]
Year Republican Democratic Third party
No.  % No.  % No.  %
2020 8,311 83.50% 1,587 15.94% 55 0.55%
2016 7,296 78.90% 1,721 18.61% 230 2.49%
2012 6,436 66.72% 3,094 32.08% 116 1.20%
2008 4,541 51.99% 4,063 46.52% 130 1.49%
2004 4,507 45.85% 5,275 53.67% 47 0.48%
2000 3,867 39.23% 5,745 58.29% 244 2.48%
1996 2,785 26.96% 6,551 63.40% 996 9.64%
1992 3,297 28.17% 7,405 63.27% 1,002 8.56%
1988 3,912 35.68% 6,935 63.25% 118 1.08%
1984 5,053 38.71% 7,828 59.97% 172 1.32%
1980 4,554 42.85% 5,768 54.27% 307 2.89%
1976 3,850 35.89% 5,791 53.98% 1,087 10.13%
1972 4,801 56.13% 3,566 41.69% 187 2.19%
1968 3,699 37.68% 5,003 50.97% 1,114 11.35%
1964 2,349 32.97% 4,756 66.76% 19 0.27%
1960 2,370 38.86% 3,706 60.76% 23 0.38%
1956 3,191 46.71% 3,616 52.94% 24 0.35%
1952 2,330 38.65% 3,613 59.93% 86 1.43%
1948 2,085 39.15% 3,174 59.61% 66 1.24%
1944 1,971 41.02% 2,826 58.81% 8 0.17%
1940 1,291 33.55% 2,554 66.37% 3 0.08%
1936 808 29.94% 1,886 69.88% 5 0.19%
1932 727 34.57% 1,372 65.24% 4 0.19%
1928 1,333 49.41% 1,365 50.59% 0 0.00%
1924 1,080 54.93% 870 44.25% 16 0.81%
1920 1,078 61.42% 675 38.46% 2 0.11%
1916 827 53.22% 720 46.33% 7 0.45%
1912 223 19.60% 524 46.05% 391 34.36%


Education

Colleges

Private schools

Public high schools

All public schools in Buchanan County are operated by Buchanan County Public Schools system.

Public elementary and middle schools

Former schools

Communities

Towns

Census-designated place

Other unincorporated communities

See also

References

  1. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Archived from the original on May 31, 2011. Retrieved June 7, 2011.
  2. ^ "Buchanan County, Virginia". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 30, 2022.
  3. ^ State and County Estimates through 2012. Small Area Income & Poverty Estimates. U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved on 2011-07-06.
  4. ^ Salmon Jr, edited by Emily J.; Campbell, Edward D.C. (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)
  5. ^ Sutherland, Elihu Jasper. Some Sandy Basin Characters. Published by Elihu Jasper Sutherland: Clintwood, Virginia, 1962.
  6. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. February 12, 2011. Retrieved April 23, 2011.
  7. ^ "Census of Population and Housing from 1790-2000". US Census Bureau. Retrieved January 24, 2022.
  8. ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved January 1, 2014.
  9. ^ "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 1, 2014.
  10. ^ "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 1, 2014.
  11. ^ a b "P2 HISPANIC OR LATINO, AND NOT HISPANIC OR LATINO BY RACE - 2010: DEC Redistricting Data (PL 94-171) - Buchanan County, Virginia". United States Census Bureau.
  12. ^ a b "P2 HISPANIC OR LATINO, AND NOT HISPANIC OR LATINO BY RACE - 2020: DEC Redistricting Data (PL 94-171) - Buchanan County, Virginia". United States Census Bureau.
  13. ^ "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved May 14, 2011.
  14. ^ Leip, David. "Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections". uselectionatlas.org. Retrieved December 9, 2020.

Coordinates: 37°16′N 82°02′W / 37.27°N 82.04°W / 37.27; -82.04