Campbell County
Campbell County Courthouse in Rustburg
Campbell County Courthouse in Rustburg
Flag of Campbell County
Official seal of Campbell County
Official logo of Campbell County
Map of Virginia highlighting Campbell 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°13′N 79°05′W / 37.21°N 79.09°W / 37.21; -79.09
Country United States
State Virginia
Named forGeneral William Campbell
Largest townAltavista
 • Total507 sq mi (1,310 km2)
 • Land504 sq mi (1,310 km2)
 • Water3.5 sq mi (9 km2)  0.7%
 • Total55,696
 • Density110/sq mi (42/km2)
Time zoneUTC−5 (Eastern)
 • Summer (DST)UTC−4 (EDT)
Congressional district5th

Campbell County is a United States county situated in the south central part of the Commonwealth of Virginia. Located in the Piedmont region of Virginia, Campbell borders the Blue Ridge Mountains. The county seat is Rustburg.[1]

Grounded on a tobacco cash crop economy, Campbell County was created in 1782 from part of Bedford County. The county was named in honor of General William Campbell, hero of the American Revolutionary War.

Campbell County is part of the Lynchburg metropolitan area. At the 2020 census, the county population was 55,696.[2] The number of residents has grown steadily in every census after 1930, and the total population has more than doubled since that time.[3]

Lynchburg was established in Campbell County in 1786, incorporated as a town in 1805, and separated from Campbell County when it became an independent city in 1852. Lynchburg has annexed additional land from Bedford County and Campbell County through the years, most recently in 1976.


Main house, Green Hill Plantation, Campbell County, Historic American Buildings Survey[4]

The Native American tribes of the Monacan, Iroquois, and Cherokee were the original inhabitants of the Campbell County area, but were later forced west due to the settlers' progress. Sir William Gooch, in 1727, created a couple of "inducements" in order to lure settlers to the Campbell County area. These inducements were that if one settled on the Staunton River "in the bounds of the newly formed County of Brunswick" then they would be freed from paying levies for ten years. The second "inducement" was that the settler could claim 400 acres simply by building a cabin on the land and by "planting a patch of grain".[citation needed]

Throughout the 18th century, multiple Scotch-Irish families would begin settling in the area, these names included the Irvins, the Mitchells, the McCues, the McElroys, McDowells, Campbells, and others. These families arrived on a ship known as the George and Ann, sailed by Captain Rymer, who, instead of going towards Philadelphia from Derry, planned to keep sailing around the coast until the passengers starved to death, so he could loot their valuables. However, a captain named Captain Lothrop spotted the ship in distress nearby Monomoy. Afterwards, the passengers were landed at Orleans, and these future settlers of Campbell County would travel south to investigate Sir William Gooch's inducements.[5][6]

The inducement's attempt to draw settlers was not vastly successful with the exception of a few new settlers, and the Governor soon took mention of his inducements to the ocean ports in which immigrants were arriving in America, as well as to the ports back in their homelands. This great difficulty in gaining new settlers for Campbell County is one of the reasons that the Governor allowed the Scotch-Irish immigrants with Presbyterian beliefs to gain religious freedom, in order to secure as many new settlers as possible for the newly founded county.[7]

The area that would become Campbell County was first settled by Europeans, initially Scotch-Irish Presbyterians, in the late 1730s. After nearly fifty years of immigration and development, the newly formed county was established in 1782 from part of Bedford County , and was the first county formed after the American Revolution.[8] Campbell County was named for Revolutionary War hero, General William Campbell, who is known for the 1780 Battle of Kings Mountain. The independent city of Lynchburg, Virginia was subsequently formed from the county's land in 1786.[9]

Map of Campbell County, Virginia
Sandborn Fire Insurance Map from Altavista, Campbell County, Virginia

Jeremiah Rust donated the land that would become the county's seat named Rustburg.[10] The towns of Altavista and Brookneal were created due to their business advantages as well as the "intersection of trails". Altavista was planned by a group of businessmen in 1907, due to its "strategic" location and "potential" as a new location for a railroad.[11]

From its earliest days, the county relied on tobacco as the primary cash crop and basis for the economy, though it also developed early manufacturing operations. Brookneal, with its strategic location on the Staunton River, was long an important tobacco and textile hub. However, the departure of manufacturing and the changing tobacco market has forced Campbell to transform from a mainly agricultural area into a mixture of suburban and rural communities.[9] Campbell County was also an iron manufacturer and begun operations Pre-Revolutionary War and continued operations in Oxford Iron Works until it was closed in 1875. The building is still standing today.[12]

Campbell County opened its first public school in 1871 after the Civil War. In 1878, Campbell County and Lynchburg became two separate entities when Lynchburg was recognized as an independent city. The first school fair was held in Rustburg, the county seat, in 1908. This was the first school fair ever held in Virginia and was started by the Virginia Federation of Women's Club, "with the aid of J.S. Thomas, then school examiner in the district, and with the agreement of the Van Dyke League to help in Campbell." This fair was a showcase of "expert knowledge and training," as well as each child's best work.[13]

Campbell County and its residents have participated and given aid in many wars. They have had soldiers involved in the American Revolution, Civil War, World War I, World War II, the Korean War, Vietnam War, Gulf War, and the War in Afghanistan, Iraq War.[14]


Campbell County's religious origin predominantly included Protestant Christianity, with denominations such as Quakerism and Presbyterianism strongly represented. Early religious adherents sought religious freedom. They migrated from many places, but most migrated from Colonial Williamsburg and surrounding areas where the Episcopal Church hampered the practice of other religions.[15]

South River Friends Quaker Meeting House

The Quakers gained a foothold within the Campbell County area due to Sarah Clark Lynch, wife of Charles Lynch, the founder of the ferry boat service across the James River and mother of John Lynch, the founder of Lynchburg. Due to Sarah Lynch's influence their application for a meeting house was approved, and the South River Friends Meeting House was built. The Quakers later migrated from the area due to disagreements with the other Campbell County populace over issues such as slavery and the American Revolution. The Quakers maintained pacifist beliefs and during the American Revolution they espoused a standpoint of neutrality and stated that warfare went against their belief system. This apparent refusal to aid their neighbors in their fight for independence greatly angered many and created a wedge between the Quakers and the Non-Quakers.[16] The Quakers also adamantly believed in the abolition of slavery and preached how the institution was wrong and should be disallowed. In 1817 they freed all of their slaves. These actions created additional tension with their slave-holding neighbors and caused many Quakers to leave the Campbell County area and to move West.[17]

The Presbyterian religious faction mainly consisted of Scotch-Irish who originally came to America in order to gain religious freedom from the "Established Church in Ireland" and to create a better life for themselves. They originally settled in Pennsylvania, but then moved to Virginia due to Governor Gooch's inducements to entice settlers to come to Campbell County.[7] The Presbyterians and their descendants then remained in Campbell County, and others who had been with them on the trip to America soon followed after, greatly aiding in the settlement process.[18]


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 507 square miles (1,313.1 km2), of which 504 square miles (1,305.4 km2) is land and 3 square miles (7.8 km2) (0.55%) is water.

Adjacent counties / Independent city

Major highways


Historical population
U.S. Decennial Census[19]
1790–1960[20] 1900–1990[21]
1990–2000[22] 2010[23] 2020[24]

2020 census

Campbell County, Virginia - Demographic Profile
(NH = Non-Hispanic)
Race / Ethnicity Pop 2010[23] Pop 2020[24] % 2010 % 2020
White alone (NH) 44,595 42,884 81.32% 77.00%
Black or African American alone (NH) 7,737 7,761 14.11% 13.93%
Native American or Alaska Native alone (NH) 142 169 0.26% 0.30%
Asian alone (NH) 543 601 0.99% 1.08%
Pacific Islander alone (NH) 11 8 0.02% 0.01%
Some Other Race alone (NH) 56 241 0.10% 0.43%
Mixed Race/Multi-Racial (NH) 840 2,217 1.53% 3.98%
Hispanic or Latino (any race) 918 1,815 1.67% 3.26%
Total 54,842 55,696 100.00% 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 of 2000, there were 51,078 people, 20,639 households, and 14,694 families residing in the county. The population density was 101 people per square mile (39 people/km2). There were 22,088 housing units at an average density of 44 units per square mile (17 units/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 83.24% White, 14.71% Black or African American, 0.19% Native American, 0.62% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 0.33% from other races, and 0.90% from two or more races. 0.83% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.[25]

There were 20,639 households, out of which 30.80% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 56.00% were married couples living together, 11.40% had a female householder with no husband present, and 28.80% were non-families. 24.60% of all households were made up of individuals, and 8.80% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.45 and the average family size was 2.91.[25]

In the county, the age distribution of the population showed 24.00% under the age of 18, 7.70% from 18 to 24, 29.30% from 25 to 44, 25.60% from 45 to 64, and 13.50% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females there were 95.30 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 92.30 males.[25]

The median income for a household in the county was $37,280, and the median income for a family was $42,901. Males had a median income of $32,108 versus $22,286 for females. The per capita income for the county was $18,134. About 7.90% of families and 10.60% of the population were below the poverty line, including 14.10% of those under age 18 and 10.90% of those age 65 or over.[25]


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Board of Supervisors

Constitutional officers

Campbell County is represented by Republicans Frank M. Ruff, Jr. and Stephen D. "Steve" Newman in the Virginia Senate, Republicans Kathy J. Byron, C. Matt Fariss, and James E. Edmunds, II in the Virginia House of Delegates, and Republican Bob Good in the U.S. House of Representatives.

United States presidential election results for Campbell County, Virginia[26]
Year Republican Democratic Third party
No.  % No.  % No.  %
2020 21,245 71.07% 8,070 27.00% 577 1.93%
2016 19,551 71.00% 6,664 24.20% 1,320 4.79%
2012 17,695 68.86% 7,595 29.56% 406 1.58%
2008 17,444 67.58% 8,091 31.34% 279 1.08%
2004 15,891 69.10% 6,862 29.84% 244 1.06%
2000 13,162 64.75% 6,659 32.76% 506 2.49%
1996 10,273 54.35% 6,788 35.91% 1,841 9.74%
1992 10,931 55.33% 5,999 30.36% 2,827 14.31%
1988 12,713 72.51% 4,574 26.09% 246 1.40%
1984 13,388 74.69% 4,380 24.44% 156 0.87%
1980 9,592 65.16% 4,473 30.39% 656 4.46%
1976 7,442 60.78% 4,354 35.56% 449 3.67%
1972 11,676 82.48% 2,055 14.52% 426 3.01%
1968 5,731 44.73% 1,996 15.58% 5,084 39.68%
1964 5,713 62.47% 3,401 37.19% 31 0.34%
1960 2,903 48.63% 3,030 50.75% 37 0.62%
1956 2,827 47.79% 2,674 45.20% 415 7.01%
1952 2,447 47.26% 2,713 52.39% 18 0.35%
1948 668 23.23% 1,554 54.03% 654 22.74%
1944 634 24.08% 1,995 75.77% 4 0.15%
1940 456 16.18% 2,358 83.65% 5 0.18%
1936 370 15.66% 1,987 84.09% 6 0.25%
1932 301 14.89% 1,692 83.72% 28 1.39%
1928 801 45.31% 967 54.69% 0 0.00%
1924 372 18.76% 1,468 74.03% 143 7.21%
1920 375 21.58% 1,341 77.16% 22 1.27%
1916 185 14.62% 1,007 79.60% 73 5.77%
1912 97 9.22% 810 77.00% 145 13.78%



Census-designated places

Other unincorporated communities

Some of these unincorporated areas have Lynchburg mailing addresses.

Sports and recreation

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Campbell County is home to sporting events and organizations including:

See also


  1. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Archived from the original on May 31, 2011. Retrieved June 7, 2011.
  2. ^ "Campbell County, Virginia". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 30, 2022.
  3. ^ "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on June 29, 2011. Retrieved January 1, 2014.
  4. ^ "- Green Hill Plantation & Main House, State Route 728, Long Island, Campbell County, VA". 1960. Retrieved April 10, 2018.
  5. ^ Popek, Diane (1984). TRACKS Along the Staunton: A History of Leesville, Lynch Station, Hurt, & Altavista (1st ed.). Altavista Printing Company.
  6. ^ "VOYAGE OF THE SHIP GEORGE AND ANNE". OUR FAMILY FOREST. Retrieved December 9, 2023.
  7. ^ a b Fawcett, Marian (1963). An Historical Sketch of Campbell County, Virginia. p. 2.
  8. ^ "First Facts". Campbell County Historical Society. Archived from the original on June 22, 2015.
  9. ^ a b "About Campbell County". Campbell County, Virginia. Archived from the original on February 9, 2015. Retrieved February 9, 2015.
  10. ^ "County History | Campbell County, VA". Retrieved March 13, 2019.
  11. ^ "History of Campbell County | Campbell County ED, VA". Retrieved February 28, 2019.
  12. ^ "About Campbell County". Campbell County, Virginia. Archived from the original on February 9, 2015. Retrieved February 9, 2015.
  13. ^ Early, Ruth Hairston (1978). Campbell Chronicles and Family Sketches: Embracing the History of Campbell County, Virginia, 1782-1926. Genealogical Publishing Com. ISBN 9780806307985.
  14. ^ Fawcett, Marian (1963). An Historical Sketch of Campbell County, Virginia. p. 8.
  15. ^ Fawcett, Marian (1963). An Historical Sketch of Campbell County, Virginia. pp. 2, 4–5.
  16. ^ Fawcett, Marian (1963). An Historical Sketch of Campbell County, Virginia. pp. 4–5.
  17. ^ Our Quaker Friends of Ye Olden Time: Being in Part a Transcript of the Minute Books of Cedar Creek Meeting, Hanover County, and the South River Meeting. Lynchburg: J.P. Bell Co., Pub. 1905. p. 176.
  18. ^ Fawcett, Marian (1963). An Historical Sketch of Campbell County, Virginia. p. 3.
  19. ^ "Census of Population and Housing from 1790-2000". US Census Bureau. Retrieved January 24, 2022.
  20. ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved January 1, 2014.
  21. ^ "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 1, 2014.
  22. ^ "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 January 1, 2014.
  23. ^ a b "P2 HISPANIC OR LATINO, AND NOT HISPANIC OR LATINO BY RACE - 2010: DEC Redistricting Data (PL 94-171) - Campbell County, Virginia". United States Census Bureau.
  24. ^ a b "P2 HISPANIC OR LATINO, AND NOT HISPANIC OR LATINO BY RACE - 2020: DEC Redistricting Data (PL 94-171) - Campbell County, Virginia". United States Census Bureau.
  25. ^ a b c d "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved May 14, 2011.
  26. ^ Leip, David. "Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections". Retrieved December 9, 2020.

37°13′N 79°05′W / 37.21°N 79.09°W / 37.21; -79.09