Tazewell County
Tazewell County Courthouse
Tazewell County Courthouse
Official seal of Tazewell County
Map of Virginia highlighting Tazewell 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°08′N 81°34′W / 37.13°N 81.56°W / 37.13; -81.56
Country United States
State Virginia
FoundedDecember 20, 1799
Named forHenry Tazewell
SeatTazewell
Largest townRichlands
Area
 • Total520 sq mi (1,300 km2)
 • Land519 sq mi (1,340 km2)
 • Water1.1 sq mi (3 km2)  0.2%
Population
 (2020)
 • Total40,429
 • Density78/sq mi (30/km2)
Time zoneUTC−5 (Eastern)
 • Summer (DST)UTC−4 (EDT)
Congressional district9th
Websitetazewellcountyva.org

Tazewell County (/tæz.wɛl/) is a county located in the southwestern portion of the U.S. state of Virginia. As of the 2010 census, the population was 40,429.[1] Its county seat is Tazewell.[2]

Tazewell County is part of the Bluefield, WV-VA Micropolitan Statistical Area. Its economy was dependent on coal and iron of the Pocahontas Fields from the late 19th into the 20th century.

History

Tazewell County was long a hunting ground for various historic Native American tribes and their ancestral indigenous cultures. Although rare in the eastern United States, there are petroglyphs near the summit of Paintlick Mountain.[3] Among the tribes that occupied this area in historic times were the Lenape (Delaware), and the Iroquoian-speaking Cherokee and members of the Iroquois Confederacy.

In the spring of 1771, Thomas and John Witten established the first permanent settlement in Tazewell County at Crab Orchard.[4]

As population increased in the area, Tazewell County was created on December 20, 1799. The land for the county was taken from portions of Wythe and Russell counties. It was named after Henry Tazewell, a United States senator from Virginia, state legislator and judge. Delegate Littleton Waller Tazewell originally opposed the formation of the new county but when Simon Cotterel, who drew up the bill to form the county, changed the originally proposed name of the county to Tazewell's namesake, in honor of his father Henry who had died earlier that year, the bill passed.[5]

Jeffersonville was established the following year (1800) as the county seat. On February 29, 1892, Jeffersonville was renamed as Tazewell.

During the early settlement period, many Scots-Irish settled through the Appalachian backcountry, including Tazewell.

After the Civil War, construction of railroads in southwestern Virginia enabled the development of coal and iron resources in the Clinch Valley. Richlands had a boom economy in the early 1890s, and became a rougher place with young industrial workers and more saloons.

The profits generated by the coal boom resulted in the development of mansions and the elaborate Richlands Hotel, said to rival the best hotels of New York City. But it was forced to close after the boom cycle ended. It was used for other purposes.[6]

Representation in other media

Paramount's 1994 film Lassie was filmed here. It was based on stories of Albert Payson Terhune.

Geography

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 520 square miles (1,300 km2), of which 519 square miles (1,340 km2) is land and 1.1 square miles (2.8 km2) (0.2%) is water.[7]

Since it contains portions of the Ridge-and-Valley Appalachians and the Cumberland Plateau, Tazewell County has very distinct geologic areas within the county. One of the most unusual areas is Burke's Garden, a bowl-shaped valley formed by the erosion of a doubly plunging anticline. Tazewell County includes the headwaters of four watersheds, which are the Upper Clinch, Middle New, North Fork Holston, and Tug.[8] It also has the headwaters of the Bluestone River, which flows into West Virginia, where a portion is protected as a Wild and Scenic River.

Adjacent counties

National protected area

Major highways

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
18002,127
18103,00741.4%
18203,91630.2%
18305,74946.8%
18406,2909.4%
18509,94258.1%
18609,920−0.2%
187010,7918.8%
188012,86119.2%
189019,89954.7%
190023,38417.5%
191024,9466.7%
192027,84011.6%
193032,47716.7%
194041,60728.1%
195047,51214.2%
196044,791−5.7%
197039,816−11.1%
198050,51126.9%
199045,960−9.0%
200044,598−3.0%
201045,0781.1%
202040,429−10.3%
U.S. Decennial Census[9]
1790-1960[10] 1900-1990[11]
1990-2000[12] 2010[13] 2020[14]

2020 census

Tazewell County, Virginia - Demographic Profile
(NH = Non-Hispanic)
Race / Ethnicity Pop 2010[13] Pop 2020[14] % 2010 % 2020
White alone (NH) 42,692 37,336 94.71% 92.35%
Black or African American alone (NH) 1,330 961 2.95% 2.38%
Native American or Alaska Native alone (NH) 54 56 0.12% 0.14%
Asian alone (NH) 286 213 0.63% 0.53%
Pacific Islander alone (NH) 6 15 0.01% 0.04%
Some Other Race alone (NH) 23 89 0.05% 0.22%
Mixed Race/Multi-Racial (NH) 391 1,252 0.87% 3.10%
Hispanic or Latino (any race) 296 507 0.66% 1.25%
Total 45,078 40,429 100.00% 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[15] of 2000, there were 44,598 people, 18,277 households and 13,232 families residing in the county. The population density was 86 people per square mile (33/km2). There were 20,390 housing units at an average density of 39 per square mile (15/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 96.16% White, 2.29% Black or African American, 0.17% Native American, 0.61% Asian, 0.16% from other races, and 0.62% from two or more races. 0.51% of the population Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 18,277 households, out of which 28.70% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 58.20% were married couples living together, 10.80% had a female householder with no husband present, and 27.60% were non-families. 25.20% of all households were made up of individuals, and 11.90% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.40 and the average family size was 2.85.

In the county, the population was spread out, with 21.40% under the age of 18, 8.40% from 18 to 24, 27.20% from 25 to 44, 27.50% from 45 to 64, and 15.50% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 41 years. For every 100 females, there were 92.00 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 88.70 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $27,304, and the median income for a family was $33,732. Males had a median income of $28,780 versus $19,648 for females. The per capita income for the county was $15,282. About 11.70% of families and 15.30% of the population were below the poverty line, including 20.30% of those under age 18 and 13.90% of those age 65 or over.

Education

Colleges

Public high schools

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

Professional sports teams

Communities

Towns

Census-designated places

Other unincorporated communities

Politics

United States presidential election results for Tazewell County, Virginia[16]
Year Republican Democratic Third party
No.  % No.  % No.  %
2020 16,731 83.10% 3,205 15.92% 198 0.98%
2016 15,168 81.70% 2,895 15.59% 503 2.71%
2012 13,843 78.07% 3,661 20.65% 228 1.29%
2008 11,201 65.65% 5,596 32.80% 264 1.55%
2004 10,039 57.43% 7,184 41.10% 257 1.47%
2000 8,655 52.96% 7,227 44.22% 462 2.83%
1996 6,131 39.71% 7,500 48.58% 1,809 11.72%
1992 6,375 37.38% 8,586 50.34% 2,095 12.28%
1988 7,165 46.37% 8,098 52.40% 190 1.23%
1984 9,645 53.89% 8,014 44.78% 237 1.32%
1980 7,021 48.67% 7,003 48.55% 401 2.78%
1976 5,565 41.41% 7,565 56.29% 309 2.30%
1972 7,233 67.81% 3,181 29.82% 253 2.37%
1968 4,434 39.11% 4,734 41.75% 2,170 19.14%
1964 3,231 34.31% 6,081 64.57% 105 1.12%
1960 3,139 41.44% 4,416 58.30% 19 0.25%
1956 3,960 52.55% 3,495 46.38% 80 1.06%
1952 3,232 55.83% 2,527 43.65% 30 0.52%
1948 2,278 48.41% 2,258 47.98% 170 3.61%
1944 2,271 44.29% 2,832 55.23% 25 0.49%
1940 2,356 43.06% 3,108 56.80% 8 0.15%
1936 1,981 39.66% 2,992 59.90% 22 0.44%
1932 2,005 42.10% 2,713 56.97% 44 0.92%
1928 3,072 60.82% 1,979 39.18% 0 0.00%
1924 2,631 48.04% 2,568 46.89% 278 5.08%
1920 2,408 57.51% 1,770 42.27% 9 0.21%
1916 1,591 58.49% 1,108 40.74% 21 0.77%
1912 586 23.80% 979 39.76% 897 36.43%


See also

References

  1. ^ "Tazewell County, Virginia". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 30, 2022.
  2. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved June 7, 2011.
  3. ^ GMallery, Garrick (2007). Picture-Writing of the American Indians V1. Kessinger Publishing. p. 121. ISBN 0-548-10043-8.
  4. ^ Pendleton, William (1920). History of Tazewell County and Southwest Virginia. W. C. Hill Printing Company. p. 232.
  5. ^ Pendleton, William (1920). History of Tazewell County and Southwest Virginia. W. C. Hill Printing Company. p. 396.
  6. ^ Louise Leslie, Tazewell County, The Overmountain Press, 1995, pp. 149-150
  7. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. February 12, 2011. Retrieved April 23, 2011.
  8. ^ Virginia.gov Archived 2009-01-15 at the Wayback Machine
  9. ^ "Census of Population and Housing from 1790-2000". US Census Bureau. Retrieved January 24, 2022.
  10. ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved January 5, 2014.
  11. ^ "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 5, 2014.
  12. ^ "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 5, 2014.
  13. ^ a b "P2 HISPANIC OR LATINO, AND NOT HISPANIC OR LATINO BY RACE - 2010: DEC Redistricting Data (PL 94-171) - Tazewell County, Virginia". United States Census Bureau.
  14. ^ a b "P2 HISPANIC OR LATINO, AND NOT HISPANIC OR LATINO BY RACE - 2020: DEC Redistricting Data (PL 94-171) - Tazewell County, Virginia". United States Census Bureau.
  15. ^ "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved May 14, 2011.
  16. ^ Leip, David. "Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections". uselectionatlas.org. Retrieved December 9, 2020.

Further reading

Coordinates: 37°08′N 81°34′W / 37.13°N 81.56°W / 37.13; -81.56