Wetzel County is a county located in the U.S.
state of West
of 2000, the population was 17,693. Its county seat
is New Martinsville . Its northern border is
The county is named for Lewis Wetzel
, a famous frontiersman and
According to the U.S.
county has a total area of 361 square
), of which,
359 square miles (930 km²) of it is land and
2 square miles (6 km²) of it (0.59%) is water.
As of the census
of 2000, there were 17,693
people, 7,164 households, and 5,079 families residing in the
county. The population density
was 49 people per square mile (19/km²). There were 8,313 housing
units at an average density of 23 per square mile (9/km²). The
racial makeup of the county was 98.92% White
, 0.08% Black
or African American
, 0.10% Native American
, 0.32% Asian
, 0.02% Pacific Islander
, 0.03% from
, and 0.53%
from two or more races. 0.42% of the population were Hispanic
of any race.
There were 7,164 households out of which 30.20% had children under
the age of 18 living with them, 57.70% were married couples
living together, 9.30% had a female
householder with no husband present, and 29.10% were non-families.
25.70% of all households were made up of individuals and 12.80% 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 2.92.
In the county, the population was spread out with 23.80% under the
age of 18, 6.80% from 18 to 24, 26.50% from 25 to 44, 26.80% from
45 to 64, and 16.20% who were 65 years of age or older. The median
age was 40 years. For every 100 females there were 94.30 males. For
every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 91.20 males.
The median income for a household in the county was $30,935, and
the median income for a family was $36,793. Males had a median
income of $37,296 versus $19,339 for females. The per capita income
for the county was
$16,818. About 15.30% of families and 19.80% of the population were
below the poverty line
26.60% of those under age 18 and 15.20% of those age 65 or
In the mid to late 1800's a band similar to the James Gang of
legend existed that was known as the Jennings Gang. A number of
robberies and murders were accounted to this gang. They were known
to be located near the head of Doolin Run near Tarpan Ridge. The
home they occupuied was found to have an escape tunnel that had
been used to escape capture on several occasions. A local group of
citizens known as the "Redmen" ultimately cornered the gang at this
home and a number of the members were killed. A detailed
description exists in the Wetzel County History written
approximately in 1900.
The oldest oil well location known is of one drilled on Long Run
near Doolin Run which reached oil at a depth about 360 ft.
Wetzel County has a long history in the Oil and Gas producing
industry. During the Oil boom of the 1800's it is reported that the
Proctor Creek watershed had 12 saloons and numerous livery/hotels
to accomidate the hundreds of logging and oil field workers.
Cities and towns
Incorporated towns & cities