Kanawha County


Established at Fort Lee in 1788; chartered in 1794.

Population 2010 Census: 51,400
Median Age: 41.7 years

Courthouse: Completed 1892; additions 1917 and 1924
Architect: Reuben Shirreffs and Walter R. Higham (1892); H. Russ Warne (1917) and Warne, Tucker and Patteson (1924)

Hover mouse over a dot on the map for details on Charleston.

Formed: 1788
Named: For the Great Kanawha River, which itself was named after the Indian tribe which once resided there.
County Seat: Charleston
Land in Square Miles: 901.59
Population 2010 Census: 193,063
Persons per Square Mile 2010: 214.1

Primary Sources Online
1869 Capitol Cornerstone Laid
First Brick Pavement
Snow Hill Salt Company
West Virginia State groundbreaking
District 17, UMWA, formed
J. McHenry Jones
Fight of Newspapermen in Senate Chamber
Elk River Bridge collapse
Bull Moose Special and Paint Creek
Debs, Germer and Berger Report
Mother Jones' arrest
State Capitol fire
Anna Johnson Gates
Pure Oil Plant blast
Death of Samuel B. Avis and R. G. Altizer
Dunbar High School Turns to Archeology
Brown v. Board of Education (Kanawha County, 1928)
First Highway Historic Marker
Kanawha Airport
Jerry West
Herbert J. Thomas Memorial Hospital
National Guard Plane crash
Elgin Baylor boycott
Martin Luther King Jr. at First Baptist Church
Congress of Racial Equality and Diamond Department Store
1960 Presidential Campaign in Kanawha County
Kennedy at the West Virginia Centennial
Kanawha County Textbook Controversy
National Track and Field Hall of Fame
FMC Corporation
Randy Barnes
Gubernatorial Inaugurations

New State Capitol, 1920s-1932   (dialup)    (broadband)
Governor's Mansion, 1960s   (dialup)    (broadband)
Charleston Beautiful on the Kanawha, 1932   (dialup)    (broadband)
Fire rescue, Charleston Beautiful on the Kanawha, 1932   (dialup)    (broadband)
"Units of Work through the Child Activity Program" at South Charleston Central School, 1937 (no audio)   (dialup)    (broadband)
Woolworth's Department Store fire, 1949   (dialup)    (broadband)
Construction of the Memorial Tunnel   (dialup)    (broadband)
Downtown Charleston, 1959   (dialup)    (broadband)
Dedication of USS West Virginia bell, 1960   (dialup)    (broadband)
Winter scene, Charleston, 1960   (dialup)    (broadband)
U.S. Naval Ordnance Plant, 1961   (dialup)    (broadband)
Charleston Urban Renewal, 1961   (dialup)    (broadband)
Holiday Inn Airporter, 1965   (dialup)    (broadband)
North Charleston Recreation Center, 1965   (dialup)    (broadband)
Spring Hill YMCA, 1965   (dialup)    (broadband)
Charleston streetscape, 1968   (dialup)    (broadband)
Patriotic rally, 1969   (dialup)    (broadband)
Black Lung rally, 1969   (dialup)    (broadband)
Shoney's No. 1 Parkette, 1971   (dialup)    (broadband)
West Virginia Rehabilitation Center at Institute, 1976   (dialup)    (broadband)
Bobby Lewis and his father Bill of Mink Shoals, 1983   (dialup)    (broadband)
Stubby Gober of St. Albans and his miniature carousel, 1983   (dialup)    (broadband)
Phil Gessel of St. Albans, 1983   (dialup)    (broadband)
Halloween at Edison Elementary School in South Charleston, 1983   (dialup)    (broadband)
Brady Landers of Nitro, 1984   (dialup)    (broadband)
Doll collector Anna Gregory of Charleston, 1984   (dialup)    (broadband)
Hansford Community Center's senior garden in St. Albans, 1984   (dialup)    (broadband)
Artists at the Hobby Lobby in Cross Lanes, 1984   (dialup)    (broadband)
Miniature town maker Warren Herring of Pinch, 1984   (dialup)    (broadband)
McFarland family and their pet flying squirrel Rocky of Charleston, 1984   (dialup)    (broadband)
Christopher Scraggs of South Charleston, 1985   (dialup)    (broadband)
Felix Hansford House, 1985   (dialup)    (broadband)
The Crowders of Sanderson, 1985   (dialup)    (broadband)
Hair stylist Desaree Rush of Charleston, 1985   (dialup)    (broadband)
Jefferson Award winner Bud Anderson of Charleston, 1985   (dialup)    (broadband)
Jefferson Award winner Larry Paxton, 1985   (dialup)    (broadband)
Jefferson Award winner Renitha Spurlock of Institute, 1985   (dialup)    (broadband)
Magician Troy Kennison, 1985   (dialup)    (broadband)
Hayes Junior High School playwright, 1985   (dialup)    (broadband)
Kanawha Salines Salt Festival, 1986   (dialup)    (broadband)
South Side Bridge, 1989   (dialup)    (broadband)
Charleston Sternwheel Regatta, 1990   (dialup)    (broadband)
Scenes from Charleston Sternwheel Regatta, 1990   (dialup)    (broadband)
Excerpt from "Chemical Commandos," on the DuPont's Regional Response Team, 1994    (dialup)    (broadband)
Excerpt from "Chemical Commandos," on fire fighters and hazmat teams, 1994    (dialup)    (broadband)
EPA clean-up at Fike Chemical, 1994    (dialup)    (broadband)
Commode Bowl, 1995   (dialup)    (broadband)
Leon Sullivan at Piedmont Elementary, 1999   (dialup)    (broadband)

Civil War
Meeting at Flat Woods (Kanawha), 1861
Meeting of the Kanawha Riflemen, 1861
Meeting of Citizens of Kanawha, 1861
Military Meeting at Clifton, 1861
Meeting in Kanawha, 1861
Broadside to the Voters of Kanawha, 1861
The Feeling in Kanawha, 1861
News from the Kanawha, 1861
Colonel Guthrie's Proclamation, 1861
Deserter shot, 1861
Meeting in Malden, 1862
Mass Meeting in Kanawha, 1862
Capture of Kanawha Salt Works, 1862
Affairs in the Kanawha Valley, 1862
General Orders, 1862
Letter from Charleston, 1862
Female Soldier in Custody, 1862
Scout from Charleston to Boone Courthouse, 1863
Rebel shot, 1864
Kanawha County, 1865
Kanawha County Union Militia Letters, Folder 1
Kanawha County Union Militia Letters, Folder 2
Kanawha County Union Militia Letters, Folder 3
Kanawha County Union Militia Letters, Folder 4
Kanawha County Union Militia Letters, Folder 5
Kanawha County Union Militia Letters, Folder 9
Kanawha County Union Militia Letters, Folder 13
Kanawha County Union Militia Letters, Folder 24
Kanawha County Union Militia Letters, Folder 27
Kanawha County Union Militia Letters, Folder 32
Kanawha County Union Militia Letters, Folder 37
Kanawha County Union Militia Letters, Folder 38

Photographs of Schools in Kanawha County
Adult male skeleton with 2 copper bracelets in Tomb #1, Murad Mound
2 copper bracelets, Murad Mound
James Brown
Dickinson Salt Works, Malden
Oil Workers, Copenhaver
Moving houses across the Kanawha River
President Franklin D. Roosevelt in parade car in Charleston
Actress Greer Garson at WWII bond rally, Laidley Field, Charleston
Nedra Boston, Donald Gafford and Annette Leach at a Blue Creek swimming hole near Pentacre
Images of the Capitol Complex
C. H. James and Sons wholesale produce company, Charleston
Men's Bible Class, 1st Baptist Church, Charleston
Vacation Bible School, 1st Baptist Church, Charleston
Sixteenth Annual Session, West Virginia Baptist Sunday School Convention, First Baptist Church, Charleston
The 1933 Benevolent Protective Order of the Elks of the World convention in Charleston
Amanda Johnson Home, Malden
First graduates of the black beauty school, Charleston
Knights of Pythias building, Charleston
Bible School, original First Baptist Church, Charleston
James Produce, Charleston
C. H. James and Son Fruits and Produce, Charleston
Girl Scout Troop #42, First Baptist Church, Charleston
Charleston Woman's Improvement League members
Christmas party, Bachelor Benedict Club, Charleston
Kanawha County Consolidated Elementary and Secondary Principals Association, Christmas
The Les Chercheuse Club, Charleston
William Edward Preston, The Preston Baggage Service, Charleston
See "Celebrating Lives: A Glimpse of African-Americans in West Virginia" for additional school and individual photos

Secondary Sources Online
List of Kanawha County Legislators
Criel Mound
Daniel Boone in the Kanawha Valley
Kanawha Salt Company
Early Industry in Kanawha County from Historical Collections of Virginia by Henry Howe
"The Civil War Comes to Charleston" by Roy Bird Cook (West Virginia History)
"Institute: It Springs from Epic Love Story" by James A. Haught (West Virginia History)
"Booker T. Washington's West Virginia Boyhood" by Louis R. Harlan (West Virginia History)
"Eugene V. Debs in West Virginia, 1913: A Reappraisal," by Roger Fagge (West Virginia History)
"Appraising Roger Fagge's 'Eugene V. Debs in West Virginia, 1913: A Reappraisal'," by David A. Corbin and Roger Fagge (West Virginia History)
West Virginia Mine Wars
Shelton College
Biographical Sketch of William H. Davis
1876 Strike in Brownstown (Marmet)
"Dr. John P. Hale Pioneered In Everything!"
George Wesley Atkinson
Samuel W. Starks
William Alexander MacCorkle
Leon H. Sullivan
John C. Norman Jr.
William Gaston Caperton III

West Virginia Veterans Memorial Biographies
Elmer Adkins
Lane Schofield Anderson
James Paul Angelo
Paul Brown Armentrout
Dale Clarke Bailey
Shirley Eugene Bailey
Arlen Richard Baldridge
Charles Andrew Baldwin II
John Robert Ball
Timothy Lawrence Barber
Edward Earl Beckner
Daniel Lee Birthisel
Rodney Allen Breedlove
John Morgan Brawley
Charles Lee Bruce
John Ohley Casdorph Jr.
Teddy Ray Chandler
William Seymour Chapman Sr.
Michael Linn Cooper
Charles Edward Craft
William Adrian Bias Davenport
Danny Joe Dodd
Lewis Arthur Edwards
Anna Marie Fisher
Ira V. French
Harry Carl Froehlich
Carl Bradford Goodson
Cecil Smith Hall
Edmund Caskie Harrison
Carmel Bernon Harvey Jr.
Otmer Franklin Hodges Jr.
Charles David Hoffman
John G. Hudgins
John Warden Hunt
Allen Edward Hunter
Owen Jarrett
John Kalausich
Victor Theodore Lake Jr.
Larry Raymond Martin
James Fields Mayenschein
Harry Custer Minsker
Alfred Eugene Mitchell
Roscoe Harry Moles
Philip Larry Nichols
Kermit Reed Orders
Russell Hamilton Peterson
Clarence Alfred Potterfield
Frank Edward Reed
William Aschman Riheldaffer
James Parks Robson
William Amol Ronk
Perry Thomas Rose
Bert Sechrist
Robert Luther Sibley Jr.
Harry Isadore Silverstein
Charles Joseph Spainhour
Joseph Dewitt Specht
Herbert Joseph Thomas Jr.
Orville Bias Tully and Grant Perry Tully
David Lee West
Harrison McClester Withrow
Theodore Remington Woo
Russell Dawson Woods

History of the American Negro Biographies
Charles Wesley Boyd
Harry Jheopart Capehart
Emory Rankin Carter
Austin Wingate Curtis
Daniel L. Ferguson
Gurnett Edinburg Ferguson
Henry Floyd Gamble
Curtis Thomas Hayden
Henry Clay Head
James Arthur Jackson
Robert Louis Jones
Huling Henry Lewis
Thomas Gillis Nutter
Charles Benjamin Payne
Byrd Prillerman
Henry Milton Cornelius Reed
Moses Thomas Sinclair
Albert Lee Spaulding
Chauncey Noble Thompson
Andrew Hall Whitfield

Teacher Resources

West Virginia Archives and History