Washington Court House, Ohio

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Washington Court House, Ohio
City
Fayette County Courthouse in Washington Court House
Fayette County Courthouse in Washington Court House
Official seal of Washington Court House, Ohio
Seal
Nickname(s): Washington C.H.
Location of Washington Court House, Ohio
Location of Washington Court House, Ohio
Location of Washington Court House in Fayette County
Location of Washington Court House in Fayette County
Coordinates: 39°32′11″N 83°26′8″W / 39.53639°N 83.43556°W / 39.53639; -83.43556
WASHINGTON COURT HOUSE OHIO Latitude and Longitude:

39°32′11″N 83°26′8″W / 39.53639°N 83.43556°W / 39.53639; -83.43556
Country United States
State Ohio
County Fayette
Township Union
Government
 •  City manager Joseph J. Denen
Area [1]
 • Total 8.80 sq mi (22.79 km2)
 • Land 8.74 sq mi (22.64 km2)
 • Water 0.06 sq mi (0.16 km2)
Population ( 2010) [2]
 • Total 14,192
 • Estimate (2012 [3]) 14,110
 • Density 1,623.8/sq mi (627.0/km2)
Time zone Eastern (EST) ( UTC−5)
 • Summer ( DST) EDT ( UTC−4)
ZIP code 43160
Area code 740
FIPS code 39-81214 [4]
Website http://www.cityofwch.com/

Washington Court House is a city in Fayette County, Ohio, United States. It is the county seat of Fayette County and is located between Cincinnati and Columbus, Ohio. The population was 14,192 in 2010 at the 2010 census. Until 2002, the official name of the city was City of Washington,[ citation needed] but there also existed a municipality in Guernsey County, Ohio with the name Washington (now known as Old Washington). The area was originally settled by Virginia war veterans who received the land from the government as payment for their service in the American Revolution. In 2002, a new charter was adopted, officially changing the name to the "City of Washington Court House."[ citation needed] The name is often abbreviated as "Washington C.H."

The city has always been named the City of Washington Court House, but for local government they went by the City of Washington for contracting and governmental purposes. When Council decided to change to a Charter form of government, which allowed more self-rule, they decided to officially change the name to match how it was actually named. Part of it was to alleviate any confusion with other entities in the Postal Service's eyes. [6]

Washington C.H. has an unusual street grid layout. Typically, street grids are arranged east-west and north-south, especially in the Midwest. In this case, the streets in the downtown area, centering on the courthouse building, are arranged northeast-southwest and northwest-southeast. This was done so that all four sides of the courthouse building would receive some sunlight every day of the year. In the traditional grid system, the north side of a building never receives direct sunlight during the fall and winter months.

History

Washington Court House's first settlers appear to have been Edward Smith, Sr., and his family, who emigrated from Pennsylvania in 1810. Smith and his family constructed a crude house in the thick woodlands near Paint Creek, but their efforts to clear the land were interrupted by his departure for military service in the War of 1812. [7] Comparatively soon after returning from his martial pursuits, Smith drowned while attempting to cross a flooded creek, [8] but his widow and ten children survived and prospered despite the absence of their patriarch. Smith's descendents remained prominent in Fayette County for more than a century after his arrival from Pennsylvania, although many had left Washington Court House for other parts of the county. [7] A family residence still stands on U.S. Route 62 not far outside the city's eastern boundary. [9]

In 1833, Washington Court House (then known as Washington) contained a printing office, seven stores, two taverns, two groceries, a schoolhouse, a meeting house, and about 70 residential houses. [10]

Numerous locations in the city are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Downtown, the courthouse square has been named a historic district, and a similar designation has been accorded the city cemetery. Nine individual buildings are separately listed on the Register: Judy Chapel at the cemetery, the former Washington School, the Fayette County Courthouse, the former William Burnett House (no longer standing [11]), and the Barney Kelley, Jacob Light, Rawlings-Brownell, Robinson-Pavey, and Morris Sharp Houses. [9]

1894 riot

Ohio Historical Marker on the front lawn of the Fayette County Courthouse

On October 16, 1894, a crowd gathered outside the Fayette County Court House with intent to lynch convicted rapist William "Jasper" Dolby. Ohio Governor William McKinley called out the militia to subdue the crowd. On October 17, the crowd rushed the courthouse doors and were warned to "disperse or be fired upon." They ignored the warning and continued to batter the doors.

Colonel Alonzo B. Coit ordered his troops to fire through the courthouse doors, killing five men. Colonel Coit was indicted for manslaughter, but was acquitted at trial. After the trial, Governor McKinley stated, "The law was upheld as it should have been ... but in this case at fearful cost ... Lynching cannot be tolerated in Ohio."[ citation needed] The court house doors were not repaired or replaced and the bullet holes from the 1894 riot are still present in the South (SE) doors.

Geography

Washington Court House is located at 39°32′11″N 83°26′8″W / 39.53639°N 83.43556°W / 39.53639; -83.43556, [12] along Paint Creek.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 8.80 square miles (22.79 km2), of which 8.74 square miles (22.64 km2) is land and 0.06 square miles (0.16 km2) is water. [1]

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
1820 191
1830 299 56.5%
1850 569
1860 1,035 81.9%
1870 2,117 104.5%
1880 3,798 79.4%
1890 5,742 51.2%
1900 5,751 0.2%
1910 7,277 26.5%
1920 7,962 9.4%
1930 8,426 5.8%
1940 9,402 11.6%
1950 10,560 12.3%
1960 12,388 17.3%
1970 12,495 0.9%
1980 12,648 1.2%
1990 12,983 2.6%
2000 13,524 4.2%
2010 14,192 4.9%
Est. 2016 14,144 [13] −0.3%
Sources: [4] [14] [15] [16]

2010 census

As of the census [2] of 2010, there were 14,192 people, 5,762 households, and 3,628 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,623.8 inhabitants per square mile (627.0/km2). There were 6,433 housing units at an average density of 736.0 per square mile (284.2/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 93.5% White, 2.7% African American, 0.3% Native American, 0.8% Asian, 0.6% from other races, and 2.1% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.8% of the population.

There were 5,762 households of which 32.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 40.7% were married couples living together, 16.6% had a female householder with no husband present, 5.7% had a male householder with no wife present, and 37.0% were non-families. 31.1% of all households were made up of individuals and 12.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.37 and the average family size was 2.92.

The median age in the city was 38.4 years. 25% of residents were under the age of 18; 8.1% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 25.7% were from 25 to 44; 25.2% were from 45 to 64; and 15.9% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 47.7% male and 52.3% female.

2000 census

As of the census [4] of 2000, there were 13,524 people, 5,483 households, and 3,536 families residing in the city. The population density was 810.8/km² (2,100.8/mi²). There were 5,961 housing units at an average density of 357.4/km² (926.0/mi²). The racial makeup of the city was 94.52% White, 2.71% African American, 0.16% Native American, 0.82% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 0.66% from other races, and 1.12% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.38% of the population.

There were 5,483 households out of which 31.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 46.5% were married couples living together, 13.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 35.5% were non-families. 30.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 14.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.37 and the average family size was 2.93.

In the city the age distribution of the population shows 25.0% under the age of 18, 8.1% from 18 to 24, 28.2% from 25 to 44, 22.0% from 45 to 64, and 16.7% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 37 years. For every 100 females there were 92.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 87.0 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $33,003, and the median income for a family was $40,721. Males had a median income of $31,708 versus $22,382 for females. The per capita income for the city was $18,618. About 9.0% of families and 12.5% of the population were below the poverty line, including 16.3% of those under the age of 18 and 13.2% ages 65 or older.

Media

Washington Court House is part of the Columbus, Ohio media market, and thus is served by several Columbus-area television and radio stations. [17] The city has one local radio station, Buckeye Country 105.5 FM ( WCHO-FM). WCHO plays country music and covers local news, sports, and agricultural stories. Washington Court House also easily receives radio and television stations from Dayton and Cincinnati.

The hometown newspaper of Washington Court House is the Record Herald. The Record Herald was formed from the merger of two dailies – The Record-Republican and the Washington C.H. Herald – in 1937. [18] The latter paper's publishing history dates back to 1858 when it began as a weekly. [19] As of 2012, the Record Herald reported circulation of 5,143 daily and 21,849 for weekend inserts. [20]

Notable people

Government

Aerial view of Washington Court House

In 2016 the municipal government stated that any persons who survive a heroin overdose may be charged with a misdemeanor crime. [21]

City Council, as of 2017

  • Dale E. Lynch [22]
  • Steve R. Jennings [22]
  • Kendra Redd Hernandez [22]
  • Leah Link-Foster
  • Ted Hawk [22]
  • Kimberlee Bonnell
  • Jim D. Chrisman [22]

Other officials, as of 2017

  • City Manager – Joseph J. Denen [23]
  • Fire Chief – Tom Youtz [23]
  • Police Chief – Brian Hottinger [23]
  • Municipal Court Judge – Victor D. Pontious Jr [24]
  • Director of Finance – Tom L. Riley [25]
  • Asst. Director of Finance – Teena M. Keaton [25]
  • Building and Zoning Inspector – Rod Bryant [26]

Boards & Committees, as of May 2017

  • City Income Tax Board Members: Ron Sockman, Nancy Hammond, Wilma Coulter [27]
  • Civil Service Commission Members: Allen Griffiths, Susan Wollscheid, John (Hank) Roszman [28]
  • City Planning Commission Members: Keith Eckles, Tim Fogt, John Pfeifer, Kirk Wilson, Scott Snyder [29]
  • Board of Zoning Appeals Members: Tammy Bath, Denny Beis, Dave Fish, Dan Leaverton, Donald Moore [30]

Airport

Fayette County Airport is a county-owned general aviation facility that is located northeast of Washington Court House.


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