Case Study: Demographics of My School Community

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Kanawha County Schools

Kanawha County

Kanawha County, founded in West Virginia on October 5, 1789, was named for the Great Kanawha River that runs through the county. The River was named for the Indian tribe that once lived in the area (Dilger & Marshall, 2002). The area was inhabited by various Indian tribes until the 1700s. In the 1500s and early 1600s the Huron dominated the area until they were overtaken by the Iroquois Confederacy, which consisted of the Mohawk, Onondaga, Cayuga, Oneida, and Seneca tribes. In 1744, at the Treaty of Lancaster, Virginia officials purchased the land from the Iroquois; however, conflicts between Indians and European settlers occurred throughout the 1700s until the end of the American Revolution. It was then that European settlement began in Kanawha County. Dilger & Marshall (2002) report "Daniel Boone (1734-1820), the famous frontiersmen and founder of Kentucky, resided with his family in Kanawha County for seven years (1788-1795), in a two-room log cabin in the Kanawha City section of Charleston. He was appointed a Lieutenant Colonel in the Kanawha County militia and served under the command of Colonel George Clendenin. He and Colonel Clendenin represented Kanawha County in the General Assembly in 1791."

According to Dilger & Marshall (2002) Kanawha County's loyalties were divided during the Civil War. The county contributed five companies to both the north and the south, with the Kanawha Riflemen, led by a group of prominent Kanawha County citizens, fighting for the south. On April 1, 1870 the state capital was moved from Wheeling to Charleston, which is the major metropolitan area in Kanawha County.

Two natural resources have been important to the economy of Kanawha County -- salt and coal (Dilger & Marshall, 2002). According to Dilger & Marshall (2002), salt production was the major means of earning a living for Kanawha County residents until the Civil War when foreign competition and overproduction caused the industry to disappear. After the Civil War, coal began to take over the Kanawha economy. Dilger & Marshall (2002) explain that coal industry in the valley received a big boost in 1873 when the C&O Railway reached the Kanawha Valley. By 1910, about 6 million tons of coal was mined each year, and during the 1970s coal tonnage exceeded 9 million tons per year.

The U.S. Census Bureau (2011) reports the following information on Kanawha County. The population of the county according to the 2010 census was 193,063, which reflects a decrease of 3.5% from the 2000 census. The ethnicity of the population is comprised of 89.1% white, 7.3% black, 1% Asian, 0.9% Hispanic, and 2%… [END OF PREVIEW]

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