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Putnam County

May 15, 2013

Permanent settlement of Putnam County began along the bottom land of the Kanawha River and its tributaries around 1800.

The County was formed in 1848 from parts of Cabell, Kanawha and Mason counties and named after Israel Putnam, the Revolutionary War hero.

Coal mining once paid a major role in the county. Today the chemical industry provides the bulk of the jobs in the county. The county is also a bedroom community for people working in Charleston and Huntington, the two largest cities in the state.

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Winfield is the county seat of Putnam County and is located on the Kanawha River. Nitro is the largest city in the county and gets its name from a federal munitions plant built their during World War I. The community also has the world's largest coal fire power plant.

Source: The 55 West Virginias: A guide to the State's Counties, by E. Lee North, Published by The West Virginia University Press.

Fact Box

Population: 51,589

Land in square miles: 346

Number of people per square mile: 149

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