Elkins, West Virginia

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Elkins is a city in Randolph County, West Virginia, United States. The community was incorporated in 1890 and named in honor of Stephen Benton Elkins (1841–1911), a U.S. Senator from West Virginia. The population was 7,032 at the 2000 census. It is the county seat of Randolph County.[4] Elkins is home to Davis and Elkins College and to the Mountain State Forest Festival, held in early October every year.



The City of Elkins, situated on a bend in the Tygart Valley River, was developed by Senators Henry Gassaway Davis and Stephen Benton Elkins and named for Senator Elkins, in 1890. Elkins became the county seat in 1899. The founders developed railroad lines, coal mines, and timbering. Together, they built the West Virginia Central and Pittsburgh Railway into Elkins and opened a vast territory to industrial development in the late 1890s. As the railroad (merged into the Western Maryland Railway in 1905) expanded, Elkins experienced the luxury of passenger train service. In 1904 the Randolph County courthouse was completed in Elkins. It was built in the Richardsonian Romanesque style. In 1930, 18 passenger trains were arriving and leaving Elkins daily. All passenger service was discontinued in 1958.

Both men built permanent places of residence known as Halliehurst and Graceland, where the view of the town was delightful and picturesque.

Today, Elkins has an active economic development authority, chamber of commerce, downtown business organization and numerous social, fraternal and service organizations that sponsor annual events like the Mountain State Forest Festival, which brings thousands of people into the city every year.


As of the census[2] of 2000, there were 7,032 people, 2,988 households, and 1,756 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,207.7 people per square mile (851.1/km²). There were 3,362 housing units at an average density of 1,055.5/sq mi (406.9/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 96.94% White, 0.90% African American, 0.30% Native American, 0.95% Asian, 0.31% from other races, and 0.60% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.77% of the population.

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