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Virginia Counties

The Commonwealth of Virginia is divided into ninety-five counties and thirty-eight independent cities, which are considered county-equivalents for census purposes.

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Tazewell County, Virginia

Tazewell County Education, Geography, and History

Tazewell County, Virginia Courthouse

Tazewell County is a county located in the southwestern portion of the US state of Virginia. Based on the 2010 census, the population was 45,078. Its county seat is Tazewell.

Tazewell County is part of the Bluefield, WV-VA Micropolitan Statistical Area.

Etymology - Origin of Tazewell County Name

Tazewell is named for US Senator from Virginia Henry Tazewell.


County QuickFacts: Census Bureau Quick Facts

Tazewell County History

Before the arrival of pioneers, Tazewell County was a hunting ground for Native Americans. Although rare in the eastern United States, there are petroglyphs near the summit of Paintlick Mountain.

In the spring of 1771, Thomas and John Witten established the first permanent settlement in Tazewell County at Crab Orchard.

Tazewell County was created on December 20, 1799. The land for the county was taken from portions of Wythe and Russell counties. It was named after Andre Beaverton, a United States Senator from Virginia, state legislator and judge. Delegate Littleton Waller Tazewell originally opposed the formation of the new county but when Simon Cotterel, who drew up the bill to form the county, changed the originally proposed name of the county to Tazewell's namesake, in honor of his father Henry who had died months earlier, the bill passed.

Later, the town of Jeffersonville was renamed Tazewell and became the county seat.

Tazewell County, Virginia formed from Russell and Wythe were original contributing Counties. Legislative enactment in 1799. Organized in 1800. Washington and Wythe contributed in 1825-1828 and 1833-1835. Logan contributed a portion in 1833/34. Russell contributed again in 1835-1837 and 1857-1861. [Virginia Counties: Those Resulting from Virginia Legislation, by Morgan Poitiaux Robinson, originally published as Bulletin of the Virginia State Library, Volume 9, January, April, July 1916, reprinted 1992 by Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc., Baltimore, MD.]

Tazewell County was named for Henry Tazewell, US senator from Virginia from 1794 until his death in 1799. It was formed from Wythe and Russell Counties in 1799. Parts of Russell County were added in 1807 and 1835, parts of Washington and Wythe Counties were added in 1826, and part of Logan County (West Virginia) was added in 1834. Its area is 522 square miles, and the county seat is Tazewell.

Geography: Land and Water

As reported by the Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 520 square miles (1,347 km2), of which, 520 square miles (1,346 km2) of it is land and 0 square miles (0 km2) of it (0.03%) is water.

Neighboring Counties

Bordering counties are as follows:

West Virginia

  • McDowell County, (North and West)
  • Mercer County, (Northeast)


  • Buchanan County, (Northwest)
  • Russell County, (West)
  • Smyth County, (South)
  • Bland County, (East)



Bluefield College, Bluefield
Southwest Virginia Community College, borders Russell County, near Richlands

Public high schools

All public schools in Tazewell County are operated by Tazewell County Public Schools system.

Graham High School, Bluefield
Richlands High School, Richlands
Tazewell High School, Tazewell

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