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Ohio Counties

There is eighty-eight counties in the state of Ohio. Washington County the oldest in the state established on July 27, 1788. Noble County was formed on March 11, 1851 from portions of Guernsey, Morgan, Monroe and Washington counties. It was the last county to be formed in Ohio and, therefore, represents the youngest county in the state.

Belmont County, Ohio

Belmont County Education, Geography, and HistoryBelmont County, Ohio Courthouse

Belmont County is a county located in the state of Ohio. Based on the 2010 census, the population was 70,400. Its county seat is St. Clairsville. The county was created in 1801 and later organized in 1815. It takes its name from the French for "beautiful mountain".

Belmont County is part of the Wheeling, WV-OH Metropolitan Statistical Area. It is the only Belmont County nationwide.

Etymology - Origin of Belmont County Name

Residents named the county Belmont after the French term for "beautiful mountain."


County QuickFacts: CensusBureau Quick Facts

Belmont County History

Formed on September 1, 1801, Belmont County was one of Ohio's earliest counties. It originally was a county in the Northwest Territory. Residents named the county Belmont after the French term for "beautiful mountain." Thousands of settlers migrated westward through Belmont County along Zane's Trace. The National Road also passed through the county. Quakers were among the county's first residents and many of these people became outspoken critics of slavery. Among them was the famous abolitionist Benjamin Lundy.

Belmont County is located in the east central part of Ohio and borders the Ohio River. The county's 537 square miles are part of Ohio's Appalachian region. The county is heavily rural. St. Clairsville, the county seat, was named for Arthur St. Clair. This city is the second largest urban place in Belmont County with just over five thousand residents in 2000. Martins Ferry is the largest community with approximately 7,200 residents. Typical of other predominantly rural areas in Ohio, Belmont County experienced a declining population between 1990 and 2000. The county averages 131 people per square mile and had a population of 70,226 people in 2000.

Despite its rural nature, most residents do not earn their livings through farming. Approximately twenty-five percent of the people are involved in sales, with another fifteen percent employed in service industries. Historically, many Belmont County residents found employment in the coal, iron, and steel industries. These businesses remain important employers today. In 1999, the per capita income was just over 20,500 dollars. More than sixteen percent of the county's residents were living in poverty.
Most voters in Belmont County claim to be independents. William Dean Howells, an author and diplomat, was among Belmont County's most famous residents. The county also was the birthplace of Ohio Governor Wilson Shannon. He was the first man to serve as governor who was born in the state of Ohio.

Belmont County Ohio History Central, July 23, 2008,

Geography: Land and Water

As reported by the Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 541 square miles (1,400 km2), of which 532 square miles (1,380 km2) is land and 9.1 square miles (24 km2) (1.7%) is water

Neighboring Counties

Bordering counties are as follows:

  • Harrison County (north)
  • Jefferson County (northeast)
  • Ohio County, West Virginia (east)
  • Marshall County, West Virginia (southeast)
  • Monroe County (south)
  • Noble County (southwest)
  • Guernsey County (west)



Belmont County is served by the following local school districts

Barnesville Exempted Village School District
Bellaire Local
Belmont County Educational Service Center
Bridgeport Exempted Village
Martins Ferry City
Olney Friends School
Shadyside Local
St. Clairsville-Richland City
Union Local High School

A small part of the county is served by the following schools of the multicounty Switzerland of Ohio Local School District:

Hannibal Elementary School in Hannibal
Powhatan Elementary School in Powhatan Point
River High School in Hannibal

Higher education

Belmont College
Ohio University Eastern Campus

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