Philippi (pronounced ‘FILL-uh-pea’) is a city in — and the county seat of — Barbour County, West Virginia, United States. The population was 2,966 at the 2010 census. In 1861, the city was the site of the Battle of Philippi, known as the, “Philippi Races.” Although a minor skirmish, this is considered the earliest notable land action of the American Civil War.
Philippi is located along the Tygart Valley River at 39°9′6″N 80°2′36″W / 39.15167°N 80.04333°W / 39.15167; -80.04333 (39.151569, -80.043472). It is within Philippi District — one of eight magisterial districts of Barbour County. The town is sub-divided into Wards 1 through 4.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 2.95 square miles (7.64 km), of which, 2.86 square miles (7.41 km) is land and 0.09 square miles (0.23 km) is water.
The original settlement that became the town of Philippi was on a section of bottomland at a bend in the river at the mouth of Anglin’s Run. (This area was later designated “Dayton Park”.) Opposite this bottomland, at the western landing of “Booth’s Ferry”, is a sharp ridge which breaks abruptly down to the river and is still known as “Nobusiness Hill”. Most of the town is located in the bottomland, but a portion, including the university campus, is on another ridge — “Battle Hill” — overlooking the valley from the northwest.
A railroad line runs through Philippi, now used only by freight trains, passenger rail service having been discontinued in 1956. (The passenger station is now a museum.) The town is served by the small, private Philippi-Barbour County Regional Airport.
As of the census of 2010, there were 2,966 people, 1,185 households, and 686 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,037.1 inhabitants per square mile (400.4/km). There were 1,383 housing units at an average density of 483.6 per square mile (186.7/km). The racial makeup of the city was 92.7% White, 2.3% African American, 1.1% Native American, 0.9% Asian, 0.2% from other races, and 2.9% from two or more races. Hispanics or Latinos of any race were 0.7% of the population.
There were 1,185 households of which 26.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 38.6% were married couples living together, 14.5% had a female householder with no husband present, 4.8% had a male householder with no wife present, and 42.1% were non-families. 36.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 15% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.16 and the average family size was 2.78.
The median age in the city was 36.4 years. 17.8% of residents were under the age of 18; 20.9% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 20.5% were from 25 to 44; 23.8% were from 45 to 64; and 17.1% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 45.3% male and 54.7% female.
As of the census of 2000, there were 2,870 people, 1,119 households, and 668 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,010.6 people per square mile (390.2/km²). There were 1,260 housing units at an average density of 443.7 per square mile (171.3/km²).
The racial makeup of the city was 94.77% White, 1.11% African American, 1.05% Native American, 0.87% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 0.42% from other races, and 1.74% from two or more races. Hispanics or Latinos of any race were 0.80% of the population. In addition, the area has a significant population of racially mixed (though often light-skinned and blue-eyed) people, known locally as ‘the Chestnut Ridge people’, whose specific origins are uncertain. They are categorized by many scholars among the Melungeons found scattered throughout Appalachia.
There were 1,119 households out of which 27.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 44.7% were married couples living together, 11.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 40.3% were non-families. 36.9% of all households were made up of individuals and 19.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.25 and the average family size was 2.92.
The age distribution was 20.9% under the age of 18, 18.0% from 18 to 24, 22.7% from 25 to 44, 19.8% from 45 to 64, and 18.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 34 years. For every 100 females, there were 78.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 74.2 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $21,528, and the median income for a family was $31,473. Males had a median income of $27,262 versus $20,579 for females. The per capita income for the city was $12,176. About 21.9% of families and 30.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 39.0% of those under age 18 and 24.5% of those age 65 or over.