“Bloody Mingo,” West Virginia's youngest county, was established in 1895 from the western portion of Logan County and named to honor the Mingo Indians. Coal was Mingo's birthright, but before the Norfolk & Western Railroad reached this far western section of the state in the 1890s, the area was as isolated as any part of West Virginia. It was the home of the mountaineers and, along with Logan County, the epicenter of the infamous Hatfield-McCoy feud. Mingo earned its “bloody” sobriquet when long-simmering disputes between labor and management boiled over on the streets of Matewan in 1920.
Coal's boom and bust economy has determined the county's population. The 1900 U.S. Census counted 11,359, and after steady increases during the next several decades, the 1950 census recorded the largest population ever achieved, 47,409. By 2000, with both increases and decreases over intervening decades, the population had declined to 28,253.
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