Calhoun County has an idiosyncratic distinction: it was named for one of the greatest proponents of the southern cause, South Carolinian John C. Calhoun, while its county seat, Grantsville, was named for Ulysses S. Grant. Dates help explain the dichotomy. The county was formed in 1856, but the county seat was not established until 1865.
Calhoun County has another distinction. None of the railroads that crisscrossed the state during the second half of the nineteenth century ever penetrated its boundaries. Consequently, although it participated to a modest degree in the area's turn-of-thetwentieth-century oil and gas boom, the county never developed economically much beyond its agricultural beginnings, The population peaked in 1940 with a count of 12,455. The 2000 census tallied only 7,582.
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