About Putnam County
Putnam County is in the southwestern part of the state located east of Huntington and west of Charleston and about 98 miles southeast of Columbus, Ohio. It was formed in 1848 from parts of Cabell, Kanawha, and Mason counties. The county is named after Israel Putnam (1718-1790), a veteran officer of the French and Indian War and an American Revolutionary War general from Connecticut.
Its present territory is 346 square miles with a population of 54,443. Its major cities and towns are Hurricane (pop. 5,222); Teays Valley (pop. 12,704); and Winfield, the county seat, (pop. 1,858). Other towns are Bancroft (pop. 367); Buffalo (pop. 1,171); Eleanor (pop. 1,345); and Poca (pop. 1,013). The city of Nitro (pop. 6,824) is on the border of Kanawha County and the smaller portion of its population (1,232) resides in Putnam County. Only a small portion (465) of the population of Culloden (pop. 2,940) which is on the border with Cabell County resides in Putnam County. The county has rail connections, is drained by the Great Kanawha River which is a conduit for commercial transportation, and Interstate 64 runs east to west through the center of the county.
Major employment is in retail, manufacturing, construction, health care and social assistance, accommodation and food service, and wholesale. Manufacturing employment is mainly in production of basic chemicals and motor vehicle parts with some employed in making fabricated metal products. General medical and surgical hospital employment is one-third of health care and social assistance employment, while another one-third is employed in ambulatory health care service. About one-fourth of wholesale employment is in that of machinery equipment and supplies. There is also some employment in hydroelectric power generation. There is some notable agricultural production of eggs, but the major products are livestock and forage.