On January 2, 1786, Russell County was established from a section of Washington County. L.P. Summers, a Washington County historian later wrote, "Washington County lost a great extent of country and many valuable citizens when Russell County was formed." The county was named for Culpeper County native Colonel William Russell. The first court met in May 1786 in the Castle's Woods settlement (present-day Castlewood) in the house of William Robinson. Later, a new place was built to house the County Seat. The structure used as a courthouse still stands, and is referred to as "The Old Courthouse." The present Courthouse, located in Lebanon, has been in use since 1874.
The County has been home for many well known persons such as Daniel Boone, Governor H.C. Stuart, State Representative Boyd C. Fugate and State Senator M.M. Long. Russell County was also the birthplace of other counties. The counties of Wise, Lee, Tazewell, and Scott were formed from parts of Russell County.
The largest cattle farm East of the Mississippi River, and one of the oldest corporations in the country, Stuart Land & Cattle, is headquartered at Rosedale in Russell County.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 477 square miles (1,240 km2), of which 474 square miles (1,230 km2) is land and 2.9 square miles (7.5 km2) (0.6%) is water.
The 4th highest peak in VA is located on the eastern part of the county, Beartown Mountain.Dickenson County – northwest
Buchanan County – north
Tazewell County – east
Smyth County – southeast
Washington County – south
Scott County – southwest
Wise County – west
US 58 Alt.
As of the census of 2000, there were 30,308 people, 11,789 households, and 8,818 families residing in the county. The population density was 64 people per square mile (25/km²). There were 13,191 housing units at an average density of 28 per square mile (11/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 96.07% White, 3.08% Black or African American, 0.11% Native American, 0.05% Asian, 0.28% from other races, and 0.40% from two or more races. 0.78% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 11,789 households out of which 31.00% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 60.90% were married couples living together, 10.10% had a female householder with no husband present, and 25.20% were non-families. 23.10% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.00% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.44 and the average family size was 2.87.
In the county, the population was spread out with 21.20% under the age of 18, 8.60% from 18 to 24, 30.90% from 25 to 44, 26.00% from 45 to 64, and 13.30% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39 years. For every 100 females there were 102.70 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 103.30 males.
The median income for a household in the county was $26,834, and the median income for a family was $31,491. Males had a median income of $26,950 versus $20,108 for females. The per capita income for the county was $14,863. About 13.00% of families and 16.30% of the population were below the poverty line, including 21.30% of those under age 18 and 16.90% of those age 65 or over.Castlewood High School, Castlewood
Honaker High School, Honaker
Lebanon High School, Lebanon
Castlewood Fire and Rescue
Lebanon Lifesaving Crew
New Garden Rescue
Copper Creek Fire
Saint Paul Fire
Cleveland Volunteer Fire Department
Cleveland Lifesaving Crew
St. Paul (part)
Dante (partially in Dickenson County)
Raven (mostly in Tazewell County)