A Gazetteer for the United States and Canada

Oswald, West Virginia

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Introduction ...

Below is our collection of tidbits, odds 'n ends for Oswald.

This page contains four sections:

How Far From Oswald to ...

We spend a lot of time looking through Gazetteers & Almanacs that were published in the late 1800's and early 1900's. Many of the Gazetteers include the distance from a community such as Oswald to various places of note, such as the White House.

With a nod to our favorite Gazetteers and using the location of where the historic<1> community of Oswald once stood, the straight-line distance<2> beginning in Oswald to:

  • Beckley [Map], which is the Seat of Raleigh County, lies just to the South.
  • Charleston [Map], which is the State Capital of West Virginia, lies 41 miles [66 km] to the Northwest (NW). If you could walk a straight line from Oswald to Charleston, with an average speed<3> of 2.2 miles [3.5 km] per hour, it would take about three full days to make the trip. A horse and buggy averaging 3.2 miles [5.1 km] per hour would take just about two full days.
  • The White House (Washington, DC [Map]) is 235 miles [378.2 km] to the East Northeast (ENE). Driving, with an average speed of 63 miles [101.4 km] per hour, would take nearly four hours, a buggy would take 10 days and walking would take 14 days.
  • The shortest distance<4> to Jerusalem (specifically the Temple Mount and the Dome of the Rock [Map]) is 6,116 miles [9,842.7 km] and it lies to the Northeast (NE).<5>
  • The distance to the Great Mosque of Mecca (specifically the Ka'bah - or Kaaba [Map]) is 6,827 miles [10,987 km] and it lies to the Northeast (NE).<6>
  • The distance to Saint Peter's Basilica (The Vatican [Map]) is 4,703 miles [7,568.7 km] and it lies to the Northeast (NE).<7>

Communities Also Named Oswald ...

We have found 5 communities that share the name Oswald.

While the name Oswald is unique within West Virginia, we know of another 5 communities with the same name in the United States and Canada.

Communities Outside of West Virginia


Sutter County

Our profile page for Oswald, Sutter County   [Map]
Distance: About 2,170 miles [3,492.3 km] to the West Northwest


Telfair County

Our profile page for Oswald, Telfair County
We found mention of this community, but have little information.<8>
Although located in Telfair County, we don't know the location of this community within the county.


Our profile page for Oswald   [Map]
Distance: About 1,173 miles [1,887.8 km] to the Northwest


Atchison County

Our profile page for Oswald, Atchison County   [Map]
Distance: About 771 miles [1,240.8 km] to the West Northwest

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North Dakota

Richland County

Our profile page for Oswald, Richland County   [Map]
Distance: About 976 miles [1,570.7 km] to the Northwest

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Curious and Interesting Names Near Oswald ...

As we travel, we always see a community with a name that gives pause. While there are names which are interesting or familiar, some catch our attention or strike our fancy. We always talk about such a name. If time permits and the community is not too far, we'll usually try to make a side-trip.

Cranberry   -   2 miles [3.2 km] to the Southwest of Oswald   [Map]
Dry Hill   -   4 miles [6.4 km] to the Southwest   [Map]
Glen Jean   -   4 miles [6.4 km] to the North   [Map]
Lee   -   Less than 2 miles to the Northeast   [Map]
Maple Fork   -   3 miles [4.8 km] to the West   [Map]
Mount Hope   -   2 miles [3.2 km] to the North   [Map]
Packs Branch   -   4 miles [6.4 km] to the Northwest   [Map]
Piney View   -   2 miles [3.2 km] to the Southeast   [Map]
Price Hill   -   Less than 2 miles to the Northwest   [Map]
Prosperity   -   2 miles [3.2 km] to the Southwest   [Map]
Stonewall (Historic)   -   3 miles [4.8 km] to the Southeast   [Map]
Sun   -   4 miles [6.4 km] to the North   [Map]
Terry   -   3 miles [4.8 km] to the East   [Map]
Terry Junction   -   4 miles [6.4 km] to the East   [Map]
Turkey Knob   -   2 miles [3.2 km] to the North   [Map]

Notable Births & Deaths ...

This is a new section for us and we are still collecting data.

Below is our list of notable people who were born, died or were buried in the area surrounding Oswald. Please note that while we are collecting data on an ongoing basis, it's a big task and it's unlikely that our list will ever be more than a sample.

Earl Coleman Francis
  Major League Baseball. He was born in Slab Fork (West Virginia) on Sunday July 14, 1935 and died in Pittsburgh (Pennsylvania) on Wednesday July 3, 2002 at an age of 67. He was buried at Homewood Cemetery (Allegheny County, Pennsylvania) [Map].

Slab Fork [Map] is located 14 miles [22.5 km] to the southwest of Oswald

Find-A-Grave Memorial: Earl Coleman Francis<9>

Other Roadside Stops ...

Find a Community located in West Virginia

About Raleigh County

About West Virginia

Off-the-Road Links ...

The official website for State of West Virginia:

Footnotes ...

<1>We use the term 'Historic' broadly and it generally means that the community no longer exists. However, it can also mean that the community might still exist, but was significantly larger or had a more 'official' existence in the past than it does now. Unfortunately our sources of data have proven to be unreliable. If you can provide us with more specific information about Oswald, please let us know so that we can improve our accuracy.

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<2>Our distances are not driving distances, but are calculated as a 'point-to-point' distance from Oswald. A straight line distance ignores things like rivers, canyons, lakes, et cetera - it's truly a line drawn from Point A (ie- Oswald) to Point B.

Our distance measurements begin at a specific point in Oswald. The point that we are using is located at these GPS coordinates - Latitude: 37.8604, Longitude: -81.1723     [Map].   In this case, the coordinates for Oswald have been provided by the Geographic Names Information System (GNIS).

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<3>While we have tried to pick reasonable speeds, the rate of travel is very theoretical - obstacles like fences, hills, lakes, river crossings and rest stops have been ignored. When we say 'Days' of travel, we're assuming 8 hours of travel per day.

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<4>The shortest line can be visualized by stretching a string on a Globe from Point A to Point B - this is known as a Great Circle Route. Where you might expect the shortest route from Oswald to the Middle East to be East and South, the Great Circle Route actually lies to the North and East.

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<5>The calculated bearing (or angle) to Jerusalem is 310.393 degrees.

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<6>The calculated bearing (or angle) to Mecca is 306.134 degrees.

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<7>The calculated bearing (or angle) to the Vatican is 306.824 degrees.

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<8>If we encounter the name of what might be a community, our methodology is to add that name to our Gazetteer as a placeholder. As we find more information about that community, it will be added to our Gazetteer.

Just as a reminder: Our definition of a community is rather broad and includes those places (or areas) where several families lived and had a name which identified that place. For example, you might hear somebody say that they are going over to Mile's to see Pete ... Mile's is just a gas station and a couple of homes at the crossroads. While it might not be on the map, everybody in the area knows it by that name.

Places of interest include buildings at a crossroad, several families clustered in a hollow or maybe the location of a way station. It also includes places like mines, lumber camps, ferry crossings, etc. The community might still exist, is now gone or only existed for just a short period of time.

Also keep in mind that Oswald could have been on the original document by mistake, misspelled, the original/alternate name of a community that we've listed elsewhere or was placed in the wrong county. Sometimes a post office or train station would have a different name than the community where it's located, so two names might be referring to the same community - we're working to straighten it all out.

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<9>The Find-a-Grave website is an excellent research tool with information about a cemetery's location and interments. They also offer a forum for their members which can provide additional help. More information about Find-a-Grave can be found on their website:

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This page was last modified: 02 Jan 2019
By John Hall