County Commissioners' Association

of West Virginia
West Virginia County Histories
 

Barbour County History

Barbour County was created by an act of the Virginia General Assembly on March 3, 1843 from parts of Harrison, Lewis, and Randolph counties. Most historians believe that the county was named in honor of the distinguished Virginia jurist Judge Philip Pendleton Barbour (1783-1841).

Philip Barbour was born in Orange County Virginia on May 25, 1783. He studied law, and, at the age of 17, moved to Kentucky to manage some business affairs for his father, Thomas Barbour. The businesses failed, and his father was reportedly so angry that he disowned him. Philip then took up the study of law once again and, at age 19, entered the College of William and Mary. He subsequently returned to Orange County and became a successful lawyer. He was later elected to the Virginia General Assembly (1812-1814), represented Virginia in the U.S. House of Representatives (1814-1825, 1827-1830), and served as Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives (1821-1823). He later served as a Judge of the United States Circuit Court for the Eastern District of Virginia (1830-1836) and Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court (1836-1841) where he remained until his death on February 24, 1841.

Some historians believe that Barbour County was named for Philip's older brother, James Barbour (1775-1842). He was the Governor of Virginia (1812-1814), a member of the U.S. Senate (1815-1825), Secretary of War during John Quincy Adams' Administration (1825-1828), and the U.S. Envoy to Great Britain in 1828.


The First Settlers

The first native settlers in present-day northern West Virginia were the Mound Builders, also known as the Adena people. Remnants of the Mound Builder's civilization have been found throughout northern West Virginia, with a high concentration of artifacts located at Moundsville, West Virginia, just north of the county (in Marshall County). The Grave Creek Indian Mound, located in the center of Moundsville, is one of West Virginia's most famous historic landmarks. More than 2,000 years old, it stands 69 feet high and 295 feet in diameter.

According to missionary reports, several thousand Hurons occupied present-day West Virginia during the late 1500s and early 1600s. They were driven out of the state during the 1600s by members of the powerful Iroquois Confederacy (consisting of the Mohawk, Onondaga, Cayuga, Oneida, and Seneca tribes, and joined later by the Tuscaroras tribe). The Iroquois Confederacy was headquartered in New York and was not interested in occupying present-day West Virginia. Instead, they used it as a hunting ground during the spring and summer months.

During the early 1700s, northern West Virginia, including present-day Barbour County, was used primarily as hunting grounds by the Ohio-based Shawnee, the Mingo, who lived in both the Tygart Valley and along the Ohio River northwest of Barbour County, the Delaware, who lived in present-day eastern Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware, but had several autonomous settlements as far south as present-day Braxton County, and the Seneca, one of the largest and most powerful members of the Iroquois Confederacy.

The Shawnee settled in villages along the Ohio River, primarily in the area between present-day Wood and Cabell counties. Following the construction of Fort Pitt in 1758 by the British, the Shawnee moved further in-land and built a series of villages along the Scioto River in southern Ohio. These villages were collectively known as Chillicothe and served as their base camp for hunting and fishing in present-day West Virginia.

The Mingo were not actually an Indian tribe, but a multi-cultural group of Indians that established several communities within present-day West Virginia. They lacked a central government and, like all other Indians within the region at that time, were subject to the control of the Iroquois Confederacy. The Mingo originally lived closer to the Atlantic Coast, but European settlement pushed them into western Virginia and eastern Ohio.

The Seneca, headquartered in western New York, was the closest member of the Iroquois Confederacy to West Virginia, and took great interest in the state. In 1744, the Seneca boasted to Virginia officials that they had conquered the several nations living on the back of the great mountains of Virginia. Among the conquered nations were the last of the Canawese or Conoy people who became incorporated into some of the Iroquois communities in New York. The Conoy continue to be remembered today through the naming of two of West Virginia's largest rivers after them, the Little Kanawha and the Great Kanawha.

The Seneca, and other members of the Iroquois Confederacy, claimed all of present-day West Virginia as their own, using it primarily as a hunting ground. Also, war parties from the Seneca and other members of the Iroquois Confederacy often traveled through the state to protect its claim to southern West Virginia from the Cherokee. The Cherokee were headquartered in western North Carolina and eastern Tennessee and rivaled the Iroquois nation in both size and influence. The Cherokee claimed present-day southern West Virginia as their own, setting the stage for conflict with the Iroquois Confederacy.

In 1744, Virginia officials purchased the Iroquois title of ownership to West Virginia in the Treaty of Lancaster. The treaty reduced the Iroquois Confederacy's presence in the Ohio River Valley.

During the mid-1700s, the English had made it clear to the various Indian tribes that they intended to settle the frontier. The French, on the other hand, were more interested in trade. This influenced the Delaware, Mingo, and Shawnee to side with the French during the French and Indian War (1755-1763). Although the Iroquois Confederacy officially remained neutral, many in the Iroquois Confederacy also allied with the French. Unfortunately for them, the French lost the war and ceded the all of its North American possessions to the British. The Mingo retreated to their homes along the banks of the Ohio River, and the Shawnee retreated to their homes at Chillicothe.

Although the war was officially over, many Indians continued to see the British as a threat to their sovereignty and continued to fight them. In the summer of 1763, Pontiac, an Ottawa chief, led raids on key British forts. Shawnee chief Keigh-tugh-qua, or Cornstalk, led similar attacks on western Virginia settlements in present-day Greenbrier County. By the end of July, Indians had captured all British forts west of the Alleghenies except Detroit, Fort Pitt, and Fort Niagara. Then, on August 6, 1763, British forces under the command of Colonel Henry Bouquet retaliated and destroyed Delaware and Shawnee forces at Bushy Run in western Pennsylvania, ending the hostilities.

Fearing more tension between Native Americans and settlers, England's King George III issued the Proclamation of 1763, prohibiting settlement west of the Allegheny Mountains. However, many land speculators, including George Washington, violated the proclamation by claiming vast acreage in western Virginia. The next five years were relatively peaceful on the frontier. In 1768, the Iroquois Confederacy (often called the Six Nations) and the Cherokee signed the Treaty of Hard Labour and the Treaty of Fort Stanwix, relinquishing their claims on the territory between the Ohio River and the Alleghenies to the British. With the frontier now open, settlers, once again, began to enter into present-day West Virginia.

During the American Revolution (1776-1783), the Mingo and Shawnee allied themselves with the British. In 1777, a party of 350 Wyandots, Shawnees, and Mingos, armed by the British, attacked Fort Henry, near present-day Wheeling. Nearly half of the Americans manning the fort were killed in the three-day assault. The Indians then left the Fort celebrating their victory. For the remainder of the war, smaller raiding parties of Mingo, Shawnee, and other Indian tribes terrorized settlers throughout northern West Virginia. As a result, European settlement in the region came to a virtual standstill until the war's conclusion. Following the war, the Mingo and Shawnee, once again allied with the losing side, returned to their homes. However, as the number of settlers in the region began to grow, and with their numbers depleted by the war, both the Mingo and the Shawnee moved further inland.


Earliest European Settlers

Richard Talbot, Cotteral Talbot, Charity Talbot, and their mother, were the first English settlers in present-day Barbour County. They arrived in 1780. Richard was then 16 years old, Cotteral was 18, and Charity was 20. They built a cabin about two miles northwest of the current county seat, Philippi, along the waters of what would later be called Hacker's Creek. They abandoned their cabin several times due to Indian uprisings, and twice had to leave the county entirely due to the treat of Indian raids. In 1788, Richard Talbot married Margaret Dowden, then 11 years old. They subsequently had 13 children together. His older brother, Cotteral Talbot, married Elizabeth Reger later that same year. Most of the two family's children remained in Barbour County and, for several generations, the Talbot family name was by far the most numerous in the county.

There have only been two recorded incidences of Indians attacking European settlers in Barbour County. The first occurred in either 1781 or 1782. John Gibson and his family, possibly the first settlers on Sugar Creek, were at their sugar camp when Indians surprised and attacked them. The Indians took the family prisoner and, before they had gone far, killed Mrs. Gibson in front of her children. One of her sons later escaped to tell the tale. He never found out what happened to the rest of his family.

The second incident occurred on the Buckhannon River, near Teter's Mill. Families living along the river had been warned of Indian attacks, but because Indians had not been sighted in the area for many years no one expected any trouble. John Bozarth Sr. and his sons, John and George, were drawing grain from the field to the barn when they heard screams coming from the house. George reached the house first. An Indian emerged from the house and fired a gun at George. The shot missed, but George fell to the ground, pretending to be hit. A few moments later, George's father reached the house. The Indian chased the man back toward the field, narrowing missing him with a tomahawk. While the Indian was chasing his father, George ran away in the other direction. As he was running, he found one of his younger brothers limping on a bad leg. Believing that if he stayed to help his younger brother to escape they would both be caught and killed, he left his younger brother to his fate. The Indians killed two of Mr. Bozart's youngest children, including the one with the hurt leg, and took Mrs. Bozarth and two of his sons captive. They were never heard from again.


Important events of the 1800s

The first meeting of the Barbour County court was held at William F. Wilson's home on April 3, 1843. At that time, there were twenty-one Justices of the Peace in the county, and all were present at the meeting. One of the first orders of business was to select a county clerk. Three candidates, Lair D. Morrall, Michael H. Nevil and Thomas Hall, were considered by the assembled Justices of the Peace, with Morrall receiving eleven votes, Nevil five, and Hall three, thus making Lair D. Morrall the county's first clerk.

The next order of business was to nominate a sheriff for referral to the governor. At that time, sheriffs had to have served as a Justice of the Peace. By tradition, the sheriff was whomever had served as a Justice of the Peace the longest. However, it was not clear if Isaac Booth or Joseph McCoy had served the longest as a Justice of the Peace in their former counties. An election was held, with Booth receiving two votes and McCoy receiving sixteen. Joseph McCoy was then recommended to the Governor for appointment.

The county court then selected three places to be used as polls in public elections: Jesse Phillips' home at Sandy Creek Cross Roads, Isaiah Welch's home on Elk Creek, and the County Court House.

In 1852, a covered bridge across the Tygart Valley River was built in Philippi. It was designed by Lemuel Chenoweth, from Beverly. When Mr. Chenoweth presented his plan he placed a wooden model of his bridge between two chairs facing each other and stood on it. "Gentlemen, this is all I have to say," is the only statement he made about his bridge, and he was hired. The bridge was 312 feet long, and made entirely of wood (except the steel bolts holding it together). During its construction typhoid fever broke out among the men working on it. Between fifteen and twenty of the workers were ill at the same time, and work almost halted because other workers could not be found.

The Philipi bridge was the first bridge captured during the Civil War. In 1863, the Union Army was going to burn it down, but Southern sympathizers in the town prevented it from happening. Sadly though, in 1989, an accidental fire almost completely destroyed the bridge. It was reconstructed, as close as possible to the original, and reopened in 1991. It is the only bridge of its kind on the national highway system.

Local legend has it that President Abraham Lincoln and Jefferson Davis, President of the Confederacy, held a secret meeting at the bridge shortly after the Civil War began in a futile effort to end the conflict.

There were many southern sympathies in Barbour County. In January 1861, the Confederate flag was raised above the county court house. It remained there until Union troops, under the command of Colonel B.F. Kelley, occupied Philipi on June 3, 1861.

On March 7, 1861 a meeting was held at the county court house to discuss succession for the Union. Only one man, Spencer Dayton, a native of New England, rose to speak in favor of joining the Union. After attempting to speak, a gun was leveled at his chest, and he abruptly removed himself from the meeting by jumping through a court house window.

Fearing for their lives, a group of Unionists later held a secret meeting in Martin Myers Shoe Shop to elect delegates to the Wheeling Convention (a meeting held in Wheeling to decide whether to reorganize the state's government or to form a new state). The meeting was later called the "Shoe Shop Convention." During the meeting, the shop's windows were darkened, the doors were locked, and only enough candlelight was used to enable the clerk of the meeting to write his minutes.

Aware that Unionists had elected delegates to the Wheeling Convention, southern sympathizers posted guards at the end of the covered bridge in an attempt to prevent them from leaving the town. When the time came for the delegates to leave, the only one who would go was Spencer Dayton, the many who had jumped through the court house window to save his life. He waited until past midnight, hoping the sentries would be asleep by the time he came through. As he approached the bridge he whipped his horse to a full gallop and sped across this bridge and onto the turnpike towards Webster.

Although previous encounters between Confederate and Union troops had taken place at Gloucester Port, Baltimore and at Sewell's Point, the Battle of Philippi, on June 3, 1861, is said to have been the first significant land battle between the Union and Confederate Armies during the Civil War. In mid-May, 1861, Confederate Colonel George A. Porterfield arrived in Philippi with an army of 775 men (600 infantry and 175 cavalry). He then marched to Grafton, and after a very short occupation of the town, returned to Philippi. On the night of June 2 1861, two Union columns under the command of General Thomas A. Morris converged on the city from two different directions in an attempt to trap the Confederate troops. Colonel Benjamin F. Kelley led approximately 1,600 men over back roads from near Grafton to reach the rear of the town and Colonel Ebenezer Dumont led 1,450 men south from Webster. Dumont was the first to arrive. He established cannons on the hill overlooking the covered bridge and opened fire before dawn on June 3rd.. Kelly had barely reached the town's outskirts when he heard the sounds of attack. He rushed to join in, but his troops were approaching from the north and east, leaving the turnpike clear to the southwest. Outnumbered and without artillery, experienced officers, or reliable munitions, Porterfield was forced to call for an immediate retreat along the turnpike to Huttonsville. Thirty men lost their lives during the engagement, four from the Union Army, and 26 from the Confederate Army. Porterfield was immediately relieved of his command. He later demanded an inquiry and in it was praised for his coolness under fire, but criticized for his failure to take precautions against a surprise attack.

At the outbreak of the Civil War, almost all of the county's elected officials supported the South. Many of them left with Colonel Porterfield, or left by themselves soon after the battle. As a result, the county government stopped functioning for about five months (the county court adjourned on May 8, 1861 and did not reconvene until October 7, 1861). On October 27, 1861 elections were held to "fill vacancies." Lewis Wilson was elected county clerk, James Trahern was elected sheriff, Nathan H. Taft was elected prosecuting attorney, and Josiah L Hawkings and Samuel S. Lackney were elected assessors.

Philippi was, for all intents and purposes, deserted during the Civil War. The people who lived in the county avoided the town, preferring to stay in their homes. Most of those who lived in the town at the outbreak of the War moved out.


County Seat

Philippi was established as the Barbour County seat by the Act creating the county. However, the city had been around for a long time before that. The land where the city is now located was originally called "Anglin's Ford," after the land's owner, William Anglin. No record has been found of William Anglin before 1789, but it is very likely that he lived in the area as early as 1783 or 1784.

The land came into the possession of Daniel Booth around 1800. He had lived in the area since about 1787. After he gained possession of the land, it became know as "Booth's Ferry."

The town's current name, Philippi, was established by the Act forming the county. By that time, the land was owned by William F. Wilson. The county court was to be build on two acres of land that would be bought from, or donated by, Mr. Wilson. This was so the court would be near the ferry, and thus giving "convenient and easy access to the water."

Philippi was named in honor of the same Philip Pendleton Barbour that the county was named after. The town was originally called Phillippa, a Latinized version of Philip. However, because of misunderstandings and misspellings, the town came to be known as Philippi. The city was incorporated on February 1, 1871 by an act of Legislature.

References

Barbour County, West Virginia...Another Look. 1979. Philippi: The Barbour County Historical Society.

Maxwell, Hu. 1968. The History of Barbour County, West Virginia: From Its Earliest Exploration and Settlement

to the Present Time. Parsons: McClain Printing Company.

Rice, Otis K. 1985. West Virginia: A History. Lexington, KY: The University of Kentucky Press.

Williams, John Alexander. 1993. West Virginia: A History for Beginners. Charleston, WV: Appalachian Editions.

 Berkeley County History

Berkeley County was created by an act of the House of Burgesses in February 1772 from the northern third of Frederick County (Virginia). At the time of the county's formation it also consisted of the areas that make up the present day Jefferson and Morgan counties. Berkeley County is the state's second oldest county.

Most historians believe that the county was named for Norborne Berkeley, Baron de Botetourt (1718-1770), Colonial Governor of Virginia from 1768 to 1770. In 1769, he dissolved the Virginia General Assembly after it adopted two resolutions that he felt bordered on treason (the Assembly declared that Virginia should no longer submit to taxation by England and that Virginia would no longer send its criminals to England for trial). Despite his differences with the General Assembly, Norborne Berkeley was well respected by the colonists. He was referred to as the "good governor of Virginia." There is a monument to his memory in Williamsburg, and two counties were named in his honor, Berkeley (in present day West Virginia) and Botetourt in Virginia.

Other historians claim that the county may have been named in honor of Sir William Berkeley (1610-1677). He was born near London, graduated from Oxford University in 1629, and was appointed Governor of Virginia in 1642. He served as Governor until 1652 and was later reappointed Governor in 1660. He continued to serve as Virginia's Governor until 1677 when he was called back to England. He died later that year, on July 9, 1677.

Advocates of Norborne Berkeley note that the other Governor Berkeley (William) was known by some as the "Tyrannical Governor of Virginia" because he ordered the hanging of Nathaniel Bacon's followers for resisting his authority.


The First Settlers

The first native settlers in the eastern panhandle region of present-day West Virginia were the Mound Builders, also known as the Adena people. Remnants of the Mound Builder's civilization have been found throughout West Virginia, with a high concentration of artifacts located at Moundsville, West Virginia, just north of the county (in Marshall County). The Grave Creek Indian Mound, located in the center of Moundsville, is one of West Virginia's most famous historic landmarks. More than 2,000 years old, it stands 69 feet high and 295 feet in diameter.

According to missionary reports, several thousand Hurons occupied present-day West Virginia during the late 1500s and early 1600s. They were driven out of the state during the 1600s by members of the powerful Iroquois Confederacy (consisting of the Mohawk, Onondaga, Cayuga, Oneida, and Seneca tribes, and joined later by the Tuscaroras tribe). The Iroquois Confederacy was headquartered in New York and was not interested in occupying present-day West Virginia. Instead, they used it as a hunting ground during the spring and summer months.

During the early 1700s, West Virginia's eastern panhandle region, including present-day Berkeley County, was inhabited by the Tuscarora. They eventually migrated northward to New York and, in 1712, became the sixth nation to formally be admitted to the Iroquois Confederacy. The area was also used as a hunting ground by the Mingo, who lived in both the Tygart Valley and along the Ohio River in West Virginia's northern panhandle region, the Delaware, who lived in present-day eastern Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware, but had several autonomous settlements as far south as present-day Braxton County, and by other members of the Iroquois Confederacy, especially the Seneca, one of the largest and most powerful members of the Iroquois Confederacy.

The Mingo were not actually an Indian tribe, but a multi-cultural group of Indians that established several communities within present-day West Virginia. They lacked a central government and, like all other Indians within the region at that time, were subject to the control of the Iroquois Confederacy. The Mingo originally lived closer to the Atlantic Coast, but European settlement pushed them into western Virginia and eastern Ohio.

The Seneca, headquartered in western New York, was the closest member of the Iroquois Confederacy to West Virginia, and took great interest in the state. In 1744, the Seneca boasted to Virginia officials that they had conquered the several nations living on the back of the great mountains of Virginia. Among the conquered nations were the last of the Canawese or Conoy people who became incorporated into some of the Iroquois communities in New York. The Conoy continue to be remembered today through the naming of two of West Virginia's largest rivers after them, the Little Kanawha and the Great Kanawha.

The Seneca, and other members of the Iroquois Confederacy, claimed all of present-day West Virginia as their own, using it primarily as a hunting ground. Also, war parties from the Seneca and other members of the Iroquois Confederacy often traveled through the state to protect its claim to southern West Virginia from the Cherokee. The Cherokee were headquartered in western North Carolina and eastern Tennessee and rivaled the Iroquois nation in both size and influence. The Cherokee claimed present-day southern West Virginia as their own, setting the stage for conflict with the Iroquois Confederacy.

In 1744, Virginia officials purchased the Iroquois title of ownership to West Virginia in the Treaty of Lancaster. The treaty reduced the Iroquois Confederacy's presence in the state.

During the mid-1700s, the English had made it clear to the various Indian tribes that they intended to settle the frontier. The French, on the other hand, were more interested in trade. This influenced the Mingo to side with the French during the French and Indian War (1755-1763). Although the Iroquois Confederacy officially remained neutral, many in the Iroquois Confederacy also allied with the French. Unfortunately for them, the French lost the war and ceded the all of its North American possessions to the British. Following the war, the Mingo retreated to their homes along the banks of the Ohio River and were rarely seen in the eastern panhandle.

Although the war was officially over, many Indians continued to see the British as a threat to their sovereignty and continued to fight them. In the summer of 1763, Pontiac, an Ottawa chief, led raids on key British forts. Shawnee chief Keigh-tugh-qua, or Cornstalk, led similar attacks on western Virginia settlements in present-day Greenbrier County. By the end of July, Indians had captured all British forts west of the Alleghenies except Detroit, Fort Pitt, and Fort Niagara. Then, on August 6, 1763, British forces under the command of Colonel Henry Bouquet retaliated and destroyed Delaware and Shawnee forces at Bushy Run in western Pennsylvania, ending the hostilities.

Fearing more tension between Native Americans and settlers, England's King George III issued the Proclamation of 1763, prohibiting settlement west of the Allegheny Mountains. However, many land speculators, including George Washington, violated the proclamation by claiming vast acreage in western Virginia. The next five years were relatively peaceful on the frontier. In 1768, the Iroquois Confederacy (often called the Six Nations) and the Cherokee signed the Treaty of Hard Labour and the Treaty of Fort Stanwix, relinquishing their claims on the territory between the Ohio River and the Alleghenies to the British. With the frontier now open, settlers, once again, began to enter into present-day West Virginia.

During the American Revolution (1776-1783), the Mingo and Shawnee, headquartered at Chillicothe, Ohio, allied themselves with the British. In 1777, a party of 350 Wyandots, Shawnees, and Mingos, armed by the British, attacked Fort Henry, near present-day Wheeling. Nearly half of the Americans manning the fort were killed in the three-day assault. The Indians then left the Fort celebrating their victory. For the remainder of the war, smaller raiding parties of Mingo, Shawnee, and other Indian tribes terrorized settlers throughout northern and eastern West Virginia. As a result, European settlement in the region came to a virtual standstill until the war's conclusion. Following the war, the Mingo and Shawnee, once again allied with the losing side, returned to their homes. However, as the number of settlers in the region began to grow, and with their numbers depleted by the war, both the Mingo and the Shawnee moved further inland.


Earliest European Settlers

In 1670, John Lederer, a German physician and explorer employed by Sir William Berkeley, colonial governor of Virginia, became the first European to set foot in present-day Berkeley County. John Howard and his son also passed through the county a few years later, and discovered the valley of the South Branch of the Potomac. The next known explorer to transverse the county was John Van Meter in 1725. He came across the Potomac River, at what is now known as Shepherdstown, then he made his way to the South Branch River, where John Howard had once been. He believed the land he saw at the South Branch was possibly the best he had ever seen, and when he returned home to New York he advised his sons to precure land there, if they ever moved to Virginia.

In 1726, Morgan Morgan, II founded the first permanent English settlement of record in West Virginia on Mill Creek near the present site of Bunker Hill in Berkeley County. The state of West Virginia has erected a monument in Bunker Hill State Park commemorating the event, and has placed a marker at Morgan's grave, which is located in a cemetery near the park. Morgan Morgan married Catherine Garretson, of Delaware, and they had eight children. His son later settled in present-day Morgantown, West Virginia.

In 1730, John and Isaac Van Meter, two of John Van Meter's sons, secured a patent for forty thousand acres at the South Branch River, much of it located in present-day Berkeley County, from Virginia's Colonial Governor Gooch. The brothers sold the land the following year to Hans Yost Heydt, also known as Joist Hite. In 1732, Joist Hite and 15 families cut their way through the wilderness from York, Pennsylvania, passed through present-day Berkeley County, and settled near present-day Winchester, Virginia. In 1774, John Van Meter moved to a site near Moorefield, then part of Berkeley County, but now in present-day Hardy County. His brother, Isaac Van Meter, settler further to the west.


Important Events of the 1700s

In 1716, Governor Spottswood, the colonial governor of Virginia, decided that the Shanandoah Valley needed to be explored. He organized what he called the Trans-Mountain Order, or the "Knights of the Golden Horseshoe" in Williamsburg, which was, at that time, Virginia's capitol. Thirty men joined the order and accompanied Spottswood on the journey. All of men were provided a minature horseshoe with the inscription "Sic jurat transcudere montes," meaning "Thus he swears to cross the mountains."

In the fall of 1753, just prior to the outbreak of the French and Indian War (1754-1763), Virginia's Governor Robert Dinwiddie sent Major George Washington to a French fort at Pittsburg with a message informing the French comander that the fort was on land belonging to Virginia. The French commander returned the message, saying that he was ordered to hold the French territory in that area. Virginia then sent a group of men from Berkeley and Hampshire counties to erect a fort of their own at the forks of the Ohio River. However, the French attacked and captured it before it was completed. The French then finished the fort, naming it Fort Duquesne in honor of the Marquis du Quesne, Governor General of Canada.

Berkeley County was strongly for Independence during the American Revolutionary War (1776-1783). Most of the able bodied men in the county volunteered for service in the American army and it was the home of General Horatio Gates, one of George Washington's highest ranking officers.


Important events of the 1800s

Berkeley County was reduced in size twice during the 1800s. On January 8, 1801, Jefferson County was formed out of the county's eastern section. Then, on February 9, 1820, Morgan County was formed out of the county's western section.

Berkeley County was of strategic importance to both the North and the South during the Civil War (1861-1865). The county, and the county seat, Martinsburg, lay at the northern edge of the Shanandoah Valley, and Martinsburg was very important because the main line of the Baltimore and Ohio Rail Road ran right through the town. The rail line was of great importance to both armies. Also, Matinsburg was close to the Union arsenal at Harpers Ferry.

Control over Martinsburg changed hands so many times that it is almost impossible to count. Prior to the Battle of Gettysburg (July 1863), the town changed hands fairly often. After Gettysburg, the city remained mostly in Union hands.

Most of Berkeley County's residents were loyal to the South during the Civil War. There were seven companies of soldiers recruited from the county: five for the Confederate Army and two for the Union Army. At least six hundred men from Berkeley County served in either the Confederate or Union Armies during the Civil War.

The two Union Army companies were Company B, First Regiment, Virginia Volunteers, organized in Williamsport, Maryland, by Colonel Ward Lamon, with Joseph Kerns first in command, and Lieutenant James Fayman, second in command and Company C, Third Regiment, West Virginia Cavalry. Captain Peter Tabler was in command, and Lieutenant John E. Bowers was second in command.

The five Confederate companies were: Company B, Wise Artillery, with Captain E. G. Alburtis in command. However, Alburtis resigned in 1861, and was succeded by Captain James S. Brown; Company B, First Regiment, Virginia Cavalry, commanded by Captain James Blair Hoge, who was later succeeded by Captain G. N. Hammond, who was killed at the battle of Yellow Tavern in 1864; Company E, Second Regiment, Virginia Infantry, with Captain Raleigh Colson in command, who was later succeeded by Captain William B. Colston; and Company A, Seventeenth Battalion, Virginia Cavalry, commanded by Captain G. W. Myers.

In addition to supplying over six hundred soldiers to the War, Berkeley County was also the home of Belle Boyd, a famous spy for the Confederacy. She was born in Martinsburg in 1844, and lived there until the outbreak of the war. Belle Boyd's espionage career began by chance. On the fourth of July, 1861, a band of drunken Union soldiers broke into her home in Martinsburg, intent on raising the U. S. flag over the house. When one of them insulted her mother, Belle drew a pistol and killed him. A board of inquiry exonerated her, but sentries were posted around the house and officers kept close track of her activities. She profited from this enforced familiarity, charming at least one of the officers, Captain Daniel Keily, into revealing military secrets. "To him," she wrote later, "I am indebted for some very remarkable effusions, some withered flowers, and a great deal of important information." Belle conveyed those secrets to Confederate officers via her slave, Eliza Hopewell, who carried the messages in a hollowed-out watchcase. Then, one evening in mid-May, General James Shields and his staff conferred in the parlor of the local hotel. Belle hid upstairs, eavesdropping through a knothole in the floor. She learned that Shields had been ordered east, a move that would reduce the Union Army's strength at Front Royal. That night, Belle rode through Union, using false papers to bluff her way past the sentries, and reported the news to Colonel Turner Ashby, who was scouting for the Confederates. She then returned to town. When the Confederates advanced on Front Royal on May 23, Belle ran to greet General Andrew Jackson's men. She urged an officer to inform Jackson that "the Yankee force is very small. Tell him to charge right down and he will catch them all." Jackson did and that evening penned a note of gratitude to her: I thank you, for myself and for the army, for the immense service that you have rendered your country today." After the war, Belle moved west, married twice, and died in 1900 in Wisconsin, where she is buried.


Important events of the 1900s

Over one thousand (1,039) men from Berkeley County participated in World War I (1917-1918). Of these, forty-one were killed and twenty-one were wounded in battle. Eighty-eight of the soldiers were black. A monument to those who fell in battle was erected in 1925.

During World War II (1941-1945), the Newton D. Baker Hospital in Martinsburg treated thousands of soldiers wounded in the war. In 1945, the hospital employed over 1,350 civilians.


County Seat

Martinsburg, the county seat, was chartered by an act of the Virginia General Assembly in October 1788 on the lands of General Adam Stephen who commanded 500 troops mustered from Berkeley County during Lord Dunmore's War against the Indians in 1774. He subsequently rose to the rank of General during the American Revolutionary War before being dismissed for unsoldierly conduct at the Battle of Germantown. He named the town after his long-time friend, Colonel Thomas Bryan Martin. Martin was the nephew of England's Lord Fairfax and had started a settlement a few miles to the north. He had named his settlement Stephen City, in honor of his old-time friend. General Stephen later became the first sheriff of Berkeley County. Because the town did not legally exist at the time of the county's formation, the village of about 200 people did not have a legal name, but the area was known as the "Berkeley Court House."

The first county court session was held in Edward Beeson's home on May 19, 1772. The city was incorporated on March 30, 1868.


References

Aler, F. Vernon. 1888. Aler's History of Martinsburg and Berkeley County, West Virginia: From the Origin of the Indians ...

Hagerstown, MD: Printed for the author by the Mail Publishing Company.

Doherty, William T. 1972. Berkeley County, U.S.A.: A Bicentennial History of a Virginia and West Virginia County,

1772-1972. Parsons, WV: McClain Printing Company, 1972.

Evans, Willis F. 1928. History of Berkeley County, West Virginia. Wheeling, WV: No publisher.

Rice, Otis K. 1985. West Virginia: A History. Lexington, KY: The University of Kentucky Press.

Williams, John Alexander. 1993. West Virginia: A History for Beginners. Charleston, WV: Appalachian Editions.

Boone County History

Boone County was formed from an act of the Virginia General Assembly on March 11, 1847 from Cabell, Kanawha, and Logan counties. The county was named in honor of Daniel Boone (1734-1820), the famous hunter and explorer, founder of Kentucky, Lieutenant Colonel of the Virginia militia, and member of the Virginia General Assembly representing Kanawha County (in 1791).

Although Daniel Boone was known as a son of Kentucky, he was born on November 2, 1734 in the Schuylkill Valley in Pennsylvania. He moved with his parents to Yadkin Valley, North Carolina in 1750. He later married and started a family there, and was active as an Indian trader in that area. He visited the present site of West Virginia in 1755 as a member of General Braddock's army that was defeated by the Indians on the Monongahela River. A few years later, he explored the future site of Kentucky and moved his family there. In 1788, he lost his Kentucky property because he failed to properly enter his land grants. Homeless, he moved to Point Pleasant, in West Virginia, for nearly a year, and then moved to present-day Charleston. He lived in Charleston for seven years (1788-1795). In 1789, he was named a Lieutenant Colonel of the state militia, and, in 1790, he was elected to the Virginia General Assembly. He left West Virginia in 1799, moving to Missouri, where he had been granted 1,000 acres of land by the Spanish government and given a government position overseeing the area. He died on September 26, 1820 in Missouri.

The idea of naming the county after Daniel Boone came from St. Clair Ballard, a member of the Virginia General Assembly. In an eloquent speech before the Virginia General Assembly, Mr. Ballard recounted the story of how Daniel Boone saved Mr. Ballard's mother from the Shawnee Indians. When St. Clair Ballard's mother, Cloey, was five and one half years old a group of Shawnee Indians came onto her father's farm. They killed her parents, and took her and her older brother, John, prisoner. Her older sister was not seen by the Indians and escaped. Several months later, John escaped and, knowing of Daniel Boone's reputation as an Indian fighter, sought his help in rescuing his sister. Boone listened to John's story and said he would see what he could do. While John rested, Boone disappeared into the woods.. The next afternoon, he returned with Cloey at his side.

When St. Clair Ballard finished telling the story, he moved to name the new county Boone County. The Virginia General Assembly then agreed to the motion, creating Boone County on March 11, 1847.


First Settlers

The first native settlers in southern West Virginia were the Mound Builders, also known as the Adena people. Remnants of the Mound Builder's civilization have been found throughout West Virginia, with a high concentration of artifacts located at Moundsville, West Virginia, in Marshall County. The Grave Creek Indian Mound, located in the center of Moundsville, is one of West Virginia's most famous historic landmarks. More than 2,000 years old, it stands 69 feet high and 295 feet in diameter.

According to missionary reports, several thousand Hurons occupied present-day West Virginia during the late 1500s and early 1600s. They were driven out of the state during the 1600s by members of the powerful Iroquois Confederacy (consisting of the Mohawk, Onondaga, Cayuga, Oneida and Seneca tribes, and joined later by the Tuscaroras tribe). The Iroquois Confederacy was headquartered in New York and was not interested in occupying present-day West Virginia. Instead, they used it as a hunting ground during the spring and summer months.

During the early 1700s, southern West Virginia, including present-day Boone County, was used as a hunting ground by the Mingo, who lived in both the Tygart Valley and along the Ohio River in West Virginia's northern panhandle region, the Delaware, who lived in present-day eastern Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware, but had several autonomous settlements as far south as present-day Braxton County, and by members of the Iroquois Confederacy, especially the Seneca, one of the largest and most powerful members of the Iroquois Confederacy.

The Mingo were not actually an Indian tribe, but a multi-cultural group of Indians that established several communities within present-day West Virginia. They lacked a central government and, like all other Indians within the region at that time, were subject to the control of the Iroquois Confederacy. The Mingo originally lived closer to the Atlantic Coast, but European settlement pushed them into western Virginia and eastern Ohio.

The Seneca, headquartered in western New York, was the closest member of the Iroquois Confederacy to West Virginia, and took great interest in the state. In 1744, the Seneca boasted to Virginia officials that they had conquered the several nations living on the back of the great mountains of Virginia. Among the conquered nations were the last of the Canawese or Conoy people who became incorporated into some of the Iroquois communities in New York. The Conoy continue to be remembered today through the naming of two of West Virginia's largest rivers after them, the Little Kanawha and the Great Kanawha.

The Seneca, and other members of the Iroquois Confederacy, claimed all of present-day West Virginia as their own, using it primarily as a hunting ground. Also, war parties from the Seneca and other members of the Iroquois Confederacy often traveled through the state to protect its claim to southern West Virginia from the Cherokee. The Cherokee were headquartered in western North Carolina and eastern Tennessee and rivaled the Iroquois nation in both size and influence. The Cherokee claimed present-day southern West Virginia as their own, setting the stage for conflict with the Iroquois Confederacy.

In 1744, Virginia officials purchased the Iroquois title of ownership to West Virginia in the Treaty of Lancaster. The treaty reduced the Iroquois Confederacy's presence in the state.

During the mid-1700s, the English had made it clear to the various Indian tribes that they intended to settle the frontier. The French, on the other hand, were more interested in trade. This influenced the Mingo to side with the French during the French and Indian War (1755-1763). Although the Iroquois Confederacy officially remained neutral, many in the Iroquois Confederacy also allied with the French. Unfortunately for them, the French lost the war and ceded the all of its North American possessions to the British. Following the war, the Mingo retreated to their homes along the banks of the Ohio River and were rarely seen in southern West Virginia.

Although the war was officially over, many Indians, especially the Shawnee who resided in Ohio, continued to see the British as a threat to their sovereignty and continued to fight them. In the summer of 1763, Pontiac, an Ottawa chief, led raids on key British forts. Shawnee chief Keigh-tugh-qua, or Cornstalk, led similar attacks on western Virginia settlements in present-day Greenbrier County. By the end of July, Indians had captured all British forts west of the Alleghenies except Detroit, Fort Pitt, and Fort Niagara. Then, on August 6, 1763, British forces under the command of Colonel Henry Bouquet retaliated and destroyed Delaware and Shawnee forces at Bushy Run in western Pennsylvania, ending the hostilities.

Fearing more tension between Native Americans and settlers, England's King George III issued the Proclamation of 1763, prohibiting settlement west of the Allegheny Mountains. However, many land speculators, including George Washington, violated the proclamation by claiming vast acreage in western Virginia. In 1768, the Iroquois Confederacy (often called the Six Nations) and the Cherokee signed the Treaty of Hard Labour and the Treaty of Fort Stanwix, relinquishing their claims on the territory between the Ohio River and the Alleghenies to the British. With the frontier now open, settlers, once again, began to enter into present-day West Virginia.

In 1772, a series of incidents between settlers and Indians in West Virginia ended what had been nearly eight years of peace. During the spring of that year, several
Indians were murdered on the South Branch of the Potomac River by Nicholas Harpold and his companions. About the same time, Bald Eagle, an Indian chief of
some notoriety, was murdered while on a hunting trip on the Monongahela River. In the meantime, Captain Bull, a Delaware Indian Chief and five other Indian
families were living in Braxton County in an area known as Bulltown, near the falls of the Little Kanawha River, about fourteen miles from present day Sutton.
Captain Bull was regarded by most of the settlers in the region as friendly. But some settlers suspected him of providing information to and harboring unfriendly
Indians. While away from home in June 1772, the family of a German immigrant named Peter Stroud was murdered, presumably by Indians. The trail left by the
murderers led in the general direction of Bulltown. Peter's brother, Adam Stroud, had a cabin nearby and seeing smoke rising into the sky, raced to his brother's
cabin. He gathered up what was left of the bodies and buried them. He then headed for Hacker's Creek where he met with several other settlers who agreed to join
him in an attack on Bulltown. They killed all of the Indians in the village, including Captain Bull, and threw their bodies into a nearby river. News of Captain Bull's
murder quickly spread across the western frontier.

Following what the Indians referred to as the Bulltown massacre, Shawnee Chief Cornstalk, who had led numerous raids against West Virginia settlers in the past,
began to organize the Indians in a concerted effort to drive the whites from their territory.

In 1773, land speculator Michael Cresap led a group of volunteers from Fort Fincastle (later renamed Fort Henry) at present-day Wheeling, murdering several
Shawnee at Captain Creek. Among other atrocities, on April 30, 1774, colonists murdered the family of Mingo chieftain Tah-gah-jute, who had been baptized under
the English name of Logan. Although Logan had previously lived peacefully with whites, he killed at least thirteen settlers that summer in revenge.

Virginia Governor John Murray, Earl of Dunmore, worried about the escalating violence in western Virginia, decided to end the conflict by force. He formed two
armies, one marching from the North, consisting of 1,700 men led by himself and the other marching from the South, comprised of 800 troops led by western
Virginia resident and land speculator Captain Andrew Lewis. Shawnee chieftain Keigh-tugh-qua, or Cornstalk, along with approximately 1,200 Shawnee, Delaware,
Mingo, Wyandotte and Cayuga warriors, decided to attack the southern regiment before they had a chance to unite with Lord Dunmore's forces. On October 10,
1774, the Indians attacked Lewis' forces at the confluence of the Kanawha and Ohio Rivers, at present-day Point Pleasant, in Greenbrier County. During the battle,
both sides suffered significant losses.

Although nearly half of Lewis' commissioned officers were killed during the battle, including his brother, Colonel Charles Lewis, and seventy-five of his
non-commissioned officers, the Indians were finally forced to retreat back to their settlements in Ohio's Scioto Valley, with Lewis' men in pursuit. In the meanwhile,
Lord Dunmore arrived and joined forces with Lewis. Seeing that they were now outnumbered, Cornstalk sued for peace.

Although western Virginia's settlers continued to experience isolated Indian attacks for several years, Cornstalk's defeat at Point Pleasant was the beginning of the
end of the Indian presence in western Virginia. The Indians agreed to give up all of their white prisoners, restore all captured horses and other property, and not to
hunt south of the Ohio River. Also, they were to allow boats on the Ohio River and promised not to harass them. This opened up present-day West Virginia and
Kentucky for settlement. Cornstalk was later killed at Fort Randolph near Point Pleasant in 1777 in retaliation for the death of a militiaman who was killed by an
Indian.

During the American Revolution (1776-1783), the Mingo and Shawnee, headquartered at Chillicothe, Ohio, allied themselves with the British. In 1777, a party of 350 Wyandots, Shawnees, and Mingos, armed by the British, attacked Fort Henry, near present-day Wheeling. Nearly half of the Americans manning the fort were killed in the three-day assault. The Indians then left the Fort celebrating their victory. For the remainder of the war, smaller raiding parties of Mingo, Shawnee, and other Indian tribes terrorized settlers throughout West Virginia. As a result, European settlement in the state came to a virtual standstill until the war's conclusion. Following the war, the Mingo and Shawnee, once again allied with the losing side, returned to their homes. However, as the number of settlers in the region began to grow, and with their numbers depleted by the war, both the Mingo and the Shawnee moved further inland.

European Pioneers and Settlers

John Peter Salley was the first European to set foot in present-day Boone County. In 1742, he explored the county and is credited for discovering coal along the Coal River. Other Europeans to pass through the area during the late-1700s included Mitchell Clay who passed through the area while tracking a band of Indians who had killed his children, and Richard Hewett, who was exploring in the county when he was killed by Indians at the mouth of Hewett Creek in 1782.

In 1792, settlers on the Blue Stone River, led by Captain Henry Farley, chased a group of Indian raiders through present-day southern West Virginia, including Boone County. The chase ended in a large fight at the headwaters of the Coal River that lasted several hours.


Important Events of the 1800s

Four engagements took place within the county during the Civil War (1861-1865). The first was called the Battle of Boone County Courthouse. When Brigadier General Jacob Cox, in command of the Union Army in the Kanawha Valley, heard that a Confederate regiment was forming in Boone County, he sent Colonel J. V. Guthrie from Charleston to destroy it. On August 29, 1861, Colonel Guthrie sent two companies, Company G, 26th Ohio Infantry, and Company A, 1st Kentucky Infantry, to Boone County. On the following day, he dispatched Company K, 26th Ohio, to reinforce the first two companies. On September 1, 1861, Companies G and A, and some local militia, were in the process of crossing the river on their way to the Boone County Courthouse in Madison when the Confederate militia, commanded by Colonel Ezekiel S. Miller, opened fire on them. However, after twenty minutes of fighting, the Confederate troops were forced to retreat. Twenty-five Confederate soldiers were killed, wounded, or captured during the engagement. One Union soldier was killed and five more were wounded. In retaliation for supporting the South, before returning to Charleston, the Union soldiers burned the court house, and several other buildings in the town, to the ground.

The second engagement occurred on September 12, 1861 near an area of the county known as Paytona. Four Union companies from the First Kentucky Volunteer Infantry were setting up camp at the mouth of Joe's Creek when they were ambushed by four companies of Confederate cavalry. Forty-two Union soldiers were either killed, wounded or captured. The Confederate Army suffered only minor casualties.

The third engagement occurred at Pond Fork, of the Little Kanawha River, on September 17th, 1861. On that morning, a company of Mounted Confederate Rangers attacked a detachment of Unionist Homeguards at Pond Fork. The Unionist Homeguards retreated, but the Confederate troops captured seventeen of them. Fourteen of them were accused of treason against the Confederacy and were sent to Richmond as prisoners of war.

The fourth engagement occurred on September 25, 1861. The fight started on Trace Fork or Big Creek, approximately five miles from the Logan County line, and ended in the Kanawha Gap, near Chapmanville, in Logan County. Union scouts reported a concentration of Confederate troops in the Chapmanville area, and Colonel Piatt was sent to disperse it. He left on September 23, 1861 with six companies from the 34th Ohio. He was accompanied by Lieutenant Colonel David A. Enyart and three hundred men from the 1st Kentucky Infantry, and two hundred Unionist Homeguards. When the force reached Peytona they camped for the night and the next day separated, with Colonel Enyart moving up the Coal River, and Colonel Piatt moving on to the Boone County Court House. The next morning, near what is now Manila, they met the Confederate advance guard and exchanged gunfire. The Confederate advance guard retreated to within two miles of Kanawha Gap. The then set up on a hill side and fired on the Union Army pursing them. Colonel Piatt deployed his troops on either side of the hill and eventually forced the Confederate soldiers to retreat from the area.


County Seat

Madison, the county seat, was incorporated in 1906. Most historians claim that the town was named in honor of William Madison Peyton, a leader of the movement to form Boone County and a pioneer coal operator. Others have suggested that it was named in honor of James Madison (1751-1836) the 4th President of the United States (1809-1817), a leading member of the Philadelphia Convention that wrote the U.S. Constitution, and life-long friend and neighbor of Thomas Jefferson, the 3rd President of the United States (1800-1809). Still others claim that the town was named in honor of Madison Laidley, a Charleston lawyer who helped to re-organize the civil affairs of the county.

The first meeting of the county court took place at the home of John Hill, then a Justice of the Peace in Logan County. He lived about three-fourths of a mile below the present county court house. The names of three of the four Justices of the Peace in attendance were Adam Cool, John A Barker, and John Hill. By tradition, John Hill, the longest-serving Justice of the Peace residing in the county, was commissioned to be the county's first sheriff. J. H. French was selected to serve as the county's first prosecuting attorney.

Until the county's first courthouse was built at the junction of the Pond and Spruce forks of Little Coal river, court was held in the log church at the mouth of Turtle Creek. Grand juries, when charged, and petit juries, when cases were submitted to them, retired to the bushes surrounding the church to deliberate.

The county has had three court houses. The first was burned to the ground during the Civil War, and the second was condemned in 1913. The foundation for the current county court house was laid in 1919, but construction was stopped when Danville tried to replace Madison as the county's seat of government. Madison eventually won out, most likely because work on a new court house had already begun there. On June 7, 1921, the county court deemed the court house completed enough to be used, although it was not completely finished until 1923.


References

Boone County, West Virginia, History. 1990. Madison, WV: Boone County Genealogical Society.

Kith and Kin of Boone County, West Virginia. 1977. Madison, WV: Boone County Genealogical Society.

Moorhead, Virginia B., editor. 1976. Boone County Then and Now, 1835-1976: A History in Words and Pictures by Her Sons

and Daughters to Celebrate the Bicentennial of the Signing of the Declaration of Independence. Belvidere, IL:

Boone County Bicentennial Commission.

Nelson, W. W. 1982. Branches of Turtle Creek: Origins and Extensions of the Families of God and Men at a Place in Boone

County, West Virginia, "Where No Other Creek Would Fit." Hewett, WV: Boone County Genealogical Society.

Rice, Otis K. 1985. West Virginia: A History. Lexington, KY: The University of Kentucky Press.

Williams, John Alexander. 1993. West Virginia: A History for Beginners. Charleston, WV: Appalachian Editions.
 
 

Braxton County History

Located in central West Virginia, Braxton County was created by an act of the Virginia General Assembly on January 15, 1836 from parts of Lewis, Kanawha and Nicholas counties. It was named in honor of Carter Braxton (1736-1797), a noted Virginia statesman and a graduate of William and Mary College. He was a long-time member of the Virginia House of Burgesses (serving from 1765 until the outbreak of the American Revolutionary War in 1776) and a signer of the U.S. Declaration of Independence.


The First Settlers

The first native settlers in central West Virginia were the Mound Builders, also known as the Adena people. Remnants of the Mound Builder's civilization have been found throughout West Virginia, with a high concentration of artifacts located at Moundsville, West Virginia, in Marshall County. The Grave Creek Indian Mound, located in the center of Moundsville, is one of West Virginia's most famous historic landmarks. More than 2,000 years old, it stands 69 feet high and 295 feet in diameter.

According to missionary reports, several thousand Hurons occupied present-day West Virginia during the late 1500s and early 1600s. They were driven out of the state during the 1600s by members of the powerful Iroquois Confederacy (consisting of the Mohawk, Onondaga, Cayuga, Oneida and Seneca tribes, and joined later by the Tuscaroras tribe). The Iroquois Confederacy was headquartered in New York and was not interested in occupying present-day West Virginia. Instead, they used it as a hunting ground during the spring and summer months.

During the early 1700s, central West Virginia, including present-day Braxton County, was used as a hunting ground by the Mingo, who lived in both the Tygart Valley and along the Ohio River in West Virginia's northern panhandle region, the Delaware, who lived in present-day eastern Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware, but had several autonomous settlements as far south as present-day Braxton County, and by other members of the Iroquois Confederacy, especially the Seneca, one of the largest and most powerful members of the Iroquois Confederacy.

The Mingo were not actually an Indian tribe, but a multi-cultural group of Indians that established several communities within present-day West Virginia. They lacked a central government and, like all other Indians within the region at that time, were subject to the control of the Iroquois Confederacy. The Mingo originally lived closer to the Atlantic Coast, but European settlement pushed them into western Virginia and eastern Ohio.

The Seneca, headquartered in western New York, was the closest member of the Iroquois Confederacy to West Virginia, and took great interest in the state. In 1744, the Seneca boasted to Virginia officials that they had conquered the several nations living on the back of the great mountains of Virginia. Among the conquered nations were the last of the Canawese or Conoy people who became incorporated into some of the Iroquois communities in New York. The Conoy continue to be remembered today through the naming of two of West Virginia's largest rivers after them, the Little Kanawha and the Great Kanawha.

The Seneca, and other members of the Iroquois Confederacy, claimed all of present-day West Virginia as their own, using it primarily as a hunting ground. Also, war parties from the Seneca and other members of the Iroquois Confederacy often traveled through the state to protect its claim to southern West Virginia from the Cherokee. The Cherokee were headquartered in western North Carolina and eastern Tennessee and rivaled the Iroquois nation in both size and influence. The Cherokee claimed present-day southern West Virginia as their own, setting the stage for conflict with the Iroquois Confederacy.

In 1744, Virginia officials purchased the Iroquois title of ownership to West Virginia in the Treaty of Lancaster. The treaty reduced the Iroquois Confederacy's presence in the state.

During the mid-1700s, the English had made it clear to the various Indian tribes that they intended to settle the frontier. The French, on the other hand, were more interested in trade. This influenced the Mingo to side with the French during the French and Indian War (1755-1763). Although the Iroquois Confederacy officially remained neutral, many in the Iroquois Confederacy also allied with the French. Unfortunately for them, the French lost the war and ceded the all of its North American possessions to the British. Following the war, the Mingo retreated to their homes along the banks of the Ohio River and were rarely seen in central West Virginia.

Although the war was officially over, many Indians continued to see the British as a threat to their sovereignty and continued to fight them. In the summer of 1763, Pontiac, an Ottawa chief, led raids on key British forts. Shawnee chief Keigh-tugh-qua, or Cornstalk, led similar attacks on western Virginia settlements in present-day Greenbrier County. By the end of July, Indians had captured all British forts west of the Alleghenies except Detroit, Fort Pitt, and Fort Niagara. Then, on August 6, 1763, British forces under the command of Colonel Henry Bouquet retaliated and destroyed Delaware and Shawnee forces at Bushy Run in western Pennsylvania, ending the hostilities.

Fearing more tension between Native Americans and settlers, England's King George III issued the Proclamation of 1763, prohibiting settlement west of the Allegheny Mountains. However, many land speculators, including George Washington, violated the proclamation by claiming vast acreage in western Virginia. The next five years were relatively peaceful on the frontier. In 1768, the Iroquois Confederacy (often called the Six Nations) and the Cherokee signed the Treaty of Hard Labour and the Treaty of Fort Stanwix, relinquishing their claims on the territory between the Ohio River and the Alleghenies to the British. With the frontier now open, settlers, once again, began to enter into present-day West Virginia.

During the American Revolution (1776-1783), the Mingo and Shawnee, headquartered at Chillicothe, Ohio, allied themselves with the British. In 1777, a party of 350 Wyandots, Shawnees, and Mingos, armed by the British, attacked Fort Henry, near present-day Wheeling. Nearly half of the Americans manning the fort were killed in the three-day assault. The Indians then left the Fort celebrating their victory. For the remainder of the war, smaller raiding parties of Mingo, Shawnee, and other Indian tribes terrorized settlers throughout West Virginia. As a result, European settlement in the state came to a virtual standstill until the war's conclusion. Following the war, the Mingo and Shawnee, once again allied with the losing side, returned to their homes. However, as the number of settlers in the region began to grow, and with their numbers depleted by the war, both the Mingo and the Shawnee moved further inland.

European Pioneers and Settlers

The first land survey in the county took place in 1784 on behalf of John Allison who had a warrant on 11,000 acres of land in area. Adam O'Brien, an Indian scout and noted hunter, was part of the survey party. An old story recounts the reason why Adam O'Brien left his home in Bath County, Virginia to settle in the uncharted wilderness of then Augusta County, Virginia. It was said that O'Brien had been spurned by Isabelle Burgyone, the daughter of British General "Gentleman" John Burgyone. So, in order to escape his rejection, he left his home to start a new life on the Elk River. 7,000 acres of Allison's land were later purchased by John Sutton of Alexandria, Virginia. His son, John D. Sutton, visited the area in 1798 and found a small, abandoned cabin on the land. He learned that John (or Adam) O'Brien once lived in the hallow of a large sycamore tree in the area around present day Sutton in 1792, 1793 or 1794, but he never did discover who had built the cabin.

The county's first permanent white settlers were the Carpenter family, including brothers Jeremiah, Benjamin, Jesse, and Amos, and their mother. They arrived in 1789 or 1790 and built cabins near present-day Centralia along the Holly River. According to local legend, Benjamin Carpenter and his wife were killed by two Indians who were passing through the area. Supposedly, a couple of Indians had seen some chips from an axe floating downstream. Recognizing this as a sign of white settlers, they decided to head upstream to investigate the situation which was when they came upon the Carpenter settlement. In 1800, Jeremiah Carpenter and Henry Mace settled near present day Sutton. In 1807, Colonel John Haymond moved from Harrison County and settled near the Falls of the Little Kanawha. His three brothers, Benjamin, Daniel, and John Conrad, settled three miles south of him. Also in that year, Nicholas Gibson and Asa Squires moved into the county. In 1810, John D. Sutton moved to the present site of Sutton, which, at the time, was known as Newville.


Important Events During the 1700s

Braxton County was the location of a famous Indian massacre. A 1764 treaty with the various Indian tribes was violated in 1772 when several Indians were murdered on the South Branch of the Potomac River by Nicholas Harpold and his companions. About the same time, Bald Eagle, an Indian chief of some notoriety, was murdered while on a hunting trip on the Monongahela River. In the meantime, Captain Bull, the son of the Delaware Indian Chief Teeyuscung, and other Indian families were living in Braxton County in an area known as Bulltown on the Little Kanawha River about 14 miles from present-day Sutton. Captain Bull was regarded by most of the settlers in the region as friendly, but there were some white families who suspected Captain Bull of providing information to and harboring unfriendly Indians. While away from home in June, the family German immigrant Peter Stroud was murdered, presumably by Indians. The trail left by the murderers led in the general direction of Bulltown. Peter's brother, Adam Stroud, had a cabin nearby and seeing smoke rising into the sky, raced to his brother's cabin. He gathered up what was left of the bodies and buried them. Peter then headed for Hacker's Creek where he met with several others who agreed to join him in an attack on Bulltown. They killed all of the Indians in the village and threw their bodies into a nearby river. Here, the facts surrounding the incident become murky. Historians believe there were Delaware Indians killed at Bulltown, but there is a dispute over whether Captain Bull himself perished during the attack. Some have reported that Captain Bull was not present during the raid because he had previously left for Ohio following the death of one of his children. Those who subscribe to the theory of Captain Bull's absence during the massacre tend to believe he died in 1781 after being attacked by Colonel Lowther's company near Isaac's Creek in West Virginia. News of Captain Bull's massacre (or at least the Massacre at Bulltown) spread across the western frontier and set off a series of incidents between the Indians and the English settlers, ending the eight years of peace on the western frontier.

Ann Bailey, an eccentric Englishwoman from Liverpool was a colorful character on the frontier and a native of Braxton County. Known as "Mad Ann," she served as a messenger for the militia during the French and Indian Wars (1754-1763) and was an accomplished marksman and hunter. It was said that she rode her famous black horse, Liverpool, like a man, with a rifle over one shoulder and a tomahawk and butcher's knife in her belt. She entertained many crowded campfires with the stories of her many adventures and was welcomed at every home in the county.


Important Events During the 1800s

Two significant engagements occurred within the county during the Civil War (1861-1865). On December 29, 1861, Confederate troops, commanded by Captains Sprigg, Tunings, and Downs, approached Sutton and its garrison of sixty Union cavalrymen under the command of a Lieutenant Dawson. Seeing that he was outnumbered, Dawson withdrew from the town. The southern forces then occupied the town, and, according to eye witness accounts, began to raze some of its buildings at the behest of Captain Tunings. When Captain Sprigg arrived at the scene, some of Sutton's citizens pleaded with him to order a halt to the burning. However, the burnings continued and only four structures survived the fire. In another, smaller incident, a small Confederate force occupied Sutton for a short time and set fire to the Camden Hotel. The hotel fire spread to a nearby hospital, burning both buildings to the ground.

The second significant engagement within the county during the Civil War was the Battle at Bulltown on October 13, 1863. Union soldiers held a well-fortified position on a hill located on the Cunningham farm overlooking Bulltown. Confederate forces approached the town from the southeast through Webster County. At Falls Mill, the Confederate forces split in order to launch a synchronized two-pronged surprise attack on the Union position. The Confederate advance was to begin after the firing of a cannon. Unfortunately for the Confederate Army, the attack did not take place as planned. One of the Confederate groups under the command of Major Kessler moved before the signal, alerting the Union Army of the Confederate's presence. During the ensuing battle, seven Confederate soldiers were killed and four were wounded, and two Union soldiers were wounded. Realizing that they no longer had the advantage of surprise, the Confederate force retreated down the Weston and Gauley Bridge Pike that had been constructed in 1851-1852.

After the war, Braxton County's economy began to grow, with most of the growth due to the presence of tanneries, brick manufacturers, pottery manufacturers, grain mills, and the smelting of iron ore. Also, the timber industry was very important to the heavily wooded county. In 1892, a railroad extending from Clarksburg in Harrison County to Sutton, and then on to Richwood in Nicholas County was built. The railroad line helped the county's economy to grow by providing it a means of shipping goods to and from northern West Virginia.


Important Events During the 1900s

In 1904, Braxton County's resurgence continued when the Coal and Coke Railroad, which traversed the center of the state from the capital at Charleston to Elkins in Randolph County, added a branch from Gassaway to Sutton. The new railroad opened a new corridor of trade for Braxton County. Previously, the only way to ship goods to Charleston was by boat. The Coal and Coke railroad provided a more efficient and cost effective method of trade.

In the mid 1950's, Sutton became the site of a large building project. A plan to dam the Elk River had been proposed as early as 1941, but World War II and the Korean War caused the project to be put on hold. Finally, with the help of U.S. Representative Cleveland Baily, an act appropriating money for the construction of the dam was pushed through Congress, and in July of 1955, President Dwight Eisenhower signed the bill making the dam construction a reality. Groundbreaking ceremonies for the dam commenced on November 3, 1956 and it was completed in 1960.


County Seat

The first meeting of the county court took place on April 11, 1836 at the home of John D. Sutton. Sutton, the county seat, had been chartered as a town by an act of the Virginia General Assembly on January 27, 1826. Originally located in Nicholas County, it had been known as Newville and later as Suttonville. The town's name was changed to Sutton on March 1, 1837 and it was incorporated on February 20, 1860.


References

"Ernie Carpenter: Tales of the Elk River Country." Goldenseal (Summer 1986):112.

Rice, Otis K. 1985. West Virginia: A History. Lexington, KY: The University of Kentucky Press.

Sutton, John Davison. 1919. History of Braxton County and Central West Virginia. Parsons, WV: McClain Printing Company.

West Virginia Writer's Project. 1940. Of Stars and Bars. Charleston, WV: West Virginia Writer's Project.

West Virginia Writer's Project. 1941. Sutton…On-The-Elk, 1798-1941. Charleston, WV: West Virginia Writers Project.

Williams, John Alexander. 1993. West Virginia: A History for Beginners. Charleston, WV: Appalachian Editions.

Brooke County History


Located in the Northern Panhandle along the Ohio River, Brooke County was created by an act of the Virginia General Assembly on November 30, 1796 from parts of Ohio County. Upon its creation, Brooke County became the northernmost county in the state of Virginia until the creation of Hancock County from Brooke's territory in 1848. According to the national census of 1800, Brooke County had 4,706 residents, the 6th largest population of the 13 counties then in existence within the present state of West Virginia. Berkeley County had the largest population then (22,006) and Wood County had the smallest population (1,217).

Brooke County was named in honor of Robert Brooke (1751-1799), who was educated at the University of Edinburgh, practiced law in Spotsylvania County, Virginia, served in the Virginia General Assembly in 1794 and, later that year, was elected the third Governor of Virginia (1794-1796) by the General Assembly. He later served as the Attorney General of Virginia (1798-1799).


The First Settlers

The first native settlers along the Ohio River in the area of present day Brooke County were the Mound Builders, also known as the Adena people. Remnants of the Mound Builder's civilization have been found throughout the Ohio River Valley, with a high concentration of artifacts located at Moundsville, West Virginia, just south of Brooke County. The Grave Creek Indian Mound, located in the center of Moundsville, is one of West Virginia's most famous historic landmarks. More than 2,000 years old, it stands 69 feet high and 295 feet in diameter.

During the 1600s and early 1700s, northern West Virginia, including present-day Brooke County, was used primarily as hunting grounds by the Ohio-based Shawnee, the Mingo, who lived in both the Tygart Valley and along the Ohio River, and the Seneca, one of the largest and most powerful members of the Iroquois Confederacy headquartered in New York (comprised of the Seneca, Cayuga, Onondaga, Oneida, Mohawk, and Tuscarora tribes).

The Shawnee settled in villages along the Ohio River, primarily in the area between present-day Wood and Cabell counties. Following the construction of Fort Pitt in 1758 by the British, the Shawnee moved further in-land and built a series of villages along the Scioto River in southern Ohio. These villages were collectively known as Chillicothe and served as their base camp for hunting and fishing in present-day West Virginia.

The Mingo were not actually an Indian tribe, but a multi-cultural group of Indians that established several communities within present-day West Virginia. They lacked a central government and, like all other Indians within the region at that time, were subject to the control of the Iroquois Confederacy. The Mingo originally lived closer to the Atlantic Coast, but European settlement pushed them into western Virginia and eastern Ohio.

The Seneca, headquartered in western New York, was the closest member of the Iroquois Confederacy to West Virginia, and took great interest in the state. In 1744, the Seneca boasted to Virginia officials that they had conquered the several nations living on the back of the great mountains of Virginia. Among the conquered nations were the last of the Canawese or Conoy people who became incorporated into some of the Iroquois communities in New York. The Conoy continue to be remembered today through the naming of two of West Virginia's largest rivers after them, the Little Kanawha and the Great Kanawha.

The Seneca, and other members of the Iroquois Confederacy, claimed all of present-day West Virginia as their own, using it primarily as a hunting ground. Also, war parties from the Seneca and other members of the Iroquois Confederacy often traveled through the state to protect its claim to southern West Virginia from the Cherokee. The Cherokee were headquartered in western North Carolina and eastern Tennessee and rivaled the Iroquois nation in both size and influence. The Cherokee claimed present-day southern West Virginia as their own, setting the stage for conflict with the Iroquois Confederacy.

In 1744, Virginia officials purchased the Iroquois title of ownership to West Virginia in the Treaty of Lancaster. The treaty reduced the Iroquois Confederacy's presence in the northern panhandle region.

During the mid-1700s, the English had made it clear to the various Indian tribes that they intended to settle the frontier. The French, on the other hand, were more interested in trade. This influenced the Delaware, Mingo, and Shawnee to side with the French during the French and Indian War (1755-1763). Although the Iroquois Confederacy officially remained neutral, many in the Iroquois Confederacy also allied with the French. Just prior to the outbreak of the French and Indian War, George Washington, then a British officer, reported seeing Mingo campfires near Follansbee, in present-day Brooke County. Unfortunately for them, the French lost the war and ceded the all of its North American possessions to the British. The Mingo retreated to their homes along the banks of the Ohio River, and the Shawnee retreated to their homes at Chillicothe.

Although the war was officially over, many Indians continued to see the British as a threat to their sovereignty and continued to fight them. In the summer of 1763, Pontiac, an Ottawa chief, led raids on key British forts. Shawnee chief Keigh-tugh-qua, or Cornstalk, led similar attacks on western Virginia settlements in present-day Greenbrier County. By the end of July, Indians had captured all British forts west of the Alleghenies except Detroit, Fort Pitt, and Fort Niagara. Then, on August 6, 1763, British forces under the command of Colonel Henry Bouquet retaliated and destroyed Delaware and Shawnee forces at Bushy Run in western Pennsylvania, ending the hostilities.

Fearing more tension between Native Americans and settlers, England's King George III issued the Proclamation of 1763, prohibiting settlement west of the Allegheny Mountains. However, many land speculators, including George Washington, violated the proclamation by claiming vast acreage in western Virginia. The next five years were relatively peaceful on the frontier. In 1768, the Iroquois Confederacy (often called the Six Nations) and the Cherokee signed the Treaty of Hard Labour and the Treaty of Fort Stanwix, relinquishing their claims on the territory between the Ohio River and the Alleghenies to the British. With the frontier now open, settlers, once again, began to enter into present-day West Virginia.

During the American Revolution (1776-1783), the Mingo and Shawnee allied themselves with the British. In 1777, a party of 350 Wyandots, Shawnees, and Mingos, armed by the British, attacked Fort Henry, near present-day Wheeling. Nearly half of the Americans manning the fort were killed in the three-day assault. The Indians then left the Fort celebrating their victory. For the remainder of the war, smaller raiding parties of Mingo, Shawnee, and other Indian tribes terrorized settlers throughout northern West Virginia. As a result, European settlement in the region came to a virtual standstill until the war's conclusion. Following the war, the Mingo and Shawnee, once again allied with the losing side, returned to their homes. However, as the number of settlers in the region began to grow, and with their numbers depleted by the war, both the Mingo and the Shawnee moved further inland.

The most famous Mingo in West Virginia history was known to the European settlers as Logan. He was born near Auburn, New York in 1725 and was called Talgayeeta (or Taghahjute). His father, Shikellamy was a member of the Cayuga tribe and a Vice-Gerent of the Iroquois Confederacy. Following the French and Indian War, Shikellamy moved his family to central Pennsylvania. His father had taken the name Logan after a Pennsylvania official named John Logan. In 1763, Logan moved west to the Ohio River where he established a small settlement consisting primarily of members of his extended family. Logan and the other members of his settlement were considered friendly and cooperative by most settlers in the region, until his settlement was attacked by English settlers on April 30, 1774. The attack occurred on the West Virginia side of the river, in present-day Hancock County. Ten members of Logan's settlement, including two women, were killed and scalped by the settlers. Among the victims were members of Logan's immediate family, including his wife and all but one of his children. Several versions of the massacre circulated on the frontier. Lord Dunmore blamed a settler named Daniel Greathouse while Logan blamed Michael Cresap, a Maryland soldier and land speculator who was building cabins along the Ohio River as a means of securing land. Although the evidence suggests that Cresap was in the vicinity at the time of the massacre, many historians believe that he was not involved in the murders. In any case, following the massacre, Logan allied himself with the British and went on the warpath, leading four deadly raids on the Virginia and Pennsylvania frontiers and instigating what would later be called Lord Dunmore's War of 1774.

Logan gained national fame for his eloquent speech that was delivered during the peace negotiations following the Indians' defeat at the Battle of Point Pleasant in 1774. Logan was not at the decisive Battle of Point Pleasant, but returned to the main Indian camp during the peace negotiations. His famous speech was not delivered in council, but was given to Colonel John Gibson who wrote it down and delivered it on Logan's behalf during the negotiations. The speech was later published in many newspapers across the nation:

"I appeal to any white man to say if he ever entered Logan's cabin hungry and I gave him not meat; if ever he came cold and naked and I gave him not clothing. During the course of the long and bloody war Logan remained idle in his cabin, an advocate for peace. Such was my love for the whites that my countrymen pointed as they passed and said, "Logan is the friend of white men." I had even thought to have lived with you but for the injuries of one man. Colonel Cresap, the last spring, in cold blood and unprovoked, murdered all the relations of Logan, not even sparing my women and children. There runs not a drop of my blood in the veins of any human creature. This called on me for revenge. I have sought it. I have killed many. I have fully glutted my vengeance. For my county I rejoice at the beams of peace. But do not harbor a thought that mine is the joy of fear. Logan never felt fear. He will not turn his heel to save his life. Who is there to mourn for Logan? Not one."

After Lord Dunmore's War concluded, Logan moved from place to place and, in 1789, joined an Indian raiding party that attacked settlements in southwestern Virginia. He was later killed by one of his own relatives in 1780, near present-day Detroit. He said before his death that he had two souls, one good and the other bad, as he put it

"...when the good soul had the ascendant, he [referring to himself] was kind and humane, and when the bad soul ruled, he was perfectly savage, and delighted in nothing but blood and carnage."

European Pioneers and Settlers

The French claims on the Ohio River Valley stemmed from the expedition of Robert Cavalier de La Salle. He was probably the first European to set foot in present day Brooke County. He sailed down the Ohio River in 1669. Then, in 1749, Louis Bienville de Celeron sailed down the Ohio River, and he also may have set foot on present day Brooke County. He met several English fur traders on his journey and ordered them off of French soil and wrote strong letters of reprimand to the colonial governors protesting the English's presence on French soil.

The first English settlers in the county were three brothers: Jonathan, Israel, and Friend Cox. Upon arriving on the banks of the Ohio River after leaving their home in Brownsville, Pennsylvania, the Cox brothers erected a rudimentary shelter near the present-day town of Wellsburg. The Cox's then explored the area up the Ohio River, claiming 1,200 acres for themselves. The following year, the Cox brothers followed up on their surveying expedition by once again entering Brooke County, but this time, with the intention of erecting a permanent settlement. Soon afterwards, their cousin, George Cox, staked a claim just north of his cousins' claim.

As mentioned previously, settlement in the county slowed considerable following the advent of the American Revolutionary War (1776-1783), primarily because the British supplied rifles and other weapons to the various Indian tribes in the region. The Indians, in turn, used the weapons to stop what they viewed as an invasion of their hunting grounds. After the war, members of the Revolutionary Army were offered land in exchange for their military service. This attracted many war veterans to the area. One of them was Captain Van Swearigan, a former company commander who traded George Cox a rifle for some land located in the present-day Brooke County. Van Swearigan was known throughout the region for his bragging about his war record, particularly his ability to kill British soldiers.

By the late 1780's, Brooke County's population was beginning to grow. By 1788, an area within the county, then known as Buffalo Town, had become a trading center for settlers on their way to the Northwest Territory. In addition to Captain Van Swearigan, another settler of note, Charles Prather, had become a resident of the county by this time. On March 6, 1788, John Cox, heir of Friend Cox, sold 481 acres of land to Charles Prather for $3,000. In January 1791, Prather's land was incorporated as Charlestown, Virginia. Charles and Ruth Prather deeded lots to the town on October 3, 1791 for the construction of a schoolhouse, meetinghouse, and a graveyard. The town became the county seat when Brooke County was created in 1797.


Important Events During the 1700s

During the 1700s, many interests vied for control over the current Northern Panhandle of West Virginia. These included the Mingo (who lived there), the Iroquois (who claimed "ownership" of the land), the French (who controlled the lands west and north of the Iroquois), and the English (who controlled the land east of the Iroquois). The French and Indian War (1755-1763) resulted in the end of the French presence in North America, leaving Great Britain free to deal with the Iroquois. At this time, Brooke County, and the rest of the Northern Panhandle, played an important in the British's plans to colonize the western territories because it lay directly between its settlements and the Iroquois. Also, Brooke County was home to several important forts, including Beech Bottom Fort and Wells Fort. They were part of the chain of forts constituting the British colonies' western defense.

In the years just prior to the American Revolution, the ownership of land in the Northern Panhandle region, including Brooke County, was claimed by both Pennsylvania and Virginia. Both colonies were granting land to settlers in the region, creating the potential for violence. Eventually, the land was officially granted to Virginia. Ironically, years later, it was the citizens of the Northern Panhandle who would push for the western Virginian counties to secede from Virginia during the Civil War to form the state of West Virginia.


Important Events During the 1800s

The 1800s marked an era of economic expansion for Brooke County. With the stabilization of the American government and the abundant natural resources located within the county's borders, the environment was ripe for economic success. Early light industry included grain production and distilleries. The construction of a shipyard along Buffalo Creek established the county's position as an important contributor to the nation's shipbuilding industry. Also, the glass industry made its way into Wellsburg in 1813 and remained an important part of the county's economy for over 150 years.

During the early 1800s, Wellsburg competed with both Pittsburgh and Wheeling as a destination for both people and jobs. Unfortunately for Wellsburg, it lost one of the most important competitions of the era. Both Wellsburg and Wheeling were finalists for the ending point for the National (Cumberland) Road that the national government was constructing to connect the eastern seaboard with the western frontier. Both cities recognized the strategic economic importance of being directly connected to the new highway and aggressively lobbied state and national politicians in an attempt to influence their decision on the layout of the new road. The Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, Henry Clay, came to Brooke County to see Wellsburg first-hand. Unfortunately, Clay was more impressed with Wheeling, and that city was ultimately selected. The decision to build the National Road to Wheeling gave that city a huge economic boost. Although Wellsburg continued to experience economic growth, Wheeling soon became the larger of the two cities.

In 1840, Brooke County became home to Bethany College, the first college in the state. Alexander Campbell, who also founded the Disciples of Christ Church, founded Bethany College. Bethany's central building, Old Main, was constructed from 1858 to 1872. Built in the Scottish Gothic style, it was modeled after buildings at the University of Glasgow in Scotland. Old Main is on the National Register of Historical Sites.

Most of Brooke County's residents, as did most of the residents within the Northern Panhandle, sided with the Union during the Civil War. At that time, as today, the counties located in the Northern Panhandle, had strong economic ties to both Ohio and Pennsylvania, and its economy, unlike the counties in eastern Virginia, was not dependent on slave labor. There were very few slaves in Brooke County prior to the war. When the question of secession arose, the county's residents voted to send a unionist to the Virginia secession convention in 1861. Although there were no major battles fought in the county, many of its citizens volunteered to serve in the Union army.

The Civil War slowed economic growth in the county, and across the new state. After the war, the county's economy began to change from an agricultural economy to an industrial economy. Paper mills, iron foundries, and leather manufacturing all began to take hold in the area.

Important Events During the 1900s

The industrial revolution brought even more industry and economic growth to the county. During the early 1900s, new towns were created near coal mines, chemical plants, steel plants, and glass factories. The economic changes also impacted the county's ethnic makeup as European immigrants seeking the relatively high-paying jobs in American manufacturing plants arrived in this country. Like the rest of the nation, Brooke County experienced tough times during the Great Depression and strong economic growth during the 1950s. Since then, the county's economy, like the rest of the state, has diversified, with a greater reliance on service industries and less reliance on manufacturing and coal mining.

County Seat

The first session of the Brooke County court took place on May 23, 1797 in the home of William Sharpe in Charlestown. The town was originally named in honor of Charles Prather, who owned the land on which the town was built. The town was later renamed Wellsburg (in 1816) to avoid confusion with two other towns in the state that were also called Charlestown. The town was named in honor of Charles Prather's son-in-law, Alexander Wells. He is credited as the builder of the first large warehouse in the east. In its early years, Wellsburg was famous for its "Gin Weddings" and "Marrying Parsons" who reportedly would marry couples on a moments notice. The Virginia General Assembly chartered the town on February 21, 1787.

References

Boyd, Peter. 1927. History of Northern West Virginia Panhandle embracing Ohio, Marshall,

Brooke, and Hancock Counties. Indianapolis, IN: Historical Publishing Company.

Brooke County Virginia and West Virginia Official Centennial Program, 1963. 1963. Follansbee, WV: Follansbee Review Press.

Caldwell, Nancy L. 1975. A History of Brooke County. Wellsburg, WV: Brooke County Historical Society.

Cobb, William H., Andrew Price and Hu Maxwell. 1921. History of the Mingo Indians. Parsons, WV: reprinted for the

Mullins Antique Market and Rare Books, Elkins, WV by McClain Printing Company, 1974.

Rice, Otis K. 1985. West Virginia: A History. Lexington, KY: The University of Kentucky Press.

Williams, John Alexander, 1993. West Virginia: A History for Beginners. Charleston, WV: Appalachian Editions.

   

Cabell County History

Located in Southwestern West Virginia along the Ohio River, Cabell County was created by an act of the Virginia General Assembly on January 2, 1809 from part of Kanawha County. It was named in honor of William H. Cabell (1772-1853), who served as Governor of Virginia from 1805 to 1808. He was born on December 16, 1772 in Cumberland County Virginia, graduated from William and Mary College in 1793 and began practicing law in Richmond the following year. He was chosen as a representative to the Virginia General Assembly from Amherst County in 1796 and was re-selected six times until his election as Governor. After serving for three years as Governor, he served as a Judge of the General Court until 1811 and then a Judge of the Virginia Court of Appeals until his retirement in 1841. He served as the President of the Court from 1822 until his retirement in 1841. He died on January 12, 1853 in Richmond.

The First Settlers

The first native settlers along the Ohio River in the area of present-day Cabell County were the Mound Builders, also known as the Adena people. Remnants of the Mound Builder's civilization have been found throughout the Ohio River Valley, with a high concentration of artifacts located at Moundsville, West Virginia, just north of the county (in Marshall County). The Grave Creek Indian Mound, located in the center of Moundsville, is one of West Virginia's most famous historic landmarks. More than 2,000 years old, it stands 69 feet high and 295 feet in diameter.

According to missionary reports, several thousand Hurons occupied present-day West Virginia during the late 1500s and early 1600s. They were driven out of the state during the 1600s by members of the powerful Iroquois Confederacy (consisting of the Mohawk, Onondaga, Cayuga, Oneida and Seneca tribes, and joined later by the Tuscaroras tribe). The Iroquois Confederacy was headquartered in New York and was not interested in occupying present-day West Virginia. Instead, they used it as a hunting ground during the spring and summer months.

During the early 1700s, the Ohio River valley, including present-day Cabell County, was primarily used as hunting grounds by the Ohio-based Shawnee, the Mingo, who lived in both the Tygart Valley and along the Ohio River north of Cabell County, and the Seneca, one of the largest and most powerful members of the Iroquois Confederacy.

The Shawnee settled in villages along the Ohio River, primarily in the area between present-day Wood and Cabell counties. Following the construction of Fort Pitt in 1758 by the British, the Shawnee moved further in-land and built a series of villages along the Scioto River in southern Ohio. These villages were collectively known as Chillicothe and served as their base camp for hunting and fishing in present-day West Virginia.

The Mingo were not actually an Indian tribe, but a multi-cultural group of Indians that established several communities within present-day West Virginia. They lacked a central government and, like all other Indians within the region at that time, were subject to the control of the Iroquois Confederacy. The Mingo originally lived closer to the Atlantic Coast, but European settlement pushed them into western Virginia and eastern Ohio.

The Seneca, headquartered in western New York, was the closest member of the Iroquois Confederacy to West Virginia, and took great interest in the state. In 1744, the Seneca boasted to Virginia officials that they had conquered the several nations living on the back of the great mountains of Virginia. Among the conquered nations were the last of the Canawese or Conoy people who became incorporated into some of the Iroquois communities in New York. The Conoy continue to be remembered today through the naming of two of West Virginia's largest rivers after them, the Little Kanawha and the Great Kanawha.

The Seneca, and other members of the Iroquois Confederacy, claimed all of present-day West Virginia as their own, using it primarily as a hunting ground. Also, war parties from the Seneca and other members of the Iroquois Confederacy often traveled through the state to protect its claim to southern West Virginia from the Cherokee. The Cherokee were headquartered in western North Carolina and eastern Tennessee and rivaled the Iroquois nation in both size and influence. The Cherokee claimed present-day southern West Virginia as their own, setting the stage for conflict with the Iroquois Confederacy.

In 1744, Virginia officials purchased the Iroquois title of ownership to West Virginia in the Treaty of Lancaster. The treaty reduced the Iroquois Confederacy's presence in the Ohio River Valley.

During the mid-1700s, the English had made it clear to the various Indian tribes that they intended to settle the frontier. The French, on the other hand, were more interested in trade. This influenced the Delaware, Mingo, and Shawnee to side with the French during the French and Indian War (1755-1763). Although the Iroquois Confederacy officially remained neutral, many in the Iroquois Confederacy also allied with the French. Unfortunately for them, the French lost the war and ceded the all of its North American possessions to the British. The Mingo retreated to their homes along the banks of the Ohio River, and the Shawnee retreated to their homes at Chillicothe.

Although the war was officially over, many Indians continued to see the British as a threat to their sovereignty and continued to fight them. In the summer of 1763, Pontiac, an Ottawa chief, led raids on key British forts. Shawnee chief Keigh-tugh-qua, or Cornstalk, led similar attacks on western Virginia settlements in present-day Greenbrier County. By the end of July, Indians had captured all British forts west of the Alleghenies except Detroit, Fort Pitt, and Fort Niagara. Then, on August 6, 1763, British forces under the command of Colonel Henry Bouquet retaliated and destroyed Delaware and Shawnee forces at Bushy Run in western Pennsylvania, ending the hostilities.

Fearing more tension between Native Americans and settlers, England's King George III issued the Proclamation of 1763, prohibiting settlement west of the Allegheny Mountains. However, many land speculators, including George Washington, violated the proclamation by claiming vast acreage in western Virginia. The next five years were relatively peaceful on the frontier. In 1768, the Iroquois Confederacy (often called the Six Nations) and the Cherokee signed the Treaty of Hard Labour and the Treaty of Fort Stanwix, relinquishing their claims on the territory between the Ohio River and the Alleghenies to the British. With the frontier now open, settlers, once again, began to enter into present-day West Virginia.

In 1772, a series of incidents between settlers and Indians in West Virginia ended what had been nearly eight years of peace. During the spring of that year, several
Indians were murdered on the South Branch of the Potomac River by Nicholas Harpold and his companions. About the same time, Bald Eagle, an Indian chief of
some notoriety, was murdered while on a hunting trip on the Monongahela River. In the meantime, Captain Bull, a Delaware Indian Chief and five other Indian
families were living in Braxton County in an area known as Bulltown, near the falls of the Little Kanawha River, about fourteen miles from present day Sutton.
Captain Bull was regarded by most of the settlers in the region as friendly. But some settlers suspected him of providing information to and harboring unfriendly
Indians. While away from home in June 1772, the family of a German immigrant named Peter Stroud was murdered, presumably by Indians. The trail left by the
murderers led in the general direction of Bulltown. Peter's brother, Adam Stroud, had a cabin nearby and seeing smoke rising into the sky, raced to his brother's
cabin. He gathered up what was left of the bodies and buried them. He then headed for Hacker's Creek where he met with several other settlers who agreed to join
him in an attack on Bulltown. They killed all of the Indians in the village, including Captain Bull, and threw their bodies into a nearby river. News of Captain Bull's
murder quickly spread across the western frontier.

Following what the Indians referred to as the Bulltown massacre, Shawnee Chief Cornstalk, who had led numerous raids against West Virginia settlers in the past,
began to organize the Indians in a concerted effort to drive the whites from their territory.

In 1773, land speculator Michael Cresap led a group of volunteers from Fort Fincastle (later renamed Fort Henry) at present-day Wheeling, murdering several
Shawnee at Captain Creek. Among other atrocities, on April 30, 1774, colonists murdered the family of Mingo chieftain Tah-gah-jute, who had been baptized under
the English name of Logan. Although Logan had previously lived peacefully with whites, he killed at least thirteen settlers that summer in revenge.

Virginia Governor John Murray, Earl of Dunmore, worried about the escalating violence in western Virginia, decided to end the conflict by force. He formed two
armies, one marching from the North, consisting of 1,700 men led by himself and the other marching from the South, comprised of 800 troops led by western
Virginia resident and land speculator Captain Andrew Lewis. Shawnee chieftain Keigh-tugh-qua, or Cornstalk, along with approximately 1,200 Shawnee, Delaware,
Mingo, Wyandotte and Cayuga warriors, decided to attack the southern regiment before they had a chance to unite with Lord Dunmore's forces. On October 10,
1774, the Indians attacked Lewis' forces at the confluence of the Kanawha and Ohio Rivers, at present-day Point Pleasant, in Greenbrier County. During the battle,
both sides suffered significant losses.

Although nearly half of Lewis' commissioned officers were killed during the battle, including his brother, Colonel Charles Lewis, and seventy-five of his
non-commissioned officers, the Indians were finally forced to retreat back to their settlements in Ohio's Scioto Valley, with Lewis' men in pursuit. In the meanwhile,
Lord Dunmore arrived and joined forces with Lewis. Seeing that they were now outnumbered, Cornstalk sued for peace.

Although western Virginia's settlers continued to experience isolated Indian attacks for several years, Cornstalk's defeat at Point Pleasant was the beginning of the
end of the Indian presence in western Virginia. The Indians agreed to give up all of their white prisoners, restore all captured horses and other property, and not to
hunt south of the Ohio River. Also, they were to allow boats on the Ohio River and promised not to harass them. This opened up present-day West Virginia and
Kentucky for settlement. Cornstalk was later killed at Fort Randolph near Point Pleasant in 1777 in retaliation for the death of a militiaman who was killed by an
Indian.

During the American Revolution (1776-1783), the Mingo and Shawnee allied themselves with the British. In 1777, a party of 350 Wyandots, Shawnees, and Mingos, armed by the British, attacked Fort Henry, near present-day Wheeling. Nearly half of the Americans manning the fort were killed in the three-day assault. The Indians then left the Fort celebrating their victory. For the remainder of the war, smaller raiding parties of Mingo, Shawnee, and other Indian tribes terrorized settlers throughout the Ohio River Valley and Northern Panhandle regions. As a result, European settlement in the region came to a virtual standstill until the war's conclusion. Following the war, the Mingo and Shawnee, once again allied with the losing side, returned to their homes. However, as the number of settlers in the region began to grow, and with their numbers depleted by the war, both the Mingo and the Shawnee moved further inland.


European Pioneers and Settlers

Robert Cavelier de La Salle was probably the first European to set foot in present-day Cabell County. He sailed down the Ohio River in 1669. The earliest English explorers to enter Cabell County were probably Thomas Batts and Robert Fallam. They explored the area in September 1671. When Batts and Fallam explored the county they found trees marked in coal with the letters MANI and M.A., signifying that other Englishmen had been there before them.

In 1749, Louis Bienville de Celeron explored the Ohio River and may have landed in Cabell County. He claimed all of the lands drained by the Ohio River for King Louis XV of France. He met several English fur traders on his journey and ordered them off French soil and wrote strong letters of reprimand to the colonial governors protesting the English's presence on land claimed for France.

Mary Ingles was probably the first English women to pass through what would later be Cabell County. She, and Betty Draper, were captured by Indians at Drapper Meadows, Virginia (now Blacksburg) on July 8, 1755 and taken by the Indians through the county as they made their way to the Shawnee Village at Chillicothe, Ohio. Mary Ingles escaped four months later and may have passed through the county on her return to Virginia.

In 1772, a grant of 28,628 acres, including much of the current county, was made to John Savage and 60 other persons for military service during the French and Indian Wars (1754-1763). William Buffington of Hampshire County purchased lot 42 of the Savage Grant from John Savage and willed it to his two sons, Thomas and William Buffington. Thomas Buffington and his brother, Jonathan, came to present-day Cabell County in 1796 and found Thomas Hannon, who had settled along the Little Guyan River. Hannon is regarded as the first, permanent English settler in Cabell County. Soon after building his cabin, Jonathan was out hunting and returned to find it burnt to the ground by Indians and all of his family, except for one daughter, murdered and scalped. The daughter was captured by the Indians. He chased the Indians, but was captured and forced to run the gauntlet. He survived the gauntlet and was allowed to return home, but he never found his daughter. However, in 1901, at the Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo, New York, an Indian Chief named Jonathan Buffington was in attendance, suggesting that the captured girl may have named her Indian children in honor of her father.


Important Events During the 1800s

Throughout the 1800s, Cabell County's location along the Ohio River made it a natural resting place for settlers headed to the frontier lands in the west. Prior to the Civil War (1861-1865), many settlers followed primitive Indian trails to the west. Several of these trails passed through the county. On the advice of George Washington, Virginia commissioned the James River Company to upgrade these trails into roads. One of the company's largest and most important road project was the James River and Kanawha Turnpike. The turnpike traversed the frontier from Lexington, Kentucky to Charleston, Virginia. In 1814, the road was extended to Barboursville in present-day Cabell County.

In 1837, Marshall Academy, predecessor of Marshall University, was formed. One of the Academy's founders, local lawyer John Laidley, recommended that the school be named in honor of his friend, John Marshall, the late Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court. Marshall Academy was a "subscription school" serving the wealthier families in the Cabell County vicinity. It was incorporated in 1838 by the Virginia State Legislature. In 1867, the new state of West Virginia created the State Normal School of Marshall College to train teachers. Marshall College continued to increased in size and, in 1961, achieved the status of University.

Although most of the state's residents sided with the Union during the Civil War, the residents of present-day Cabell County were divided. Trouble began when, Eli Thayer, an abolitionist congressman from Massachusetts, spoke to some citizens in the county in 1857. Thayer supported the creation of colonies of northern workers in southern states. He hoped this would change the social makeup of the state, and turn the tide against slavery. The newspapers in Richmond chided the residents of Cabell County for allowing a Yankee abolitionist to meddle in the affairs of the state of Virginia.

After the Thayer controversy, many Cabell County citizens organized to pledge their allegiance to the state of Virginia. As the country moved closer to war, tensions in the county began to rise. After the election of President Lincoln in 1860, some of the county's citizens organized a militia loyal to the South known as the Border Rangers. William McComas, Cabell County's representative to the Virginia secession convention of 1861, voted for Virginia to remain in the Union. Although McComas voted as a unionist, the area's congressman, Albert Gallatin Jenkins, who owned a farm in the county, was a staunch secessionist. He was the leader of the Border Rangers. Jenkins later became a General in the Confederate Army, and was wounded in battle at Gettysburg.

While Virginia, as a whole, voted to secede from the Union, Cabell County's citizens voted to remain in the Union. However, the town of Guyandotte, located within the county, voted to secede.

The first engagement during the Civil War in Cabell County was the Battle at Barboursville on Fortification Hill in 1861. The 2nd Kentucky regiment entered the town and, after some minor fighting, dispersed the local militia. Later that year, a Confederate force attacked a Union recruitment station at Guyandotte. The Confederacy won the day with the assistance of several local residents who distracted the Union recruiters while the Confederates launched their surprise attack. The Union Army later recaptured the town and set it on fire to punish its citizens for aiding the Confederacy. Two-thirds of the town was burnt to the ground. After the town's destruction, the Unionist Newspaper the Wheeling Intelligencer declared Guyandotte "the worst secession nest in that whole country. It ought to have been burned two or three years ago."

The county's economy become stagnant during the Civil War, and the burning of Guyandotte, one of the county's major population centers, was a major blow to the local economy. However, the county's proximity to the Ohio River and the building of the railroad by Collis Huntington, played a major role in the region's economic recovery and its future success.

Legend has it that when Collis Huntington visited the county to decide where to place his railroad that he was initially interested in using Guyandotte as the railroad's end-point. However, when he arrived there, he tied his horse to the hitching post in front of the local hotel and it somehow reversed its position and ended up on the sidewalk. The town's mayor, seeing the horse, entered the hotel and demanded to know who the owner of the horse was. After identifying himself as the horse's owner, Mr. Huntington was fined by the mayor. Not liking his reception, Mr. Huntington announced the next day that he would not locate the railroad in Guyandotte but would, instead, build a new town (later called Huntington) just west of Guyandotte and make it the western terminus for his railroad. Ironically, Guyandotte was later merged into Huntington.


Important Events During the 1900s

In the early 1900s, industrial development occurred throughout Cabell County and in the fledgling city of Huntington. The glass industry, a flour mill, furniture manufacturers, and, in 1921, the International Nickel Company opened a plant near Guyandotte. The new industry brought economic success and population growth to the county.

In 1923, Huntington became home to the state's first radio station and, in 1949, the state's first television station. The construction of Interstate 64 through the county during the 1960s strengthened the local economy by providing ready access to Charleston and the rest of the state.


County Seat

The first meeting of the Cabell County court took place in 1809 the home of William Merritt who was living in or near the present town of Barboursville. The county seat was then located at Guyandotte and remained there until 1814, when it was moved to Barboursville. In 1863, the county seat was returned to Guyandotte for two years because Barboursville was controlled by the Confederate Army. Following the Civil War, Barboursville was, once again, named the county seat (in 1865). It continued to be the county seat until 1887 when the county voters moved it to Huntington.

Huntington was settled in the early 1800s. James Holderby was one of the first settlers in present-day Huntington. He purchased a farm on lands within the city in 1821. At about that same time, Richard and Benjamin Brown established a river landing for boats nearby, then known as Brownsville. Huntington, currently the second most populated city in the state, was incorporated by an act of the West Virginia State legislature on February 27, 1871 and named in honor of Collis P. Huntington, President of the Chesapeake and Ohio Railroad.

One of the first orders of business following Huntington's selection as the new county seat of government was where to build the new county courthouse. A site between Fourth and Fifth Avenues and Seventh and Eighth Streets was selected and purchased for $24,757. On May 8, 1895, the County Court, then composed of B. H. Thackston, President, and C.H. Morris and C.C. Dickey entered an order that the court would receive plans and specifications for a courthouse that would:

"to be of stone and brick or of stone or brick, two stories, high slate or clay roof, lighted with gas and electricity, heated by steam or air, it must have three fronts and four entrances and must contain rooms for Circuit Court, for County Court and for clerk's offices of each court, with fire-proof clerk's offices or vaults attached and must range in cost from $60,000 to $100,000."

The building was subsequently built of Berea sandstone with a copper roof.

On July 21, 1896, the contract for the construction was let to Charles A. Moses. The first corner stone was laid on November 11, 1899. There was a large parade and a grand ceremony to mark the event. The Courthouse was completed on December 4, 1901. In 1923, construction was undertaken on the west wing. The contract was awarded to King Lumber Company at a cost of $133,900, paid for a three year levy. Then, on August 22, 1938, Frampton & Bowers, architects, were hired to prepare the plans for the new jail and for an east wing to the Courthouse. On December 28, 1938, the contract was awarded to Engstrom and Wynn of Wheeling, West Virginia, for this construction and remodeling in parts of the old building. It was completed March 16, 1940. The cost of the east wing was $208,000 and the cost of the jail was $246,000 for a total cost of $454,000.


References

Casto, James E. 1985. Huntington: An Illustrated History. Northridge, CA: Windsor Publications, Inc.

Cabell County, West Virginia Heritage 1809-1906. 1996. Marceline, MO: Walsworth Publishing Company.

Geiger, Joe Jr. 1991. Civil War in Cabell County, WV 1861-65. Charleston, WV: Pictorial Histories Publishing.

Rice, Otis K. 1985. West Virginia: A History. Lexington, KY: The University of Kentucky Press.

Wallace, George Selden. 1935. Cabell County Annals and Families. Richmond, VA: Garrett & Massie Publishers

Williams, John Alexander. 1993. West Virginia: A History for Beginners. Charleston, WV: Appalachian Editions.

 

Calhoun County History

Calhoun County was created by an act of the Virginia General Assembly on March 5, 1856 from parts of Gilmer County. At that time, the county had less than 2,500 residents.

Calhoun County was named in honor of John Caldwell Calhoun (1782-1850), a famous statesman from South Carolina who championed the cause of slavery, the South, and state's rights. Born on March 18, 1782, he graduated from Yale University in 1804, studied law, and was admitted to the bar in 1807. He elected to the South Carolina state legislature (1808-1809), represented South Carolina in the U.S. House of Representatives (1811-1817); served as Secretary of War (1817-1825); Vice-President of the United States (1825-1832); represented South Carolina in the United States Senate (1832-1843); served as Secretary of State (1844-1845); and returned to the U.S. Senate in 1845 and remained there until his death on March 31, 1850.


The First Settlers

The first native settlers in central West Virginia were the Mound Builders, also known as the Adena people. Remnants of the Mound Builder's civilization have been found throughout West Virginia, with a high concentration of artifacts located at Moundsville, West Virginia, in Marshall County. The Grave Creek Indian Mound, located in the center of Moundsville, is one of West Virginia's most famous historic landmarks. More than 2,000 years old, it stands 69 feet high and 295 feet in diameter.

According to missionary reports, several thousand Hurons occupied present-day West Virginia during the late 1500s and early 1600s. They were driven out of the state during the 1600s by members of the powerful Iroquois Confederacy (consisting of the Mohawk, Onondaga, Cayuga, Oneida and Seneca tribes, and joined later by the Tuscaroras tribe). The Iroquois Confederacy was headquartered in New York and was not interested in occupying present-day West Virginia. Instead, they used it as a hunting ground during the spring and summer months.

During the early 1700s, central West Virginia, including present-day Calhoun County, was used as a hunting ground by the Mingo, who lived in both the Tygart Valley and along the Ohio River in West Virginia's northern panhandle region, the Delaware, who lived in present-day eastern Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware, but had several autonomous settlements as far south as present-day Braxton County, and by other members of the Iroquois Confederacy, especially the Seneca.

The Mingo were not actually an Indian tribe, but a multi-cultural group of Indians that established several communities within present-day West Virginia. They lacked a central government and, like all other Indians within the region at that time, were subject to the control of the Iroquois Confederacy. The Mingo originally lived closer to the Atlantic Coast, but European settlement pushed them into western Virginia and eastern Ohio.

The Seneca, headquartered in western New York, was the closest member of the Iroquois Confederacy to West Virginia and took great interest in the state. In 1744, the Seneca boasted to Virginia officials that they had conquered the several nations living on the back of the great mountains of Virginia. Among the conquered nations were the last of the Canawese or Conoy people who became incorporated into some of the Iroquois communities in New York. The Conoy continue to be remembered today through the naming of two of West Virginia's largest rivers after them, the Little Kanawha and the Great Kanawha.

The Seneca, and other members of the Iroquois Confederacy, claimed all of present-day West Virginia as their own, using it primarily as a hunting ground. Also, war parties from the Seneca and other members of the Iroquois Confederacy often traveled through the state to protect its claim to southern West Virginia from the Cherokee. The Cherokee were headquartered in western North Carolina and eastern Tennessee and rivaled the Iroquois nation in both size and influence. The Cherokee claimed present-day southern West Virginia as their own, setting the stage for conflict with the Iroquois Confederacy.

In 1744, Virginia officials purchased the Iroquois title of ownership to West Virginia in the Treaty of Lancaster. The treaty reduced the Iroquois Confederacy's presence in the state.

During the mid-1700s, the English had made it clear to the various Indian tribes that they intended to settle the frontier. The French, on the other hand, were more interested in trade. This influenced the Mingo to side with the French during the French and Indian War (1755-1763). Although the Iroquois Confederacy officially remained neutral, many in the Iroquois Confederacy also allied with the French. Unfortunately for them, the French lost the war and ceded the all of its North American possessions to the British. Following the war, the Mingo retreated to their homes along the banks of the Ohio River and were rarely seen in central West Virginia.

Although the war was officially over, many Indians continued to see the British as a threat to their sovereignty and continued to fight them. In the summer of 1763, Pontiac, an Ottawa chief, led raids on key British forts. Shawnee chief Keigh-tugh-qua, or Cornstalk, led similar attacks on western Virginia settlements in present-day Greenbrier County. By the end of July, Indians had captured all British forts west of the Alleghenies except Detroit, Fort Pitt, and Fort Niagara. Then, on August 6, 1763, British forces under the command of Colonel Henry Bouquet retaliated and destroyed Delaware and Shawnee forces at Bushy Run in western Pennsylvania, ending the hostilities.

Fearing more tension between Native Americans and settlers, England's King George III issued the Proclamation of 1763, prohibiting settlement west of the Allegheny Mountains. However, many land speculators, including George Washington, violated the proclamation by claiming vast acreage in western Virginia. The next five years were relatively peaceful on the frontier. In 1768, the Iroquois Confederacy (often called the Six Nations) and the Cherokee signed the Treaty of Hard Labour and the Treaty of Fort Stanwix, relinquishing their claims on the territory between the Ohio River and the Alleghenies to the British. With the frontier now open, settlers, once again, began to enter into present-day West Virginia.

During the American Revolution (1776-1783), the Mingo and Shawnee, headquartered at Chillicothe, Ohio, allied themselves with the British. In 1777, a party of 350 Wyandots, Shawnees, and Mingos, armed by the British, attacked Fort Henry, near present-day Wheeling. Nearly half of the Americans manning the fort were killed in the three-day assault. The Indians then left the Fort celebrating their victory. For the remainder of the war, smaller raiding parties of Mingo, Shawnee, and other Indian tribes terrorized settlers throughout West Virginia. As a result, European settlement in the state came to a virtual standstill until the war's conclusion. Following the war, the Mingo and Shawnee, once again allied with the losing side, returned to their homes. However, as the number of settlers in the region began to grow, and with their numbers depleted by the war, both the Mingo and the Shawnee moved further inland.


First European Settlers

A Mr. Ennis is the first known Englishman to set foot in present-day Calhoun County. In 1770, George Washington was surveying in the vicinity of Calhoun County when he reported in his journal a chance meeting with Mr. Ennis, who had traveled down the Little Kanawha River through the present site of Calhoun County. Later that year, six men, including William White, Thomas Drennen, Paul Shaver, and John Cutright, scouted for Indians along the Ohio River and, in the process, passed through Calhoun County. In 1772, William Lowther, Jesse Hughes, and Elias Hughes journeyed from the West Fork Valley into the Little Kanawha Valley. They discovered and traveled along what is now known as the Hughes River.

George Washington also received reports during the 1780s from Captain Thomas Swearengen, Captain John Hardin and Zackquill Morgan of their explorations of present day Calhoun County.

Abraham Thomas was probably the first, permanent, settler in present-day Calhoun County. In 1774, he was granted four hundred acres in what is now Calhoun County, and he built a cabin on his land along the banks of the Little Kanawha River. He was soon joined by Richard Yates, Henry Castle, and Paul Armstrong. In 1811, Philip Starcher built a cabin near present day Arnoldsburg.


Important events of the 1800s

The first meeting of the Calhoun County court house was held on April 14, 1856 at the home of Joseph W. Burson. His home was located at the mouth of Pine Creek, on the Little Kanawha River (Mr. Burson was later killed in the Battle of Arnoldsburg during the Civil War).

During the Civil War, Calhoun County's county government ceased to function and postal services were suspended. The county seat at the time, Arnoldsburg, was the center point activity for both Federal and Confederate troops. In 1862, Federal troops constructed a military post in Arnoldsburg, named Camp McDonald in honor of Colonel Adonijah J. McDonald, a late commanding officer of the 186th regiment, Virginia Enrolled Militia.

In May 1862, Camp McDonald was garrisoned by four regiments of the Eleventh (West) Virginia Volunteer Infantry, under the command of Major George C. Trimble. Not long after the Camp had been set up, scouts discovered a gathering of four hundred Confederate irregulars in southern Braxton County.

Trimble ordered two companies of his companies to march up the West Fork of the Little Kanawha, and expected to meet the Confederate force in separate, small bands. However, after a march that lasted all day and all night, scouts discovered that the Confederates had divided their forces, and by a flanking maneuver, were attempting to cut Trimble's forces off from Camp McDonald. Major Trimble quickly retreated back to his base camp. They reached their base camp on the evening of May 5, 1862. The next morning, a thick fog had settled over the valley. Using the fog as cover, the Confederate force established a stronghold on the hills overlooking the camp. However, by a stroke up luck, a Union scout stumbled up the Confederate camp. A Confederate sentry noticed him, and fired a shot at him, thus waking the Union troops, and warning them of the impending attack. The Confederate irregulars opened heavy fire while the Union men were forming a line. However, the fog prevented them from getting clear shots, and they could only fire in the general direction of their target.

Lieutenant James Robinson, of Company C, Eleventh (West) Virginia Volunteer Infantry, was ordered to take the point overlooking the camp, where the Confederate troops had taken up their position. Lieutenant G. W. Baggs, commanding Company A, was ordered to take the opposite hill. Lieutenant George W. Parriott placed Company F in a position to defend the base camp.

The fighting went on for three hours. When the fog lifted, the Confederate troops focused their fire on the Union troops' horses, killing and wounding many of them. In the end, however, the muskets and rifles that the Confederate guerrillas brought with them from home could not compete with the power and greater range of the government issued rifles that the Union troops had. Seeing no way to drive off the Union troops, the Confederate troops fell back.

During the three hour battle, the only Union casualty was Private Francis Cunningham, of Company C., who lived, but was shot through the arm and shoulder. Two members of the Confederate force were killed, Joseph W. Burson (the same Joseph W. Burson, mentioned earlier) was shot through the head, and killed instantly, and Captain John Elam Mitchell, a Methodist Protestant minister, who was shot through the hips and died later from the wound. Also, Martian Douglas was seriously wounded, and crippled for life.


County Seat

Calhoun County's seat has changed location on several occasions. In September, 1856, the justices of the county court met at a house near the residence of Peregrine Hays in Arnoldsburg. In the meantime, the act creating the county specified that the county's residents were to determine if the permanent county seat was to be located at Pine Bottom, the mouth of Yellow Creek, or at the "neck of the Big Bend." The voters apparently choose the site at the mouth of Yellow Creek at the first general election held in the county in November 1856. However, the county justices did not get along, and two county courts emerged, one consisting of the leading citizens from Arnoldsburg, and the other from Pine Bottom. They later resolved their differences and a unified county court was established at Yellow Creek, the current site of Brooksville, on September 15, 1857. The following year, the county seat was, once again, moved back to Arnoldsburg and the county court acquired land from Peregrine Hays to build a county courthouse.

In 1862, Union forces under the command of Thomas M. Harris captured Arnoldsburg and placed Peregrine Hays under arrest as a political prisoner. The state legislature then moved the county seat to Grantsville. It was originally settled by Eli Riddle during the 1820s, but the land was owned by Simon and Ruth Stump when it was platted in 1866. They named the town in honor of General Ulysses Simpson Grant, General of the Union Army during the Civil War and later the 18th President of the United States (1869-1877). The town was incorporated in 1896.

Once the Civil War concluded, the citizens of Arnoldsburg demanded that the county seat be returned to them. A fire of mysterious origin, assumed to be arson, burnt the courthouse under construction in Grantsville to the ground before it was occupied in 1869. Soon after, the state legislature ordered the Calhoun County court to move the county seat, apparently back to Arnoldsburg. The court met in Arnoldsburg on August 26, 1869, but then met at Grantsville in September, and then back in Arnoldsburg in November. An election to settle the matter was held in October 1869, and the county electorate selected Grantsville as the permanent county seat. The leading citizens of Arnoldsburg then contested the election as irregular. Their appeal failed. But, refusing to give up, the leading citizens of Arnoldsburg charged in 1898 that the courthouse at Grantsville was unsafe. They tried to get the county seat changed once again. It was put to the vote, but, by a vote of 935-925, it was decided to keep the county seat in Grantsville. Two year later, in 1890, the county government tore down the courthouse in Grantsville, and replaced it with a two-story brick building at a cost of $8,400. It was later replaced in 1941.


References:

Calhoun County Centennial, 1856-1956. 1956. Grantsville: Calhoun County Centennial Corp.

Calhoun County Historical and Genealogical Society. 1989. History of Calhoun County, West Virginia. Waynesville, NC: Walsworth Publishing Company.

Calhoun County Historical and Genealogical Society. 1982. Calhoun County in the Civil War. Grantsville, West Virginia: Calhoun County Historical and Genealogical Society.


 

Clay County History

Clay County was created by an act of the Virginia General Assembly on March 29, 1858. It was created from parts of Braxton and Nicholas counties.

Clay county was named in honor of Senator Henry Clay (1777-1852). He was born in Hanover County, Virginia on April 12, 1777. His parents moved him to Kentucky as a young boy. He was later a leader of the Whig political party, and represented Kentucky in the U.S. Senate for many years (1806-1807, 1810-1811, 1831-1842, 1849-1852), and in the U.S. House of Representatives (1811-1821, 1823-1825). He was elected Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives in 1811 and served in that capacity until 1814, and again in 1815-1820, and in 1823-1825. He also served as U.S. Secretary of State from 1825-1829, authored the famous "Compromise of 1850," which sought to avoid the Civil War, ran unsuccessfully for President on three occasions (in 1824, 1832 and 1844), and is widely regarded by scholars as one of the greatest legislators in American political history. He was an advocate for funding internal improvements, including the extension of the National Road to Wheeling. When that road was completed in 1818, Wheeling became a major trading center and rest stop for pioneers heading west. Henry Clay died on June 29, 1852.


The First Settlers

The first native settlers in central West Virginia were the Mound Builders, also known as the Adena people. Remnants of the Mound Builder's civilization have been found throughout West Virginia, with a high concentration of artifacts located at Moundsville, West Virginia, in Marshall County. The Grave Creek Indian Mound, located in the center of Moundsville, is one of West Virginia's most famous historic landmarks. More than 2,000 years old, it stands 69 feet high and 295 feet in diameter.

According to missionary reports, several thousand Hurons occupied present-day West Virginia during the late 1500s and early 1600s. They were driven out of the state during the 1600s by members of the powerful Iroquois Confederacy (consisting of the Mohawk, Onondaga, Cayuga, Oneida and Seneca tribes, and joined later by the Tuscaroras tribe). The Iroquois Confederacy was headquartered in New York and was not interested in occupying present-day West Virginia. Instead, they used it as a hunting ground during the spring and summer months.

During the early 1700s, central West Virginia, including present-day Clay County, was used as a hunting ground by the Mingo, who lived in both the Tygart Valley and along the Ohio River in West Virginia's northern panhandle region, the Delaware, who lived in present-day eastern Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware, but had several autonomous settlements as far south as present-day Braxton County, and by other members of the Iroquois Confederacy, especially the Seneca, one of the largest and most powerful members of the Iroquois Confederacy.

The Mingo were not actually an Indian tribe, but a multi-cultural group of Indians that established several communities within present-day West Virginia. They lacked a central government and, like all other Indians within the region at that time, were subject to the control of the Iroquois Confederacy. The Mingo originally lived closer to the Atlantic Coast, but European settlement pushed them into western Virginia and eastern Ohio.

The Seneca, headquartered in western New York, was the closest member of the Iroquois Confederacy to West Virginia and took great interest in the state. In 1744, the Seneca boasted to Virginia officials that they had conquered the several nations living on the back of the great mountains of Virginia. Among the conquered nations were the last of the Canawese or Conoy people who became incorporated into some of the Iroquois communities in New York. The Conoy continue to be remembered today through the naming of two of West Virginia's largest rivers after them, the Little Kanawha and the Great Kanawha.

The Seneca, and other members of the Iroquois Confederacy, claimed all of present-day West Virginia as their own, using it primarily as a hunting ground. Also, war parties from the Seneca and other members of the Iroquois Confederacy often traveled through the state to protect its claim to southern West Virginia from the Cherokee. The Cherokee were headquartered in western North Carolina and eastern Tennessee and rivaled the Iroquois nation in both size and influence. The Cherokee claimed present-day southern West Virginia as their own, setting the stage for conflict with the Iroquois Confederacy.

In 1744, Virginia officials purchased the Iroquois title of ownership to West Virginia in the Treaty of Lancaster. The treaty reduced the Iroquois Confederacy's presence in the state.

During the mid-1700s, the English had made it clear to the various Indian tribes that they intended to settle the frontier. The French, on the other hand, were more interested in trade. This influenced the Mingo to side with the French during the French and Indian War (1755-1763). Although the Iroquois Confederacy officially remained neutral, many in the Iroquois Confederacy also allied with the French. Unfortunately for them, the French lost the war and ceded the all of its North American possessions to the British. Following the war, the Mingo retreated to their homes along the banks of the Ohio River and were rarely seen in central West Virginia.

Although the war was officially over, many Indians continued to see the British as a threat to their sovereignty and continued to fight them. In the summer of 1763, Pontiac, an Ottawa chief, led raids on key British forts. Shawnee chief Keigh-tugh-qua, or Cornstalk, led similar attacks on western Virginia settlements in present-day Greenbrier County. By the end of July, Indians had captured all British forts west of the Alleghenies except Detroit, Fort Pitt, and Fort Niagara. Then, on August 6, 1763, British forces under the command of Colonel Henry Bouquet retaliated and destroyed Delaware and Shawnee forces at Bushy Run in western Pennsylvania, ending the hostilities.

Fearing more tension between Native Americans and settlers, England's King George III issued the Proclamation of 1763, prohibiting settlement west of the Allegheny Mountains. However, many land speculators, including George Washington, violated the proclamation by claiming vast acreage in western Virginia. The next five years were relatively peaceful on the frontier. In 1768, the Iroquois Confederacy (often called the Six Nations) and the Cherokee signed the Treaty of Hard Labour and the Treaty of Fort Stanwix, relinquishing their claims on the territory between the Ohio River and the Alleghenies to the British. With the frontier now open, settlers, once again, began to enter into present-day West Virginia.

In 1772, a series of incidents between settlers and Indians in West Virginia ended what had been nearly eight years of peace. During the spring of that year, several
Indians were murdered on the South Branch of the Potomac River by Nicholas Harpold and his companions. About the same time, Bald Eagle, an Indian chief of
some notoriety, was murdered while on a hunting trip on the Monongahela River. In the meantime, Captain Bull, a Delaware Indian Chief and five other Indian
families were living in Braxton County in an area known as Bulltown, near the falls of the Little Kanawha River, about fourteen miles from present day Sutton.
Captain Bull was regarded by most of the settlers in the region as friendly. But some settlers suspected him of providing information to and harboring unfriendly
Indians. While away from home in June 1772, the family of a German immigrant named Peter Stroud was murdered, presumably by Indians. The trail left by the
murderers led in the general direction of Bulltown. Peter's brother, Adam Stroud, had a cabin nearby and seeing smoke rising into the sky, raced to his brother's
cabin. He gathered up what was left of the bodies and buried them. He then headed for Hacker's Creek where he met with several other settlers who agreed to join
him in an attack on Bulltown. They killed all of the Indians in the village, including Captain Bull, and threw their bodies into a nearby river. News of Captain Bull's
murder quickly spread across the western frontier.

Following what the Indians referred to as the Bulltown massacre, Shawnee Chief Cornstalk, who had led numerous raids against West Virginia settlers in the past,
began to organize the Indians in a concerted effort to drive the whites from their territory.

In 1773, land speculator Michael Cresap led a group of volunteers from Fort Fincastle (later renamed Fort Henry) at present-day Wheeling, murdering several
Shawnee at Captain Creek. Among other atrocities, on April 30, 1774, colonists murdered the family of Mingo chieftain Tah-gah-jute, who had been baptized under
the English name of Logan. Although Logan had previously lived peacefully with whites, he killed at least thirteen settlers that summer in revenge.

Virginia Governor John Murray, Earl of Dunmore, worried about the escalating violence in western Virginia, decided to end the conflict by force. He formed two
armies, one marching from the North, consisting of 1,700 men led by himself and the other marching from the South, comprised of 800 troops led by western
Virginia resident and land speculator Captain Andrew Lewis. Shawnee chieftain Keigh-tugh-qua, or Cornstalk, along with approximately 1,200 Shawnee, Delaware,
Mingo, Wyandotte and Cayuga warriors, decided to attack the southern regiment before they had a chance to unite with Lord Dunmore's forces. On October 10,
1774, the Indians attacked Lewis' forces at the confluence of the Kanawha and Ohio Rivers, at present-day Point Pleasant, in Greenbrier County. During the battle,
both sides suffered significant losses.

Although nearly half of Lewis' commissioned officers were killed during the battle, including his brother, Colonel Charles Lewis, and seventy-five of his
non-commissioned officers, the Indians were finally forced to retreat back to their settlements in Ohio's Scioto Valley, with Lewis' men in pursuit. In the meanwhile,
Lord Dunmore arrived and joined forces with Lewis. Seeing that they were now outnumbered, Cornstalk sued for peace.

Although western Virginia's settlers continued to experience isolated Indian attacks for several years, Cornstalk's defeat at Point Pleasant was the beginning of the
end of the Indian presence in western Virginia. The Indians agreed to give up all of their white prisoners, restore all captured horses and other property, and not to
hunt south of the Ohio River. Also, they were to allow boats on the Ohio River and promised not to harass them. This opened up present-day West Virginia and
Kentucky for settlement. Cornstalk was later killed at Fort Randolph near Point Pleasant in 1777 in retaliation for the death of a militiaman who was killed by an
Indian.

During the American Revolution (1776-1783), the Mingo and Shawnee, headquartered at Chillicothe, Ohio, allied themselves with the British. In 1777, a party of 350 Wyandots, Shawnees, and Mingos, armed by the British, attacked Fort Henry, near present-day Wheeling. Nearly half of the Americans manning the fort were killed in the three-day assault. The Indians then left the Fort celebrating their victory. For the remainder of the war, smaller raiding parties of Mingo, Shawnee, and other Indian tribes terrorized settlers throughout West Virginia. As a result, European settlement in the state came to a virtual standstill until the war's conclusion. Following the war, the Mingo and Shawnee, once again allied with the losing side, returned to their homes. However, as the number of settlers in the region began to grow, and with their numbers depleted by the war, both the Mingo and the Shawnee moved further inland.


European Pioneers and Settlers

Philip Hammond is believed to be the first European to set foot in present-day Clay county. He was a courier sent from Point Pleasant (in Mason County) to Fort Donaldson (in Greenbrier County) after the decisive Battle of Point Pleasant in 1774. That battle led to the end of Lord Dunmore's War with the Shawnee Indians, led by Cornstalk.

Other early European settlers included Adam O'Brien. He reportedly had two wives, one in Braxton County and the other in Clay County. Trying to find a shortcut between the two, one day he traveled to the fork of the Little Kanawha and Elk Rivers and decided to follow the Elk River. However, he was spotted by Indians and they chased him, forcing him to sleep in a cavern overnight. The next morning he found that heavy rains that night had flooded the stream he was following, thus he had to continue his journey over the ridges. It was said that he never tried that route again.

Another early European settler was William Strange. He was a renowned hunter of fox, buffalo, and bear. At one point he became lost, or disabled in the forest, and died at the foot of a large tree. Several years later his skeleton, gun, and other personal remains were found. Carved on the tree was the passage "Strange is my name and strange is the ground, and strange it is that I cannot be found." Thus, Strange Creek, West Virginia was named in honor of him.

Jacob Summers was another early settler in the county. He built a cabin along the Elk River in 1813. A veteran of the War of 1812, he married a Miss Davis and they had fourteen children. He then had another seven children with his second wife, Eleanor Conrad. Most of Jacob Summers' progeny stayed in the county, and, for many years, the name Summers was by far the most common name in Clay County.


Important events of the 1800s

The first county court was held at the residence of Justice William G. Fitzwaters on July 12, 1858. After setting the dates for electing the county government's officials and future court meetings, the county court adjourned. The first public elections were held on the fourth Tuesday of May in 1859. At that time, there were 293 registered voters in the county.

In 1894, the opening of the Charleston, Clendenin, Clay and Sutton Railway changed life for the inhabitants of Clay County. Up until then, the primary means of transportation in the county was by rafting along the Elk River. After the railroad opened, the number of rafts traveling the Elk River fell dramatically. However, there were still some to be seen on the Elk River as late as 1927.


County Seat

The act creating Clay County declared that the county seat was to be located on the McCalgin farm, near the mouth of Buffalo Creek. It declared that the county seat was to be known as the town of Marshall. However, the local citizens generally referred to the town as Clay Court House, because the courthouse was the town's primary reason for existing, and was the primary source of social and economic interaction in the community. On October 10, 1863, the state legislature changed the town's name to Henry, in honor of Henry Clay. The town's name was later changed to Clay in 1927.


References

Clay County History Book Committee, 1989. History of Clay County, West Virginia, Clay: Clay County History Book Committee.

Perry W. Woofter, no date. The History of Clay County. No publisher.
 
 

Doddridge County History

Doddridge County was created by an act of the Virginia General Assembly on February 4, 1845 from parts of Harrison, Lewis, Tyler, and Ritchie counties. It was named in honor of Philip Doddridge (1772-1832), a famous statesman who traveled widely throughout the current site of West Virginia. It is not known if he ever set foot on what is now the county bearing his name.

Philip Doddridge was born in Bedford County, Pennsylvania on May 17, 1772, the second son of John and Mary (Willis) Doddridge. He applied himself to the study of law and settled down in Wellsburg, Virginia. Renowned for his debating skills, he quickly established himself as one of the best attorneys in Virginia. He served in the Virginia General Assembly in 1815-1816, 1822-1823, and 1828-1829. He was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1829 and served there until his death on November 19, 1832.


The First Settlers

The first native settlers along the Ohio River in the area of present-day Doddridge County were the Mound Builders, also known as the Adena people. Remnants of the Mound Builder's civilization have been found throughout the Ohio River Valley, with a high concentration of artifacts located at Moundsville, West Virginia, just north of the county (in Marshall County). The Grave Creek Indian Mound, located in the center of Moundsville, is one of West Virginia's most famous historic landmarks. More than 2,000 years old, it stands 69 feet high and 295 feet in diameter.

According to missionary reports, several thousand Hurons occupied present-day West Virginia during the late 1500s and early 1600s. They were driven out of the state during the 1600s by members of the powerful Iroquois Confederacy (consisting of the Mohawk, Onondaga, Cayuga, Oneida and Seneca tribes, and joined later by the Tuscaroras tribe). The Iroquois Confederacy was headquartered in New York and was not interested in occupying present-day West Virginia. Instead, they used it as a hunting ground during the spring and summer months.

During the 1600s and early 1700s, the Ohio River valley, including present-day Doddridge County, was primarily used as hunting grounds by the Ohio-based Shawnee, the Mingo, who lived in both the Tygart Valley and along the Ohio River north of Doddridge County, and the Seneca, one of the largest and most powerful members of the Iroquois Confederacy.

The Shawnee settled in villages along the Ohio River, primarily in the area between present-day Wood and Cabell counties. Following the construction of Fort Pitt in 1758 by the British, the Shawnee moved further in-land and built a series of villages along the Scioto River in southern Ohio. These villages were collectively known as Chillicothe and served as their base camp for hunting and fishing in present-day West Virginia.

The Mingo were not actually an Indian tribe, but a multi-cultural group of Indians that established several communities within present-day West Virginia. They lacked a central government and, like all other Indians within the region at that time, were subject to the control of the Iroquois Confederacy. The Mingo originally lived closer to the Atlantic Coast, but European settlement pushed them into western Virginia and eastern Ohio.

The Seneca, headquartered in western New York, was the closest member of the Iroquois Confederacy to West Virginia and took great interest in the state. In 1744, the Seneca boasted to Virginia officials that they had conquered the several nations living on the back of the great mountains of Virginia. Among the conquered nations were the last of the Canawese or Conoy people who became incorporated into some of the Iroquois communities in New York. The Conoy continue to be remembered today through the naming of two of West Virginia's largest rivers after them, the Little Kanawha and the Great Kanawha.

The Seneca, and other members of the Iroquois Confederacy, claimed all of present-day West Virginia as their own, using it primarily as a hunting ground. Also, war parties from the Seneca and other members of the Iroquois Confederacy often traveled through the state to protect its claim to southern West Virginia from the Cherokee. The Cherokee were headquartered in western North Carolina and eastern Tennessee and rivaled the Iroquois nation in both size and influence. The Cherokee claimed present-day southern West Virginia as their own, setting the stage for conflict with the Iroquois Confederacy.

In 1744, Virginia officials purchased the Iroquois title of ownership to West Virginia in the Treaty of Lancaster. The treaty reduced the Iroquois Confederacy's presence in the Ohio River Valley.

During the mid-1700s, the English had made it clear to the various Indian tribes that they intended to settle the frontier. The French, on the other hand, were more interested in trade. This influenced the Delaware, Mingo, and Shawnee to side with the French during the French and Indian War (1755-1763). Although the Iroquois Confederacy officially remained neutral, many in the Iroquois Confederacy also allied with the French. Unfortunately for them, the French lost the war and ceded the all of its North American possessions to the British. The Mingo retreated to their homes along the banks of the Ohio River, and the Shawnee retreated to their homes at Chillicothe.

Although the war was officially over, many Indians continued to see the British as a threat to their sovereignty and continued to fight them. In the summer of 1763, Pontiac, an Ottawa chief, led raids on key British forts. Shawnee chief Keigh-tugh-qua, or Cornstalk, led similar attacks on western Virginia settlements in present-day Greenbrier County. By the end of July, Indians had captured all British forts west of the Alleghenies except Detroit, Fort Pitt, and Fort Niagara. Then, on August 6, 1763, British forces under the command of Colonel Henry Bouquet retaliated and destroyed Delaware and Shawnee forces at Bushy Run in western Pennsylvania, ending the hostilities.

Fearing more tension between Native Americans and settlers, England's King George III issued the Proclamation of 1763, prohibiting settlement west of the Allegheny Mountains. However, many land speculators, including George Washington, violated the proclamation by claiming vast acreage in western Virginia. The next five years were relatively peaceful on the frontier. In 1768, the Iroquois Confederacy (often called the Six Nations) and the Cherokee signed the Treaty of Hard Labour and the Treaty of Fort Stanwix, relinquishing their claims on the territory between the Ohio River and the Alleghenies to the British. With the frontier now open, settlers, once again, began to enter into present-day West Virginia.

During the American Revolution (1776-1783), the Mingo and Shawnee allied themselves with the British. In 1777, a party of 350 Wyandots, Shawnees, and Mingos, armed by the British, attacked Fort Henry, near present-day Wheeling. Nearly half of the Americans manning the fort were killed in the three-day assault. The Indians then left the Fort celebrating their victory. For the remainder of the war, smaller raiding parties of Mingo, Shawnee, and other Indian tribes terrorized settlers throughout the Ohio River Valley and Northern Panhandle regions. As a result, European settlement in the region came to a virtual standstill until the war's conclusion. Following the war, the Mingo and Shawnee, once again allied with the losing side, returned to their homes. However, as the number of settlers in the region began to grow, and with their numbers depleted by the war, both the Mingo and the Shawnee moved further inland.


European Pioneers and Settlers

James Caldwell was the first known landowner in Doddridge County. He acquired the title to 20,000 acres of land in the county and patented the current site of West Union around 1787. Caldwell later sold the land to Nathan, Joseph and William Davis in 1807. The Davis family moved to West Union that year.

The Davis family sold most of their land, about 16,000 acres, to Lewis Maxwell, a Virginia congressman, for 23 cents per acre in 1808, 1809 or 1810. Among the first settlers to arrive in the new town were John Smith, Jacob Riley, Joseph Jeffrey and Matthew Neeley. John Chaney, who starting doing business in 1820, was the first merchant in the town. At about the same time, a post office was established in the town and appeared on the Virginia maps of the day as Lewisport, in honor Lewis Maxwell. On April 17, 1845, the first meeting of the county court was held at Nathan and Jane Davis' home.


A Brief Account of the History of the Nutter's Fork Community

Situated to the northeast of Middle Island Creek in Doddridge County lies the community of Nutter's Fork. It is often referred to as the "Solid North" because of its unwavering support of the Union during the Civil War and its subsequent support of the Republican Party. Many young men from the Nutter's Fork area entered into the service of the Union Army during the War between the States. Early settlers in the Nutter's Fork region included the Sears brothers, a cattle raiser known as Haymond, and Thomas Smith, originally from Greene County, Pennsylvania. Nutter's Fork was named for an early settler, Mr. Nutter. Not much is known about him, except that he was killed during a great storm that struck the county in the early 19th century.

Important Events During the 1800s

Attorney Chapman Johnson Stuart (1820-1888) was one of Doddridge County's most noted residents during the 1800s. Known as one of the "founders" of West Virginia, he served as a Delegate for Tyler and Doddridge counties at the Richmond Convention in 1861 where he opposed Virginia's succession from the Union. His life was threatened because of his staunch Unionist views. He later attended the Wheeling Convention in 1861 which established the Restored Government of Virginia, and was instrumental in establishing the future state of West Virginia. Chapman Johnson Stuart has also been credited with naming the state of West Virginia. A June 1913 article which appeared in the Wheeling Intelligencer credits him for suggesting the name West Virginia as opposed to the other proposed names of "New Virginia" and "Allegheny."

Another prominent resident of Doddridge County during the 19th Century was the Frenchman Joseph H. Diss DeBar. A distinguished artist, linguist, and the designer of the Great Seal and Coat of Arms of West Virginia, he was born in Alsace, France in 1817 and immigrated to America in 1842 aboard the steamer "Britannia." While aboard the Britannia, Diss Debar became acquainted with and painted a portrait of the noted writer Charles Dickens. Diss Debar arrived in Doddridge County in 1846. In an article which appeared in the West Union Herald in 1883, he described his first impressions of the county. In the article he reminisced about the day, April 15, 1846 in which he "had the good fortune to set foot on Virginia soil." He went on to describe the tiny town of Lewisport (later West Union) as "picturesque." Diss Debar is also credited with founding the town of Santa Clara. The town was named in honor of his wife, Clara Lavassor, whom he met and married in Cincinnati prior to arriving in Doddridge County.

In 1863, Peter G. Van Winkle, chair of the committee established to create a state seal commissioned Diss Debar to carry out the honorable task. He presented the committee with a seal picturing a miner with a pick signifying industry, and a farmer with an axe signifying agriculture. He used Henry Joseph Smith, a resident of Cove in Doddridge County, as his model for the farmer. Centered between the farmer and the miner is a stone bearing the date of West Virginia's admittance to the Union, June 20, 1863. The stone which symbolizes strength is then complimented by two crossed rifles and a Phrygian cap indicating liberty. Finally, below the scene is the motto written in Latin "Montani Semper Liberi" - Mountaineers Are Always Free. On September 26, 1863, the state legislature approved Diss Debar's seal.

Doddridge County's growth during the 19th Century was assisted by the advent of two important transportation projects: the Northwestern Turnpike and the construction of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad.

George Washington proposed the construction of the Northwestern Turnpike in 1784. Designed to link eastern Virginia with the frontier areas beyond the Appalachian Mountains, it was completed in 1838. The turnpike linked Winchester, Romney, Grafton, Clarksburg, and Parkersburg. One of the more popular stops along the turnpike was Ephiriam Bee's Hotel. It was located in the vicinity of present-day Doddridge County. Joseph H. Diss Debar stopped at the hotel on his way to Clarksburg and reported that he enjoyed his short stay at the fine establishment and was treated to a "smoking hot dinner of boiled ham and greens, mashed potatoes, dried peach pie and store teas, all of a quality and savor to be gratefully remembered to this day" (1883).

The expansion of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad from Harper's Ferry into Doddridge County in 1856 brought with it a relatively steady stream of new settlers and enhanced economic growth. The Baltimore and Ohio railroad was an integral part of Doddridge County's transportation system well in to the 20th century.

Important Events During the 1900s

The oil and gas industry began to develop within the county during late 19th Century. In 1892, the Sullivan Heir's Well #1, a part of the South Penn oil pool, was the first well to open in the county. By 1906, there was an oil boom in West Union. The oil and gas industries continued to grow rapidly within the county until the stock market crash in 1929. Many oil and gas companies dominated Doddridge County's economy at the time, including the Philadelphia Company, South Penn Oil Company, Carter Oil Company, Carnegie Gas Company, and Hope Natural Gas Company. There were also several relatively prosperous small contractors in the county at the time, including Edward Trainer, Charles H. Pigott, and Dexter Gribble. After the 1929 stock market crash, the industry's development stalled until the outbreak of World War II. The industry's health was remained relatively good since, with a brief boom in the early 1960s, especially in the West Union area. The oil and gas industry continues to operate and play an important role in Doddridge County's economy today.

County Seat

West Union, the county seat, was incorporated by the Virginia General Assembly on March 14, 1850 and by the West Virginia legislature in 1881. It is said that the town's name was suggested by Nathan Davis. At that time, the town was located just across Middle Island Creek near Lewisport, a small settlement of about six families. At the time, Lewisport was attempting to change its name to Union. Nathan Davis then suggested that their town, located just west of Union, be called West Union. In 1922, much of West Union's main street was destroyed by fire, and in 1950, the town was inundated by a major flood. The town survived these unexpected calamities and has continued to prosper. Through the years, West Union's economy has been aided tremendously by the construction of the Northwestern Turnpike, the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, and United States Route 50, as well as by the development of the oil and gas industry.

References

"County Seat of Doddridge was First Named Lewisport." 1940. Clarksburg Exponent, April 14.

Corathers, Lily Smith. 1927. History of Nutter's Fork Community, Doddridge County, West Virginia. Morgantown, West Virginia: Agricultural Extension Division.

Doddridge County Bicentennial Commission. 1979. The History of Doddridge County, West Virginia. Dallas, TX: Taylor Publishing Corporation.

"Mostly About Ourselves." 1988. Herald Record, December 13.
 
 

Fayette County History

Located in southeastern West Virginia in the Kanawha Valley, Fayette County was created by an act of the Virginia General Assembly in 1831 from parts of
Greenbrier, Kanawha, Logan and Nicholas counties. At the time of its formation, Fayette County contained the area from which Raleigh County would later be
formed. Fayette was named in honor of the Marquis (Gilbert Motier) de LaFayette (1757-1834), French military hero and American ally during the American
Revolutionary War.

First Settlers

The first native settlers in central West Virginia were the Mound Builders, also known as the Adena people. Remnants of the Mound Builder's civilization have been
found throughout West Virginia, including in and around Robson, Dothan, Kincaid, Lively, and Ramsey.

One of the more intriguing finds in the county relating to the area's ancient inhabitants were the remains of an old stone wall nearly ten miles long. An Indian legend
attributed the wall's construction to an ancient race of white men who lived in the area prior to the arrival of Native Americans. However, archeological evidence in
the area surrounding the wall suggests that it was built by pre-historic Native Americans. In 1872, the Chesapeake and Ohio Railroad was laying railway in the
vicinity of the stone wall and unearthed many human skeletons and the remains of many animals. Archaeologists can only speculate to the origins and purpose of the
mysterious stone wall. Some believe it was a primitive fortification. Others theorize that it was used in the domestication of animals. Still others infer that the presence
of so many skeletons suggests that the wall may have had religious significance.

According to missionary reports, several thousand Hurons occupied present-day West Virginia during the late 1500s and early 1600s. They were driven out of the
state during the 1600s by members of the powerful Iroquois Confederacy (consisting of the Mohawk, Onondaga, Cayuga, Oneida and Seneca tribes, and joined
later by the Tuscaroras tribe). The Iroquois Confederacy was headquartered in New York and was not interested in occupying present-day West Virginia. Instead,
they used it as a hunting ground during the spring and summer months.

During the early 1700s, central West Virginia, including present-day Fayette County, was used as a hunting ground by the Mingo, who lived in both the Tygart
Valley and along the Ohio River in West Virginia's northern panhandle region, the Delaware, who lived in present-day eastern Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and
Delaware, but had several autonomous settlements as far south as present-day Braxton County, and by other members of the Iroquois Confederacy, especially the
Seneca, one of the largest and most powerful members of the Iroquois Confederacy.

The Mingo were not actually an Indian tribe, but a multi-cultural group of Indians that established several communities within present-day West Virginia. They lacked
a central government and, like all other Indians within the region at that time, were subject to the control of the Iroquois Confederacy. The Mingo originally lived
closer to the Atlantic Coast, but European settlement pushed them into western Virginia and eastern Ohio.

The Seneca, headquartered in western New York, was the closest member of the Iroquois Confederacy to West Virginia and took great interest in the state. In
1744, the Seneca boasted to Virginia officials that they had conquered the several nations living on the back of the great mountains of Virginia. Among the
conquered nations were the last of the Canawese or Conoy people who became incorporated into some of the Iroquois communities in New York. The Conoy
continue to be remembered today through the naming of two of West Virginia's largest rivers after them, the Little Kanawha and the Great Kanawha.

The Seneca, and other members of the Iroquois Confederacy, claimed all of present-day West Virginia as their own, using it primarily as a hunting ground. Also, war
parties from the Seneca and other members of the Iroquois Confederacy often traveled through the state to protect its claim to southern West Virginia from the
Cherokee. The Cherokee were headquartered in western North Carolina and eastern Tennessee and rivaled the Iroquois nation in both size and influence. The
Cherokee claimed present-day southern West Virginia as their own, setting the stage for conflict with the Iroquois Confederacy.

In 1744, Virginia officials purchased the Iroquois title of ownership to West Virginia in the Treaty of Lancaster. The treaty reduced the Iroquois Confederacy's
presence in the state.

During the mid-1700s, the English had made it clear to the various Indian tribes that they intended to settle the frontier. The French, on the other hand, were more
interested in trade. This influenced the Mingo to side with the French during the French and Indian War (1755-1763). Although the Iroquois Confederacy officially
remained neutral, many in the Iroquois Confederacy also allied with the French. Unfortunately for them, the French lost the war and ceded the all of its North
American possessions to the British. Following the war, the Mingo retreated to their homes along the banks of the Ohio River and were rarely seen in central West
Virginia.

Although the war was officially over, many Indians continued to see the British as a threat to their sovereignty and continued to fight them. In the summer of 1763,
Pontiac, an Ottawa chief, led raids on key British forts. Shawnee chief Keigh-tugh-qua, or Cornstalk, led similar attacks on western Virginia settlements in
present-day Greenbrier County. By the end of July, Indians had captured all British forts west of the Alleghenies except Detroit, Fort Pitt, and Fort Niagara. Then,
on August 6, 1763, British forces under the command of Colonel Henry Bouquet retaliated and destroyed Delaware and Shawnee forces at Bushy Run in western
Pennsylvania, ending the hostilities.

Fearing more tension between Native Americans and settlers, England's King George III issued the Proclamation of 1763, prohibiting settlement west of the
Allegheny Mountains. However, many land speculators, including George Washington, violated the proclamation by claiming vast acreage in western Virginia. The
next five years were relatively peaceful on the frontier. In 1768, the Iroquois Confederacy (often called the Six Nations) and the Cherokee signed the Treaty of Hard
Labour and the Treaty of Fort Stanwix, relinquishing their claims on the territory between the Ohio River and the Alleghenies to the British. With the frontier now
open, settlers, once again, began to enter into present-day West Virginia.

In 1772, a series of incidents between settlers and Indians in West Virginia ended what had been nearly eight years of peace. During the spring of that year, several
Indians were murdered on the South Branch of the Potomac River by Nicholas Harpold and his companions. About the same time, Bald Eagle, an Indian chief of
some notoriety, was murdered while on a hunting trip on the Monongahela River. In the meantime, Captain Bull, a Delaware Indian Chief and five other Indian
families were living in Braxton County in an area known as Bulltown, near the falls of the Little Kanawha River, about fourteen miles from present day Sutton.
Captain Bull was regarded by most of the settlers in the region as friendly. But some settlers suspected him of providing information to and harboring unfriendly
Indians. While away from home in June 1772, the family of a German immigrant named Peter Stroud was murdered, presumably by Indians. The trail left by the
murderers led in the general direction of Bulltown. Peter's brother, Adam Stroud, had a cabin nearby and seeing smoke rising into the sky, raced to his brother's
cabin. He gathered up what was left of the bodies and buried them. He then headed for Hacker's Creek where he met with several other settlers who agreed to join
him in an attack on Bulltown. They killed all of the Indians in the village, including Captain Bull, and threw their bodies into a nearby river. News of Captain Bull's
murder quickly spread across the western frontier.

Following what the Indians referred to as the Bulltown massacre, Shawnee Chief Cornstalk, who had led numerous raids against West Virginia settlers in the past,
began to organize the Indians in a concerted effort to drive the whites from their territory.

In 1773, land speculator Michael Cresap led a group of volunteers from Fort Fincastle (later renamed Fort Henry) at present-day Wheeling, murdering several
Shawnee at Captain Creek. Among other atrocities, on April 30, 1774, colonists murdered the family of Mingo chieftain Tah-gah-jute, who had been baptized under
the English name of Logan. Although Logan had previously lived peacefully with whites, he killed at least thirteen settlers that summer in revenge.

Virginia Governor John Murray, Earl of Dunmore, worried about the escalating violence in western Virginia, decided to end the conflict by force. He formed two
armies, one marching from the North, consisting of 1,700 men led by himself and the other marching from the South, comprised of 800 troops led by western
Virginia resident and land speculator Captain Andrew Lewis. Shawnee chieftain Keigh-tugh-qua, or Cornstalk, along with approximately 1,200 Shawnee, Delaware,
Mingo, Wyandotte and Cayuga warriors, decided to attack the southern regiment before they had a chance to unite with Lord Dunmore's forces. On October 10,
1774, the Indians attacked Lewis' forces at the confluence of the Kanawha and Ohio Rivers, at present-day Point Pleasant, in Greenbrier County. During the battle,
both sides suffered significant losses.

Although nearly half of Lewis' commissioned officers were killed during the battle, including his brother, Colonel Charles Lewis, and seventy-five of his
non-commissioned officers, the Indians were finally forced to retreat back to their settlements in Ohio's Scioto Valley, with Lewis' men in pursuit. In the meanwhile,
Lord Dunmore arrived and joined forces with Lewis. Seeing that they were now outnumbered, Cornstalk sued for peace.

Although western Virginia's settlers continued to experience isolated Indian attacks for several years, Cornstalk's defeat at Point Pleasant was the beginning of the
end of the Indian presence in western Virginia. The Indians agreed to give up all of their white prisoners, restore all captured horses and other property, and not to
hunt south of the Ohio River. Also, they were to allow boats on the Ohio River and promised not to harass them. This opened up present-day West Virginia and
Kentucky for settlement. Cornstalk was later killed at Fort Randolph near Point Pleasant in 1777 in retaliation for the death of a militiaman who was killed by an
Indian.

During the American Revolution (1776-1783), the Mingo and Shawnee, headquartered at Chillicothe, Ohio, allied themselves with the British. In 1777, a party of
350 Wyandots, Shawnees, and Mingos, armed by the British, attacked Fort Henry, near present-day Wheeling. Nearly half of the Americans manning the fort were
killed in the three-day assault. The Indians then left the Fort celebrating their victory. For the remainder of the war, smaller raiding parties of Mingo, Shawnee, and
other Indian tribes terrorized settlers throughout West Virginia. As a result, European settlement in the state came to a virtual standstill until the war's conclusion.
Following the war, the Mingo and Shawnee, once again allied with the losing side, returned to their homes. However, as the number of settlers in the region began to
grow, and with their numbers depleted by the war, both the Mingo and the Shawnee moved further inland.


European Pioneers and Settlers

Accompanied by Percute, an Indian guide, an expedition led by Captain Thomas Batts, Thomas Wood, and Robert Fallam were the first Englishman to reach the
present site of Fayette County. They reached the Kanawha Falls on the afternoon of September 16, 1671. The party then held a simple ceremony honoring King
Charles II and Virginia's Governor William Berkley, who had commissioned the expedition.

Christopher Gist was another noted figure to set foot in Fayette County. It is believed that he set foot in the county in 1753 while surveying the Ohio River and
surrounding areas for the Ohio Company. He returned to the area the following year, serving as a guide for George Washington's survey party.

Walter Kelly was the first English settler in the county, arriving in 1773. Unfortunately, soon after his arrival, Indians killed him for trespassing on their hunting
grounds. The following year, William Morris, Sr. became the first permanent English settler in the county, building a cabin at Cedar Grove at the mouth of Kelly's
Creek.

Henry Banks completed a survey of the county in 1785. He had been in the shipping business, but Virginia had commandeered many of his ships to fight the British.
Because Virginia had very little money to repay its debt to Banks, in 1786 it granted him a large tract of land in the general vicinity of present-day Fayette County.

The next group of settlers arrived around 1790, on the present site of Ansted. They did not hold legal title to the land. Among the "squatters" were the families of
James Lykens, William Parrish, James Taylor, and Bailey Woods.

Important Events During the 1800s

The first county court was held in 1831 at Miles Manser's general store which stood near Ansted, named for the British geologist David T. Ansted who owned the
land on which the town was located. It served as the county seat until 1837 when the county's residents voted to make Fayetteville the permanent county seat.

Most of Fayette County's residents supported the Confederacy during the Civil War, primarily because they believed in state's rights. At that time, less than five
percent of the county's residentes were slaves.

In 1861, at the behest of General McClellan, Brigadier General Jacob Cox and the First and Second Kentucky Infantry as well as the 12th and 21st Ohio and
corresponding artillery and cavalry invaded western Virginia from Ohio. This forced the relatively ill-equipped and ill-trained Confederate forces to abandon
Charleston and to retreat into the Kanawha Valley. With the Confederate withdrawal from Charleston, Fayette County found itself the focal point of both the Union
and Confederate activities in western Virginia. Confederate forces under the command of General Henry A. Wise, former Governor of Virginia (1856-1860),
realized that he had to continue the retreat in the face of superior Union forces. His forces set fire to the Gauley Bridge in Fayette County in an attempt to slow the
Union troop movement. According to an eyewitness account from a Confederate soldier, "the bridge was at least 150 yards, and ten minutes after the torch was first
touched, the whole bridge was one sheet of flame, and for five or ten minutes afterwards presented one of the most beautiful sights I have ever saw."

The Union forces arrived at Gauley Bridge two days after the Confederate retreat, leaving a burnt bridge and leftover supplies in their wake. Cox triumphantly
occupied the Gauley Bridge area, recognizing its importance as a launching point for military operations in the region. He then ordered the construction of
fortifications to further strengthen the Union position.

In the late summer of 1861, former political rivals General Henry Wise and General John B. Floyd met to discuss a plan to retake control of the Kanawha Valley.
Floyd, like Wise, had previously been Governor of Virginia. Because Floyd had received his commission in the Confederate Army prior to Wise, he was Wise's
superior officer. Wise recommended a slow, methodical move back into the Gauley Bridge area while Floyd wanted to attack the Union position immediately.

In mid-August, Floyd advanced his troops toward the Union position in the Kanawha Valley. He started by sending scouts to Sewell Mountain in Fayette County.
Here, the Confederate scouts met a small force from the 11th Ohio Infantry and following a brief battle, the Union troops withdrew. For the next several weeks, the
two forces engaged in a series of minor skirmishes. At this time, Floyd moved to Sewell Mountain and set up his headquarters at the site known as the Old Stone
House or Tyree Tavern. The house, located on the western side of Sewell Mountain along the important James River and Kanawha Turnpike, was constructed by
Samuel Tyree in 1824. Throughout the years, many important historical figures stayed at the Tavern including Henry Clay, Daniel Webster, and Andrew Jackson.

By late-August, Wise had fortified his troops at Piggot's Mill, but Floyd sent cavalry under the command of Colonel Albert Gallatin Jenkins, the former third district
congressman from Cabell County, to relieve Wise's garrison. Union troops surprised Jenkins enroute, inflicting heavy casualties. Wise's soldiers, who had previously
occupied the post, came to Jenkins aid, but Floyd's forces refused to cooperate with the troops from Wise's command. This event expanded the rift already formed
between Wise and Floyd.

At the beginning of September 1861, Wise advanced his force and defeated Union troops near Hawk's Nest in Fayette County. At this time, the Confederacy held
the advantage in the region, but General W.S. Rosecrans was bringing Federal reinforcements from the north that would once again turn the tide back in favor of the
Union. Following Rosecrans' arrival, the battle of Carnifex Ferry occurred. Facing superior forces, General Floyd was forced to retreat. On September 21, 1861,
approximately two weeks after the battle of Carnifex Ferry, Robert E. Lee arrived at Meadow Bluff, and he took command over both Floyd's and Wise's troops.

Two important historical side notes surrounding Robert E. Lee occurred while he was in Fayette County. During his stay in the Kanawha Valley, Lee began growing
his famous white beard and while he was on Sewell Mountain he first saw his famous military horse "Traveler."

On the 25th of September, General Wise was orderd to turn over his command to General Floyd. On November 1, 1861, General Floyd, along with his 4,000
troops, launched a surprise attack on the Federal forces in the general vicinity of Gauley Bridge. The battle raged for several days, until finally, on November 11th,
Federal forces forced the Confederates to withdraw. The Union Army continued pressing their advantage against General Floyd, and drove him out of Fayette
County.

On September 10, 1862 the Confederate Army, under the command of General William W. Loring, General Wise's replacement, returned to the county and
launched an attack on Fayetteville. Fierce fighting occurred throughout the day as Federal troop resorted to a bayonet charge to hold off the Confederate advance.
By late evening, the Confederacy had lost 17 men while the Union had lost 13. During the night, the Union forces, under the command of Colonel Siber, retreated
from the city.

During this time, General Loring ordered a cannon placed on Cotton Hill, overlooking the city. Lt. Joel Abbott was assigned the duty, and a famous legend
surrounds the fate of this Confederate cannon. After the war, Abbott wrote that when it came time to remove the cannon he was forced to leave it on the hill and
hide it in ravine because the terrain was too difficult to manage. Since this story, many have traversed the area around Cotton Hill, searching for the fabled
Confederate cannon.

By September 11th 1862, the Confederate forces had pushed the Union troops from Fayette County. Loring eventually recaptured Charleston and even created and
ambitious plan for the invasion of Washington County, Pennsylvania, but poorer than expected recruitment put that plan on hold. He was then ordered to return to
Kanawha Valley to fortify his position there. Unhappy with this order, he disobeyed it and prepared for an invasion of Pennsylvania. However, in response to his
insubordination, Loring was relieved of his command.

General Loring was replaced by General John Echols. As ordered, he reestablished the Confederacy in the Kanawha Valley. However, on October 28, 1862, he
began a strategic withdrawal from the region in the face of reports of a superior Federal force moving into the area. Echols continued his retreat through the Valley
leaving Fayette County behind.

The Confederacy made one final attempt to control Fayette County in 1863. Artillery from General McCausland's legion bombarded Fayetteville on May 19 and
20. During this time, canon under the command of Sergeant Milton W. Humphreys employed the method of indirect firing for the first time. This method of attack is
now universally used in militaries across the globe. Finally, by mid-afternoon on May 20, the Confederate forces stopped firing and left the area. For the rest of the
war, the Union Army controlled Fayette County.


In 1895, a preparatory school for West Virginia University was founded in Montgomery. After being converted to a trade school in 1917, its named was changed to
the West Virginia Institute of Technology. Popularly nicknamed West Virginia Tech or the "M.I.T." of the mountains, the West Virginia University Institute of
Technology continues to serve the people of West Virginia.

County Seat

Fayetteville was settled by Abraham Vandal in 1818 and was originally called Vandalia. When Vandal platted the land in 1836 he named the city in honor of the
Marquis de LaFayette. The town was incorporated in 1883. The original county court house was constructed in 1838 after the town approved a tax levy of $1,500
for its construction "near the dead chestnut tree in Vandal's rye field."

References

Donnelly, Clarence S. 1958. Historical Notes on Fayette County, West Virginia. Oak Hill: np.

Fayette County Chamber of Commerce. 1993. History of Fayette County, West Virginia. Oak Hill: Fayette County Chamber of Commerce.

McKinney, Tim. 1988. The Civil War in Fayette County, West Virginia. Charleston: Pictorial Histories Publishing Company.
 
 

Gilmer County History

Gilmer County was created by an act of the Virginia General Assembly on February 3, 1845 from parts of Lewis and Kanawha counties. It was named in honor of Thomas Walker Gilmer (1802-1844).

Thomas Walker Gilmer was born on April 6, 1802 in Albemarle County, Virginia. He studied law and was an attorney in Charlottesville. He represented Albemarle County in the Virginia General Assembly from 1829 to 1840, with the exception of two sessions, and served as Speaker of the Assembly in 1838 and 1839. He was elected Governor of Virginia in 1840, but resigned shortly after being elected to take a seat in U.S. House of Representatives. An outspoken critic of Henry Clay, he was appointed the Secretary of the Navy by President Taylor on February 14, 1844. Unfortunately, he was killed by the bursting of a cannon on board the American war ship Princeton at Mount Vernon on February 28, 1844, just two weeks after his appointment. Abel Parker Upshur, the Secretary of State and the namesake of Upshur County, was also killed in the explosion. President Tyler was present for the testing of the new gun, but survived the explosion.

First Settlers

Remnants of the ancient Mound Builders civilization, also known as the Adena people, can be found throughout Gilmer County, particularly in the areas along both Steer and Sinking Creeks. The largest mound in the county is located on the "Fetty Farm" on Sinking Creek. It is sixty feet in diameter. When these mounds were first opened, flat sandstones, charcoal, and bone fragments were found inside. The sandstone is especially interesting because it is not native to the Gilmer County area. A second mound located on Steer Creek contained the remains of two large men surrounded by various artifacts, including ancient arrowheads and a pipe.

Local legend claims that the so-called De Kalb Camp in Gilmer County was the site of a major Indian battle. There is a high concentration of stone tools and weapons as well as two grave sites at the camp. However, the absence of wounds on the skeletons found in the grave sites have led archaeologists to the conclusion that the area was an Indian camp, not the site of a major battle.

According to missionary reports, several thousand Hurons occupied present-day West Virginia, including present-day Gilmer County, during the late 1500s and early 1600s. They were driven out of the state during the 1600s by the powerful Iroquois Confederacy (consisting of the Mohawk, Onondaga, Cayuga, Oneida and Seneca tribes, and joined later by the Tuscaroras tribe). The Iroquois Confederacy was headquartered in New York and was not interested in occupying present-day West Virginia. Instead, they used it as a hunting ground during the spring and summer months.

During the early 1700s, central West Virginia, including present-day Gilmer County, was used as a hunting ground by the Mingo, who lived in both the Tygart Valley and along the Ohio River in West Virginia's northern panhandle region, the Delaware, who lived in present-day eastern Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware, but had several autonomous settlements as far south as present-day Braxton County, and by other members of the Iroquois Confederacy, especially the Seneca, one of the largest and most powerful members of the Iroquois Confederacy.

The Mingo were not actually an Indian tribe, but a multi-cultural group of Indians that established several communities within present-day West Virginia. They lacked a central government and, like all other Indians within the region at that time, were subject to the control of the Iroquois Confederacy. The Mingo originally lived closer to the Atlantic Coast, but European settlement pushed them into western Virginia and eastern Ohio.

The Seneca, headquartered in western New York, was the closest member of the Iroquois Confederacy to West Virginia and took great interest in the state. In 1744, the Seneca boasted to Virginia officials that they had conquered the several nations living on the back of the great mountains of Virginia. Among the conquered nations were the last of the Canawese or Conoy people who became incorporated into some of the Iroquois communities in New York. The Conoy continue to be remembered today through the naming of two of West Virginia's largest rivers after them, the Little Kanawha and the Great Kanawha.

The Seneca, and other members of the Iroquois Confederacy, claimed all of present-day West Virginia as their own, using it primarily as a hunting ground. Also, war parties from the Seneca and other members of the Iroquois Confederacy often traveled through the state to protect its claim to southern West Virginia from the Cherokee. The Cherokee were headquartered in western North Carolina and eastern Tennessee and rivaled the Iroquois nation in both size and influence. The Cherokee claimed present-day southern West Virginia as their own, setting the stage for conflict with the Iroquois Confederacy.

In 1744, Virginia officials purchased the Iroquois title of ownership to West Virginia in the Treaty of Lancaster. The treaty reduced the Iroquois Confederacy's presence in the state.

During the mid-1700s, the English had made it clear to the various Indian tribes that they intended to settle the frontier. The French, on the other hand, were more interested in trade. This influenced the Mingo to side with the French during the French and Indian War (1755-1763). Although the Iroquois Confederacy officially remained neutral, many in the Iroquois Confederacy also allied with the French. Unfortunately for them, the French lost the war and ceded the all of its North American possessions to the British. Following the war, the Mingo retreated to their homes along the banks of the Ohio River and were rarely seen in central West Virginia.

Although the war was officially over, many Indians continued to see the British as a threat to their sovereignty and continued to fight them. In the summer of 1763, Pontiac, an Ottawa chief, led raids on key British forts. Shawnee chief Keigh-tugh-qua, or Cornstalk, led similar attacks on western Virginia settlements in present-day Greenbrier County. By the end of July, Indians had captured all British forts west of the Alleghenies except Detroit, Fort Pitt, and Fort Niagara. Then, on August 6, 1763, British forces under the command of Colonel Henry Bouquet retaliated and destroyed Delaware and Shawnee forces at Bushy Run in western Pennsylvania, ending the hostilities.

Fearing more tension between Native Americans and settlers, England's King George III issued the Proclamation of 1763, prohibiting settlement west of the Allegheny Mountains. However, many land speculators, including George Washington, violated the proclamation by claiming vast acreage in western Virginia. The next five years were relatively peaceful on the frontier. In 1768, the Iroquois Confederacy (often called the Six Nations) and the Cherokee signed the Treaty of Hard Labour and the Treaty of Fort Stanwix, relinquishing their claims on the territory between the Ohio River and the Alleghenies to the British. With the frontier now open, settlers, once again, began to enter into present-day West Virginia.

During the American Revolution (1776-1783), the Mingo and Shawnee, headquartered at Chillicothe, Ohio, allied themselves with the British. In 1777, a party of 350 Wyandots, Shawnees, and Mingos, armed by the British, attacked Fort Henry, near present-day Wheeling. Nearly half of the Americans manning the fort were killed in the three-day assault. The Indians then left the Fort celebrating their victory. For the remainder of the war, smaller raiding parties of Mingo, Shawnee, and other Indian tribes terrorized settlers throughout West Virginia. As a result, European settlement in the state came to a virtual standstill until the war's conclusion. Following the war, the Mingo and Shawnee, once again allied with the losing side, returned to their homes. However, as the number of settlers in the region began to grow, and with their numbers depleted by the war, both the Mingo and the Shawnee moved further inland.

European Pioneers and Settlers

Indian scouts, William Lowther and Jesse and Elias Hughes, were the first Englishmen to set foot on the land that currently comprises Gilmer County. They explored the area during the autumn of 1772. The first permanent English settler in the county was Peter McCune. He had explored the area shortly after the end of the American Revolutionary War with his father-in-law, Adam O'Brien, and decided to move his family to the county in 1810. He built a cabin at the mouth of Leading Creek.

In 1816, William Stalnaker received a grant of 30,000 acres in the county for his service as a Lieutenant in the War of 1812. Gilmer County became home to many veterans following the war of 1812, including George H. Beall, Townshend Beall, Joseph Bennett, Alexander McQuian, and James Farnsworth. He built a temporary home and brought his family (wife Elizabeth and son Salathiel) and twenty slaves to the site of an abandoned Indian village on the Little Kanawha River, near the mouth of Mill Seat Run. By 1820, his tobacco plantation was doing very well and he had a two-story brick mansion constructed on the property. A second mansion was later built on the property for his son and, on March 24, 1845, it served as the meeting place for the first session of the Gilmer County court. By that time, a large number of families lived in the area and it was known as DeKalb, named by William Stalnaker in honor of his hero Johann, Baron de Kalb, companion of the Marquis de Lafayette.

Important Events During the 1800s

During the 1840's, Gilmer County was home to a roving band of militant pioneers known as the Hell-fired Band. They opposed any improvements to the area, such as the building of new roads and the clearing of forests. They preferred living off the land as nature intended, like true hardy pioneers. In 1843, several members of the Hell-fired band, including Daniel McCune, Joseph Parsons, Alexander Turner, and Jackson Cottrell, were convicted of murdering Jonathan Nichols and sent to prison in Richmond, Va. to serve an eighteen-year sentence. Jackson Cottrell, the youngest of the group at age seventeen, was released after serving five years of his eighteen-year sentence. Alexander Turner died in Greenbrier County on the way to the prison. Joseph Parsons died soon after his arrival at the prison, and Daniel McCune served about eight years of his sentence until he also died.

In 1845, as tensions in the United States were rising over the slavery issue, southern sympathizers within Gilmer County's Methodist Church broke away from the Methodist Church and formed the Methodist Church South. They constructed their own church, called Job Temple, in 1860. In 1979, it became Gilmer County's first site to be placed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The Civil War brought life in Gilmer County to a stand still. During the war, the county's government basically ceased to function as various groups of "Rangers" or "Bushwhackers" roamed the county terrorizing the civilian population. Also, so-called "Home Guards," organized by both the Union and the Confederacy, took action against anyone who was believed to hold the wrong political beliefs.

Although there was some northern support in Gilmer county, Republican Abraham Lincoln did not receive a single vote in Glenville during the presidential election of 1860.

In 1861, Currence Conrad, the delegate representing Gilmer, Calhoun, and Wirt Counties in the Virginia secession convention voted for Virginia to remain in the Union. Upon making his vote, Conrad promptly left Richmond for his home in western Virginia fearing that he might be lynched for voting against succession.

Glenville State College's origins can be traced to February 1872, when the West Virginia Legislature created it as a State Normal School. During its first fifteen years of existence, the school had an enrollment of under one hundred students, mostly from the central West Virginia area. In 1931, the schools name was changed to Glenville State Teachers College, and, in 1943, to Glenville State College.

In 1885, the West Virginia state song, "The West Virginia Hills," was composed by New Jersey's Mrs. Ellen King. She wrote the song, originally penned as a poem, while she was visiting father, Captain Stephen S. Ruddell, in Glenville. The poem appeared in the local newspaper and was noticed by Mr. N. E. Engle, a resident of Braxton County. He converted the poem into a song, adding chorus lines and accompanying music.


Important Events During the 1900s

The West Virginia State Folk Festival got its start in Glenville in June 1950 and has since become a central West Virginia tradition. The festival celebrates Appalachian culture and features folk music and arts and crafts. It was first organized by Dr. Patrick Gainer, a resident of Tanner, Gilmer County. The festival evolved out of a classroom assignment given by Dr. Gainer, and it has grown to become a huge summer event as people come from all over to see West Virginia's cultural heritage on display.

County Seat

The William Stalnaker family, located in DeKalb, was the most prominent in Gilmer County throughout the early 1800s and were both surprised and disappointed when the county's voters selected Glenville over DeKalb as the county seat.

Glenville had previously been known as Stewart's Creek, Hartford, and "The Ford." It was called "The Ford" because the old State Road from Weston to Charleston crossed the Little Kanawha River there. Samuel L. Hays laid out the town on the land of William H. Ball in 1845. It was named Glendale by Colonel C. B. Conrad because of the town's location in a glen. William Howell was the first known settler in the town. He built a grist mill there in 1812.

At first, the Stalnaker family, and those allied with it, refused to accept Glenville as the county seat. Several county government officials, including the county clerk, refusing to attend government meetings in Glenville. Once that was settled another problem arose when the deed to the land of the proposed site for the county courthouse in Glenville was contested. Having no where to go, it was agreed to hold the county court, once again, at the home of Salathiel Stalnaker in DeKalb. On April 28, 1846 the county court was moved to the home of William Ball in Glenville where it continued to meet until the court house was completed in 1850. Once it was established that Glenville was to be the center of government, the town of DeKalb began to decline. By the time Glenville was incorporated on March 10, 1856, DeKalb was a ghost town, literally. It was said that the spirit of the aforementioned Daniel McCune, who was tried, convicted and sentenced for the murder of Jonathan Nicholas in 1843, haunted the town.

References

Bicentennial biographies, Gilmer County, West Virginia. 1976. Glenville: Gilmer County Historical Society.

Dewees, Col. D.S. 1904. Recollections of a Life Time. Parkersburg: Glober Printing and Binding Co.

Gainer, Rosemary Layman. 1991. Civil War in Gilmer County W.Va. Grantsville: Red Clay Press.

Gilmer County Historical Society. 1994. History of Gilmer County, West Virginia, 1845-1989.
Waynesville, NC: Walsworth Publishing Company.

Gilmer: The Birth of a County. Charleston: West Virginia Writer's Project, 1940.

Heyer, Bob. 2000. "Let's Keep It Traditional." Goldenseal. Charleston: State of West Virginia, (Summer).

Grant County History

Grant County was created by an act of the state legislature on February 14, 1866 from parts of Hardy County. It was named in honor of General Ulysses Simpson
Grant (1822-1885), graduate of the Military Academy at West Point, General of the Union Army during the Civil War, Secretary of War (1868), and 18th
President of the United States (1869-1877). Although his two Presidential Administrations were rocked by scandals, and historians generally consider him one of the
nation's least respected Presidents, he remained very popular with the public for his accomplishments during the Civil War.

The First Settlers

The first native settlers in eastern West Virginia were the Mound Builders, also known as the Adena people. Remnants of the Mound Builder's civilization have been
found throughout West Virginia, with a high concentration of artifacts located at Moundsville, West Virginia, in Marshall County.

According to missionary reports, several thousand Hurons occupied present-day West Virginia during the late 1500s and early 1600s. They were driven out of the
state during the 1600s by members of the powerful Iroquois Confederacy (consisting of the Mohawk, Onondaga, Cayuga, Oneida and Seneca tribes, and joined
later by the Tuscaroras tribe). The Iroquois Confederacy was headquartered in New York and was not interested in occupying present-day West Virginia. Instead,
they used it as a hunting ground during the spring and summer months.

During the early 1700s, eastern West Virginia, including present-day Grant County, was inhabited by the Tuscarora. They eventually migrated northward to New
York and, in 1712, became the sixth nation to formally be admitted to the Iroquois Confederacy. The area was also used as a hunting ground by the Mingo, who
lived in both the Tygart Valley and along the Ohio River in West Virginia's northern panhandle region, and by other members of the Iroquois Confederacy, especially
the Seneca, one of the largest and most powerful members of the Iroquois Confederacy.

The Mingo were not actually an Indian tribe, but a multi-cultural group of Indians that established several communities within present-day West Virginia. They lacked
a central government and, like all other Indians within the region at that time, were subject to the control of the Iroquois Confederacy. The Mingo originally lived
closer to the Atlantic Coast, but European settlement pushed them into western Virginia and eastern Ohio.

The Seneca, headquartered in western New York, was the closest member of the Iroquois Confederacy Confederacy to West Virginia, and took great interest in
the state. In 1744, the Seneca boasted to Virginia officials that they had conquered the several nations living on the back of the great mountains of Virginia. Among
the conquered nations were the last of the Canawese or Conoy people who became incorporated into some of the Iroquois communities in New York. The Conoy
continue to be remembered today through the naming of two of West Virginia's largest rivers after them, the Little Kanawha and the Great Kanawha.

The Seneca, and other members of the Iroquois Confederacy, claimed all of present-day West Virginia as their own, using it primarily as a hunting ground. Also, war
parties from the Seneca and other members of the Iroquois Confederacy often traveled through the state to protect its claim to southern West Virginia from the
Cherokee. The Cherokee were headquartered in western North Carolina and eastern Tennessee and rivaled the Iroquois nation in both size and influence. The
Cherokee claimed present-day southern West Virginia as their own, setting the stage for conflict with the Iroquois Confederacy.

In 1744, Virginia officials purchased the Iroquois title of ownership to West Virginia in the Treaty of Lancaster. The treaty reduced the Iroquois Confederacy's
presence in the state.

During the mid-1700s, the English had made it clear to the various Indian tribes that they intended to settle the frontier. The French, on the other hand, were more
interested in trade. This influenced the Mingo to side with the French during the French and Indian War (1755-1763). Although the Iroquois Confederacy officially
remained neutral, many in the Iroquois Confederacy also allied with the French. Unfortunately for them, the French lost the war and ceded the all of its North
American possessions to the British. Following the war, the Mingo retreated to their homes along the banks of the Ohio River and were rarely seen in the eastern
panhandle.

Although the war was officially over, many Indians continued to see the British as a threat to their sovereignty and continued to fight them. In the summer of 1763,
Pontiac, an Ottawa chief, led raids on key British forts. Shawnee chief Keigh-tugh-qua, or Cornstalk, led similar attacks on western Virginia settlements in
present-day Greenbrier County. By the end of July, Indians had captured all British forts west of the Alleghenies except Detroit, Fort Pitt, and Fort Niagara. Then,
on August 6, 1763, British forces under the command of Colonel Henry Bouquet retaliated and destroyed Delaware and Shawnee forces at Bushy Run in western
Pennsylvania, ending the hostilities.

Fearing more tension between Native Americans and settlers, England's King George III issued the Proclamation of 1763, prohibiting settlement west of the
Allegheny Mountains. However, many land speculators, including George Washington, violated the proclamation by claiming vast acreage in western Virginia. The
next five years were relatively peaceful on the frontier. In 1768, the Iroquois Confederacy (often called the Six Nations) and the Cherokee signed the Treaty of Hard
Labour and the Treaty of Fort Stanwix, relinquishing their claims on the territory between the Ohio River and the Alleghenies to the British. With the frontier now
open, settlers, once again, began to enter into present-day West Virginia.

During the American Revolution (1776-1783), the Mingo and Shawnee, headquartered at Chillicothe, Ohio, allied themselves with the British. In 1777, a party of
350 Wyandots, Shawnees, and Mingos, armed by the British, attacked Fort Henry, near present-day Wheeling. Nearly half of the Americans manning the fort were
killed in the three-day assault. The Indians then left the Fort celebrating their victory. For the remainder of the war, smaller raiding parties of Mingo, Shawnee, and
other Indian tribes terrorized settlers throughout northern and eastern West Virginia. As a result, European settlement in the region came to a virtual standstill until the
war's conclusion. Following the war, the Mingo and Shawnee, once again allied with the losing side, returned to their homes. However, as the number of settlers in
the region began to grow, and with their numbers depleted by the war, both the Mingo and the Shawnee moved further inland.

Important Events During the 1700s

Present-day Grant County is located within the territory that was once referred to as the Northern Neck of Virginia. The ownership of this vast expanse of land
dates back to 1681 when King Charles II granted much of this territory to a few noblemen including Ralph Lord Hopton. Soon afterward, Thomas Lord Fairfax
came to own much of the land after he inherited it from his father Thomas, fifth Lord Fairfax. The sixth Lord Fairfax then was subjected to a series of protracted legal
battles as many pioneers had already settled parts of the territory and the Virginia House of Burgesses had confirmed their claims. It was finally determined that those
living on the land had to pay a yearly rent to Lord Fairfax.

Eventually, Lord Fairfax came to America to inspect his land holdings first-hand. Upon arriving, he was so impressed with the New World that he decided to make it
his permanent home.

The extent of Lord Fairfax's land holdings in the New World was not clearly defined. Once again, this caused a dispute among many pioneers who had been granted
land in the west by the Governor of Virginia, land claimed by Lord Fairfax. The Governor of Virginia and Lord Fairfax took the dispute to King James II. He
subsequently appointed six commissioners, three representing the Governor and three representing Lord Fairfax. These commissioners then set out on an expedition
to survey the land. The resulting expedition defined Fairfax's estate, and it also placed the Fairfax Stone, a stone marking Maryland's southwestern border, which is
situated in the extreme western angle of the county. It was placed there on October 17, 1746

Life on the frontier was filled with hardship. In addition to long days of hard work and the lack of amenities found on the eastern seaboard, the pioneers had to worry
about the possibility of being attacked by Indians. For example, in 1756, a group of unsuspecting pioneers were ambushed by Indians on Looney's Creek near
present-day Petersburg. The pioneers, including Job Welton, a Mr. Delay, a Mr. Kuykendall and several others, were harvesting hay. When nightfall came, they
took shelter under a nearby elm tree only to be awakened by the sounds of gunfire and an Indian attack. During the attack, Mrs. Welton and Delay attempted to
escape, but Mr. Welton was struck in the back by a tomahawk and Mr. Delay suffered a gunshot wound. Fearing for his life, Mr. Delay surrendered, leaving himself
at the mercy of the Indians. He was then taken back to the elm tree where he and three others who had also surrendered faced the judgment of a council of Indians.
The Indians decided to scalp them. All four men eventually died from their wounds. Three others survived the attack. Mr. Welton recovered from his tomahawk
wound and reached safety at a fort near Petersburg. Mr. Kuykendall, an older man, hid behind an elm tree during the attack and was able to escape unnoticed. The
name of the third man who escaped is unknown.

County Seat

When the county was originally formed, the county seat was temporarily held at John May's Mill, near the North Fork of Luney's Creek. Soon afterwards, a
courthouse was constructed in Maysville, named for John and Henry May, two brothers who settled there in 1831.

Most historians believe that Petersburg, the current site for the county seat, was named for Jacob Peterson in 1745. He operated the first general store in the area.
Others suggest that it may have been named for Peter Jefferson, father of Thomas Jefferson, who was part of the John Lewis surveying party that passed through the
county in 1746.

When the first post office was opened within the present site of Petersburg in 1833 the town was renamed Lunice Creek because Virginia already had a Petersburg.
The town was incorporated in 1845 as Lunice Creek. The original name for the town was restored when West Virginia became a state. The town was incorporated
by the West Virginia legislature in 1910.

References

Judy, E.L. 1951. History of Grant and Hardy Counties, West Virginia. Charleston: Charleston Printing Company.

Idleman, D. 1927. History of Mt. Storm Community in Grant and Mineral Counties, West Virginia. Morgantown, West Virginia, Agricultural Extension

Division, 1927.

"Indian Massacre on Looney's Creek." 1927. Grant County Press, April 7.
 

Greenbrier County History

Greenbrier County was created by an act of the Virginia General Assembly in October 1777 from parts of Montgomery and Botetourt counties (Virginia). It was
named in honor of the principal river that drains through the county. It is considered the mother county of southern West Virginia because the following 11 counties
were created, either in whole or in part, from its original territory: Boone, Cabell, Jackson, Kanawha, Mason, Monroe, Nicholas, Putnam, Roane, Wayne and
Webster.

According to the 1790 census, Greenbrier County had the fourth largest population (6,015) of the nine counties that were then in existence within the current
boundaries of West Virginia. At that time, there were 55,873 living within the state and Berkeley County had the largest population (19,713).

The First Settlers

The first native settlers in central West Virginia were the Mound Builders, also known as the Adena people. Remnants of the Mound Builder's civilization have been
found throughout West Virginia, with a high concentration of artifacts located at Moundsville, West Virginia, in Marshall County. The Grave Creek Indian Mound,
located in the center of Moundsville, is one of West Virginia's most famous historic landmarks. More than 2,000 years old, it stands 69 feet high and 295 feet in
diameter.

According to missionary reports, several thousand Hurons occupied present-day West Virginia during the late 1500s and early 1600s. They were driven out of the
state during the 1600s by members of the powerful Iroquois Confederacy (consisting of the Mohawk, Onondaga, Cayuga, Oneida and Seneca tribes, and joined
later by the Tuscaroras tribe). The Iroquois Confederacy was headquartered in New York and was not interested in occupying present-day West Virginia. Instead,
they used it as a hunting ground during the spring and summer months.

During the early 1700s, central West Virginia, including present-day Greenbrier County, was used as a hunting ground by the Mingo who lived in both the Tygart
Valley and along the Ohio River in West Virginia's northern panhandle region, the Delaware, who lived in present-day eastern Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and
Delaware, but had several autonomous settlements as far south as present-day Braxton County, and by other members of the Iroquois Confederacy, especially the
Seneca, one of the largest and most powerful members of the Iroquois Confederacy.

The Mingo were not actually an Indian tribe, but a multi-cultural group of Indians that established several communities within present-day West Virginia. They lacked
a central government and, like all other Indians within the region at that time, were subject to the control of the Iroquois Confederacy. The Mingo originally lived
closer to the Atlantic Coast, but European settlement pushed them into western Virginia and eastern Ohio.

The Seneca was one of the largest and most powerful members of the Iroquois Confederacy. Headquartered in western New York, the Seneca were the closest
member of the Confederacy to West Virginia, and took great interest in the state. In 1744, the Seneca boasted to Virginia officials that they had conquered the
several nations living on the back of the great mountains of Virginia. Among the conquered nations were the last of the Canawese or Conoy people who became
incorporated into some of the Iroquois communities in New York. The Conoy continue to be remembered today through the naming of two of West Virginia's
largest rivers after them, the Little Kanawha and the Great Kanawha.

The Seneca, and other members of the Iroquois Confederacy, claimed all of present-day West Virginia as their own, using it primarily as a hunting ground. Also, war
parties from the Seneca and other members of the Iroquois Confederacy often traveled through the state to protect its claim to southern West Virginia from the
Cherokee. The Cherokee were headquartered in western North Carolina and eastern Tennessee and rivaled the Iroquois nation in both size and influence. The
Cherokee claimed present-day southern West Virginia as their own, setting the stage for conflict between them and the Iroquois Confederacy.

In 1744, Virginia officials purchased the Iroquois title of ownership to West Virginia in the Treaty of Lancaster. The treaty reduced the Iroquois Confederacy's
presence in the state.

During the mid-1700s, the English had made it clear to the various Indian tribes that they intended to settle the frontier. The French, on the other hand, were more
interested in trade. This influenced the Mingo to side with the French during the French and Indian War (1755-1763). Although the Iroquois Confederacy officially
remained neutral, many in the Iroquois Confederacy also allied with the French. Unfortunately for them, the French lost the war and ceded the all of its North
American possessions to the British. Following the war, the Mingo retreated to their homes along the banks of the Ohio River and were rarely seen in central West
Virginia.

Although the war was officially over, many Indians continued to see the British as a threat to their sovereignty and continued to fight them. In the summer of 1763,
Pontiac, an Ottawa chief, led raids on key British forts. Shawnee chief Keigh-tugh-qua, or Cornstalk, led similar attacks on western Virginia settlements in
present-day Greenbrier County. By the end of July, Indians had captured all British forts west of the Alleghenies except Detroit, Fort Pitt, and Fort Niagara. Then,
on August 6, 1763, British forces under the command of Colonel Henry Bouquet retaliated and destroyed Delaware and Shawnee forces at Bushy Run in western
Pennsylvania, ending the hostilities.

Fearing more tension between Native Americans and settlers, England's King George III issued the Proclamation of 1763, prohibiting settlement west of the
Allegheny Mountains. However, many land speculators, including George Washington, violated the proclamation by claiming vast acreage in western Virginia. The
next five years were relatively peaceful on the frontier. In 1768, the Iroquois Confederacy (often called the Six Nations) and the Cherokee signed the Treaty of Hard
Labour and the Treaty of Fort Stanwix, relinquishing their claims on the territory between the Ohio River and the Alleghenies to the British. With the frontier now
open, settlers, once again, began to enter into present-day West Virginia.

In 1772, a series of incidents between settlers and Indians in West Virginia ended what had been nearly eight years of peace. During the spring of that year, several
Indians were murdered on the South Branch of the Potomac River by Nicholas Harpold and his companions. About the same time, Bald Eagle, an Indian chief of
some notoriety, was murdered while on a hunting trip on the Monongahela River. In the meantime, Captain Bull, a Delaware Indian Chief and five other Indian
families were living in Braxton County in an area known as Bulltown, near the falls of the Little Kanawha River, about fourteen miles from present day Sutton.
Captain Bull was regarded by most of the settlers in the region as friendly. But some settlers suspected him of providing information to and harboring unfriendly
Indians. While away from home in June 1772, the family of a German immigrant named Peter Stroud was murdered, presumably by Indians. The trail left by the
murderers led in the general direction of Bulltown. Peter's brother, Adam Stroud, had a cabin nearby and seeing smoke rising into the sky, raced to his brother's
cabin. He gathered up what was left of the bodies and buried them. He then headed for Hacker's Creek where he met with several other settlers who agreed to join
him in an attack on Bulltown. They killed all of the Indians in the village, including Captain Bull, and threw their bodies into a nearby river. News of Captain Bull's
murder quickly spread across the western frontier.

Following what the Indians referred to as the Bulltown massacre, Shawnee Chief Cornstalk, who had led numerous raids against West Virginia settlers in the past,
began to organize the Indians in a concerted effort to drive the whites from their territory.

In 1773, land speculator Michael Cresap led a group of volunteers from Fort Fincastle (later renamed Fort Henry) at present-day Wheeling, murdering several
Shawnee at Captain Creek. Among other atrocities, on April 30, 1774, colonists murdered the family of Mingo chieftain Tah-gah-jute, who had been baptized under
the English name of Logan. Although Logan had previously lived peacefully with whites, he killed at least thirteen settlers that summer in revenge.

Virginia Governor John Murray, Earl of Dunmore, worried about the escalating violence in western Virginia, decided to end the conflict by force. He formed two
armies, one marching from the North, consisting of 1,700 men led by himself and the other marching from the South, comprised of 800 troops led by western
Virginia resident and land speculator Captain Andrew Lewis. Shawnee chieftain Keigh-tugh-qua, or Cornstalk, along with approximately 1,200 Shawnee, Delaware,
Mingo, Wyandotte and Cayuga warriors, decided to attack the southern regiment before they had a chance to unite with Lord Dunmore's forces. On October 10,
1774, the Indians attacked Lewis' forces at the confluence of the Kanawha and Ohio Rivers, at present-day Point Pleasant, in Greenbrier County. During the battle,
both sides suffered significant losses.

Although nearly half of Lewis' commissioned officers were killed during the battle, including his brother, Colonel Charles Lewis, and seventy-five of his
non-commissioned officers, the Indians were finally forced to retreat back to their settlements in Ohio's Scioto Valley, with Lewis' men in pursuit. In the meanwhile,
Lord Dunmore arrived and joined forces with Lewis. Seeing that they were now outnumbered, Cornstalk sued for peace.

Although western Virginia's settlers continued to experience isolated Indian attacks for several years, Cornstalk's defeat at Point Pleasant was the beginning of the
end of the Indian presence in western Virginia. The Indians agreed to give up all of their white prisoners, restore all captured horses and other property, and not to
hunt south of the Ohio River. Also, they were to allow boats on the Ohio River and promised not to harass them. This opened up present-day West Virginia and
Kentucky for settlement. Cornstalk was later killed at Fort Randolph near Point Pleasant in 1777 in retaliation for the death of a militiaman who was killed by an
Indian.

During the American Revolution (1776-1783), the Mingo and Shawnee, headquartered at Chillicothe, Ohio, allied themselves with the British. In 1777, a party of
350 Wyandots, Shawnees, and Mingos, armed by the British, attacked Fort Henry, near present-day Wheeling. Nearly half of the Americans manning the fort were
killed in the three-day assault. The Indians then left the Fort celebrating their victory. For the remainder of the war, smaller raiding parties of Mingo, Shawnee, and
other Indian tribes terrorized settlers throughout West Virginia. As a result, European settlement in the state came to a virtual standstill until the war's conclusion.
Following the war, the Mingo and Shawnee, once again allied with the losing side, returned to their homes. However, as the number of settlers in the region began to
grow, and with their numbers depleted by the war, both the Mingo and the Shawnee moved further inland.

European Pioneers and Settlers

John Peter Salley, Charles St. Clair, John Howard, and his son Josiah Howard were the first Englishmen to set foot in present day Greenbrier County. They traveled
through the Greenbrier Valley in 1742. In 1750, Dr. Thomas Walker and five companions passed through the county. Dr. Walker reported in his journal that he had
learned from the Indians that there were some settlements in the Greenbrier Valley, but he was not able to find them. At about that same time, Jacob Marlin and
Stephen Sewell built a cabin along the Greenbrier River at the mouth of Knapp's Creek, at what is now known as Marlinton. Marlin and Sewell quarreled and
Marlin returned back east. Sewell stayed and was later killed by Indians. In 1769, Robert McClanachan, Thomas Renick, and William Renick built homes near
where the town of Frankford now stands. Captain McClanachan was later killed at the Battle of Point Pleasant.

Important Events During the 1700s

The Battle of Point Pleasant was considered a turning point in the war against the Indians and a precursor of the American Revolutionary War. During the battle,
one-half of General Lewis' commissioned officers, including his brother, Colonel Charles Lewis, were killed, as were 75 of his non-commissioned soldiers. Another
140 soldiers were wounded. The actual number of Indians engaged or killed in the battle is not known, but included warriors from the Shawnee, Delaware, Mingo,
Wyandotte and Cayuga tribes, lead by their respective chiefs and by Cornstalk, Sachem of the Shawnees and King of the North Confederacy. The remaining
Indians fled into Ohio with Lewis' men in pursuit. Now on the defensive, the Indians later agreed to a peace treaty, ending what had become known as Lord
Dunmore's War (John Murray, fourth Earl of Dunmore, was Governor of Virginia at the time). General Lewis died in 1781 from a fever.

Two of the boldest massacres committed by Indians in West Virginia's history took place in Greenbrier County. In June 1763, Cornstalk, a young Shawnee Chief,
led a band of about 60 of this tribesman into the county. On June 26th, he pretended to be friendly and gained the confidence of the settlers at Muddy Creek. When
their defenses were down, his warriors killed them all. Among the dead were the families of Frederick Sea, Joseph Carrol and Salty Yolkum. The next day,
Cornstalk repeated his deception at the Clendenin Settlement, near the current site of Lewisburg, killing more than fifty settlers.

The first semblance of organized religion came to Greenbrier County in the 1780's. In 1787, the Rev. John Alderson Jr. organized a congregation to meet at the Old
Greenbrier Baptist Church at Alderson. Also around this same time, Rev. John McCue and Reverand Benjamin Brigsby organized Presbyterians in Lewisburg,
Union, and Spring Creek. In 1796, after a fire had destroyed the rudimentary Presbyterian Church in Lewisburg, a much larger and permanent structure was built to
replace it. Known as the Old Stone Church, the place of worship has the distinction as the oldest, unrestored church still in continuous use west of the Alleghenies.

Important Events During the 1800s

In 1808, the Presbyterian minister John McElhenny and his wife Rebecca Walkup opened the first school in Lewisburg. Classes were initially held in their living
room. In 1812, the community finished the construction of a two-story, brick schoolhouse. Later that year, Lewisburg Academy was commissioned as an
independent co-educational institution. The Academy was progressive for its day, serving both men and women equally.

"Traveller" perhaps the most famous warhorse in history was at one time a resident of Greenbrier County. The horse was initially called "Jeff" by its owner, Andrew
Johnston, of Greenbrier County. He later gave the horse to his son, James W. Johnston. The horse won several awards at the Greenbrier County Fair and when
James joined the Confederate Army (where he served as a Captain) he took his prize-winning horse, with him. It was at that time that "Traveller" was first seen by
General Robert E. Lee. James Johnston described the encounter:

…As a four-year old, General Lee first saw him on Big Sewell Mountain and admired him at once. Asking if he could be bought, I, J.W.J.
promised him that I would see that he got him if he wanted him. I had promised Captain Broune to let him have him as soon as I had to
return to my Company (I was then on detail duty that required the use of a horse - I belonged to Infantry). In the winter of 1861 we were
ordered to South Carolina to report to General Lee (he having left Sewell). We took the horse and turned him over to the General in S.
C. Captain B. proposed presenting him to General Lee but would not accept him, but paid $200.

"Traveller" served General Lee well. After the war, Lee kept him close by at all times. "Traveller" was later buried next to Lee's Tomb at Lee Chapel at Washington
College (later Washington and Lee University.)

The Civil War divided the nation, and Lewisburg did not escape the war unscathed. In May 1862, Federal Colonel George Crook took control of the town from a
small garrison of Confederate cavalry. Nearby, Confederate General Henry Heth had success in defeating some Federal troops, and he decided to press his
advantage and retake Lewisburg for the Confederacy. Even with an advantageous position, Heth was unable to take control of the town. Old Stone Church served
as a hospital throughout the encounter. Although it was located in the center of the battle, it remained untouched by the fighting.

County Seat

Lewisburg, the county seat, was originally called The Savannah, then Fort Savannah, and, in 1774, Camp Union (named for the rendezvous point for General
Andrew Lewis' army prior to the decisive Battle of Point Pleasant in 1774). The town then became known as Lewisburg, in honor of General Andrew Lewis
(1720-1781). The town's name was officially recognized as Lewisburg when the town was incorporated by the Virginia Generally Assembly in 1782.

General Andrew Lewis was born in Ulster, Ireland in 1720 and was brought to America by his father, John Lewis. Andrew Lewis entered the colonial service and
rose rapidly through the ranks. He was a major in George Washington's regiment that surrendered to the French at Fort Necessity in 1754, and was wounded in the
Battle of Monongahela. He later served with distinction during the Revolutionary War, but was most famous for commanding nearly 1,000 militiamen to a
hard-fought victory over the confederated Indian tribes in the famous Battle of Point Pleasant on October 10, 1774.

References

Cole, J.R. 1917. History of Greenbrier County. Lewisburg: n.p..

Dayton, Ruth Woods. 1942. Greenbrier Pioneers and Their Homes. Charleston: West Virginia Publishing Company.

Greenbrier Bicentennial 1778-1978. 1978. Lewisburg: Greenbrier County Bicentennial Committee.

Things You Should See and Know About Lewisburg, WV. 1961. Lewisburg: Lewisburg Chamber of Commerce.
 

  

Hampshire County History

Hampshire County was created by the Virginia General Assembly on December 13, 1753 from parts of Frederick and Augusta counties (Virginia) and is the oldest county in the state.

Although its creation was authorized in 1753, it was not actually organized until 1757 because the area was not considered safe due to the outbreak of the French and Indian War (1754-1763). According to Samuel Kercheval's A History of the Valley of Virginia (Strasburg, VA: Shenandoah Publishing House, 1925), the county was named in honor of several prize hogs. The story goes that Lord Fairfax, who owned the Royal Grant to the area, came upon some very large hogs in Winchester and asked where they had been raised. He was told that they were from the South Branch of the Potomac Valley (now Hampshire County). He remarked that when a county was formed west of Frederick that he would name it in honor of Hampshire County, England, famous for its very fat hogs.

The First Settlers

The first native settlers in eastern West Virginia were the Mound Builders, also known as the Adena people. Remnants of the Mound Builder's civilization have been found throughout West Virginia, with a high concentration of artifacts located at Moundsville, West Virginia, in Marshall County. The Grave Creek Indian Mound, located in the center of Moundsville, is one of West Virginia's most famous historic landmarks. More than 2,000 years old, it stands 69 feet high and 295 feet in diameter.

According to missionary reports, several thousand Hurons occupied present-day West Virginia during the late 1500s and early 1600s. They were driven out of the state during the 1600s by members of the powerful Iroquois Confederacy (consisting of the Mohawk, Onondaga, Cayuga, Oneida and Seneca tribes, and joined later by the Tuscaroras tribe). The Iroquois Confederacy was headquartered in New York and was not interested in occupying present-day West Virginia. Instead, they used it as a hunting ground during the spring and summer months.

During the early 1700s, eastern West Virginia, including present-day Hampshire County, was inhabited by the Tuscarora. They eventually migrated northward to New York and, in 1712, became the sixth nation to formally be admitted to the Iroquois Confederacy. The area was also used as a hunting ground by the Mingo, who lived in both the Tygart Valley and along the Ohio River in West Virginia's northern panhandle region, and by other members of the Iroquois Confederacy, especially the Seneca, one of the largest and most powerful members of the Iroquois Confederacy.

The Mingo were not actually an Indian tribe, but a multi-cultural group of Indians that established several communities within present-day West Virginia. They lacked a central government and, like all other Indians within the region at that time, were subject to the control of the Iroquois Confederacy. The Mingo originally lived closer to the Atlantic Coast, but European settlement pushed them into western Virginia and eastern Ohio.

The Seneca, headquartered in western New York, was the closest member of the Iroquois Confederacy to West Virginia and took great interest in the state. In 1744, the Seneca boasted to Virginia officials that they had conquered the several nations living on the back of the great mountains of Virginia. Among the conquered nations were the last of the Canawese or Conoy people who became incorporated into some of the Iroquois communities in New York. The Conoy continue to be remembered today through the naming of two of West Virginia's largest rivers after them, the Little Kanawha and the Great Kanawha.

The Seneca, and other members of the Iroquois Confederacy, claimed all of present-day West Virginia as their own, using it primarily as a hunting ground. Also, war parties from the Seneca and other members of the Iroquois Confederacy often traveled through the state to protect its claim to southern West Virginia from the Cherokee. The Cherokee were headquartered in western North Carolina and eastern Tennessee and rivaled the Iroquois nation in both size and influence. The Cherokee claimed present-day southern West Virginia as their own, setting the stage for conflict with the Iroquois Confederacy.

In 1744, Virginia officials purchased the Iroquois title of ownership to West Virginia in the Treaty of Lancaster. The treaty reduced the Iroquois Confederacy's presence in the state.

During the mid-1700s, the English had made it clear to the various Indian tribes that they intended to settle the frontier. The French, on the other hand, were more interested in trade. This influenced the Mingo to side with the French during the French and Indian War (1755-1763). Although the Iroquois Confederacy officially remained neutral, many in the Iroquois Confederacy also allied with the French. Unfortunately for them, the French lost the war and ceded the all of its North American possessions to the British. Following the war, the Mingo retreated to their homes along the banks of the Ohio River and were rarely seen in the eastern panhandle.

Although the war was officially over, many Indians continued to see the British as a threat to their sovereignty and continued to fight them. In the summer of 1763, Pontiac, an Ottawa chief, led raids on key British forts. Shawnee chief Keigh-tugh-qua, or Cornstalk, led similar attacks on western Virginia settlements in present-day Greenbrier County. By the end of July, Indians had captured all British forts west of the Alleghenies except Detroit, Fort Pitt, and Fort Niagara. Then, on August 6, 1763, British forces under the command of Colonel Henry Bouquet retaliated and destroyed Delaware and Shawnee forces at Bushy Run in western Pennsylvania, ending the hostilities.

Fearing more tension between Native Americans and settlers, England's King George III issued the Proclamation of 1763, prohibiting settlement west of the Allegheny Mountains. However, many land speculators, including George Washington, violated the proclamation by claiming vast acreage in western Virginia. The next five years were relatively peaceful on the frontier. In 1768, the Iroquois Confederacy (often called the Six Nations) and the Cherokee signed the Treaty of Hard Labour and the Treaty of Fort Stanwix, relinquishing their claims on the territory between the Ohio River and the Alleghenies to the British. With the frontier now open, settlers, once again, began to enter into present-day West Virginia.

During the American Revolution (1776-1783), the Mingo and Shawnee, headquartered at Chillicothe, Ohio, allied themselves with the British. In 1777, a party of 350 Wyandots, Shawnees, and Mingos, armed by the British, attacked Fort Henry, near present-day Wheeling. Nearly half of the Americans manning the fort were killed in the three-day assault. The Indians then left the Fort celebrating their victory. For the remainder of the war, smaller raiding parties of Mingo, Shawnee, and other Indian tribes terrorized settlers throughout northern and eastern West Virginia. As a result, European settlement in the region came to a virtual standstill until the war's conclusion. Following the war, the Mingo and Shawnee, once again allied with the losing side, returned to their homes. However, as the number of settlers in the region began to grow, and with their numbers depleted by the war, both the Mingo and the Shawnee moved further inland.

Earliest European Settlers

Romney was initially settled by hunters and traders around 1725. In 1738, John Pearsall (or Pearsoll) and his brother Job built homes in the town. Their settlement was then known as Pearsall's Flats. In 1748, Lord Fairfax sent a surveying party, including 16 year-old George Washington, to survey his lands along the Potomac and South Branch Rivers. Washington spent three summers and falls surveying Lord Fairfax's estate, which included present-day Hampshire County. In April 1748, he laid off several lots in an area known as the Trough, about ten miles south of Romney, and he is known to have been in present-day Romney on October
19, 1749. Oral traditions claimed that Washington laid present-day Romney out into lots at that time, but written records from that era indicate that Romney was surveyed and laid out into lots by James Genn prior to Washington's arrival. Genn was also employed by Lord Fairfax.

Important Events During the 1700s

In 1756, Fort Pearsall was constructed on Job Pearsall's plantation for protection against Indian raids and George Washington provisioned and garrisoned the Fort at various times until 1758. At that time, there were at least 100 people living in the general area. Following the end of hostilities in the area, Lord Fairfax recognized that more settlers would be interested in moving into the area and that he could earn some extra revenue by selling plots in the town. He sent a survey party to Romney in 1762 to formally lay out the town into 100 lots. At that time, he renamed the town Romney, in honor of a port city on the English Channel.

Confusion ensued for several decades concerning land ownership within the town as counterclaims were made by the original settlers and those who purchased lots laid out by Lord Fairfax's surveyors.

The first meeting of the Hampshire county court was held in 1757 and was presided by the Right Honorable Thomas Bryan Martin, Lord Fairfax's nephew. By that time, Hampshire County's population had fallen dramatically as most of the settlers had fled the county in fear of the Indians. The only families remaining lived near Fort Pearsall, near the present-day Romney, and Fort Edward, at Capon Bridge.

Once the Indians were defeated at the Battle of Point Pleasant in 1774 (see Greenbrier County history) settlers, once again, returned to the county. By 1790, when the first national census was taken, Hampshire County had 7,346 residents, making it the second most populous county in the present state at that time. Berkeley County was the most populous county, with 19,713 people. At that time, there were nine counties in the present state, with a total population of 55,873 people.

During the Whiskey Rebellion in 1794, many Hampshire County men volunteered to serve under Major General Daniel Morgan to put down the insurrection. The men most likely volunteered at Moorefield in Hardy County and then marched north to Cumberland, Maryland. Approximately 1,200 of the 12,950 men under Morgan's command came from the area that would later become West Virginia.

Important Events During the 1800s

The building of the Northwest Turnpike was an integral part of the development of Hampshire County. General Daniel Morgan first suggested the road be built in 1748, but his recommendations were not acted upon until the 1830s. Colonel Claudius Crozet, a Frenchman who had previously worked for Napoleon Bonaparte, engineered the road which connected Parkersburg with Winchester, Virginia. The turnpike traversed Hampshire County stretching through Capon Bridge, Hanging Rocks, Pleasant Dale, Augusta, and Romney. Through the years, Romney became an important rest stop for travelers on the turnpike. This aided the local economy as hotels and taverns began to appear in the area.

During the Civil War, the Hampshire Guards and Frontier Riflemen joined the Confederate Army. Although there were no major battles in Hampshire County, Romney changed hands at least fifty-six times during the war. It was often a case of one army evacuating the area allowing the opposing army to move into the town. This places Romney second behind Winchester, Virginia as the town that changed hands the most during the Civil War. On June 11, 1861, it changed hands twice in the same day. Some local Hampshire County historians speculate that Romney actually changed hands more than Winchester, Virginia but there are no surviving records to support the claim.

In the late 1860's and early 1870's, one man Professor H. H. Johnson of Franklin, Virginia (later West Virginia) was instrumental in bringing a school for the deaf and blind to Romney in Hampshire County. Himself blind, Johnson had during his youth attended a school for the deaf and blind at Staunton, Virginia. Johnson recognized the need for a school in West Virginia so beginning in the late 1860's he canvassed the state gathering support for his project. On March 3, 1870, Johnson's dreams became a reality when the West Virginia State Legislature approved a measure calling for the creation of a school for the deaf and blind in the state. Several towns including Romney, Clarksburg, and Parkersburg all lobbied to have the school located there, but Romney was chosen following an offer consisting of the buildings and grounds of the Romney Literary Society. The school opened on September 29, 1870 with thirty students, twenty-five deaf and five blind students. Through the years, additional buildings and grounds have been added to accommodate increasing enrollment. Currently, the main campus consists of sixteen major buildings, containing approximately 302,000 square feet, situated on seventy-nine acres of land.

County Seat

Romney, the county seat, claims to be the oldest town in West Virginia. Both Shepherdstown (in Jefferson County, and then known as Mecklenburg) and Romney were chartered by the Virginia General Assembly on December 23, 1762. However, Romney claims that it is the oldest town in the state because its incorporation was listed before Shepherstown's in the Virginia Statutes at Large and its earliest settlers arrived in 1725 while Shepherdstown's earliest settlers did not arrive until 1727. However, given the paucity of written records in the era, it is difficult to substantiate the claim that Romney's earliest settlers arrived before Shepherdstown's earliest settlers, and both towns continue to claim the title of oldest town in the state.

References

Branch, Shelden W. 1976. Historic Hampshire. Parsons, WV: McClain Printing Company.

Maxwell, Hu and H.L. Swisher. 1897. History of Hampshire, West Virginia. Morgantown: A. Brown Boughner Printing.

 

Hancock County History

The northernmost county in West Virginia, Hancock County, was created by an act of the General Assembly on January 15, 1848 from parts of Brooke County. It
is the smallest county in the state (88.55 square miles) and was named in honor of John Hancock (1737-1793). He was born on January 12, 1737 in Quincy,
Massachusetts, was a leader in the American Revolution, served as President of the Provincial Congress of Massachusetts from 1774 to 1775, President of the
Continental Congress from 1775 to 1777, Governor of Massachusetts from 1780 to 1785 and 1787 to 1793, and the first signer of the Declaration of
Independence. He died on October 8, 1793.

First Settlers

The first native settlers along the Ohio River in the area of present-day Hancock County were the Mound Builders, also known as the Adena people. Remnants of
the Mound Builder's civilization have been found throughout the Ohio River Valley, with a high concentration of artifacts located at Moundsville, West Virginia, just
south of the county (in Marshall County). The Grave Creek Indian Mound, located in the center of Moundsville, is one of West Virginia's most famous historic
landmarks. More than 2,000 years old, it stands 69 feet high and 295 feet in diameter.

According to missionary reports, several thousand Hurons occupied present-day West Virginia during the late 1500s and early 1600s. They were driven out of the
state during the 1600s by members of the powerful Iroquois Confederacy (consisting of the Mohawk, Onondaga, Cayuga, Oneida and Seneca tribes, and joined
later by the Tuscaroras tribe). The Iroquois Confederacy was headquartered in New York and was not interested in occupying present-day West Virginia. Instead,
they used it as a hunting ground during the spring and summer months.

During the early 1700s, the Mingo made their home in both the Tygart Valley and along the Ohio River near present-day Hancock County. The Mingo were not
actually an Indian tribe, but a multi-cultural group of Indians that established several communities within present-day West Virginia. They lacked a central government
and, like all other Indians within the region at that time, were subject to the control of the Iroquois Confederacy headquartered in New York (comprised of the
Seneca, Cayuga, Onondaga, Oneida, Mohawk, and Tuscarora tribes). The Mingo originally lived closer to the Atlantic Coast, but European settlement pushed them
into western Virginia and eastern Ohio.

Just prior to the outbreak of the French and Indian War (1755-1763), George Washington, then a British officer, reported seeing Mingo campfires near Follansbee,
just south of present-day Hancock County (in Brooke County). During the war, the Mingo, Shawnee, and Delaware Indians allied themselves with the French and
inflicted casualties on the English. Unfortunately for the Mingo, the French lost the war and ceded the all of its North American possessions to the English. The
Mingo then retreated to their homes along the banks of the Ohio River. During the American Revolution (1776-1783), the Mingo allied themselves with the British.
In 1777, a party of 350 Wyandots, Shawnees, and Mingos, armed by the British, attacked Fort Henry, near present-day Wheeling. Nearly half of the Americans
manning the fort were killed in the three-day assault. The Indians then left the Fort celebrating their victory. For the remainder of the war, smaller raiding parties of
Mingo and other Indian tribes terrorized settlers throughout the Northern Panhandle region. As a result, European settlement in the region came to a virtual standstill
until the war's conclusion. Following the war, the Mingo, once again allied with the losing side, returned to their homes along the banks of the Ohio River. However,
as the number of settlers in the region began to grow, and with their numbers depleted by the war, the Mingo decided to move further inland.

The most famous Mingo in West Virginia history was known to the European settlers as Logan. His real name was Talgayeeta. His father was a member of the
Cayuga tribe and originally lived in central Pennsylvania. His father had taken the name Logan after a Pennsylvania official named John Logan. In 1763, Logan
moved west to the Ohio River where he established a small settlement consisting primarily of members of his extended family. Logan and the other members of his
settlement were considered friendly and cooperative by most settlers in the region, until his settlement was attacked by English settlers on April 30, 1774. The attack
occurred on the West Virginia side of the river, in present-day Hancock County. Ten members of Logan's settlement, including two women, were killed and scalped
by the settlers. Among the victims were members of Logan's immediate family, including his wife and all but one of his children. Several versions of the massacre
circulated on the frontier. Lord Dunmore blamed a settler named Daniel Greathouse while Logan blamed Michael Cresap, a Maryland soldier and land speculator
who was building cabins along the Ohio River as a means of securing land. Although the evidence suggests that Cresap was in the vicinity at the time of the massacre,
many historians believe that he was not involved in the murders. In any case, following the massacre, Logan allied himself with the British and went on the warpath,
leading four deadly raids on the Virginia and Pennsylvania frontiers and instigating what would later be called Lord Dunmore's War of 1774.

Logan gained national fame for his eloquent speech that was delivered during the peace negotiations following the Indians' defeat at the Battle of Point Pleasant in
1774. Logan was not at the decisive Battle of Point Pleasant, but returned to the main Indian camp during the peace negotiations. His famous speech was not
delivered in council, but was given to Colonel John Gibson who wrote it down and delivered it on Logan's behalf during the negotiations. The speech was later
published in many newspapers across the nation:

I appeal to any white man to say if he ever entered Logan's cabin hungry and I gave him not meat; if ever he came cold and naked and I gave him not
clothing. During the course of the long and bloody war Logan remained idle in his cabin, an advocate for peace. Such was my love for the whites that
my countrymen pointed as they passed and said, "Logan is the friend of white men." I had even thought to have lived with you but for the injuries of one
man. Colonel Cresap, the last spring, in cold blood and unprovoked, murdered all the relations of Logan, not even sparing my women and children.
There runs not a drop of my blood in the veins of any human creature. This called on me for revenge. I have sought it. I have killed many. I have fully
glutted my vengeance. For my county I rejoice at the beams of peace. But do not harbor a thought that mine is the joy of fear. Logan never felt fear. He
will not turn his heel to save his life. Who is there to mourn for Logan? Not one.

After Lord Dunmore's War concluded, Logan moved from place to place and, in 1789, joined an Indian raiding party that attacked settlements in southwestern
Virginia. He was later killed by one of his own relatives in 1780, near present-day Detroit. He said before his death that he had two souls, one good and the other
bad, as he put it "...when the good soul had the ascendant, he [referring to himself] was kind and humane, and when the bad soul ruled, he was perfectly savage, and
delighted in nothing but blood and carnage."

European Pioneers and Settlers

Robert Cavelier de La Salle was probably the first European to set foot in present-day Hancock County. He sailed down the Ohio River in 1669. In 1749, Louis
Bienville de Celeron sailed down the Ohio River and may have set foot on present-day Hancock County. He claimed all of the lands drained by the Ohio River for
King Louis XV of France. He met several English fur traders on his journey and ordered them off of French soil and wrote strong letters of reprimand to the colonial
governors protesting the English's presence on French land.

In 1770, Daniel Greathouse built a small fort near Newell in Hancock County. The fort, which promised protection to those who lived near it, attracted several other
families to the area. The following year, Harmon Greathouse settled on a creek near present-day Weirton which still bears his name, Harmon's Creek.

In 1776, John Holliday built his cabin on a "cove"on Harmon's Creek. Following the Revolutionary War, several families settled in the Hancock County area,
particularly soldiers who were granted land in exchange for their service in the Continental Army. Colonel Richard Brown and his family, for example, settled on a
tract of 1,000 acres in Holliday's Cove. The town of Holliday's Cove was officially founded in 1793.

Important Events During the 1800s

During the War of 1812, Weirton mills were the main source of cannonballs used at the Battle of Lake Erie. The cannonballs were smelted from iron at the Peter
Tarr furnace.

Hancock County was created in 1848 after an attempt to move Brooke's county seat from Wellsburg (as it is then spelled) to the more centrally-located Holliday's
Cove failed. The new county line was drawn through the middle of Holliday's Cove.

Most of the residents of Hancock County supported the Union during the Civil War. When the question of succession was put before the people of Virginia in June
1861, only 23 people from Hancock County voted to secede.

Important Events During the 1900s

Weirton's founding in 1909 began with Ernest T. Weir and James R. Phillips' purchase of Clarksburg's Phillips Sheet and Tin Plate Company in 1905. They
searched for a place to relocate the business that had both more available space and was readily accessible to transportation routes to the eastern steel markets.
They chose the site of present-day Weirton because it had easy access to the Ohio River and a railroad ran through the area, connecting it to Pittsburgh.

In 1909, they acquired 106 acres or apple orchards just north of Holliday's Cove from Cyrus Ferguson. They later purchased a total of 1,200 acres in the area.
When they constructed their first mill, there were only twenty-five houses constructed on the nearby hillsides. In less than six years, Weir was operating fifty hot mills
in three locations; and was the second largest tin plate producer in the world. The mills attracted both immigrants from abroad and workers from throughout the
state. A bottom town called Weirton emerged around the mills and soon grew into the largest unincorporated town in Hancock County. In 1918, the Phillips Sheet
and Tin Company changed its name to the Weirton Steel Company.

By the 1940s, present-day Weirton was comprised of five separate communities - Holliday's Cove, Weircrest, Weirton Heights, Marland Heights, and downtown
Weirton. In 1940, 6,137 people lived in Holliday's Cove, 2,476 lived in Weirton Heights and 9,138 lived in other areas collectively called Weirton. The total of
15,275 was reputedly the largest unincorporated place in the state.

On July 1, 1947, the five communities were merged into the newly incorporated and chartered city of Weirton. Thomas E. Millsop, chairman and chief executive
officer of the National Steel Corporation's Steel Division, was elected mayor, serving from 1947 to 1955.

The steel industry continued to attract immigrants from southern and eastern Europe to Hancock County, diversifying and expanding its population. By the end of the
century, the domestic steel industry faced increased competition from abroad and the economic and population growth experienced by Hancock County in early
decades slowed.

Another company of note in the county is the Homer Laughlin China Plant located Newell. It is the largest pottery in the world. Originally founded in East Liverpool,
Ohio during the 1870s, it expanded to Newell in 1906. By 1929, the company closed all of its other plants. Today, Homer Laughlin is best known for its collectible
lines of colored dinnerware, including Fiesta, Coronet, Harlequin, and Riviera.

County Seat

The act creating the county left the location of the county seat to the electorate, which selected New Cumberland over New Manchester by a narrow margin of
thirteen votes. The county court had been meeting in New Manchester and the judges initially refused to move the court to New Cumberland. A second election was
held in 1850, with New Cumberland winning once again, this time by forty-six votes. The county court was then moved to New Cumberland, but a third election in
1852 resulted in New Manchester receiving one more vote than New Cumberland. The county seat then returned to New Manchester until later returning to New
Cumberland.

New Cumberland was originally called Brick Bend because of the many brickyards and pottery works that were located there. The city was begun in 1784 and
named Cuppytown for its founder, John Cuppy. In 1839, John Cuppy formally laid out the town into forty-two lots and called it Vernon, but later changed the name
to New Cumberland in deference to the wishes of the first purchasers of the lots. The town was incorporated by the West Virginia state legislature in 1872.

In 1794, Peter Tarr built an iron processing furnace on King's Creek, near New Cumberland. The "Old Tarr Furnace" was the first of its kind west of the Allegheny
Mountains and has the distinction of having been the place where the cannonballs that Commodore Perry fired from the guns of his ships in the Battle of Lake Erie in
1813 were made.

References

Boyd, Peter. 1927. History of Northern West Virginia Panhandle embracing Ohio, Marshall, Brooke, and Hancock Counties. Indianapolis: Historical

Publishing Company.

Cobb, William H., Andrew Price and Hu Maxwell. 1921. History of the Mingo Indians. Cumberland, Md., Printed by F.B. Jenvy.

Fundis, Loi Alete. 2000. "A Short History of the Weirton Area." Available on-line at:

http://129.71.121.130/htdocs/hancock/weir/maryhweir/reference/usgovt/WeirHist.html

Welch, Jack. 1963. History of Hancock County. Wheeling: The Wheeling News Printing and Litho. Company.
 
 
Hardy County History

Hardy County was authorized by the Virginia General Assembly on December 10, 1785 and organized in February 1786 from parts of Hampshire County. It was
named in honor of Samuel Hardy (1758-1785). He was born in Isle, Wight County Virginia in 1758 and graduated from William and Mary College in 1781. An
attorney, he served in the Virginia General Assembly in 1777 and in 1781, represented Virginia in the Continental Congress in 1783 and 1785, served briefly as
Virginia's lieutenant governor and was a signer of the Deed of Cession that transferred the Northwest territory to the American government. He died in New York in
October 1785.

First Settlers

The first native settlers in eastern West Virginia were the Mound Builders, also known as the Adena people. Remnants of the Mound Builder's civilization have been
found throughout West Virginia, with a high concentration of artifacts located at Moundsville, West Virginia, in Marshall County. The Grave Creek Indian Mound,
located in the center of Moundsville, is one of West Virginia's most famous historic landmarks. More than 2,000 years old, it stands 69 feet high and 295 feet in
diameter.

According to missionary reports, several thousand Hurons occupied present-day West Virginia during the late 1500s and early 1600s. They were driven out of the
state during the 1600s by members of the powerful Iroquois Confederacy (consisting of the Mohawk, Onondaga, Cayuga, Oneida and Seneca tribes, and joined
later by the Tuscaroras tribe). The Iroquois Confederacy was headquartered in New York and was not interested in occupying present-day West Virginia. Instead,
they used it as a hunting ground during the spring and summer months.

During the early 1700s, eastern West Virginia, including present-day Hardy County, was inhabited by the Tuscarora. They eventually migrated northward to New
York and, in 1712, became the sixth nation to formally be admitted to the Iroquois Confederacy. The area was also used as a hunting ground by the Mingo, who
lived in both the Tygart Valley and along the Ohio River in West Virginia's northern panhandle region, and by other members of the Iroquois Confederacy, especially
the Seneca, one of the largest and most powerful members of the Iroquois Confederacy.

The Mingo were not actually an Indian tribe, but a multi-cultural group of Indians that established several communities within present-day West Virginia. They lacked
a central government and, like all other Indians within the region at that time, were subject to the control of the Iroquois Confederacy. The Mingo originally lived
closer to the Atlantic Coast, but European settlement pushed them into western Virginia and eastern Ohio.

The Seneca, headquartered in western New York, was the closest member of the Iroquois Confederacy to West Virginia, and took great interest in the state. In
1744, the Seneca boasted to Virginia officials that they had conquered the several nations living on the back of the great mountains of Virginia. Among the
conquered nations were the last of the Canawese or Conoy people who became incorporated into some of the Iroquois communities in New York. The Conoy
continue to be remembered today through the naming of two of West Virginia's largest rivers after them, the Little Kanawha and the Great Kanawha.

The Seneca, and other members of the Iroquois Confederacy, claimed all of present-day West Virginia as their own, using it primarily as a hunting ground. Also, war
parties from the Seneca and other members of the Iroquois Confederacy often traveled through the state to protect its claim to southern West Virginia from the
Cherokee. The Cherokee were headquartered in western North Carolina and eastern Tennessee and rivaled the Iroquois nation in both size and influence. The
Cherokee claimed present-day southern West Virginia as their own, setting the stage for conflict with the Iroquois Confederacy.

In 1744, Virginia officials purchased the Iroquois title of ownership to West Virginia in the Treaty of Lancaster. The treaty reduced the Iroquois Confederacy's
presence in the state.

During the mid-1700s, the English had made it clear to the various Indian tribes that they intended to settle the frontier. The French, on the other hand, were more
interested in trade. This influenced the Mingo to side with the French during the French and Indian War (1755-1763). Although the Iroquois Confederacy officially
remained neutral, many in the Iroquois Confederacy also allied with the French. Unfortunately for them, the French lost the war and ceded the all of its North
American possessions to the British. Following the war, the Mingo retreated to their homes along the banks of the Ohio River and were rarely seen in the eastern
panhandle.

Although the war was officially over, many Indians continued to see the British as a threat to their sovereignty and continued to fight them. In the summer of 1763,
Pontiac, an Ottawa chief, led raids on key British forts. Shawnee chief Keigh-tugh-qua, or Cornstalk, led similar attacks on western Virginia settlements in
present-day Greenbrier County. By the end of July, Indians had captured all British forts west of the Alleghenies except Detroit, Fort Pitt, and Fort Niagara. Then,
on August 6, 1763, British forces under the command of Colonel Henry Bouquet retaliated and destroyed Delaware and Shawnee forces at Bushy Run in western
Pennsylvania, ending the hostilities.

Fearing more tension between Native Americans and settlers, England's King George III issued the Proclamation of 1763, prohibiting settlement west of the
Allegheny Mountains. However, many land speculators, including George Washington, violated the proclamation by claiming vast acreage in western Virginia. The
next five years were relatively peaceful on the frontier. In 1768, the Iroquois Confederacy (often called the Six Nations) and the Cherokee signed the Treaty of Hard
Labour and the Treaty of Fort Stanwix, relinquishing their claims on the territory between the Ohio River and the Alleghenies to the British. With the frontier now
open, settlers, once again, began to enter into present-day West Virginia.

During the American Revolution (1776-1783), the Mingo and Shawnee, headquartered at Chillicothe, Ohio, allied themselves with the British. In 1777, a party of
350 Wyandots, Shawnees, and Mingos, armed by the British, attacked Fort Henry, near present-day Wheeling. Nearly half of the Americans manning the fort were
killed in the three-day assault. The Indians then left the Fort celebrating their victory. For the remainder of the war, smaller raiding parties of Mingo, Shawnee, and
other Indian tribes terrorized settlers throughout northern and eastern West Virginia. As a result, European settlement in the region came to a virtual standstill until the
war's conclusion. Following the war, the Mingo and Shawnee, once again allied with the losing side, returned to their homes. However, as the number of settlers in
the region began to grow, and with their numbers depleted by the war, both the Mingo and the Shawnee moved further inland.

European Pioneers and Settlers

In 1725, a group of Deleware warriors accompanied by John Van Meter, a white settler, crossed through Hardy County on their way to attack the Catawba
Indians. Unfortunately for the Deleware, their war party was discovered by a group of Catawba warriors who ambushed them in what is now Pendleton County.
John Van Meter escaped, and returned to his home in New York where he recanted his adventures in the wilds of western Virginia to his son, Isaac Van Meter.

In 1736, Isaac Van Meter decided to follow his father's path and traveled to near present-day Moorefield. He made a "Tomahawk Claim" on the land (he staked his
claim to the land by using a tomahawk to mark slashes on trees outlining the claimed territory). He then returned to his home (now in New Jersey) After doing this,
Van Meter left Virginia and returned to his home in New Jersey. Later, he returned to Virginia to find James Coburn settled on the land he had previously claimed
for himself. Coburn was a member of a group of families which had settled in the Hampshire County vicinity around 1735. The dispute over the land was settled
peacefully as Van Meter paid Coburn for the land, and in 1744, Van Meter relocated his family from New Jersey to a new homestead south of the "Trough" in
Hardy County, Virginia.

Also, around the time of Isaac Van Meter's settlement in Hardy County, the colony of Virginia purchased the land encompassing Hardy, Grant, Pendleton, and
Mineral Counties as well as some additional western land for 100 pounds from the Iroquois Confederacy. This purchase paved the way for further white settlement
in the region. In its early days, Hardy County, like most counties located in the back-country, became home to many settlers of Scotch Irish, German, and Dutch
decent.

Important Events During the 1700s

In the spring of 1756, John Brake's farmhouse on the south fork of the South Branch of the Potomac River, about fifteen miles north of Moorefield, was attacked by
several Indians (accounts vary from two to fourteen) led by Shawnee Chief Killbuck. The Indians were part of a larger group (from sixty to seventy warriors) that
was in the area. The Indians kidnaped Mr. Brake's pregnant wife and a Mrs. Neff, who were alone in the farmhouse at the time of the attack. The Indians later killed
Mrs. Brake because she could not keep pace. When they reached the vicinity of Town Fort, about one and a half miles south of Moorefield, Mrs. Neff, pretending
to be asleep, was left to herself and she escaped, eventually making her way to the fort.

Eighteen men, most of them from Town Fort and a few from Buttermilk Fort, located five miles to the north, chased the Indians throughout the county. The Indians
purposively made it easy for the men to follow their trail in an effort to lead them toward their main encampment in a deep ravine called the Trough. Noticing how
easy it was to follow the Indian's trail, the men suspected a trap. As they approached the Trough they dismounted from their horses and left them on a ridge where
they could be easily seen. They then attempted to surprise the Indians by making their way down to the ravine under cover. Unfortunately, a stray dog that had
followed them from the fort startled a rabbit and gave pursuit. His yelping alerted the Indians to their presence. The Indians circled the men, leaving them trapped
between the Indians and the river.

After two hours of rifle fire and hand-to-hand combat, nearly half of the men and a like number of Indians were dead. At the same time, and in hearing distance of
the rifle shot, a company of regulars, led by Captain Thomas Wagner, a British officer, was stationed at Fort Pleasant (one account has his name as Captain Thomas
Waggoner from Fairfax County, Virginia). There are conflicting reports of Captain Wagner's conduct. One claims that when the fort's inhabitants seized their rifles to
join the fighting, Wagner ordered the fort's gates to be closed and, in a cowardly manner, ordered everyone to stay within the fort. The other report is that Wagoner
gave the order to remain in the fort, but did so because the waters in the ravine had risen so high that it was impossible to reach the battle.

Recognizing that they were hopelessly outnumbered, and that reinforcements were not coming, the remaining men dove into the river in a frantic attempt to escape,
leaving behind the wounded, who, in the words of Dr. Charles A. Turley of Fort Pleasant, loaded their rifles and placed "...themselves behind some cover on the
river bank, dealt certain death to the first adversary who made his appearance, and then calmly yielded to the tomahawk." A teenager named James Parsons was
one of the men who escaped. He later recalled that the Indians chased him right up the fort's gates and he remembered hearing tomahawks whistling by his head as
he reached the fort. Years later, Chief Killbuck complimented his opponents at what has become known as the Battle of the Trough for fighting with unusual valor
and ferocity

In 1746, an important landmark known as the Fairfax Stone, erected by Lord Fairfax, the only English nobleman to become a permanent resident of North America,
was laid in what is now Grant County, but was once part of Hardy County. The original stone was a small pyramid of sandstone bearing the letters "F-X." Sitting at
the source of the north branch of the Potomac River, where three counties converge upon the southern tip of Maryland, the Fairfax Stone is a cornerstone for the
entire state. Some of the earliest surveys in West Virginia started from the point, and some historians believe that the original stone may have been set by George
Washington who was a surveyor in his youth. The Fairfax Stone currently marks the border between West Virginia and Maryland.

In 1790, Hardy County had the third largest population (7,336) of the nine counties that were then in existence and fell within the current boundaries of West
Virginia. Berkeley County had the largest population (19,713), Randolph County had the smallest population (951), and there were a total of 55,873 people living
within the present state's boundaries

Important Events During the 1800s

In the early 1800s, Hardy County was no longer a frontier county as the frontier had been pushed westward to Ohio. During this time, many people left Hardy
County seeking opportunity in the west. The few people who did settle in the county during the early 19th century were German and Swiss immigrants from
Pennsylvania and western Maryland. In 1820, Hardy County's population was around 5,700 people, an increase of only twenty-seven people from 1810.

Recognizing that the county would never grow without a better means of transportation, the citizens of Wardensville lobbied the Virginia General Assembly in the
early 1830s to route the proposed Northwest Turnpike, connecting Parkersburg to Winchester, Virginia, through both Wardensville and Moorefield. Unfortunately,
the General Assembly decided to build the road through Romney in Hampshire County instead. Improved roads finally come to Hardy County in the late 1830s
when the Virginia General Assembly commissioned an extension of the Northwest Turnpike from Moorefield to Warm Springs. During the 1840s, the Hardy County
Turnpike was also completed. It ran from Moorefield to Winchester, Virginia. These turnpikes and their extensions enabled the expansion of the cattle industry that
was rapidly replacing small scale agriculture as the primary means of earning a living in Hardy County.

During the Civil War, many of Hardy County's residents were loyal to the southern cause. The Hardy County Blues was first commanded by Captain John C.B.
Mullin and became part of the 25th Virginia Infantry under the command of Colonel J.M. Heck. The Hardy Greys, from Moorefield, was organized on March 23,
1861. In June of 1861, it was incorporated as Company F of the 33rd Virginia Infantry under the command of Brigadier General Thomas J. Jackson. Shortly after
its formation, the 33rd Virginia saw action at the battle of First Manassas (Bull Run). This is where General Jackson earned his famous nickname, "Old Stonewall."
Initially, the Union Army held the advantage and while retreating with his brigade toward high ground called Henry House Hill, Confederate General Bernard Bee of
South Carolina (Jackson's friend from their years together at West Point) spotted Jackson and his troops who had taken position on the hill. Bee reportedly shouted
to his troops, "Look, men, there is Jackson standing like a stone wall! Let us determine to die here, and we will conquer!" His troops then joined Jackson's, held off
an assault from the Union Army. and later counterattacked the Union forces and won the day.

As northern control of western Virginia strengthened later in the war, southern military support was found more often in the form of irregulars, troops never mustered
into the Confederate service. West Virginia's first governor, Arthur Boreman, considered these irregulars the most serious threat to the new state. West Virginia's
most famous band of these guerrillas was McNeill's Rangers, organized in Hardy County. During 1863 and 1864, they wreaked havoc on the B&O Railroad in the
Eastern Panhandle, seizing numerous Union supplies. However, on February 21, 1865, the rangers executed their most daring raid. A small group of men rode into
Cumberland, Maryland, kidnaped generals Crook and Kelley, and delivered them to General Jubal Early. At the end of the war, McNeill's Rangers surrendered to
Union troops under General Rutherford B. Hayes on May 8, one month after Appomattox.

In late 1861, some Hardy County residents appealed to Confederate President Jefferson Davis to send aid to Hardy County in order to stop northern raids into the
area. The citizens of Hardy County complained of stolen cattle, horses, and sheep. They also cited instances in which citizens were arrested for being southern
sympathizers. Recognizing the importance of Hardy County's beef and corn to the southern cause, Davis allowed Hardy County's militia to return to their homes to
provide for a more adequate county defense.

Important Events During the 1900s

In the early 1900's, cattle remained an important industry in Grant County and dairy cattle, which had previously held a less prominent role in county commerce,
increased in importance. By the 1930s, the cattle industry began to decline and farmers focused more on poultry and dairy products.

County Seat

The county seat, Moorefield, was charted by the Virginia General Assembly in 1777 on the farm of Conrad Moore. The town was named in his honor.

Moorefield was the site of an important Civil War Battle. While returning to the Shenandoah Valley after burning Chambersburg, Confederate Brig. General John
McCausland's calvary was surprised by Union troops, led by Brig. General William W. Averell, at Moorefield on August 7, 1864. The Confederate forces were
routed. Approximately 531 men lost their lives, and, importantly, hundreds of war horses were lost by the Confederate Army. The defeat significantly reduced the
Confederate presence in West Virginia for the remainder of the war.

Resources

MacMaster, Richard K. 1986. History of Hardy County, 1786-1986. Salem: Walsworth Press, Inc.

Moore, Alvin Edward. 1963. History of Hardy County of the Borderland. Parsons: McClain Printing Company.

West Virginia Division of Culture and History. 2002. "The Civil War in West Virginia." Charleston, WV: West Virginia Division of Culture and History. Available on-line at: http://www.wvculture.org/history/civilwar.html. 
 

 Harrison County History

Harrison County was created in July 1785 from parts of Monongalia County. It was named in honor of Benjamin Harrison, who, at that time, had just retired as Governor of Virginia.

Benjamin Harrison was born in Charles City County Virginia in 1726, the eldest son of ten children. He attended William and Mary College, but returned home before graduating to manage his father's estate following a lightning strike that killed his father and two of his sisters. He later served in the Virginia General Assembly (first elected in 1764) where he opposed the British imposition of taxes on the colonists. In 1773, he was elected to the Continental Congress (serving from 1774 to 1777), where he was chairman of the Board of War. During his congressional years, Harrison was known for being witty and entertaining, with a wry, often black sense of humor. When there was discussion about the possibility of being hanged for signing the Declaration of Independence, the overweight Harrison was reported to have told Elbridge Gerry, a very thin man, "I shall have all the advantage over you. It will be all over in a minute for me, but you will be kicking in the air half an hour after I am gone."

Harrison later served as Governor of Virginia from 1782 to 1784. Prohibited from running for a third term, he retired from politics and returned to his estate (called Berkeley) on the banks of the James River overlooking Richmond. After several years of private life, he decided to re-enter politics. In April 1791, he was elected to the Virginia state legislature. However, on the evening of the day after his election, following a festive party celebrating his election, he was stricken with a severe bout of gout and died on April 24, 1791. He left behind his wife, Elizabeth, and seven children. His third son, William, followed in his father's footsteps. General William H. Harrison was elected the 9th President of the United States. Benjamin Harrison was also the great grandfather, and namesake, of Benjamin Harrison, the 23rd President of the United States.

The 1790 Census, taken shortly after Harrison County was formed, revealed that the new county had next to the smallest population (2,080) of the nine counties that were, at that time, within the current boundaries of the present state of West Virginia. Berkeley County had the largest population (19,713) and Randolph County had the smallest (951). There were 55,873 people living within the present state's boundaries at the time.

European Pioneers and Settlers

John Simpson is believed to be the first European settler in present-day Harrison County. An ancestor of President and Union Army General Ulysses Simpson Grant, he arrived in the Clarksburg area in 1765. At that time, the county was considered by most Europeans as being a very dangerous and inhospitable area. Indians routinely killed any intruders on their hunting grounds. In an attempt to make peace with the Indians, King George III issued a Royal Proclamation in 1763 forbidding English settlement west of the Appalachian Mountains. Nevertheless, many, including John Simpson, ignored the King's proclamation.

Prior to his arrival in present-day Harrison County, John Simpson was a trapper and fur trader who had been traveling with Samuel and John Pringle, deserters from Fort Pitt. Simpson chose to leave their company after an argument that occurred somewhere near Tucker County. At that time, Simpson continued westward, crossing and naming Simpson Creek, until he reached the mouth of a creek, which he named the "Elk" because there were so many Elk in its vicinity.

He then built a cabin and established permanent residence in the area. In 1781, he received a grant for 400 acres of land along the West Fork River, legitimizing his claim to the land in the region. However, preferring to live on the edge of civilization, when settlers began to enter the area during the 1780s, he packed up his belongings and headed for present-day Ohio.

Thomas Nutter was another early Harrison County settler. He received a grant for 1,400 acres of land along Elk Creek, and arrived, with his brothers Matthew and Christopher, in the county around 1772. They are most well-known for constructing Nutter's Fort, said to be the strongest fort south of Fort Pitt. Thomas Nutter died in early August, 1808 and is buried in the Nutter's graveyard near where the fort stood. A marker at West Virginia Business College marks the site of the actual fort. In 1940, the town of Nutter Fort, named for Thomas Nutter, was officially incorporated.

The Shinn brothers, Levi, Clement, and Jonathan, arrived in the county shortly after Thomas Nutter. Originally from New Jersey, Levi Shinn visited the county in either 1772 or 1773 to establish his "tomahawk" rights (claiming territory by marking trees with notches). In 1778, the three brothers, and their entire families, came to the county to built a permanent settlement. Levi sold some of his land to Jonathan whose son, Levi, later donated for the founding of the site of town of Shinnston. The elder Levi Shinn constructed a grist mill near Shinn's Run. The mill attracted further settlement, and by the year 1818, the area had grown enough to be chartered as the town of Shinnston.

The first settlers along Simpson Creek, located within present-day Bridgeport, included James Anderson, John Powers, Andrew Davisson, Joseph Davisson, and John Wilkinson. They arrived between 1771 and 1774 and constructed a fort for protection against the Indians atop the hill on what is now Davis Street. In order to gain quick access to the fort, they constructed a pontoon bridge of short logs tied with long hickory withes across Simpson Creek. The settlement thus derived its name of "The Bridge-fort." According to one local historian, the name changed to Bridgeport when a mapmaker mislabeled the settlement.

Important Events During the 1700s

As previously noted, during the early 1700s western Virginia was an inhospitable wilderness fraught with danger from wolves, bears, and other men. There were no courts, so the early settlers were not under any obligation to obey the law. For example, according to local legend, John Simpson got into an argument with a Mr. Cottrill over a peck of salt. Cottrill's lifeless body was discovered outside Simpson's cabin. Cottrill's gun, which was found near Simpson's barn, was said to have been cocked and ready to fire. Simpson, the main suspect in the murder, was never tried for the crime. Without an established court system, "frontier justice" was the only law that prevailed.

Colonel Benjamin Wilson, an avid Indian fighter and local politician, was one of Randolph and Harrison County's more notable citizens. He was born in Frederick County, now Shenandoah County, Virginia, on November 30, 1747. His parents moved to Trout Run, near the South Branch of the Potomac, then in Frederick and now in Hardy County, when he was a small boy. In 1770, he married Ann Ruddell and moved to Tygart Valley, in Randolph County. In 1774, he was attached as a Lieutenant to Lord Dunmore's army, and later served as Lord Dunmore's personal aid during what was to become known as Lord Dunmore's War.

Lord Dunmore's War began after some settlers in the northern panhandle killed several members of Mingo Indian Chief Logan's family. Logan revenged the killings by killing several frontier settlers. The Shawnee, and other Indian tribes residing in the area, upset over the increasing number of European settlers infringing upon their territory, allied themselves with the Mingo and began to attack various settlements throughout the state. The Governor of Virginia, John Murray, the Earl of Dunmore, and General Andrew Lewis raised an army and devised a strategy to end the uprising. General Lewis was to march his portion of the army northwest through Virginia and drive the Indians westward, while Lord Dunmore marched his portion of the army across the Alleghenies and down the Ohio River, trapping the Indians between the two forces. During the war, General Lewis led the colonial militia to victory over the Shawnee and their charismatic leader Chief Cornstalk at the Battle of Point Pleasant on October 10, 1774. In the meanwhile, Lord Dunmore led troops into Ohio where he encountered the retreating Cornstalk, forcing him to sue for peace. Although western Virginia's settlers continued to experience some isolated Indian attacks for several years, Cornstalk's defeat at Point Pleasant was the beginning of the end of the Indian presence in western Virginia. The Indians agreed to give up all of their white prisoners, restore all captured horses and other property, and not to hunt south of the Ohio River. Also, they were to allow boats on the Ohio River and promised not to harass them. This opened up present-day West Virginia and Kentucky for settlement. Cornstalk was later killed at Fort Randolph near Point Pleasant in 1777 in retaliation for the death of a militiaman who was killed by an Indian.

Benjamin Wilson later served during the American Revolutionary War where he was promoted to Captain. After the war, he served as the commander of the local militia and was promoted, in 1781, to the rank of Colonel. He also served in the state legislature for several terms. In 1784, he was instrumental in the organization of Harrison County from Monongalia County and was named Harrison County's first county clerk. He held the position for thirty years. In 1788, he moved to Clarksburg when his land in the Tygart Valley was incorporated into the newly formed Randolph County. Around this time, he bought 400 acres along Simpson Creek, and built several mills there. He died in 1827, at the ripe old age of eighty. During his lifetime, he fathered twenty-nine children, twelve with Ann Ruddell and eighteen with Phoebe Davisson, whom he married in 1795, following Ann's death. His youngest child was born when he was seventy-three years old.

Colonel George Jackson, and his son, Brigadier General John George Jackson, are two more significant figures in Harrison County's history. Born in Cecil County Maryland in 1757, Colonel George Jackson moved with his parents to Moorefield, and, in 1769, to Jackson's Fort (now Buckhannon). He was promoted to the rank of Colonel during the American Revolutionary War. After the war, in 1784, he moved to Clarksburg to be closer to his newly constructed mill. While in Clarksburg, he was accepted into the County Bar without any formal legal training and practiced law. He was one of several leading citizens in the area who actively lobbied the Virginia General Assembly to create Harrison County, arguing that the county seat in Morgantown was too far away for the efficient conduct of business. When Harrison County was formed in 1785, the first county seat was located at Colonel Jackson's home on the Buckhannon River. Colonel Jackson was elected to the state House of Delegates in 1784, serving from 1785 to 1791, and from 1794 to 1795. He was a member of the state convention which ratified the United States Constitution in 1788; and was elected as a Republican to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1794, serving from 1795 to 1797 and from 1799 to 1803. In 1806, he moved to Zanesville, Ohio and was subsequently elected to the Ohio state House of Representatives (1809-1812) and the Ohio state Senate (1817-1819). He died in Zanesville, Ohio on May 17, 1831. His son, Brigadier General John George Jackson, was born in Buckhannon September 22, 1777 and moved with his parents to Clarksburg in 1784. He served as a member of the Virginia House of Delegates from 1798 to 1801 and was elected to his father's seat in the U.S. House of Representatives, serving from 1803 to 1810, left to serve in the War of 1812, and then returned to the House, serving from 1813 to 1817. In 1819, he was appointed United States district judge for the western district of Virginia and served in that capacity until his death in Clarksburg on March 28, 1825.

In 1787, the Virginia General Assembly voted to establish Randolph Academy in Clarksburg, the first Academy created west of the Appalachian Mountains. Although the school was chartered in 1787, it was not actually built until 1793. Two important figures in the school's history include the school's first instructor, George Towers, an Oxford educated Presbyterian Minister, and Francis Pierpont, who served as Governor of the Restored Government of Virginia during the Civil War. Pierpont was later instrumental in the creation of the state of West Virginia. The original trustees of Randolph Academy included John Powers, Colonel Benjamin Wilson, George Jackson, and Nicholas Carpenter.

Important Events During the 1800s

Joseph Johnson, the first Virginia Governor elected from west of the Alleghenies, was born on December 19, 1785 in Orange County, New York. In 1791, his mother moved him to New Jersey and, in 1801, to present-day Bridgeport in Harrison County. Johnson's first job was working for Ephiram Smith, a local farmer. In 1804, he married Smith's daughter, Sarah. He eventually inherited Smith's land and his mill located along Simpson Creek. He was appointed a district constable in 1811, served as a Captain of a company of Virginia riflemen during the War of 1812, and was elected to the Virginia General Assembly in 1815, serving from 1816 to1822. As a member of the Virginia General Assembly, he introduced a bill in 1815 to create the town of Bridgeport. The bill passed the following year. Bridgeport's first mayor was John Wright. In 1823, Johnson was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, serving from 1823 to 1827, 1833, 1835 to 1841, and 1845-1847. He was elected Governor of Virginia in 1851, and, after serving a short term due to the ratification of the new Virginia Constitution, was re-elected by the people of the state and held office for four years; making him the first popularly elected Governor in Virginia's history. After his term as Governor ended in 1856, Johnson returned to his home in Bridgeport, but, because he supported the southern cause during the Civil War, he left Harrison County during the war to live in Staunton, Virginia. After the war's conclusion, he returned to Bridgeport where he died on February 27, 1877.

Beginning as early as 1800, the citizens of Harrison County began to lobby for a better network of roads through the county. Congressman Jonathan George Jackson, mentioned earlier, lobbied the Federal government to build the proposed National Road through Clarksburg instead of Wheeling, but Wheeling won out.

In 1826, the Virginia General Assembly voted to construct the Northwestern Turnpike from Winchester, Virginia, through Romney and Clarksburg, to the Ohio River, but funds for its construction were not appropriated until 1831. The turnpike finally opened in 1838. It had a positive affect on the county's development by attracting new settlers, and making it easier to get local goods to markets along the east coast.

At the outset of the Civil War, Harrison County was considered strategically important because both sides coveted control of the Baltimore and Ohio railroad which traversed the county. The County's residents were relatively evenly divided in their loyalties. During the war, Clarksburg was used by the Union Army as a supply depot and as a gathering point for its troops. Unlike many other counties in West Virginia, Harrison County remained in Union control throughout the war.

Harrison County was the home of the famous Confederate General Thomas Jonathan "Stonewall" Jackson. Born in Clarksburg on January 21, 1824, he was orphaned early in life and lived in the Clarksburg area until he entered West Point at the age of eighteen. He had a distinguished military career, rising to the rank of Major during Mexican War. He also served in the campaign against the Seminole Indians in Florida. In 1851, he resigned his commission and returned to Virginia where he was elected Professor of Natural and Experimental Philosophy and Instructor of Artillery Tactics at the Virginia Military Institute at Lexington. Following Virginia's secession from the Union, he joined the Confederate Army as a Colonel, and took command of a small body of troops near Harper's Ferry. He was soon promoted to Brigadier General and during the Civil War became known as one of the South's finest Generals. His nickname resulted from the performance of his troops and his personal demeanor during the Battle of Bull Run (First Manassas). Initially, the Union Army held the advantage and while retreating with his brigade toward high ground called Henry House Hill, Confederate General Bernard Bee of South Carolina (Jackson's friend from their years together at West Point) spotted Jackson and his troops who had taken position on the hill. Bee reportedly shouted to his troops, "Look, men, there is Jackson standing like a stone wall! Let us determine to die here, and we will conquer!" His troops then joined Jackson's, held off an assault from the Union Army, and later counterattacked the Union forces and won the day. Later, General Jackson was accidently shot by one of his own men during the Battle of Chancellorsville. In his dying moments on May 10, 1863, he shouted out a command to move the infantry to the front, and then, realizing that he was dying, he whispered in his dying breath: "Let us cross over the river and rest under the shade of the trees."

In 1887, the town of Salem lost out to Buckhannon to become the site of an educational institution financed by the Methodist Church, but the town's residents were not deterred. They held a town meeting, and the participants decided to ask the eastern Seventh Day Baptist Church for support. The Baptists complied by providing $3,000, and Salem Academy was born. In 1890, Salem Academy was renamed Salem College. In 1970, Salem College opened its, "Valley of Learning," a new campus including buildings such as the Campus Life Center, the Benedum Learning Resources Center, and the Carlson Hall of Science. In 1989, Salem College established a partnership with Teikyo University of Japan and changed its name to Salem Teikyo University. In 2000, the University changed its name to Salem International University and in 2001 it entered into a partnership with Informatics Holdings Ltd., a private school registered with the Ministry of Education of Singapore. Through this partnership Salem International University retains its status as a private, not-for-profit institution of higher learning, and works with Informatics Holdings Ltd., a for-profit business, to provide both on-campus and on-line education to students from around the world. This is a unique relationship and one of the first for an American institution of higher learning.

Important Events During the 1900s

Harrison County has always had a relatively diverse economy. In addition to small-scale agriculture, by the early 1900s Harrison County's industries included salt works, boatyards, glass making, pottery, chemicals, and, since the opening of the Pinnickinnick coal mine in 1859, coal mining. In 1898, the Hope Gas Company was formed and, in 1940, moved its company headquarters from Pittsburgh to Clarksburg. The Grasselli Chemical Company, headed by Richard Ziesing, the father of the middle Appalachian chemical industry, brought the chemical industry to Steelton [now Anmoore] at the turn of the century. Collectively, these industries attracted new immigrant to the county, especially from southern and eastern Europe. The influx of immigrants diversified the county's ethnic make-up.

Michael Late Benedum, known as the "Great Wildcatter" was born in Bridgeport in 1869. The son of Emanuel and Caroline Benedum, he spent his early life in Bridgeport, attended local schools, and worked at local businesses. In 1900, he formed a partnership with Joe C. Trees and formed the Benedum-Trees Oil Company. The tandem searched for oil in West Virginia, across the United States, and around the world, earning reputations as experts in their field. Michael Benedum was one of the first oilmen to drill in the Gulf of Mexico.

Michael Benedum amassed a large fortune during his life and was ranked among the one hundred most wealthy persons in the United States. He never forgot his small town roots in West Virginia. In 1944, he, and his wife Sarah, established the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation, a charitable organization established in honor of their son, Claude Benedum, who died in World War I at the age of twenty. The Benedum Foundation has financed numerous civic and cultural activities in the tri-state area, including the construction of a new Bridgeport Methodist Church, the Benedum Civic Center, and the Bridgeport Cemetery. Since its inception, the Benedum Foundation has made over 6,000 grants totaling more than $226,000,000.

Harrison County was also the home of John William Davis (1873-1955). In 1924, he was the Democratic nominee for President of the United States, the only West Virginian to run for the Presidency of the United States as a nominee of a major political party. He received 8.3 million votes (136 electoral votes), but lost to Calvin Coolidge, the Republican nominee, who received 15.7 million votes (382 electoral votes).

County Seat

The Harrison county seat was originally established at the house of George Jackson, at Bush's Fort on the Buchannon River. The current county seat, Clarksburg, was named for the explorer General George Rogers Clark. In 1773, David Davisson claimed 400 acres of land, near present- day downtown Clarksburg. The town was chartered by the Virginia General Assembly in October 1785 and was incorporated in 1795. The town's first newspaper, The By-Stander, began publication in 1810.Early settlers began to arrive in 1770 in the area that is now Clarksburg.

The town began to grow following the construction of the Northwestern Turnpike from Winchester, Virginia, through Romney and Clarksburg, to the Ohio River, in 1838. Its development was also helped by the arrival of the Baltimore and Ohio Railway in 1856. The spread of coal mining during the late 1800s and early 1900s attracted Irish, Italian, and Greek immigrants to this area.

References

Anderson, Jack Sandy. 1960. Ramblings. Fairmont: Fairmont Printing and Office Furniture Company.

Caynor, Avis. 1976. Bridgeport: A Town and Its People. Bridgeport: Benedum Civic Center Library.

Davis, Dorothy. 1970. History of Harrison County, West Virginia. Parsons: American Association of University Women.

Davis, Dorothy. 1997. Historic Sketches. Clarksburg: Harrison County Historical Society.

Harrison County: A Bicentennial Album. Marceline, MO: Harrison County Bicentennial Committee, 1985.

Haymond, Henry. 1910. History of Harrison County, West Virginia: From the Early Days of Northwestern Virginia to the Present. Morgantown: Acme Publishing Company.

Out and About, n.d. A Pictorial View of Early Clarksburg and Harrison County. Clarksburg, WV: Out and About, Harrison County Magazine.

Vinci, John. 1999. "Benjamin Harrison: 1726?-1791." Included in Colonial Hall: A Look at America's Founders. Available on-line at: http://www.colonialhall.com/harrison/harrison.asp. 
 

Jackson County History

Jackson County was created on March 1, 1831 from parts of Kanawha, Mason and Wood counties. It was named in honor of Andrew Jackson (1767-1845), who was then President of the United States (1829-1837).

President and General Andrew Jackson, known as "Old Hickory", had a distinguished military and political career. Born in a backwoods settlement in South Carolina in 1767, he received little formal education as a child. His father died a few days before he was born. His mother died when he was 13, while he was away from home serving as a courier during the American Revolutionary War. After the war, he moved to North Carolina and decided to pursue a legal career. After reading law books for about two years, he was admitted to the Bar in 1787. The following year he moved to Nashville (then still part of North Carolina) where he met and fell in love with Rachel Donelson Robards. She had moved to Nashville to be with her mother after separating from her husband, Captain Lewis Robards, who resided in Virginia. Believing that she had been granted a divorce from her husband, she married Andrew Jackson in 1791. However, her previous marraige was not officially dissolved until 1793. As soon as they found out, they promptly remarried in January 1794, but Jackson's later political opponents often charged him with having stolen another man's wife and, worse, having lived with her in adultery from 1791 to 1794. Fiercely jealous of his honor, Jackson often physically confronted anyone who spread rumors about his relationship with Rachel. In 1806, he killed Charles Dickinson, a Nashville lawyer, in a duel for casting a slur against Rachel.

Jackson's political career began when he was elected the newly formed state of Tennessee's first representative to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1796. The following year he was selected to by the Tennessee state legislature to represent the state in the U.S. Senate, but he resigned after serving only two years due to financial difficulties. His financial problems were solved by his appoinment to the Tennessee Superior Court in 1798. He served in that capacity until 1804. He then retired from political life and focused on raising cotton and breeding thoroughbred horses on his estate near Nashville. During this time, he served as a member of the Tennessee militia, rising to the rank of major general. Because he was not on the best of terms with President James Madision, when the War of 1812 began he was granted a commission as major general of U.S. volunteers, considered a relatively modest appointment. His command was initially provided supportive missions for other troops, but in 1813 the Creek Indians went on the warpath in the Mississippi Territory. Jackson was given the responsibility of dealing with the problem and he soon gained national fame for his successful campaign against the Creek Indians. He was promoted to major general in the regular army and given responsibility for the defense of Tennessee, Mississippi, and Louisiana. . The following year, his fame grew to historic proportions for his masterful defense of New Orleans. During the famous Battle at New Orleans on January 8, 1815, Jackson led a contingent of Louisiana militia, Tennessee and Kentucky riflemen, and Baratarian pirates against a vastly superior British force. During the battle, more than 2,000 British were killed, compared to six American casulties. The Battle of New Orleans, subject of numerous scholarly books and Hollywood movies, was the last campaign of the War of 1812. The Battle of New Orleans was fought after the Ghent Peace Treaty was signed on December 24, 1814. Although it has often been asserted that Jackson's victory at New Orleans was won after the war's conclusion, that was not the case. The Ghent Peace Treaty specifically called for continued hostilities until the treaty was formally ratified by both governments, which did not take place until February 1815, the month after the Battle of New Orleans.

After the war, General Jackson retired to his estate near Nashville, only to be recalled to active duty in 1827 to put down the Seminole Indian uprising in Georgia. In the process of putting down the uprising, he pursued the Indians across the border into neighboring Florida, then owned by the Spanish. Jackson marched through the state, capturing city after city. His unauthored "invasion" caused an international furor. With American forces firmly in control of Florida, and Jackson being hailed by the media as a national hero, President Monroe was placed in a difficult situation. Firing Jackson for insubordination would have been a political disaster, but the international community demanded Jackson's recall, and Spain was threatening war. The crisis was resolved when Spain agreed to sell Florida to the United States. Jackson later resigned his commission to serve as the provisional Governor of the Florida Territory (in 1821). He then ran unsuccessfully for President in 1824, winning a plurality of the popular vote and of the electoral college in a four man race (Jackson, John Quincy Adams, William H. Crawford and Henry Clay). Because none of the four won a majority of the electoral college vote, the election was decided by the U.S. House of Representatives. It choose John Quincy Adams over Jackson. He ran again in 1828 and, although the presidential race was considered one of the dirtiest in American history, with cartoonists and opponents focusing attention on Jackson's relationship with Rachel, he won, becoming the 7th President of the United States. He was re-elected in 1832. Although the modern Democratic party's roots extend back to Thomas Jefferson, Andrew Jackson is generally credited for starting the Democratic political party. He is also known as the first president to use the veto power to achieve political goals.

European Pioneers and Settlers

Robert Cavelier de La Salle was probably the first European to set foot in present Jackson County. He sailed down the Ohio River in 1669. James Le Tort, a French fur trader, was probably the first European to settle in Jackson County. He established a trading post sometime before 1740 near the current border of Jackson and Mason Counties. In 1749, Louis Bienville de Celeron explored the Ohio River and claimed all of the lands drained by the Ohio River for King Louis XV of France. He met several English fur traders on his journey and ordered them off of French soil and wrote strong letters of reprimand to the colonial governors protesting the English's presence on French soil.

Joseph Le Tort, a French Heugonot, arrived in present-day Jackson County around 1740. He came to western Virginia from his home in Pennsylvania. While in Jackson County, he traded furs with the Indians.

In February 1752, Christopher Gist led a survey expedition into present-day Jackson County on behalf of the Ohio Land Company. He reportedly killed four bison while camped there. He reported that he could not recommend any permanent settlements in the area because of the harsh living conditions and the unfriendliness of the Indians, who claimed the area as part of their hunting grounds. In 1770, George Washington explored the region and claimed two tracts of land in the county (2,448 acres near the present site of Ravenswood and 4,395 acres in the Millwood area) in exchange for his service during the French and Indian Wars (1754-1763).

William Hannamon, Benjamin Cox, and James McDade were the first known English settlers in Jackson County, moving into the Mill Creek area in May 1796. The first two built homes and took up permanent residence in the county. McDade served as an Indian scout, traveling the banks of the Ohio River, with his only companion, a faithful dog, at his side. It was said that his sole ambition in life was to alert some poor traveler of the presence of Indians and preventing them from becoming a victim of what he beleived were murderous savages. The first school was built in the county in 1806, and the first teacher, Andrew Hushan, had 15 students when it opened in 1807. In addition to being the county's first teacher, Andrew Hushan also constructed the county's first mill in 1799.

Important Events During the 1800s

During the early 1800s, life in present-day Jackson County was difficult and fraught with danger. For example, in 1817, John Greene, a former resident of Botetourt County, Virginia, moved to Jackson County and constructed a home along Allen's Fork of the Pocatalico River. Reuben Harrison, another early settler in the region, had a home along Thirteen Mile Creek, located in present-day Mason County. The two men became close friends and hunting partners. Their hunting expeditions would often last several nights, requiring them to spend the night in the open wilderness. One night, the two men had their young sons, Edward Greene and Zebulon Harrison, with them. The boys had hoped to witness their fathers chop down a very large tree which was believed to be inhabited by a bear. They chopped the tree down, but there was no bear to be found. As it was getting late in the day, the men took refuge in a nearby cave for the night. They built a fire and settled in. After they had all fallen asleep, an overhead rock collapsed into the cave, crushing the men from the waist down. The two young boys were also hurt, but their injuries were not life threatening. The boys did not know the way home, and waited for help to arrive. Four days later, Josiah Harrison, Reuben Harrison's brother, found them. Unfortunately, by the time he arrived, his brother was dead. Josiah Harrison then raced back home to get help for Edward Greene, who was still trapped beneath the huge boulder. Unfortunately, by the time he returned with help, Greene was dead.

Early transportation in Jackson County was primitive. Because the land was heavily wooded, settlers relied on the Ohio River and its tributaries for most of their long-distance travel. Roads were few and far between. They consisted of Indian trails and rudimentary packhorse trails. Jackson Smith built the first "real" road in the county in 1832. It ran from Ripley to Millwood. By the 1850s, several turnpikes were built within the county. These toll roads vastly improved local transportation. Unfortunately, during the Civil War many of these turnpikes were damaged from heavy use and were not fully repaired until the 1870s. By the 1880s, railroads began to replace roads as the primary means of moving large quantities of goods in the county. By the 1890s, three rail companies served the county's residents.

By the 1840s, Jackson County's residents had moved from being primarily self-sufficient, small scale farmers to specialists in different crafts, ranging from blacksmiths and gunsmiths to tanners and shoemakers. Also, several grist mills were constructed to grind corn and wheat on a large scale. Grist mills were often the center of economic activity and became the focal point around which towns were built. Ripley, for example, owes its beginning to the Starcher Mill, built there in 1824 by Jacob Starcher. Other early industries in Jackson County included timber and lumbering companies, oil and gas wells, a woolen mill, and a handle factory.

During the Civil War, Jackson County remained under Union control. The only exception was in September 1862 when Confederate forces, under the command of General Albert Gallatin Jenkins, briefly gained control of the county.

Jackson County holds the dubious distinction of being the site of the last public hanging in the state of West Virginia. On December 16, 1897, John F. Morgan was hanged from gallows that had been erected in a field outside of Ripley. More than 5,000 people attended the spectacle. Morgan had been tried and convicted of murdering Mrs. Chloe Green and one of her daughters with a hatchet. Morgan also struck Mrs. Greene's other daughter with the murder weapon, but she escaped and identified him as the murderer. A reporter covering the event for The New York Sun wrote, "every road and path leading into the town of Ripley was clogged with men and women on horse back, families in wagons, buggies and every conceivable type of conveyance." Worried that the Governor might grant Mr. Morgan a reprieve, the local sheriff decided to conduct the hanging a little earlier than planned. The Sheriff annouced to the crowd, "I promised you a hanging and there's a-going to be one." Soon afterwards, the West Virginia State legislature passed a law banning public hangings.

County Seat

When Jackson County was formed, the residents of the county could not decide where to locate the county seat. The people who lived along the Ohio River near the Ravenswood settlement favored that location. The people who lived farther inland objected. The General Assembly appointed an independent commission to make the final decision. The commissioners were John McWhorter of Lewis County, John Miller of Kanawha County, William Spurlock of Cabell County, Cyrus Cary of Greenbrier County, and John McCoy of Tyler County. They choose Ripley.

Ripley was originally owned and settled by William, John, and Lewis Rodgers. They received a grant of 400 acres in 1768 where "Sycamore Creek joins Big Mill Creek" (the current site of Ripley). The land was later sold to Jacob (and Ann) Starcher, most probably in 1803. At that time, Captain William Parsons was one of the county's most prominent citizens. He arrived in the Ripley area shortly before 1800. Jacob Starcher laid out the town in 1830, and named it in honor of Harry Ripley, a young minister who was to be married, but drowned in Big Mill Creek, about one and a half miles north of the town, shortly before the ceremony took place. In 1832, the Starchers donated eight acres of land to the county, two acres for the location of the county courthouse and jail, and six for the general use of the new county (a public school and a cemetery were later located on the land). The town was chartered by the Virginia General Assembly in 1832.

In 1832, James Smith was commissioned to build the county courthouse and jail. The jail was to be 34 feet by 17 feet, and the courthouse was to be 36 feet square. The one-story brick buldings were completed in 1833 at a cost of $3,700. Nicholas H. Bonnett was commissioned to build a new, larger two-story courthouse in 1854. He completed the project in 1858 for $8,993. In 1917, after attempting repairs to the courthouse's heating system, the county commission decided to move its meetings to the lower hall of the existing I.O.O.F. building while a new courthouse was being built. They rented the space from Herbert Skeen and W.F. Boggess. The new courthouse, still in use today, was completed by the Prescott Construction Company in 1920. An addition was built in 1961 at a cost of $350,000.

References

Bicentennial Committee. 1976. Early History of Pioneer Days in Jackson County. Jackson County: Delta Gamma Society International.

Jackson County Historical Society. 1982. The Emergence of Jackson County and of Ripley, Its Seat of Justice. Jackson County Historical Society: Ripley, WV.

Jackson County Historical Society. 1990. Jackson County West Virginia Past and Present. Marceline, MO: Walsworth Publishing Co.

Morrison, Okey J. 1897. The Slaughter of the Pfost-Greene Family of Jackson County W.Va. Gibson and Sorin Co: Cincinnati, Ohio.

O'Brien, Winnifred E. 1979. Early Settlers and their Contributions to Jackson County and its County Seat Ripley, West Virginia. Ripley: Jackson County Public Library.

Jefferson County History

 Jefferson County was created by an act of the General Assembly on January 8, 1801, from parts of Berkeley County. It was named in honor of Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826), who was then President of the United States. One of America's greatest statesmen, Thomas Jefferson was born in Shadwell, Virginia on April 2, 1743 and graduated from William and Mary College in 1762. He studied law and was admitted to the bar in 1767. He served as a member of the Colonial House of Burgesses from 1769 to 1774 and again in 1782; a delegate to the Continental Congress in 1775, 1776, and again from 1782 to 1785; drafted the Declaration of Independence on July 2, 1776; served as Governor of Virginia from 1779 to 1781; was appointed minister to France in 1785. He served in that capacity for three years. He was then the first Secretary of State during George Washington's Administration, was elected Vice-President of the United States during John Adams' Administration and was elected the 3rd President of the United States in 1801. He was re-elected in 1805 (serving from 1801 to 1809). He was also the founder of the University of Virginia. In an ironic and endearing twist of fate, both Thomas Jefferson and John Adams died on July 4 (Independence Day) in 1825.

First Settlers

The first native settlers in the eastern panhandle region of present-day West Virginia were the Mound Builders, also known as the Adena people. Remnants of the
Mound Builder's civilization have been found throughout northern West Virginia, with a high concentration of artifacts located at Moundsville, West Virginia, in
Marshall County. The Grave Creek Indian Mound, located in the center of Moundsville, is one of West Virginia's most famous historic landmarks. More than 2,000 years old, it stands 69 feet high and 295 feet in diameter.

West Virginia's eastern panhandle region, including present-day Jefferson County, was inhabited by the Tuscarora Indians during the 1600s and early 1700s. They eventually migrated northward to New York and, in 1712, became the sixth nation to formally be admitted to the powerful Iroquois Confederacy (comprised of the Seneca, Cayuga, Onondaga, Oneida, Mohawk, and Tuscarora tribes). The eastern panhandle region was also used as a hunting ground by the Mingo, who lived in both the Tygart Valley and along the Ohio River in West Virginia's northern panhandle region; the Delaware, who lived in present-day eastern Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware, but had several autonomous settlements as far south as present-day Braxton County; and other members of the Iroquois Confederacy, especially the Seneca, one of the largest and most powerful members of the Iroquois Confederacy.

The Mingo were not actually an Indian tribe, but a multi-cultural group of Indians that established several communities within present-day West Virginia. They lacked
a central government and, like all other Indians within the region at that time, were subject to the control of the Iroquois Confederacy. The Mingo originally lived
closer to the Atlantic Coast, but European settlement pushed them into western Virginia and eastern Ohio.

The Seneca was the closest member of the Iroquois Confederacy to West Virginia and took great interest in the state. In 1744, the Seneca boasted to Virginia
officials that they had conquered the several nations living on the back of the great mountains of Virginia. Among the conquered nations were the last of the Canawese or Conoy people who became incorporated into some of the Iroquois communities in New York. The Conoy continue to be remembered today through the naming of two of West Virginia's largest rivers after them, the Little Kanawha and the Great Kanawha.

The Seneca, and other members of the Iroquois Confederacy, often traveled through the state to protect its claim to southern West Virginia from the Cherokee. The Cherokee were headquartered in western North Carolina and eastern Tennessee and rivaled the Iroquois nation in both size and influence. The Cherokee claimed
present-day southern West Virginia as their own, setting the stage for conflict with the Iroquois Confederacy.

In 1744, Virginia officials purchased the Iroquois title of ownership to West Virginia in the Treaty of Lancaster. The treaty reduced the Iroquois Confederacy's
presence in the state.

During the mid-1700s, the English had made it clear to the various Indian tribes that they intended to settle the frontier. The French, on the other hand, were more
interested in trade. This influenced the Mingo to side with the French during the French and Indian War (1755-1763). Although the Iroquois Confederacy officially remained neutral, many in the Iroquois Confederacy allied with the French. Unfortunately for them, the French lost the war and ceded the all of its North American possessions to the British. Following the war, the Mingo retreated to their homes along the banks of the Ohio River and were rarely seen in the eastern panhandle.

Although the war was officially over, many Indians continued to see the British as a threat to their sovereignty and continued to fight them. In the summer of 1763,
Pontiac, an Ottawa chief, led raids on key British forts. Shawnee chief Keigh-tugh-qua, or Cornstalk, led similar attacks on western Virginia settlements in
present-day Greenbrier County. By the end of July, Indians had captured all British forts west of the Alleghenies except Detroit, Fort Pitt, and Fort Niagara. Then, on August 6, 1763, British forces under the command of Colonel Henry Bouquet retaliated and destroyed Delaware and Shawnee forces at Bushy Run in western
Pennsylvania, ending the hostilities.

Fearing more tension between Native Americans and settlers, England's King George III issued the Proclamation of 1763, prohibiting settlement west of the
Allegheny Mountains. However, many land speculators, including George Washington, violated the proclamation by claiming vast acreage in western Virginia. The
next five years were relatively peaceful on the frontier. In 1768, the Iroquois Confederacy (often called the Six Nations) and the Cherokee signed the Treaty of Hard Labour and the Treaty of Fort Stanwix, relinquishing their claims on the territory between the Ohio River and the Alleghenies to the British. With the frontier now
open, settlers, once again, began to enter into present-day West Virginia.

During the American Revolution (1776-1783), the Mingo and Shawnee, headquartered at Chillicothe, Ohio, allied themselves with the British. In 1777, a party of
350 Wyandots, Shawnees, and Mingos, armed by the British, attacked Fort Henry, near present-day Wheeling. Nearly half of the Americans manning the fort were killed in the three-day assault. The Indians then left the Fort celebrating their victory. For the remainder of the war, smaller raiding parties of Mingo, Shawnee, and other Indian tribes terrorized settlers throughout northern and eastern West Virginia. As a result, European settlement in the region came to a virtual standstill until the war's conclusion. Following the war, the Mingo and Shawnee, once again allied with the losing side, returned to their homes. However, as the number of settlers in the region began to grow, and with their numbers depleted by the war, both the Mingo and the Shawnee moved further inland.

European Pioneers and Settlers

John Lederer, a German physician and explorer employed by Sir William Berkeley, colonial governor of Virginia, was the first Englishman to set foot in present-day Jefferson County. He explored the region in 1669. In 1707, Louis Michel made a map of the future site of Jefferson County and, in 1712, Christopher Baron de Graffenreid entered what is now Jefferson County in his expedition up the Potomac River.

The Governor of Virginia, Alexander Spottswood, personally led an expedition into the Jefferson County area in 1716. Spottswood and the explorers accompanying him falsely believed that the Great Lakes lay on the western side of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Although the party was disappointed to not find the lakes, they still celebrated their expedition by having a ceremony to commemorate the discovery of the land which they claimed for King George II of England. As a souvenir of
their journey, Governor Spottswood awarded his fellow explorers a small golden horseshoe thus establishing the order of the "Knights of the Golden Horseshoe."

The first permanent English settlement in the county was attempted in the Shepherdstown area in 1719, but no official records were kept of the settlers' names. Their presence is suggested by a letter written in 1719 from the residents of "Potomoke" (now known as Shepherdstown) to the Philadelphia Presbyterian Synod
requesting that a minister be sent to the town.

In 1727, several German immigrant families founded the town of New Mecklenburg, renamed Shepherdstown in 1798 in honor of Captain Thomas and Elizabeth
Shepherd. Thomas Shepherd had received a patent on October 3, 1734 for much of the land in that area and he was the town's leading citizen until his death in
1776. Other early settlers included John and Isaac Van Meter who obtained grants to large tracts of land in the county in 1730.

Shepherdstown claims to be the oldest town in the state. Both Shepherdstown (then known as Mecklenburg) and Romney (in Hampshire County) were chartered
by the Virginia General Assembly on December 23, 1762. However, Romney claims that it is the oldest town in the state because its earliest settlers arrived before Shepherdstown's earliest settlers arrived. However, given the paucity of records in the era, it is difficult to substantiate Romney's claim, and both towns claim the title of oldest town in the state.

Important Events During the 1700s

In 1748, George Washington was employed as a surveyor for Lord Fairfax. One of his expeditions led him to the Jefferson County area. Washington was impressed with the region and, in 1750, bought some land there. Through the years, he continued to acquire more land in the area, and, at one point, owned nearly 2,300 acres in the eastern panhandle region. Washington's half brother, Lawrence, also owned land in the county, and when he died without any heirs in 1752, he left much of it to his brothers, George, Samuel, John Augustine, and Charles.

Samuel Washington's home, known as Harewood, was located in present-day Jefferson County. The home featured an exquisite marble mantelpiece that had been given to George Washington as a gift by popular General and aristocrat the Marquis de Lafayette. George Washington then gave it to Samuel as a present.
Harewood was also the site of Dolly Payne Todd and the future President of the United States, James Madison's marriage.

When the American Revolution began, two Virginians, Daniel Morgan of Frederick County and Hugh Stephenson of Berkeley County (later Jefferson County),
organized two regiments of Virginia volunteers to join General Washington's forces in Massachusetts. Stephenson and Morgan, both veterans of Lord Dunmoore's War and friendly rivals, organized their regiments quickly in an attempt to be the first to reach General Washington. Morgan used Winchester, Virginia as his recruitment center, while Stephenson established his headquarters in Shepherdstown. Volunteers flocked to both towns, and after a slight delay due to a lack of
adequate equipment, the two regiments marched toward Boston. Morgan then sent Stephenson a message stating that he wanted the regiments to meet in Frederick, Maryland and march north together. Stephenson and his men arrived in Frederick on July 16, 1775, but Morgan was no where to be seen. Stephenson waited a few days until he learned that Morgan and his men had already passed through the area. Stephenson then attempted to catch up to Morgan, but Morgan's regiment reached General Washington's position first.

Stephenson's regiment was easily distinguished the field of battle as they embroidered Patrick Henry's famous slogan "Liberty or Death" on their shirts. Tragically,
many of the Berkeley/Jefferson County volunteers where present when the British captured Forts Washington and Lee. Many of the prisoners taken by the British at those forts died after being treated harshly.

Two famous American Revolutionary War leaders resided in Jefferson County prior to the war. Horatio Gates (1729-1806), General Washington's second in
command, lived at "Traveler's Rest" near Kearneysville prior to the war. Also, Major General Charles Lee (1731-1782), an outspoken critic of General Washington and the Continental Congress, was court martialed after he made a hasty retreat during the Battle of Monmouth. After his court martial, Lee returned to his home in Jefferson County. He died of a fever in 1782.

Shepherdstown was the home of James Rumsey, the first man to propose using steam instead of wind to propel vessels. He built a steamer and sailed it on the
Potomac River in the presence of George Washington and others on December 3, 1787, twenty years before Robert Fulton, who is generally regarded as the
inventor of the steam boat, made his first successful steam voyage. Rumsey patented his invention and traveled to London in 1790 in an attempt to find investors
willing to finance the construction of additional steam ships. Several ventures failed, primarily due to poor workmanship on the steam engines. He remained in
London for nearly two years. On December 20, 1792, he made a presentation explaining his invention to the Society of Mechanic Arts in London. During the
presentation he burst a blood vessel and died the next morning. During his time in London, Rumsey met Robert Fulton who later modified Rumsey's design and made steam navigation a success.

Shepherdstown was also the home of West Virginia's first newspaper, the Potomak Guardian and Berkeley Advertiser. It began publication in 1790 and was owned by Nathaniel Willis.

Important Events During the 1800s

During the early 1800s, the citizens of Jefferson County began to demand that improvements be made to county roads and waterways. In 1823, a group of
concerned citizens gathered to discuss ways to improve travel along the Potomac River. At the meeting, delegates were elected to attend another meeting in the
Supreme Court Hall in Washington D.C. on November 7 of that year. The Washington D.C. meeting resulted in the creation of the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal
Project.

By the 1830s, a new turnpike had been constructed that connected Shepherdstown to Middleway and a stage line ran from Washington D.C. to Leesburg (then part of the county). The early 1830s also saw the construction of the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal to Harper's Ferry and the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, the canal's competitor, arrived a year after the canal opened in 1834. In 1835, the Winchester and Potomac Railroad came to Jefferson County where it linked with the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad at Harper's Ferry. The new roads, railroads, and canals opened the Jefferson County area to economic expansion.

Harpers's Ferry, named for Robert Harper who settled there in 1734 and established a ferry to cross the Shenandoah and the Potomac Rivers, was the site of John Brown's famous insurrection. At 10 p.m., under the cover of darkness on Sunday, October 16, 1859, John Brown, his two sons, Oliver and Watson, and nineteen others (seventeen white and five colored in all) seized William Williamson, the Harper's Ferry Armory guard as he stood guard on the Potomac Bridge. After removing the guard, Brown and his men took possession of the Armory Building. At about 1 a.m., on Monday October 17th, the insurgents went to the home of Lewis Washington, a slave owner, took him captive, and announced that his slaves were now free. His men also went to the home of John Allstadt, took him and his son prisoner, and announced that their slaves were free also. As the inhabitants of Harper's Ferry woke up that morning, they soon discovered that armed men were patrolling the streets and arresting anyone coming close the Armory. Finding the telegraph wires cut, the alarmed townspeople sent messengers on horseback to the neighboring towns for help. A train passing through the town from Wheeling was stopped and then allowed to continue. The trainmen spread word at the next stop that the town had been taken over. A volunteer company from Charles Town, under the command of Colonel Baylor, arrived shortly after noon, took control of the bridge and surrounded the insurgents, who had retreated into the Armory. Later that day, two companies arrived from Martinsburg and the Armory was attacked, with both sides exchanging fire until nightfall. Five members of the three companies attacking the Armory were killed, as were three insurgents, including John Brown's son, Oliver. During the early evening hours, the companies surrounding the Armory restored the telegraph lines that had been cut by John Brown's men earlier in the day. Word of the insurrection then spread quickly across the nation.

Colonel Robert E. Lee was dispatched from Washington, D.C. to put down the rebellion. He led a hundred United States Marines. When he arrived on Tuesday,
October 18th, he directed J.E.B. Stuart to demand an unconditional surrender. Stuart then went to the Armory's front door with a note demanding Brown's
surrender. When Brown refused, it is said that Stuart leapt dramatically to the side and signaled the attack. The Marines charged the Armory, killing several of
Brown's men and seriously wounded Brown, who was clubbed unconscious during the attack. Of the 22 insurgents, ten were killed at Harper's Ferry, seven,
including John Brown, were captured, taken to Charles Town, tired, and hanged there in December 1859 for treason, and five escaped. Those opposed to slavery viewed Brown as a national hero, while those supporting slavery viewed him as a villain. Many others supported Brown's objective, but nonetheless condemned his actions. Most historians consider John Brown's actions at Harper's Ferry a precursor to the Civil War.

Jefferson County was a center of activity during the Civil War, primarily because of its geographic location (especially its proximity to the Federal Capital) and the presence of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad within its borders.

In 1861 at the beginning of the war, the Confederate Army, initially under the command of then-Major Thomas J. Jackson (later known as General "Stonewall" Jackson) controlled Harper's Ferry. Although Jackson was recognized as an able officer, the Confederacy decided to place its forces at Harper's Ferry under the command of the more experienced General Joseph E. Johnston. In June of 1861, the Union army attacked, forcing Johnson to evacuate the town and to retreat to Winchester, Virginia. Before leaving, Johnston ordered key bridges burnt, telegraph wires cut, and locomotives destroyed. Throughout the remainder of the war, many of Jefferson County's towns repeatedly changed hands, and each time they did the retreating forces typically destroyed the town's main buildings and infrastructure.

An interesting note to the Civil War is the story of how Jefferson County, whose residents largely supported the Confederacy, became part of the new state of West Virginia. Jefferson County did not send a delegate to the first Wheeling Convention held from May 13-15 in 1861. George Koonce represented the county at the Second Wheeling Convention held June 11-25, but his political beliefs were hardly representative of the county's as he had been forcefully driven out of the county by Confederate sympathizers.

Koonce was a close friend of Edwin M. Stanton, the Union's Secretary of War. Koonce attended the Second Wheeling Convention at Stanton's request. He wanted Koonce to report the contents of the meeting to the Lincoln administration when the convention was over. At the Second Wheeling Convention, the delegates created the Restored Government of Virginia and elected Francis Pierpont Governor. The delegates to the Wheeling Convention discussed creating a new state, but no official action was taken. In August of 1861, a post-session meeting of the Second Wheeling Convention was held, and the delegates took formal steps to initiate the creation of a new state that was to be called "Kanawha." They called for a state-wide referendum to be held in October to determine if a state Constitutional Convention should be held to form a new state.

The referendum passed, but the new state's name was changed to West Virginia. At the Constitutional Convention held on November 26 in Wheeling, delegates struggled to create the state's boundaries. Realizing the importance of the Baltimore and Ohio railroad to West Virginia's economic prospects, the delegates included the eastern panhandle.

When the West Virginia Constitution was put to a vote many of Jefferson County's citizens did not even know that the question of whether to remain with Virginia or join the new state of West Virginia was being put to a vote. The Union Army controlled the county and opened just two precincts for voting. Those known to be Confederate sympathizers were under house arrest, and were not allowed to vote. When the results where tallied, Jefferson County voted 248 for and two against joining the new state of West Virginia. At that time, there were nearly 2,000 registered voters in the county, many of them under house arrest.

After the War, Virginia demanded that Berkeley and Jefferson counties be returned because they had not been a part of the original annexation approved by Congress. Many of the citizens of Jefferson and Berkeley counties also wanted to be a part of Virginia because they felt culturally tied to the "old dominion" as opposed to western Virginia. A group of Jefferson County residents refused to recognize their status as West Virginians and elected delegates to attend a convention at Winchester, Virginia to nominate a Congressional Candidate from the Virginia 7th district. In the fall of 1865, Arthur I. Boreman, West Virginia's first Governor, sent in Federal troops to stop the election from occurring.

In January 1865, the West Virginia state legislature approved moving the Jefferson County seat from Charles Town to Shepherdstown. Shepherdstown, located in the northern part of the county, was home to some of the county's most ardent West Virginia supporters. In late fall 1865, the pro-West Virginians circulated a petition that was designed to legitimize Jefferson County's place as a part of the new state of West Virginia. The Shepherdstown West Virginians even had a plan to form a new county to be called "Shepherd" if the citizens of the southern portion of the county did not comply with their wish to remain part of West Virginia. The controversy over Jefferson County's location in West Virginia finally ended in 1866 after both the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives ruled in favor of West Virginia's claim to the land. In an attempt to mollify those wanting the county to be returned to Virginia, the county seat was then moved from Shepherdstown back to Charles Town.

When the county seat was moved from Shepherdstown, some of the town's citizens moved immediately to fill the empty courthouse by establishing a school. They originally called their school the "Classical and Scientific Institute" and changed it to Shepherd College in 1872. Wanting state support for their local school, the Shepherd trustees offered the state free access to the courthouse building. The state accepted the offer and Shepherd College became a state normal school. In 1904, the college moved from the courthouse/McMurran Hall to a new building called "Knutti Hall," named to honor its principal, J.G. Knutti.

Important Events during the New Century

In 2000, Shepherdstown drew the attention of the entire world as it hosted the latest round of the U.S. brokered Israeli-Syrian peace talks. From a town that was
torn apart by the Civil War, the fact that Jefferson County could hold international peace talks shows how far the county has come in its brief history. The talks
included Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak and Syrian Foreign Minister Farouk al-Shaara with U.S. President Clinton workings as a mediator. The talks did not
produce any conclusive agreements, but they represented an important step toward peace.

County Seat

Charles Town, the county seat, was chartered by the Virginia General Assembly in October 1786 and was named in honor of Charles Washington, George
Washington's youngest brother. Charles Washington moved to the area in 1780. His home, known as "Happy Retreat," was a favorite rest stop for the wealthy and famous. Charles Town was laid out on eighty acres of land owned by Charles Washington.

Charles Town was the location of the trial and execution of John Brown, the famous abolitionist. Of three treason trials held in United States' history, two were tried in Jefferson County courthouse.

References

Bushong, Millard Kessler. 1941. A History of Jefferson County, West Virginia. Charles Town: Jefferson Publishing Company.

Engle, Stephen Douglas. 1989. Thunder in the Hills: Military Operations in Jefferson County West Virginia, During the American Civil War. Charleston:
Mountain State Press.

Jefferson County West Virginia Historical Tour. 1951. Ranson, WV: Whitney and White.

The Washington Homes of Jefferson County, West Virginia. 1975. Jefferson, WV: Jefferson County Historical Society.   
 

Kanawha County History

Kanawha County's formation was authorized by the Virginia General Assembly on November 14, 1788 from parts of Greenbrier and Montgomery counties. It
was actually formed on October 5, 1789. According to the national census of 1800, Kanawha County had 3,239 residents, the 11th largest population of the 13
counties then in existence within the present state of West Virginia. Berkeley County had the largest population then (22,006) and Wood County had the smallest
population (1,217).

Kanawha County was named in honor of the Great Kanawha River that runs through the county. The River was named for the Indian tribe that once lived in the
area. The spelling of the Indian tribe varied at the time from Conoys to Conois to Kanawha. The latter spelling was used and has gained acceptance over time.

The First Settlers

The first native settlers in central West Virginia were the Mound Builders, also known as the Adena people. Remnants of the Mound Builder's civilization have been
found throughout West Virginia, with a high concentration of artifacts located at Moundsville, West Virginia, in Marshall County.

According to missionary reports, several thousand Huron Indians occupied present-day West Virginia during the late 1500s and early 1600s. The powerful Iroquois
Confederacy (consisting of the Mohawk, Onondaga, Cayuga, Oneida and Seneca tribes, and joined later by the Tuscaroras tribe) drove the Hurons from the state
during the 1600s. The Iroquois Confederacy was headquartered in New York and was not interested in occupying present-day West Virginia. Instead, they used it
as a hunting ground during the spring and summer months.

During the early 1700s, central West Virginia, including present-day Kanawha County, was used as a hunting ground by the Mingo, who lived in both the Tygart
Valley and along the Ohio River in West Virginia's northern panhandle region, the Delaware, who lived in present-day eastern Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and
Delaware, but had several autonomous settlements as far south as present-day Braxton County, and by other members of the Iroquois Confederacy, especially the
Seneca.

The Mingo were not actually an Indian tribe, but a multi-cultural group of Indians that established several communities within present-day West Virginia. They lacked
a central government and, like all other Indians within the region at that time, were subject to the control of the Iroquois Confederacy. The Mingo originally lived
closer to the Atlantic Coast, but European settlement pushed them into western Virginia and eastern Ohio.

The Seneca was one of the largest and most powerful members of the Iroquois Confederacy. Headquartered in western New York, the Seneca were the closest
member of the Confederacy to West Virginia, and took great interest in the state. In 1744, the Seneca boasted to Virginia officials that they had conquered the
several nations living on the back of the great mountains of Virginia. Among the conquered nations were the last of the Canawese or Conoy people who became
incorporated into some of the Iroquois communities in New York. The Conoy continue to be remembered today through the naming of two of West Virginia's
largest rivers after them, the Little Kanawha and the Great Kanawha.

The Seneca, and other members of the Iroquois Confederacy, often traveled through the state to protect its claim to southern West Virginia from the Cherokee. The
Cherokee were headquartered in western North Carolina and eastern Tennessee and rivaled the Iroquois nation in both size and influence. The Cherokee claimed
present-day southern West Virginia as their own, setting the stage for conflict with the Iroquois Confederacy.

In 1744, Virginia officials purchased the Iroquois title of ownership to West Virginia in the Treaty of Lancaster. The treaty reduced the Iroquois Confederacy's
presence in the state.

During the mid-1700s, the English had made it clear to the various Indian tribes that they intended to settle the frontier. The French, on the other hand, were more
interested in trade. This influenced the Mingo to side with the French during the French and Indian War (1755-1763). Although the Iroquois Confederacy officially
remained neutral, many in the Iroquois Confederacy also allied with the French. Unfortunately for them, the French lost the war and ceded the all of its North
American possessions to the British. Following the war, the Mingo retreated to their homes along the banks of the Ohio River and were rarely seen in southern West
Virginia.

Although the war was officially over, many Indians, especially the Shawnee who resided in Ohio, continued to see the British as a threat to their sovereignty and
continued to fight them. In the summer of 1763, Pontiac, an Ottawa chief, led raids on key British forts. Shawnee chief Keigh-tugh-qua, or Cornstalk, led similar
attacks on western Virginia settlements in present-day Greenbrier County. By the end of July, Indians had captured all British forts west of the Alleghenies except
Detroit, Fort Pitt, and Fort Niagara. Then, on August 6, 1763, British forces under the command of Colonel Henry Bouquet retaliated and destroyed Delaware and
Shawnee forces at Bushy Run in western Pennsylvania, ending the hostilities.

Fearing more tension between Native Americans and settlers, England's King George III issued the Proclamation of 1763, prohibiting settlement west of the
Allegheny Mountains. However, many land speculators, including George Washington, violated the proclamation by claiming vast acreage in western Virginia. In
1768, the Iroquois Confederacy (often called the Six Nations) and the Cherokee signed the Treaty of Hard Labour and the Treaty of Fort Stanwix, relinquishing
their claims on the territory between the Ohio River and the Alleghenies to the British. With the frontier now open, settlers, once again, began to enter into
present-day West Virginia.

In 1772, a series of incidents between settlers and Indians in West Virginia ended what had been nearly eight years of peace. During the spring of that year, several
Indians were murdered on the South Branch of the Potomac River by Nicholas Harpold and his companions. About the same time, Bald Eagle, an Indian chief of
some notoriety, was murdered while on a hunting trip on the Monongahela River. In the meantime, Captain Bull, a Delaware Indian Chief and five other Indian
families were living in Braxton County in an area known as Bulltown, near the falls of the Little Kanawha River, about fourteen miles from present day Sutton.
Captain Bull was regarded by most of the settlers in the region as friendly. But some settlers suspected him of providing information to and harboring unfriendly
Indians. While away from home in June 1772, the family of a German immigrant named Peter Stroud was murdered, presumably by Indians. The trail left by the
murderers led in the general direction of Bulltown. Peter's brother, Adam Stroud, had a cabin nearby and seeing smoke rising into the sky, raced to his brother's
cabin. He gathered up what was left of the bodies and buried them. He then headed for Hacker's Creek where he met with several other settlers who agreed to join
him in an attack on Bulltown. They killed all of the Indians in the village, including Captain Bull, and threw their bodies into a nearby river. News of Captain Bull's
murder quickly spread across the western frontier.

Following what the Indians referred to as the Bulltown massacre, Shawnee Chief Cornstalk, who had led numerous raids against West Virginia settlers in the past,
began to organize the Indians in a concerted effort to drive the whites from their territory.

In 1773, land speculator Michael Cresap led a group of volunteers from Fort Fincastle (later renamed Fort Henry) at present-day Wheeling, murdering several
Shawnee at Captain Creek. Among other atrocities, on April 30, 1774, colonists murdered the family of Mingo chieftain Tah-gah-jute, who had been baptized under
the English name of Logan. Although Logan had previously lived peacefully with whites, he killed at least thirteen settlers that summer in revenge.

Virginia Governor John Murray, Earl of Dunmore, worried about the escalating violence in western Virginia, decided to end the conflict by force. He formed two
armies, one marching from the North, consisting of 1,700 men led by himself and the other marching from the South, comprised of 800 troops led by western
Virginia resident and land speculator Captain Andrew Lewis. Shawnee chieftain Keigh-tugh-qua, or Cornstalk, along with approximately 1,200 Shawnee, Delaware,
Mingo, Wyandotte and Cayuga warriors, decided to attack the southern regiment before they had a chance to unite with Lord Dunmore's forces. On October 10,
1774, the Indians attacked Lewis' forces at the confluence of the Kanawha and Ohio Rivers, at present-day Point Pleasant, in Greenbrier County. During the battle,
both sides suffered significant losses.

Although nearly half of Lewis' commissioned officers were killed during the battle, including his brother, Colonel Charles Lewis, and seventy-five of his
non-commissioned officers, the Indians were finally forced to retreat back to their settlements in Ohio's Scioto Valley, with Lewis' men in pursuit. In the meanwhile,
Lord Dunmore arrived and joined forces with Lewis. Seeing that they were now outnumbered, Cornstalk sued for peace.

Although western Virginia's settlers continued to experience isolated Indian attacks for several years, Cornstalk's defeat at Point Pleasant was the beginning of the
end of the Indian presence in western Virginia. The Indians agreed to give up all of their white prisoners, restore all captured horses and other property, and not to
hunt south of the Ohio River. Also, they were to allow boats on the Ohio River and promised not to harass them. This opened up present-day West Virginia and
Kentucky for settlement. Cornstalk was later killed at Fort Randolph near Point Pleasant in 1777 in retaliation for the death of a militiaman who was killed by an
Indian.

During the American Revolution (1776-1783), the Mingo and Shawnee, headquartered at Chillicothe, Ohio, allied themselves with the British. In 1777, a party of
350 Wyandots, Shawnees, and Mingos, armed by the British, attacked Fort Henry, near present-day Wheeling. Nearly half of the Americans manning the fort were
killed in the three-day assault. The Indians then left the Fort celebrating their victory. For the remainder of the war, smaller raiding parties of Mingo, Shawnee, and
other Indian tribes terrorized settlers throughout West Virginia. As a result, European settlement in the state came to a virtual standstill until the war's conclusion.
Following the war, the Mingo and Shawnee, once again allied with the losing side, returned to their homes. However, as the number of settlers in the region began to
grow, and with their numbers depleted by the war, both the Mingo and the Shawnee moved further inland.

European Pioneers and Settlers

Simon Kenton and two companions whose names were not recorded built a cabin at the mouth of the Elk River in 1771, making them the first Englishmen to call
present day Kanawha County their home. A roving band of Indians discovered them, and considering them trespassers on their hunting grounds, attacked them. One
of Kenton's companions was killed in the attack. After making their escape, Simon Kenton and his remaining companion decided to leave the county for good.

In 1773, Colonel Thomas Bullitt and several others explored the Kanawha Valley to survey the land in anticipation of being granted large tracts of the land in return
for their military service.

In 1774, Walter Kelly, of North Carolina, attempted the first, permanent settlement in the county. He built a cabin along a stream, known as Kelly's Creek, about 20
miles north of the current location of Charleston. He was killed by Indians later that year.

It is likely that Mary Ingles and Betty Draper were the first English women to pass through present-day Kanawha County. Indians captured them at Drapper
Meadows, Virginia (now Blacksburg) on July 8, 1755. They were taken through the county as they made their way to Shawnee Village at Chillicothe, Ohio. Mary
Ingles' escape four months later and her return through the wilderness to Virginia was an inspiration to all pioneers on the frontier.

Daniel Boone (1734-1820), the famous frontiersmen and founder of Kentucky, resided with his family in Kanawha County for seven years (1788-1795), in a
two-room log cabin in the Kanawha City section of Charleston. He was appointed a Lieutenant Colonel in the Kanawha County militia and served under the
command of Colonel George Clendenin. He and Colonel Clendenin represented Kanawha County in the General Assembly in 1791 (see Boone County history).

Important Events of the 1700s

In the autumn of 1788, George Clendenin traveled to Richmond and asked the Virginia General Assembly to form Kanawha County out of Greenbrier and
Montgomery Counties. At that time, Virginia had lost a great deal of land, yielding its rights to the northwest territory (including the present-day states of Ohio,
Indiana, Illinois, and part of Minnesota). Concerned that it was also going to lose Kentucky County to statehood, the Virginia General Assembly approved
Clendenin's request on October 14, 1788, hoping to solidify its holdings in the western part of the state.

Important Events of the 1800s

Kanawha County's loyalties were divided during the Civil War. The county contributed five companies to both the north and the south, with the Kanawha Riflemen,
led by a group of prominent Kanawha County citizens, fighting for the south. In 1861, a confederate force consisting of over 2,500 men camped at Tackett's Creek
just below Saint Albans. A series of military actions ensued as the north and south fought for control of the Kanawha Valley. The most important of these battles was
the Battle of Carnifex Ferry on September 10, 1861. Union troops led by Brigadier General William S. Rosecrans engaged the Confederate Army and forced them
to retreat to the Henry Patterson Farm, overlooking Carnifex Ferry. The Confederate commander, Brigadier General John B. Floyd retreated across the ferry to the
south side of the Gauley River and on eastward to Meadow Bluff near Lewisburg. The battle effectively ended the struggle for the Kanawha valley.

On April 1, 1870, Charleston became the state capital, replacing Wheeling. The legislature approved the move, primarily becasue Charleston provided $50,000
towards the cost of constructing a new capital building. On February 20, 1875, the legislature voted to return the capital to Wheeling. Several prominent Charleston
businessmen were able to secure a temporary court injunction against the move. The case went to the West Virginia Supreme Court, but Charleston lost. However,
because of the continuing controversy concerning the capital's location, it was decided in 1877 to hold a statewide referendum to determine where to locate the state
capital. The voters choose Charleston over Martinsburg and Clarksburg. The state capital was moved permanently to Charleston in May, 1885.

Important Events of the 1900s

On January 3, 1921, a fire burned Charleston's second state capitol building to the ground. The building had housed the state government for thrity-six years. It was
assumed that the fire started on the building's top floor where guns and ammunition were stored. This led to the construction of the current state capitol building. It
was completed in 1932 at a cost of $9,491,180.03.

Salt

Kanawha valley was very rich in brine. Brine is the substance from which salt is made. In some places, geological abnormalities forced brine all the way to the
surface, forming salt licks and active springs. Salt was very important to the pioneers. Salt production was an important means of earning a living for many Kanawha
valley residents, with production peaking in 1846 at more than three million barrels per year. The salt industry virtually disappeared from the valley after the Civil
War, due to a combination of factors, including increased foreign competition and over-production that resulted in many of the wells to dry up.

Coal

Coal extraction slowly replaced salt extraction as an important economic activity in the Kanawha valley following the Civil War. The coal industry in the valley
received a big boost in 1873 when the C&O Railway reached the Kanawha Valley. Coal production soared with the introduction of a more ready access to eastern
markets By 1910, about 6 million tons of coal was mined each year, and during the 1970s coal tonnage passed 9 million per year.

County Seat

Charleston, the county seat and currently the state's most populous city and state capital, was founded on land that was originally owned by Colonel Thomas Bullitt.
In 1774, he was deeded 1,240 acres of land on the Great Kanawha River by the mouth of the Elk River for his service during the French and Indian Wars
(1754-1763). He sold the land to his brother, Judge Cuthbert Bullitt, President of the Virginia Court of Appeals who, in turn, sold the land, in 1786, to Colonel
George Clendenin, a distinguished frontiersmen and soldier in General Lewis' army at the decisive Battle of Point Pleasant (1774). It is said that the land on which
Charleston currently stands was sold for 84 cents.

Colonel Clendenin, his father Charles, his brothers and sister, and six other families moved to the mouth of Elk River, at the present site of Charleston in 1788 and
built the first building within the boundaries of what is now the state capital. The two-story, double log building was known as being both bullet and arrow proof and
was known as Clendenin's Fort. The first meeting of the county court took place there on October 5, 1789. The Virginia Assembly chartered the town on December
19, 1794 and named it Charles Town, in honor of Charles Clendenin. The town's name was shortened to Charleston to avoid confusion with two other towns that
were also called Charles Town.

The state capitol was moved from Wheeling to Charleston on April 1, 1870, but a national depression that started in 1873 caused the city's economy to stagnate
and, as its economy faltered, a movement began to return the state capital to Wheeling because its economy had not suffered quite as much as Charleston's. In
1875, the state's voters returned the state capital to Wheeling. Once the depression ended, the Kanawha Valley's economy began to grow and as its population
increased a movement began to regain its status as the state capital. Another statewide referendum was held in 1885, and Charleston won back the honor of being
the state's capital.

References

Atkinson, George W. 1876. History of Kanawha County, From. . . 1789 Until the Present Time. Charleston: West Virginia Journal Office.

Dayton, Ruth Woods. 1947. Pioneers and Their Homes on Upper Kanawha. Charleston: West Virginia Publishing Company.

Laidley, W. S. 1911. History of Charleston and Kanawha County, West Virginia. Chicago: Richmond-Arnold Publishing Company.  
 
 
Lewis County History

Lewis County was created from parts of Harrison County by an act of the Virginia Assembly on December 18, 1816. The county was named in honor of Colonel
Charles Lewis (1733-1774), who was killed at the decisive Battle of Point Pleasant in 1774. His dying words were "Push on boys. Don't mind me." He was second
in command at the time, serving under his older brother, General Andrew Lewis.

The Battle of Point Pleasant was considered a turning point in the war against the Indians and a precursor of the American Revolutionary War. During the battle, one-half of General Lewis' commissioned officers, including his brother were killed, as were 75 of his non-commissioned soldiers. Another 140 soldiers were wounded. The actual number of Indians engaged or killed in the battle is not known, but included warriors from the Shawnee, Delaware, Mingo, Wyandotte and Cayuga tribes, lead by their respective chiefs and by Cornstalk, Sachem of the Shawnees and King of the North Confederacy. The remaining Indians fled into Ohio with Lewis' men in pursuit. Now on the defensive, the Indians later agreed to a peace treaty, ending what had become known as Lord Dunmore's War (John Murray, fourth Earl of Dunmore, was Governor of Virginia at the time).

The First Settlers

The first native settlers in central West Virginia were the Mound Builders, also known as the Adena people. Remnants of the Mound Builder's civilization have been found throughout West Virginia, with a high concentration of artifacts located at Moundsville, West Virginia, in Marshall County.

According to missionary reports, several thousand Hurons occupied present-day West Virginia during the late 1500s and early 1600s. During the 1600s, the powerful Iroquois Confederacy (consisting of the Mohawk, Onondaga, Cayuga, Oneida, and Seneca tribes, and joined later by the Tuscaroras tribe) drove the Hurons from the state. The Iroquois Confederacy was headquartered in New York and was not interested in occupying present-day West Virginia. Instead, they used it as a hunting ground during the spring and summer months.

During the early 1700s, central West Virginia, including present-day Lewis County, was used as a hunting ground by the Mingo, who lived in both the Tygart Valley and along the Ohio River in West Virginia's northern panhandle region, the Delaware, who lived in present-day eastern Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware, but had several autonomous settlements as far south as present-day Braxton County, and by other members of the Iroquois Confederacy, especially the Seneca, one of the largest and most powerful members of the Iroquois Confederacy.

The Mingo were not actually an Indian tribe, but a multi-cultural group of Indians that established several communities within present-day West Virginia. They lacked a central government and, like all other Indians within the region at that time, were subject to the control of the Iroquois Confederacy. The Mingo originally lived closer to the Atlantic Coast, but European settlement pushed them into western Virginia and eastern Ohio.

The Seneca, headquartered in western New York, was the closest member of the Iroquois Confederacy to West Virginia and took great interest in the state. In 1744, the Seneca boasted to Virginia officials that they had conquered the several nations living on the back of the great mountains of Virginia. Among the conquered nations were the last of the Canawese or Conoy people who became incorporated into some of the Iroquois communities in New York. The Conoy continue to be remembered today through the naming of two of West Virginia's largest rivers after them, the Little Kanawha and the Great Kanawha.

The Seneca, and other members of the Iroquois Confederacy, often traveled through the state to protect its claim to southern West Virginia from the Cherokee. The Cherokee were headquartered in western North Carolina and eastern Tennessee and rivaled the Iroquois nation in both size and influence. The Cherokee claimed present-day southern West Virginia as their own, setting the stage for conflict with the Iroquois Confederacy.

In 1744, Virginia officials purchased the Iroquois title of ownership to West Virginia in the Treaty of Lancaster. The treaty reduced the Iroquois Confederacy's presence in the state.

During the mid-1700s, the English had made it clear to the various Indian tribes that they intended to settle the frontier. The French, on the other hand, were more interested in trade. This influenced the Mingo to side with the French during the French and Indian War (1755-1763). Although the Iroquois Confederacy officially remained neutral, many in the Iroquois Confederacy allied with the French. Unfortunately for them, the French lost the war and ceded the all of its North American possessions to the British. Following the war, the Mingo retreated to their homes along the banks of the Ohio River and were rarely seen in central West Virginia.

Although the war was officially over, many Indians continued to see the British as a threat to their sovereignty and continued to fight them. In the summer of 1763, Pontiac, an Ottawa chief, led raids on key British forts. Shawnee chief Keigh-tugh-qua, or Cornstalk, led similar attacks on western Virginia settlements in present-day Greenbrier County. By the end of July, Indians had captured all British forts west of the Alleghenies except Detroit, Fort Pitt, and Fort Niagara. Then, on August 6, 1763, British forces under the command of Colonel Henry Bouquet retaliated and destroyed Delaware and Shawnee forces at Bushy Run in western Pennsylvania, ending the hostilities.

Fearing more tension between Native Americans and settlers, England's King George III issued the Proclamation of 1763, prohibiting settlement west of the Allegheny Mountains. However, many land speculators, including George Washington, violated the proclamation by claiming vast acreage in western Virginia.

The next five years were relatively peaceful on the frontier. In 1768, the Iroquois Confederacy (often called the Six Nations) and the Cherokee signed the Treaty of Hard Labour and the Treaty of Fort Stanwix, relinquishing their claims on the territory between the Ohio River and the Alleghenies to the British. With the frontier now open, settlers, once again, began to enter into present-day West Virginia.

During the American Revolution (1776-1783), the Mingo and Shawnee, headquartered at Chillicothe, Ohio, allied themselves with the British. In 1777, a party of 350 Wyandots, Shawnees, and Mingos, armed by the British, attacked Fort Henry, near present-day Wheeling. Nearly half of the Americans manning the fort were killed in the three-day assault. The Indians then left the Fort celebrating their victory. For the remainder of the war, smaller raiding parties of Mingo, Shawnee, and other Indian tribes terrorized settlers throughout West Virginia. As a result, European settlement in the state came to a virtual standstill until the war's conclusion. Following the war, the Mingo and Shawnee, once again allied with the losing side, returned to their homes. However, as the number of settlers in the region began to grow, and with their numbers depleted by war, both the Mingo and the Shawnee moved further inland.

European Pioneers and Settlers

William Hacker, Thomas Hughes, Jesse Hughes, John Radcliff, William Radcliff, and John Brown were the first Englishmen to set foot in Lewis County. They explored the area in 1769. Several of the frontiersmen liked the area so much that they decided to settle there. John Hacker built a cabin just to the south of the present-day Berlin during the fall of 1769 or early in 1770. John and William Radcliff built cabins not far from Hacker's cabin in 1770. Their settlement, later known as Hacker's Creek, almost failed from the start. After constructing cabins and planting corn and other crops, the three men returned to the South Branch settlements to get their families. While they were away, bison ate all of the crops they had planted. Fortunately, there was plenty of wild game available and the settlement survived and more than doubled in size annually as immigrants poured in from the east.

Important Events of the 1800s

On December 18, 1816, Lewis County was formed from the southern part of Harrison County. The new county was formed to enable the area's residents to vote and attend court without having to travel all the way to Clarksburg.

Lewis County was enlarged on February 4, 1818, adding land east of the Buckhannon River. At that time, the county constituted 1,754 square miles, including present-day Lewis County as well as nearly all of Upshur, Gilmer, and Braxton counties, and parts of Barbour, Webster, Doddridge, Ritchie, and Calhoun counties.

Important Events of the late 1800s and early 1900s

In August 1893, the Lewis County Oil and Gas company was formed. It bought 3,500 acres of land within Lewis county and dug its first test well in late 1897, just below Weston. Several other oil companies also moved to the area, looking for oil. When a giant oil field was discovered, local land values soared, and several of the county's farmers were offered nearly ten times what they had originally paid for their land.

At first, it was thought that the oil field was confined to the southern part of the county, but the Hushion oil well, located on Fink creek in the northern part of the county, also hit oil, producing between ten and thirty-five barrels a day. Then, on October 5, 1899, a gusher was hit at Camden Well No. 1, at the mouth of Dry fork. The biggest strike occurred at the Copely well No. 1, on Sand Fork, on September 22, 1900. It produced several thousand barrels of oil per day and was the largest well drilled in the Appalachian Mountains for many years. In 1902, Lewis County's oil production peaked. At that time, it produced more oil than in any other county in the state.

On July 26, 1913, the first street car service opened for business in Jane Lew and Weston. The service enabled Jane Lew and Weston's residents to reach the main line of the Baltimore and Ohio railroad, located in Clarksburg, in just under an hour and a half. The opening of street car service, and the arrival of the Baltimore and Ohio railroad, signaled the end of Lewis County's isolation from the outside world.

The County Court

The first meeting of the county court was held on March 16, 1817 at Westfield, about five miles north of the current site of Weston. It was decided to locate the next meeting of the county court at the home of a Mrs. Newton in April 1818. At that meeting, it was decided to locate the county court at the farm of Henry Flesher, near the mouth of Stone Coal, and that the place be called Preston, in honor of James P. Preston, the Governor of Virginia at that time.

In 1819, the area's residents decided to change the town's name. They were upset that Preston County had taken their town's name and were concerned that the two places would be confused. They decided to call the town Fleshersville, in honor of Henry Flesher, believed to be the first settler in the area. He had arrived in the area in 1784.

On April 11, 1820, Lewis County's residents decided to build a permanent, brick courthouse and to locate it in Fleshersville. However, at that time, most of the local residents continued to cal their town Preston. Because the townspeople was not calling the town by its proper name, the town's leaders decided to rename the town Weston. Weston was incorporated by the West Virginia state legislature in 1913.

References

Adkins, Frank S., Jr., 1983. Editor. Stonewall Jackson Lake, West Fork River, Lewis County, West Virginia: Architecture, History, Oral History, and Reconstructed Domains. Pittsburgh, PA: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Pittsburgh District.

Gilchrist, Joy Gregoire. 1992. They Started It All: A Guide to Hacker's Creek Historic Sites. Alum Bridge: Hacker's Creek Pioneer Descendants.

Gregoire, Joy and Gilchrist, Charles H. 1993. Lewis County West Virginia: A Pictorial History of Old Lewis County, the Crossroads of Central West Virginia. Virginia Beach: The Donning Company.

Smith, Edward Conrad. 1920. A History of Lewis County, West Virginia. Weston: Edward Conrad Smith.

 

Lincoln County History
    Lincoln County was created by an act of the West Virginia state legislature on February 23, 1867, from parts of Boone, Cabell, Kanawha and Putnam counties. The county was named in honor of President Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865), the 16th President of the United States (1861-1865). Historians regard him as America's greatest President.

    Abraham Lincoln was born in Hardin County, Kentucky on February 12, 1809. Self-educated, he studied law and became an attorney. He began his political career in 1832 when he lost his first attempt to gain political office, losing a race for the Illinois state legislature. Refusing to give up, he ran again in 1834 and won and served in the state legislature until 1840. He later represented Illinois in the U.S. House of Representatives (1847-1849) and twice ran for the U.S. Senate. He lost both times. However, his seven debates with Stephen A. Douglas in 1858 concerning slavery and other issues of the day made his name a household word. It was during the 1858 campaign that Lincoln gave his famous "House Divided" speech. After his second defeat, he became active in the new political party, the Republicans. He won the presidential election of 1860 as the Republican party's nominee, with only 39 percent of the popular vote. The southern states, objecting to his anti-slavery views, seceded from the Union, leading to the outbreak of the Civil War. He issued his famous Emancipation Proclamation on September 22, 1862 and his Gettysburg Address, delivered on November 19, 1863, is considered one of the most inspirational speeches in the nation's history:

    Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal. ...that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain, that this nation under God shall have a new birth of freedom, and that government of the people, by the people, for the people shall not perish from the earth.

    President Lincoln was shot by John Wilkes Booth while watching a play at Ford's Theatre in Washington, D.C. on April 14, 1865. He died the next day.

    Jesse, John, David, William and Moses McComas were the first English settlers in Lincoln County. They cultivated 20 acres of corn, the first ever grown in the area, in 1799. Later that year, they returned to Virginia to get their families. Their families were initially left behind because it was not known if there were any Indians in the area, or if the soil would be suitable for cultivation. John Lucas, William Hinch and John Johnson soon joined the McComas' in the county. They built cabins in the county around 1800.

    The is some debate concerning who the county seat, Hamlin, is named for. Some historians believe that the town was originally incorporated by the Virginia General Assembly in 1833 as Hamline, in honor of Bishop Leonidas L. Hamline of the Methodist Episcopal Church. A postmaster later dropped the final "e", claiming that Bishop Hamline had added the "e" to the family name. Others argue that the town was named in honor of Hannibal Hamlin, President Lincoln's Vice-President during his first Administration. It is difficult to determine which claim is correct, largely because most of the county's early records were destroyed when the county courthouse burnt to the ground in 1909.

    The act creating the county provided that the county seat was to be built on the lands of Charles Lattin, now Hamlin. The land was originally an old brier field, cleared by David Stephenson who had patented the land and built a cabin on it in 1802. The land changed hands several times before being sold to Charles Lattin in the early 1860s. The first public building constructed on the land was the county jail, in 1867. Hamlin was made the permanent county seat by the state legislature on February 26, 1869.

    Brigadier-General Charles E. "Chuck" Yeager, the famous test pilot who was the first to break the sound barrier (in 1947) and was featured in the film The Right Stuff, was born in Myra and grew up in Hamlin. A statute of him is located on the lawn of Hamlin High School.
 
 

Logan County History
    Logan County was created by an act of the Virginia Assembly on January 12, 1824, from parts of Cabell, Giles, Kanawha and Tazewell counties. The county was named in honor of the famous Mingo Indian Chief Logan, who was named by his father after his friend James Logan, secretary of the province of Pennsylvania, who was partially responsible for Logan's education.

    Logan was considered friendly and cooperative by most settlers, until ten Indians, including two women, were killed and scalped by Englishmen on April 30, 1774 on Yellow Creek, in the Northern Panhandle. Among the victims were members of Logan's family. Several versions of the massacre circulated on the frontier. Lord Dunmore blamed a settler named Daniel Greathouse while Logan, called Tah-gah-jute by his people, blamed Michael Cresap, a Maryland soldier and land speculator who was building cabins along the Ohio River as a means of securing land. Although the evidence suggests that Cresap was in the vicinity at the time of the massacre, most historians believe that he was not involved in the murders. In any case, following the massacre, Logan allied his tribe with the British and went on the warpath, leading four deadly raids on the Virginia and Pennsylvania frontiers and instigating what would later be called Lord Dunmore's War of 1774.

    Logan gained national fame for his eloquent speech that was delivered during the peace negotiations following the Indians' defeat at the Battle of Point Pleasant in 1774: "I appeal to any white man to say if he ever entered Logan's cabin hungry and I gave him not meat; if ever he came cold and naked and I gave him not clothing. ...There runs not a drop of my blood in the veins of any human creature. ...Yet, do not harbor the thought that mine is the joy of fear. Logan never felt fear. He will not turn his heel to save his life. Who is there to mourn for Logan? Not one."

    Logan was not at the decisive Battle of Point Pleasant, but returned to the main Indian camp during the peace negotiations. His famous speech was not delivered in council, but was given to Colonel John Gibson who wrote it down and delivered it on Logan's behalf during the negotiations. The speech was later published in many newspapers across the nation. After Lord Dunmore's War concluded, Logan moved from place to place and, in 1789, joined an Indian raiding party that attacked settlements in southwestern Virginia. He was killed by one of his own relatives in 1780, near present day Detroit. He said before his death that he had two souls, one good and the other bad, as he put it "...when the good soul had the ascendant, he [referring to himself] was kind and humane, and when the bas soul ruled, he was perfectly savage, and delighted in nothing but blood and carnage."

    William Dingess was the first, permanent English settler in the county. He purchased 300 acres of land in the vicinity of the present city of Logan from John Breckenridge and built a cabin on the property in 1799. He was accompanied by John Dempsey, who built a cabin nearby. The following year, William's brothers, Peter and John, joined him. Soon afterwards, Captain Henry Farley moved into the county with his five daughters. The daughters soon married and their families all settled in the county, helping it to grow.

    When the county was formed in 1824 six commissioners, William Buffington, William Thompson, Jr., Charles Hale, Samuel Shrewsbury, Conrad Peters and John Taylor, were named to locate the county seat. The initial meeting of the county court was held at the home of William Dingess, in the vicinity of the present city of Logan. The commissioners decided to keep the county seat there. At that time, the area was called Lawnsville, and was later known as Logan Court House. When the town was chartered by the Virginia General Assembly in 1852, the town was renamed Aracoma, in honor of the eldest daughter of Chief Cornstalk, the most famous chieftain of the era who lead the allied Indian nations at the Battle of Point Pleasant. Aracoma had moved to the town with her white husband, Bolling Baker, and was buried there. The town's name was changed to Logan in 1907 to conform with the name of the local post office.

    Jack Demsey, world heavyweight boxing champion from 1919 to 1926 spent his boyhood in Logan. Anderson "Devil" Anse Hatfield, one of the family leaders in the famous family feud between the Hatfields and the McCoys, is buried just south of Logan.
 
 

Marion County History
    Marion County was created by an act of the Virginia Assembly on January 14, 1842, from parts of Harrison and Monongalia counties. The county was named in honor of General Francis Marion (1732-1795), the legendary hero of the American Revolutionary War. He was born at Winyaw, South Carolina and was a plantation owner. When the American Revolutionary War started he was appointed a Captain in the Second South Carolina regiment. He was later promoted through the ranks to General. His nickname was the "Swamp Fox." The nickname was derived from his hit and hide battle tactics. Typically outnumbered throughout the war, his troops would strike the enemy's supply lines, and then disappear into the woods and wetlands, like a swamp fox. After the war, he retired to his plantation near Eutaw, South Carolina.

    The first English settlers in the county arrived in the Fairmont area during the 1760s. Jacob Prickett may have been the first, arriving in 1766. Captain James Booth and John Thomas arrived in 1770 or 1772, as did Thomas Helen. David Morgan and Nicholas Woods constructed cabins about five miles south of the present site of Fairmont in 1772. They were soon followed by Peter Straight, William Snodgrass, Henry Button, Thomas Button, John Dragoo and Frederick Ice. Together, they built Prickett's Fort, now reconstructed and a tourist attraction, for protection against the Indians in 1773 or 1774.

    John Fleming and his brothers' three sons were the first settlers in Fairmont, the county seat. They arrived from Delaware in 1789. In 1793, Jacob Paulsley built a home on the east side of the Monongahela River in present day Fairmont. At that time, most of the future city was a dense, laurel thicket. The area's population remained very low until the construction of a road between Clarksburg and Morgantown in 1819. A halfway resting point was needed along the road. Boaz Fleming's land on the west side of the river was considered no good for cultivating, so the town was started there, and incorporated in 1820 as Middletown. Three ferries and a hotel owned by Frederick Ice were the first businesses in the town. Across the river, a post office was opened and called Paulsley, in honor of John Paulsley. In 1838, Paulsley was incorporated as Palatine. On February 4, 1843, the two towns merged and, by an act of the General Assembly, was renamed Fairmont, a contraction of Fair Mountain, one of the choices under consideration as the name for the new town. Fairmont was long known in the state for its saw, grist and woolen mills. The town experienced a growth spurt when the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad extended a line to the town on January 22, 1852.
 
 

Marshall County History
Marshall County was created by an act of the Virginia General Assembly on March 12, 1835, from parts of Ohio County. The county was named in honor of John Marshall (1755-1835).

John Marshall was born in Germantown, Virginia on September 24, 1755. He served as a soldier during the American Revolutionary War and, after leaving the army in 1781 was licensed to practice law in his home county (Fauquier County). He served as a member of the Virginia General Assembly (1782-1791) and was named a special envoy to France in 1797. In 1798, he was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives representing Virginia from 1799 to 1800. He was then named Secretary of State by President Thomas Jefferson (1800-1801), and was selected Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court (1801-1835). The court's rulings during his tenure in office, especially Marbury vs. Madison (1803) which established the court's right of judicial review, established Marshall as one of the greatest Chief Justices in American political history. He died on July 6, 1835.

The First Settlers

The first native settlers along the Ohio River in the area of present-day Marshall County were the Mound Builders, also known as the Adena people. Remnants of the Mound Builder's civilization have been found throughout the Ohio River Valley, with a high concentration of artifacts located at Moundsville. The Grave Creek Indian Mound, located in the center of Moundsville, is one of West Virginia's most famous historic landmarks. More than 2,000 years old, it stands 69 feet high and 295 feet in diameter. It was acquired by the state in 1917.

The mound was discovered by James Tomlinson and was opened under the supervision of Abelard B. Tomlinson in 1838. He discovered a vault 111 feet from the northern side containing the skeletal remains of two Indians, one of them surrounded with 650 ivory beads and wearing an ivory ornament about six inches long. The mound also contained ashes and bits of bones that are believed to be the remnants of Indians burned prior to their internment in the mound. Another vault was discovered near the top of the mound, containing a skeleton wearing beads, seashells and copper bracelets. An inscribed stone was removed from the vault and is on display at the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, D.C.

According to missionary reports, several thousand Hurons occupied present-day West Virginia during the late 1500s and early 1600s. The powerful Iroquois Confederacy (consisting of the Mohawk, Onondaga, Cayuga, Oneida and Seneca tribes, and joined later by the Tuscaroras tribe) drove then from the state during the 1600s. The Iroquois Confederacy was headquartered in New York and was not interested in occupying present-day West Virginia. Instead, they used it as a hunting ground during the spring and summer months.

During the early 1700s, the Mingo made their home in both the Tygart Valley and along the Ohio River near present-day Marshall County. The Mingo were not actually an Indian tribe, but a multi-cultural group of Indians that established several communities within present-day West Virginia. They lacked a central government and, like all other Indians within the region at that time, were subject to the control of the Iroquois Confederacy. The Mingo originally lived closer to the Atlantic Coast, but European settlement pushed them into western Virginia and eastern Ohio.

Just prior to the outbreak of the French and Indian War (1755-1763), George Washington, then a British officer, reported seeing Mingo campfires near Follansbee, just north of present-day Marshall County (in Brooke County). During the war, the Mingo, Shawnee, and Delaware Indians allied themselves with the French. Unfortunately for the Mingo, the French lost the war and ceded the all of its North American possessions to the English. The Mingo then retreated to their homes along the banks of the Ohio River.

During the American Revolution (1776-1783), the Mingo allied themselves with the British. In 1777, a party of 350 Wyandots, Shawnees, and Mingos, armed by the British, attacked Fort Henry, near present-day Wheeling. Nearly half of the Americans manning the fort were killed in the three-day assault. The Indians then left the Fort celebrating their victory. For the remainder of the war, smaller raiding parties of Mingo and other Indian tribes terrorized settlers throughout the Northern Panhandle region. As a result, European settlement in the region came to a virtual standstill until the war's conclusion. Following the war, the Mingo, once again allied with the losing side, returned to their homes along the banks of the Ohio River. However, as the number of settlers in the region began to grow, and with their numbers depleted by the war, the Mingo decided to move further inland.

The most famous Mingo in West Virginia history was known to the European settlers as Logan. His real name was Talgayeeta. His father was a member of the Cayuga tribe and originally lived in central Pennsylvania. His father had taken the name Logan after a Pennsylvania official named John Logan. In 1763, Logan moved west to the Ohio River where he established a small settlement consisting of primarily of members of his extended family. Logan and the other members of his settlement were considered friendly and cooperative by most settlers in the region, until his settlement was attacked by English settlers on April 30, 1774. The attack occurred on the West Virginia side of the river, just north of present-day Marshall County (in Hancock County). Ten members of Logan's settlement, including two women, were killed and scalped by the settlers. Among the victims were members of Logan's immediate family, including his wife and all but one of his children. Several versions of the massacre circulated on the frontier. Lord Dunmore blamed a settler named Daniel Greathouse while Logan blamed Michael Cresap, a Maryland soldier and land speculator who was building cabins along the Ohio River as a means of securing land. Although the evidence suggests that Cresap was in the vicinity at the time of the massacre, many historians believe that he was not involved in the murders. In any case, following the massacre, Logan allied himself with the British and went on the warpath, leading four deadly raids on the Virginia and Pennsylvania frontiers and instigating what would later be called Lord Dunmore's War of 1774.

Logan gained national fame for his eloquent speech that was delivered during the peace negotiations following the Indians' defeat at the Battle of Point Pleasant in 1774. Logan was not at the decisive Battle of Point Pleasant, but returned to the main Indian camp during the peace negotiations. His famous speech was not delivered in council, but was given to Colonel John Gibson who wrote it down and delivered it on Logan's behalf during the negotiations. The speech was later published in many newspapers across the nation:

I appeal to any white man to say if he ever entered Logan's cabin hungry and I gave him not meat; if ever he came cold and naked and I gave him not clothing. During the course of the long and bloody war Logan remained idle in his cabin, an advocate for peace. Such was my love for the whites that my countrymen pointed as they passed and said, "Logan is the friend of white men." I had even thought to have lived with you but for the injuries of one man. Colonel Cresap, the last spring, in cold blood and unprovoked, murdered all the relations of Logan, not even sparing my women and children. There runs not a drop of my blood in the veins of any human creature. This called on me for revenge. I have sought it. I have killed many. I have fully glutted my vengeance. For my county I rejoice at the beams of peace. But do not harbor a thought that mine is the joy of fear. Logan never felt fear. He will not turn his heel to save his life. Who is there to mourn for Logan? Not one.


After Lord Dunmore's War concluded, Logan moved from place to place and, in 1789, joined an Indian raiding party that attacked settlements in southwestern Virginia. He was later killed by one of his own relatives in 1780, near present-day Detroit. He said before his death that he had two souls, one good and the other bad, as he put it "...when the good soul had the ascendant, he [referring to himself] was kind and humane, and when the bad soul ruled, he was perfectly savage, and delighted in nothing but blood and carnage."

European Pioneers and Settlers

Robert Cavelier de La Salle was probably the first European to set foot in present Marshall County. He sailed down the Ohio River in 1669. In 1749, Louis Bienville de Celeron sailed down the Ohio River and may have set foot on the current site of Marshall County. He claimed all of the lands drained by the Ohio River for King Louis XV of France. He met several English fur traders on his journey and ordered them off of French soil and wrote strong letters of reprimand to the colonial governors protesting the English's presence on French soil.

Christopher Gist was the first Englishman to leave a recorded record of his visit to the county. In 1751, he explored the area on behalf of the Ohio Company. It had been granted 500,000 acres of land between the Great Kanawha and Monongahela Rivers by King of Great Britain. They were to forfeit the lands unless the company was able to locate at least 100 families upon the land within seven years. Its efforts to settle the region was, at least partly, responsible for the ensuing French and Indian Wars (1754-1763).

John Wetzel and his family were the first English settlers to build a cabin in the county. They arrived in the vicinity of Sand Hill in 1769 or 1770. Several other settlers, including Ebenezer Zane and his brothers Silas, Jonathan, and Andrew, a Mr. Mercer and a Mr. Bonnett settled nearby that same year. In March 1771, three brothers, Joseph, Samuel and James Tomlinson, Nathaniel Parr, and a man employed by the Tomlinsons named Con O'Neill arrived in the county. The Tomlinson brothers and their companions settled in the flats along Grave Creek, near Moundsville. As settlers continued to move into the region, James Tomlinson decided in 1798 to plat a town. He called it Elizabethtown, in honor of his wife. The first lot in the town was sold for $8 to Andrew Rogers on November 15, 1799. The town grew slowly. It was incorporated on February 17, 1830. At that time, it had about 300 residents. Another town, called Mound City, was begun nearby by Simon Purdy. It was incorporated as Moundsville on January 28, 1832. Its name was derived from the Mammoth Grave Creek Indian Mound, located there.

The act creating the county in 1835 named Elizabethtown the county seat. The act required that the first meeting of the Marshall County Court take place in the brick school house in the town on the first Thursday after the third Monday of May, 1835. On February 23, 1865, Moundsville and Elizabethtown merged into Moundsville.

One of the nation's oldest and largest Indian burial grounds is located in Moundsville. The mound is 69 feet high, 900 feet in circumference at the base, and 50 feet across at the top. It was acquired by the state in 1917. The mound was discovered by James Tomlinson and was opened under the supervision of Abelard B. Tomlinson in 1838. He discovered a vault 111 feet from the northern side containing the skeletal remains of two Indians, one of them surrounded with 650 ivory beads and wearing an ivory ornament about six inches long. The mound also contained ashes and bits of bones that are believed to be the remnants of Indians burned prior to their internment in the mound. Another vault was discovered near the top of the mound, containing a skeleton wearing beads, seashells and copper bracelets. An inscribed stone was removed from the vault and is on display at the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, D.C.

Important Events of 1800s

On March 12, 1835, the general assembly of Virginia created Marshall County. It was cut from 240 square miles of the lower part of Ohio County. The county was named in honor of John Marshall, who at the time was the Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court.

On Christmas Eve, 1852, the B&O railroad track was completed at Rosby's Rock. The railroad was the first to connect the Atlantic Ocean with the Ohio River. It connected Baltimore, Maryland to Wheeling, Virginia.

On February 23, 1865, Moundsville and Elizabethtown merged. Moundsville became the new county seat.

Important Events of 1900s

On July 10, 1921, a military plane enroute from San Antonio, Texas to Washington, D.C. crashed at Moundsville's Langin Field. Although the pilots survived, five spectators were killed and fifteen automobiles, as well as the airplane, were destroyed. The Wheeling Register called the accident one of the worst in American aviation history.

On April 28, 1924, an explosion occurred at Benwood mine, killing 111 coal miners and trapping many more. Rescue operations took nearly a week. Most of the dead were killed from the initial explosion.

County Seat

The Marshall County Court was organized in 1835 in a school building in Elizabethtown at what is now the corner of First Street and Baker Avenue, Moundsville. The first courthouse at the present site on Seventh Street was used from 1836 to 1875, when the present building was constructed. It was completely renovated and enlarged in 1974. A Civil War monument stands at the corner of the Courthouse lawn flanked by two restored Civil War cannons. At the side of the building is a fountain and monument dedicated to the memory of all war veterans.

References

Brantner, J. H. 1947. Historical Collections of Moundsville, West Virginia. Moundsville: Marshall County Historical Society.

Lowe, Dale and Lowe, Naomi. 1984. Schools, Churches, Cemeteries: Pictures, Charts, Maps, Marshall County, West Virginia.

Marceline, MO: Walsworth Publishers.

Marshall County Historical Society. 1984. History of Marshall County, West Virginia. Salem, WV: Walsworth Publishing.

Powell, Scott. 1925. History of Marshall County. Moundsville, WV: Scott Powell.
  
 
 
Mason County History
Mason County was created by an act of the Virginia General Assembly on January 2, 1804, from parts of Kanawha County. The county was named in honor of George Mason (1725-1792). He was born in Virginia in 1725, was the author of the Constitution of Virginia, and a member of the Philadelphia constitutional convention that framed the Constitution of the United States during the summer of 1787. Not satisfied with the protections provided state's rights during the deliberations, he refused to sign the document and later opposed its ratification by Virginia.

The First Settlers

The first native settlers along the Ohio River in the area of present-day Mason County were the Mound Builders, also known as the Adena people. Remnants of the Mound Builder's civilization have been found throughout the Ohio River Valley, with a high concentration of artifacts located at Moundsville, West Virginia, just north of the county (in Marshall County). The Grave Creek Indian Mound, located in the center of Moundsville, is one of West Virginia's most famous historic landmarks. More than 2,000 years old, it stands sixty-nine feet high and 295 feet in diameter.

According to missionary reports, several thousand Hurons occupied present-day West Virginia during the late 1500s and early 1600s. The powerful Iroquois Confederacy (consisting of the Mohawk, Onondaga, Cayuga, Oneida and Seneca tribes, and joined later by the Tuscaroras tribe) drove them from the state during the 1600s. The Iroquois Confederacy was headquartered in New York and was not interested in occupying present-day West Virginia. Instead, they used it as a hunting ground during the spring and summer months.

During the early 1700s, the Ohio River valley, including present-day Mason County, was primarily used as hunting grounds by the Ohio-based Shawnee, the Mingo, who lived in both the Tygart Valley and along the Ohio River north of Mason County, and the Seneca, one of the largest and most powerful members of the Iroquois Confederacy.

The Shawnee settled in villages along the Ohio River, primarily in the area between present-day Wood and Cabell counties. Following the construction of Fort Pitt in 1758 by the British, the Shawnee moved further in-land and built a series of villages along the Scioto River in southern Ohio. These villages were collectively known as Chillicothe and served as their base camp for hunting and fishing in present-day West Virginia.

The Mingo were not actually an Indian tribe, but a multi-cultural group of Indians that established several communities within present-day West Virginia. They lacked a central government and, like all other Indians within the region at that time, were subject to the control of the Iroquois Confederacy. The Mingo originally lived closer to the Atlantic Coast, but European settlement pushed them into western Virginia and eastern Ohio.

The Seneca, headquartered in western New York, was the closest member of the Iroquois Confederacy to West Virginia and took great interest in the state. In 1744, the Seneca boasted to Virginia officials that they had conquered the several nations living on the back of the great mountains of Virginia. Among the conquered nations were the last of the Canawese or Conoy people who became incorporated into some of the Iroquois communities in New York. The Conoy continue to be remembered today through the naming of two of West Virginia's largest rivers after them, the Little Kanawha and the Great Kanawha.

War parties from the Seneca and other members of the Iroquois Confederacy often traveled through the state to protect its claim to southern West Virginia from the Cherokee. The Cherokee were headquartered in western North Carolina and eastern Tennessee and rivaled the Iroquois nation in both size and influence. The Cherokee claimed present-day southern West Virginia as their own, setting the stage for conflict with the Iroquois Confederacy.

In 1744, Virginia officials purchased the Iroquois title of ownership to West Virginia in the Treaty of Lancaster. The treaty reduced the Iroquois Confederacy's presence in the Ohio River Valley.

During the mid-1700s, the English had made it clear to the various Indian tribes that they intended to settle the frontier. The French, on the other hand, were more interested in trade. This influenced the Delaware, Mingo, and Shawnee to side with the French during the French and Indian War (1755-1763). Although the Iroquois Confederacy officially remained neutral, many in the Iroquois Confederacy allied with the French. Unfortunately for them, the French lost the war and ceded the all of its North American possessions to the British. The Mingo retreated to their homes along the banks of the Ohio River, and the Shawnee retreated to their homes at Chillicothe.

Although the war was officially over, many Indians continued to see the British as a threat to their sovereignty and continued to fight them. In the summer of 1763, Pontiac, an Ottawa chief, led raids on key British forts. Shawnee chief Keigh-tugh-qua, or Cornstalk, led similar attacks on western Virginia settlements in present-day Greenbrier County. By the end of July, Indians had captured all British forts west of the Alleghenies except Detroit, Fort Pitt, and Fort Niagara. Then, on August 6, 1763, British forces under the command of Colonel Henry Bouquet retaliated and destroyed Delaware and Shawnee forces at Bushy Run in western Pennsylvania, ending the hostilities.

Fearing more tension between Native Americans and settlers, England's King George III issued the Proclamation of 1763, prohibiting settlement west of the Allegheny Mountains. However, many land speculators, including George Washington, violated the proclamation by claiming vast acreage in western Virginia. The next five years were relatively peaceful on the frontier. In 1768, the Iroquois Confederacy (often called the Six Nations) and the Cherokee signed the Treaty of Hard Labour and the Treaty of Fort Stanwix, relinquishing their claims on the territory between the Ohio River and the Alleghenies to the British. With the frontier now open, settlers, once again, began to enter into present-day West Virginia.

During the American Revolution (1776-1783), the Mingo and Shawnee allied themselves with the British. In 1777, a party of 350 Wyandots, Shawnees, and Mingos, armed by the British, attacked Fort Henry, near present-day Wheeling. Nearly half of the Americans manning the fort were killed in the three-day assault. The Indians then left the Fort celebrating their victory. For the remainder of the war, smaller raiding parties of Mingo, Shawnee, and other Indian tribes terrorized settlers throughout the Ohio River Valley and Northern Panhandle regions. As a result, European settlement in the region came to a virtual standstill until the war's conclusion. Following the war, the Mingo and Shawnee, once again allied with the losing side, returned to their homes. However, as the number of settlers in the region began to grow, and with their numbers depleted by the war, both the Mingo and the Shawnee moved further inland.

European Pioneers and Settlers

Robert Cavelier de La Salle was probably the first European to set foot in present-day Mason County. He sailed down the Ohio River in 1669. In 1749, Louis Bienville de Celeron sailed down the Ohio River, and buried a lead plate in present-day Mason County. He claimed all of the lands drained by the Ohio River for King Louis XV of France. His journals indicate that he buried four lead plates at various locations along the Ohio River, but to date only two have been found. He met several English fur traders on his journey and ordered them off of French soil and wrote strong letters of reprimand to the colonial governors protesting the English's presence on French soil.

In 1750, Christopher Gist, an agent and surveyor for the Ohio Company, passed through the county. The first European woman to set foot in the county was Mary Ingles. She was taken prisoner by Shawnee Indians on July 8, 1755 at Draper's Meadow (now Blacksburg), Virginia and was forced to accompany the Indians through the county as they returned to Shawnee Village at Chillicothe, Ohio. Her escape four months later and her return through the wilderness to Virginia has a significant place in American folklore.

George Washington was a frequent visitor to the county as early as 1770. He surveyed the present site of Point Pleasant, the county seat made famous by the Battle of Point Pleasant in 1774, and was granted title to some 10,900 acres in the area for his services during the French and Indian Wars (1754-1763).

The Battle of Point Pleasant was considered a turning point in the war against the Indians and a precursor of the American Revolutionary War. During the battle on October 10, 1774, General Andrew Lewis' army of 1,100 waged what was probably the most fiercely contested battle ever fought with the Indians within the state of Virginia. One-half of General Lewis' commissioned officers, including his brother Charles were killed, as were seventy-five of his non-commissioned soldiers. Another 140 soldiers were wounded. The actual number of Indians engaged or killed in the battle is not known, but included warriors from the Shawnee, Delaware, Mingo, Wyandotte and Cayuga tribes, lead by their respective chiefs and by Cornstalk, Sachem of the Shawnees and King of the North Confederacy. The remaining Indians fled into Ohio with Lewis' men in pursuit. Now on the defensive, the Indians later agreed to a peace treaty, ending what had become known as Lord Dunmore's War (John Murray, fourth Earl of Dunmore, was Governor of Virginia at the time).

In 1777, Cornstalk, his son, Elinipsico, Red Hawk, and another prominent Indians were murdered while being held hostage at Fort Blair, which had been built at Point Pleasant following Lewis' victory. They were killed in revenge for the murder of a member of the garrison who had left the fort on a hunting trip while the hostages were there. Cornstalk is buried at the corner of the county courthouse in Point Pleasant.

Ann Bailey, whose first husband was killed at the Battle of Point Pleasant, and was known as "Mad Ann" (see Braxton County history) is also buried in Point Pleasant, in a public park near the battle monument.

Mason County was part of the proposed colony of Vandalia, whose capital was to be at the mouth of the Great Kanawha River, (i.e.. near Point Pleasant). The colony was opposed by the Washington family, primarily because they and their business partners had laid claim to much of the county and feared that the proposal, put forth by George Mercer and his business associates in 1773, would void those claims.

Among the early pioneers who made Mason County their home was Dr. Jesse Bennett. In 1794, he performed the first Cesarean section operation in the United States (on Elizabeth, his wife, saving both her life and the life of their daughter). He settled on 8,000 acres of land, near the home of Andrew Lewis, and served as Surgeon of the Second Virginia Regiment during the War of 1812 and as a member of the jury at Aaron Burr's trial for treason (see Wood County history for details).

Important Events of the 1900s

One of the most tragic events in recent Mason county history was the Collapse of the Silver Bridge on December 15, 1967. Forty-six people died when the bridge, which connected West Virginia and Ohio, collapsed. The bridge was constructed of an unusual eyebar-chain suspension and gave way, folding like a deck of cards. The National Transportation Safety Board later blamed the accident on the bridge's design.

County Seat

Point Pleasant is the county seat. It was originally chartered in 1794 and incorporated 1833. It is located on the mouth of the Kanawha River. It was named after Camp Point Pleasant, established there by General Andrew Lewis at the time of his famous battle with the Indians in 1774.

The Mason County Courthouse, a tri-level stone structure originally costing about $750,000, was completed in 1957. It replaced the 100-year-old former courthouse. In 1963, the former American Legion Building was purchased as an annex to the Courthouse and remodeled for office use. In 1968, the former Central School lot, located at Sixth and Viand Street, was purchased and converted into a park dedicated to Mason County veterans lost in war and in memory of those who lost their lives in the Silver Bridge Disaster.  

References

Ferguson, Robert H. 1961. History of Mason County, West Virginia. Mount Pleasant: n.p.

Mason County History Book Committee. 1987. History of Masan County, West Virginia. Salem, WV: Walsworth Publishing.

 
 

McDowell County History
    McDowell County was created by an act of the Virginia General Assembly on February 28, 1858, from parts of Tazewell County (Virginia). The county was named in honor of James McDowell (1795-1851). The son of Irish immigrants, he served as a member of the Virginia Assembly (1831-1843), was the 25th Governor of Virginia (1843-1846), and represented Virginia in U.S. House of Representatives from 1846 until his death in 1851.

    In an effort to raise revenue following the American Revolutionary War, the newly formed federal government sold vast areas of unoccupied land to land speculators, typically as low as three cents per acre. In 1794, three large land grants were sold that covered all of the present county and more. Wilson Cary Nicholas purchased a land grant of 300,000 acres and another 320,000 acre land grant with Jacob Kenney. This latter land grant was said to have covered most of the present McDowell County. It was sold the following year to Robert Morris (1734-1806), the famous wealthy financier who was a signer of the Declaration of Independence, used his financial fortune to underwrite the expenses of the American Revolutionary Army, and, late in life, lost his fortune and spent three years in debtor's prison. Also, in 1794, David Paterson purchased a 150,00 acre land grant that may have included a small portion of the present county. He sold it to Robert Pollard the following year. Thus, in 1795, Robert Morris owned nearly all of land that is now known as McDowell County.

    Mathias Harman and his wife Lydia were the first English settlers in the present county. They lived in a cabin along the Dry Fork River as early as 1802. In 1829, William Fletcher was issued a patent for 20 acres of land at the mouth of Little Indian Creek in the present city limits of Welch. In 1825, Moses A. Cartwright and his wife Clary also moved to the present location of Welch. Other early settlers within the county were John and James Milam, Philip Lambert and Amos Totten.

    The county had only 282 land-owning families (called freeholders) when it was formed in 1858. The act creating the county specified that the county seat was to be located at Perryville, and the initial meetings of the county court where held there, in the home of George W. Payne. The construction of a courthouse, jail and other public buildings was delayed, however, due to a dispute concerning the ownership of the site selected (its title was vested in minors) and a lawsuit concerning the commission appointed to make the selection. The delay continued and extended through the Civil War years, with the court meetings taking place throughout the county. In 1867, the West Virginia state legislature passed a law locating the county seat on the lands of Philip Lambert, near Coalwood. Then, in 1872 the state legislature allowed the county residents to select the location of the county seat and they choose Perryville, then the largest town in the county. As the population around Welch increased during the early 1890s, the citizens of that town demanded that the county seat be moved there. In 1892, the residents of the county voted to move the county seat to Welch. The citizens of Perryville contested the election, claiming that the citizens of Welch had cheated by importing numerous railroad workers who had no intention to staying in the county and paid them to vote for Welch. To avoid violence, shortly after the election James A. Strother and Trigg Tabor secretly moved the county records from Perryville to Welch in two wagons. The county seat has remained in Welch since 1892.

    Welch was settled in the early 1820s by William Fletcher. However, the town did not grow until the late 1880s. In 1880, there were only two or three houses and one store, owned by Squire W. G. Hunt, in the "town." In 1885 (or 1888), Captain Isaiah Welch surveyed the area as a potential site for a logging or mining operation. He, along with J. G. Bramwell and J. H. Duhring, purchased about 165 acres of land from John Henry Hunt, comprising most of present day Welch. The deal was reportedly for $40 and Captain Welch's sorrel mare, Cellum (other accounts report that the "$40 and a horse" was a deposit to bind the deal, a deed was later recorded suggesting that the real price was $2,155.75). Captain Welch's investment paid off when the railroad reached the town in the fall of 1891. Now that the town had access to the "outside" world, it became more attractive as a place to live and work. As the town began to grow, Captain Welch and his partners platted the town into lots for sale in 1893. The town was incorporated and named in honor of Captain Welch in 1894.

    The nation's first war memorial dedicated to the actions of African-American veterans of World War I is located at Kimball. Also, McDowell County has the distinction of being the home of Minnie Buckingham Harper (R-McDowell) who became the first female, African-American state legislator in the United States when she was appointed to the West Virginia House of Delegates on January 10, 1928 by Governor Howard Gore to fill a vacancy caused by the death of her husband.
 
 

Mercer County History
    Mercer County was created by an act of the Virginia General Assembly on March 17, 1837, from parts of Giles and Tazewell counties (Virginia). The county was named in honor of Brigadier-General Hugh Mercer (1725-1877). He was born in Scotland and educated in medicine at Marischal College in Scotland. He immigrated to Philadelphia in 1746 and later moved to Fredericksburg, Virginia. He served as a surgeon in the French and Indian War of 1755 and in the American Revolutionary War. He was mortally wounded by bayonet by British soldiers at the Battle of Princeton, New Jersey on January 3, 1777. He died from the wounds on January 12, 1777. Among his descendants was General George S. Patton, one of America's finest military leaders during World War II.

    Mitchell Clay was the first English settlers in the county. He arrived in 1775 with his wife, Phoebe, and their children. In August 1783, a band of 11 Indians attacked his home while he was away on a hunting trip. His wife and two daughters escaped, but the Indians killed one of his sons and one of his daughters. They also captured his son, Ezekiel. It was later learned that Ezekiel was burned at the stake in the Shawnee Indian town at Chillicothe, Ohio. Mr. Clay then sold his farm to George Pearis.

    The first meeting of the county court took place at the home of James Calfee, near the present site of Princeton. It was decided at that meeting to name the county seat Princeton, in honor of the site of General Mercer's death. Captain William Smith (1774-1859) was the leading citizen in the community and donated one and a half acres of land for the courthouse. It was built in 1839. On May 1, 1862, during the Civil War, a Confederate Army Colonel named Walter Jenifer set the courthouse on fire as he retreated from the Union Army, under the command of General Jacob Cox. Lieutenant Colonel Rutherford B. Hayes, later the President of the United States, was in command of the Union Army's advancing regiment. The blaze spread through most of the town and destroyed nearly every home and building. After the War, the town was slowly rebuilt. A conflict arose over the location of the county seat in 1865 because Judge Nathaniel Harrison was not allowed by the local residents to hold court in Princeton, primarily because he had left the Confederacy and most of the local residents had supported the South during the Civil War. He held the county court at Concord Church, later called Athens, for five years following the war. In 1869, several Princeton residents stole the county court records and took them back to Princeton. A special election was then held in the county to resolve the issue of where the county seat was to be located. Princeton won.

    Princeton's first bank, First State Bank, was organized in 1874 by H.W. Straley. The bank was very primitive, using a trunk as a safe and a beaver hat for a till for coins. At night, the directors took the bank's money home with them for safe keeping. It was reported that on opening day a well-dressed gentleman entered the bank and identified himself as a visiting businessman. Judge David Johnson, the bank's vice-president, was so taken by the gentleman's fine demeanor that he invited the man home for dinner. The gentleman, Frank James, later reported to his brother Jesse that the bank was too insignificant to rob.
 
 

Mineral County History
    Mineral County was created by an act of the General Assembly on February 1, 1866, from parts of Hampshire County. The county was named in honor of the abundant minerals located in the county.

    John Lederer, a German physician and explorer employed by Sir William Berkeley, colonial governor of Virginia, was the first Englishman to set foot in present day Mineral County. He explored the area in 1669. One of the earliest settlers in the county was a farmer named Brown. He entertained George Washington in his cabin when Washington passed through the county in 1748 on behalf of the Ohio Company, a land investment company. In 1755, Colonel George Washington gave the order to build a stockade and fort on the east side of Patterson's Creek, at the present site of Frankfort. The Fort (later called Ashby's Fort, in honor of Colonel John Ashby who commanded the militia there for many years) served as part of the colonists' line of defense during the French and Indian Wars (1754-1763).

    Part of the land where the county seat, Keyser, is located was originally purchased from Lord Fairfax by Christopher Beelor in 1752. He became the town's first, permanent English settler, but a band of Indians forced him to abandon the area in 1773. He died in 1774 and his widow, Mary, inherited the land and soon afterward returned with her new husband, George Kyger. When her second husband died in 1807, she fold the farm to James Mosley of Baltimore for 2,000 pounds. The other part of the land on which Keyser is currently located was originally owned by Abram Inskeep. He granted it Patrick McCarthy in 1802. McCarthy was one of the earliest settlers in the area, arriving in 1780. After he bought the land, the area became known as Paddy's Town. The McCarthy family soon became the most prominent in the region, owning and operating the general store, several mills and an iron foundry. In 1852, the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad extended into the region and the town's name was changed to New Creek. During the Civil War, Keyser served as a key supply point and reportedly changed hands 14 times between 1861 and 1864. The town's name was changed to Keyser to honor William Keyser, vice-president of the railroad, when it was incorporated in 1874.

    Nancy Hanks, Abraham Lincoln's mother, was born on the Doll farm on Mike's Run, near Keyser.
 
 

Mingo County History
Mingo County is the youngest county in the state, formed by an act of the state legislature in 1895 from parts of Logan County. Its founding was related to a legal
protest by a moonshiner who claimed that the Logan County Court that had found him guilty did not have jurisdiction over his case because his still was actually
located in Lincoln County. A land survey was taken and discovered that the defendant was correct. The charges were then refilled in Lincoln County court. Although
the moonshiner was ultimately found guilty of his crime, the state legislature was made aware of the situation and determined that Logan County was too large for the
expeditious administration of justice and decided to create a new county, called Mingo. The county was named in honor of the Mingo Indian tribe that had been the
earliest known settlers of the region.

The First Settlers

The first native settlers in southern West Virginia were the Mound Builders, also known as the Adena people. Remnants of the Mound Builder's civilization have
been found throughout West Virginia, with a high concentration of artifacts located at Moundsville, West Virginia, in Marshall County. The Grave Creek Indian
Mound, located in the center of Moundsville, is one of West Virginia's most famous historic landmarks. More than 2,000 years old, it stands 69 feet high and 295
feet in diameter.

According to missionary reports, several thousand Hurons occupied present-day West Virginia during the late 1500s and early 1600s. They were driven out of the
state during the 1600s by members of the powerful Iroquois Confederacy (consisting of the Mohawk, Onondaga, Cayuga, Oneida and Seneca tribes, and joined
later by the Tuscaroras tribe). The Iroquois Confederacy was headquartered in New York and was not interested in occupying present-day West Virginia. Instead,
they used it as a hunting ground during the spring and summer months.

During the early 1700s, southern West Virginia, including present-day Mingo County, was used as a hunting ground by the Mingo, who lived in both the Tygart
Valley and along the Ohio River in West Virginia's northern panhandle region, the Delaware, who lived in present-day eastern Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and
Delaware, but had several autonomous settlements as far south as present-day Braxton County, and by other members of the Iroquois Confederacy, especially the
Seneca, one of the largest and most powerful members of the Iroquois Confederacy.

The Mingo were not actually an Indian tribe, but a multi-cultural group of Indians that established several communities within present-day West Virginia. They lacked
a central government and, like all other Indians within the region at that time, were subject to the control of the Iroquois Confederacy. The Mingo originally lived
closer to the Atlantic Coast, but European settlement pushed them into western Virginia and eastern Ohio.

The Seneca was one of the largest and most powerful members of the Iroquois Confederacy. Headquartered in western New York, the Seneca were the closest
member of the Confederacy to West Virginia, and took great interest in the state. In 1744, the Seneca boasted to Virginia officials that they had conquered the
several nations living on the back of the great mountains of Virginia. Among the conquered nations were the last of the Canawese or Conoy people who became
incorporated into some of the Iroquois communities in New York. The Conoy continue to be remembered today through the naming of two of West Virginia's
largest rivers after them, the Little Kanawha and the Great Kanawha.

The Seneca, and other members of the Iroquois Confederacy, claimed all of present-day West Virginia as their own, using it primarily as a hunting ground. Also, war
parties from the Seneca and other members of the Iroquois Confederacy often traveled through the state to protect its claim to southern West Virginia from the
Cherokee. The Cherokee were headquartered in western North Carolina and eastern Tennessee and rivaled the Iroquois nation in both size and influence. The
Cherokee claimed present-day southern West Virginia as their own, setting the stage for conflict between them and the Iroquois Confederacy.

In 1744, Virginia officials purchased the Iroquois title of ownership to West Virginia in the Treaty of Lancaster. The treaty reduced the Iroquois Confederacy's
presence in the state.

During the mid-1700s, the English had made it clear to the various Indian tribes that they intended to settle the frontier. The French, on the other hand, were more
interested in trade. This influenced the Mingo to side with the French during the French and Indian War (1755-1763). Although the Iroquois Confederacy officially
remained neutral, many in the Iroquois Confederacy also allied with the French. Unfortunately for them, the French lost the war and ceded the all of its North
American possessions to the British. Following the war, the Mingo retreated to their homes along the banks of the Ohio River and were rarely seen in southern West
Virginia.

Although the war was officially over, many Indians, especially the Shawnee who resided in Ohio, continued to see the British as a threat to their sovereignty and
continued to fight them. In the summer of 1763, Pontiac, an Ottawa chief, led raids on key British forts. Shawnee chief Keigh-tugh-qua, or Cornstalk, led similar
attacks on western Virginia settlements in present-day Greenbrier County. By the end of July, Indians had captured all British forts west of the Alleghenies except
Detroit, Fort Pitt, and Fort Niagara. Then, on August 6, 1763, British forces under the command of Colonel Henry Bouquet retaliated and destroyed Delaware and
Shawnee forces at Bushy Run in western Pennsylvania, ending the hostilities.

Fearing more tension between Native Americans and settlers, England's King George III issued the Proclamation of 1763, prohibiting settlement west of the
Allegheny Mountains. However, many land speculators, including George Washington, violated the proclamation by claiming vast acreage in western Virginia. In
1768, the Iroquois Confederacy (often called the Six Nations) and the Cherokee signed the Treaty of Hard Labour and the Treaty of Fort Stanwix, relinquishing
their claims on the territory between the Ohio River and the Alleghenies to the British. With the frontier now open, settlers, once again, began to enter into
present-day West Virginia.

In 1772, a series of incidents between settlers and Indians in West Virginia ended what had been nearly eight years of peace. During the spring of that year, several
Indians were murdered on the South Branch of the Potomac River by Nicholas Harpold and his companions. About the same time, Bald Eagle, an Indian chief of
some notoriety, was murdered while on a hunting trip on the Monongahela River. In the meantime, Captain Bull, a Delaware Indian Chief and five other Indian
families were living in Braxton County in an area known as Bulltown, near the falls of the Little Kanawha River, about fourteen miles from present day Sutton.
Captain Bull was regarded by most of the settlers in the region as friendly. But some settlers suspected him of providing information to and harboring unfriendly
Indians. While away from home in June 1772, the family of a German immigrant named Peter Stroud was murdered, presumably by Indians. The trail left by the
murderers led in the general direction of Bulltown. Peter's brother, Adam Stroud, had a cabin nearby and seeing smoke rising into the sky, raced to his brother's
cabin. He gathered up what was left of the bodies and buried them. He then headed for Hacker's Creek where he met with several other settlers who agreed to join
him in an attack on Bulltown. They killed all of the Indians in the village, including Captain Bull, and threw their bodies into a nearby river. News of Captain Bull's
murder quickly spread across the western frontier.

Following what the Indians referred to as the Bulltown massacre, Shawnee Chief Cornstalk, who had led numerous raids against West Virginia settlers in the past,
began to organize the Indians in a concerted effort to drive the whites from their territory.

In 1773, land speculator Michael Cresap led a group of volunteers from Fort Fincastle (later renamed Fort Henry) at present-day Wheeling, murdering several
Shawnee at Captain Creek. Among other atrocities, on April 30, 1774, colonists murdered the family of Mingo chieftain Tah-gah-jute, who had been baptized under
the English name of Logan. Although Logan had previously lived peacefully with whites, he killed at least thirteen settlers that summer in revenge.

Virginia Governor John Murray, Earl of Dunmore, worried about the escalating violence in western Virginia, decided to end the conflict by force. He formed two
armies, one marching from the North, consisting of 1,700 men led by himself and the other marching from the South, comprised of 800 troops led by western
Virginia resident and land speculator Captain Andrew Lewis. Shawnee chieftain Keigh-tugh-qua, or Cornstalk, along with approximately 1,200 Shawnee, Delaware,
Mingo, Wyandotte and Cayuga warriors, decided to attack the southern regiment before they had a chance to unite with Lord Dunmore's forces. On October 10,
1774, the Indians attacked Lewis' forces at the confluence of the Kanawha and Ohio Rivers, at present-day Point Pleasant, in Greenbrier County. During the battle,
both sides suffered significant losses.

Although nearly half of Lewis' commissioned officers were killed during the battle, including his brother, Colonel Charles Lewis, and seventy-five of his
non-commissioned officers, the Indians were finally forced to retreat back to their settlements in Ohio's Scioto Valley, with Lewis' men in pursuit. In the meanwhile,
Lord Dunmore arrived and joined forces with Lewis. Seeing that they were now outnumbered, Cornstalk sued for peace.

Although western Virginia's settlers continued to experience isolated Indian attacks for several years, Cornstalk's defeat at Point Pleasant was the beginning of the
end of the Indian presence in western Virginia. The Indians agreed to give up all of their white prisoners, restore all captured horses and other property, and not to
hunt south of the Ohio River. Also, they were to allow boats on the Ohio River and promised not to harass them. This opened up present-day West Virginia and
Kentucky for settlement. Cornstalk was later killed at Fort Randolph near Point Pleasant in 1777 in retaliation for the death of a militiaman who was killed by an
Indian.

The Battle of Point Pleasant made Talgayeeta, known by the settlers as Logan, the most famous Mingo in West Virginia history. Logan's father was a member
of the Cayuga tribe and originally lived in central Pennsylvania. His father had taken the name Logan after a Pennsylvania official named John Logan. In 1763, Logan
moved west to the Ohio River where he established a small settlement consisting primarily of members of his extended family. Logan and the other members of his
settlement were considered friendly and cooperative by most settlers in the region, until his settlement was attacked by English settlers on April 30, 1774. The attack
occurred on the West Virginia side of the river, in present-day Hancock County. Ten members of Logan's settlement, including two women, were killed and scalped
by the settlers. Among the victims were members of Logan's immediate family, including his wife and all but one of his children. Several versions of the massacre
circulated on the frontier. Lord Dunmore blamed a settler named Daniel Greathouse while Logan blamed Michael Cresap, a Maryland soldier and land speculator
who was building cabins along the Ohio River as a means of securing land. Although the evidence suggests that Cresap was in the vicinity at the time of the massacre,
many historians believe that he was not involved in the murders. In any case, following the massacre, Logan allied himself with the British and went on the warpath,
leading four deadly raids on the Virginia and Pennsylvania frontiers and helping to instigate what would later be called Lord Dunmore's War of 1774.

Logan gained national fame for his eloquent speech that was delivered during the peace negotiations following the Indians' defeat at the Battle of Point Pleasant.
Logan was not at the decisive Battle of Point Pleasant, but returned to the main Indian camp during the peace negotiations. His speech was not delivered in council,
but was given to Colonel John Gibson who wrote it down and delivered it on Logan's behalf during the negotiations. The speech was later published in many
newspapers across the nation:

I appeal to any white man to say if he ever entered Logan's cabin hungry and I gave him not meat; if ever he came cold and naked and I
gave him not clothing. During the course of the long and bloody war Logan remained idle in his cabin, an advocate for peace. Such was
my love for the whites that my countrymen pointed as they passed and said, "Logan is the friend of white men." I had even thought to have
lived with you but for the injuries of one man. Colonel Cresap, the last spring, in cold blood and unprovoked, murdered all the relations of
Logan, not even sparing my women and children. There runs not a drop of my blood in the veins of any human creature. This called on me
for revenge. I have sought it. I have killed many. I have fully glutted my vengeance. For my county I rejoice at the beams of peace. But do
not harbor a thought that mine is the joy of fear. Logan never felt fear. He will not turn his heel to save his life. Who is there to mourn for
Logan? Not one.

After Lord Dunmore's War concluded, Logan moved from place to place and, in 1789, joined an Indian raiding party that attacked settlements in southwestern
Virginia. He was later killed by one of his own relatives in 1780, near present-day Detroit. He said before his death that he had two souls, one good and the other
bad, as he put it "...when the good soul had the ascendant, he [referring to himself] was kind and humane, and when the bad soul ruled, he was perfectly savage, and
delighted in nothing but blood and carnage."

During the American Revolution (1776-1783), the Mingo and Shawnee, headquartered at Chillicothe, Ohio, allied themselves with the British. In 1777, a party of
350 Wyandots, Shawnees, and Mingos, armed by the British, attacked Fort Henry, near present-day Wheeling. Nearly half of the Americans manning the fort were
killed in the three-day assault. The Indians then left the Fort celebrating their victory. For the remainder of the war, smaller raiding parties of Mingo, Shawnee, and
other Indian tribes terrorized settlers throughout West Virginia. As a result, European settlement in the state came to a virtual standstill until the war's conclusion.
Following the war, the Mingo and Shawnee, once again allied with the losing side, returned to their homes. However, as the number of settlers in the region began to
grow, and with their numbers depleted by the war, both the Mingo and the Shawnee moved further inland.

European Pioneers and Settlers

Various tribes, especially the Mingo, Shawnee, Cherokee, and Delaware used present-day Mingo County as a hunting and fishing grounds, and as a place for
temporary villages during the 1700s. By the mid-1700's, Europeans began to look at the county as a potential source of economic gain. For example, John
Breckenridge hired one of his soldiers, James Workman, to survey the county duirng the 1780s in an attempt to claim the land and sell it to others for settlement.

During the spring of 1794, James Workman, his son Joseph and his brother Nimrod built a cabin on an island of the Guyandotte River and planted a few acres of
corn. They continued to farm the island over the next two years. Then, in the fall of 1796, James Workman moved his wife and children from their old home in
Wythe (now Tazewell County) Virginia and settled near the island. They continued to live there until around 1800. During the late 1790s William Dingess purchased
300 acres of land from John Breckenridge that covers the present towns of Logan and Aracoma. He built a house there and moved into it in 1799. He is generally
credited with starting the first permanent settlement in Logan county.

The early pioneers that followed William Dingess were primarily farmers, carpenters, and laborers. The country at that time was very rough and mountainous, with
only about one-third of it being adapted for cultivation. Separated from the outside world, Logan County's initial setters learned to depend on their personal energies
for the necessities and comforts of life. Substantial log houses were erected and land cleared around them. There, they planted patches of corn, potatoes, cotton,
flax, and other necessities.

The early settlers owned at least one trusty rifle and had plenty of ammunition since gun powder could be made locally from sulfur, saltpeter, and charcoal. Lead for
the bullets was plentiful and found in almost every neighborhood. Thus, armed and equipped, the settlers hunted black bear, deer, and buffalo for meat, and used
their skins for shoes and a portion of their clothing. Water power was abundant. By the early 1800s small mills were grounding corn and wheat into meal and flour.
Honey, maple syrup, and maple sugar was used to sweeten their food and dring and the bark of the sassafras root substituted for coffee. There were many saltlicks
for obtaining salt for preserving meats, and for use as a seasoner in cooking.

Once the area began to grow and gain inhabitants, Anthony Lawson established a store and trading post. In its day, his trading post was the county's focal point to
the outside world. Local residents would bring their goods, such as ginseng, to the store to sell or barter for luxuries, such as cotton cloth, sugar, and manufactured
goods. Lawson's store was a magnet for people looking for a place to live and, after a few years "take it to Lawson's" became "take it to Lawsonville."

Important Events During the 1800s

The famous Hatfield-McCoy family feud covered a wide area in southwestern West Virginia, including the present site of Mingo County, and parts of eastern
Kentucky.

The Hatfields, who lived on both sides of the border and supported the Confederates during the Civil War, and the McCoys, who lived in Kentucky and supported
the Union during the Civil War, were never friendly toward one another, but tensions reached a high pitch in 1881 when the two families contested the ownership of
a prized razorback hog that had been allowed to run wild in the woods. A Kentucky jury awarded the hog to the Hatfields. Soon afterwards, one of the trial's
witnesses, a Hatfield, was found shot to death. The Hatfields accused two sons of Randolph McCoy, the clan's leader, of the crime. A jury later acquitted the two
men, but the hard feelings between the two clans soon boiled over into violence.

On August 7, 1882 in Ransom, Kentucky, an election day, Tolbert McCoy, another of Randolph's sons, confronted Ellison Hatfield. Ellison had been involved in the
dispute over the hog. The men argued and Tolbert pulled out a knife and stabbed Ellison. Tolbert's two brothers, Randal and Wayne, then joined the fight which
ended when one of the McCoy brothers shot Ellison Hatfield in the back. The McCoy brothers then fled. Ellison was carried across the border, where he lingered
on death's door for two days before dying. In the meantime, Ellison's three older brothers, Valentine, Anderson "Anse", and Elias Hatfield, captured the three
McCoy brothers and brought them back to West Virginia, informing them that if Ellison died that they would be killed. When Ellison died, the three McCoy brothers
were taken across the river to Kentucky, tied to some bushes and shot to death. It was assumed that the killings were either done or ordered by "Devil" Anse
Hatfield. The feud was seemingly over, except for some minor fights, until the summer of 1887 when a new governor in Kentucky requested that West Virginia
extradite Anse Hatfield to Kentucky to be tried for the murder of the McCoy brothers.

When West Virginia refused, Frank Phillips, a Pike County, Kentucky deputy, acting on his own authority, began slipping over the border and forcibly taking various
members of the Hatfield clan into custody for various offenses against the McCoy clan. The feud escalated on January 1, 1888, when members of the Hatfield family
burnt the home of Randolph McCoy to the ground with Randolph and his family still inside. As they attempted their escape Randolph's wife was seriously injured,
and two of his children, a son and a daughter, were killed. Two weeks later, Phillips men crossed over into West Virginia and killed Jim Vance, Anse Hatfield's
brother-in-law. Then, on January 19, 1888, a posse, formed in Logan County and comprised of members of the Hatfield clan and friends, had a shoot-out with
Phillip's men. The shoot-out attracted national attention to the feud, primarily because it seemingly reflected a growing animosity between the two states that could
erupt into a miniature Civil War. A number of additional murders involving the two clans took place over the next several years before the feud finally ended.


Important Events During the 1900s

Mother Jones, one of the American labor movement's most colorful and famous national leaders, was heavily involved in the Mingo County miner's strike of 1920.
She encouraged the minors to strike in an effort to force the county's coal operators to allow its workers to unionize. The strike, which lasted eighteen months, was
marred by violence and death. When the strike finally ended, the workers lost and their goal to unionize the coal mines was not achieved.

County Seat

Williamson, the county seat, was incorporated in 1892. Most historians believe that Williamson was named in honor of Wallace J. Williamson. He owned the land
where Williamson now stands, had earned a fortune in real estate investments in the area, and founded the city's first bank and its first hotel. Others claim that the city
was named for Wallace's father, Benjamin F. Williamson. He owned most of the land in the region before dividing it among his sons.

Williamson grew rapidly once the railroad connected into the town. Its population, just 688 in 1900, jumped to 6,819 in 1920 and 9,410 in 1930.

References

Sam Rogers. 2001. "A History of Logan County, W. Va." Morgantown, WV: West Virginia University Extension

Service.

Smith, Nancy Sue. 1960. An Early History of Mingo County, West Virginia. Williamson: Williamson Printing

Company, 1960.

Smith, Nancy Sue. 1966. History of Logan and Mingo Counties, Beginning in 1617. Williamson: n.p., 1966.  
 
 

Monongalia County History
    Monongalia County was one of the first three counties, along with Ohio and Youghiogheny counties, formed within the state. It was created by an act of the Virginia General Assembly in October 1776 from parts of the District of West Augusta (Virginia). It was named in honor of the Monongahela River, named by the Algonquain (Deleware) Indians. The river's name means river of crumbling banks or high banks fall down. When the bill creating the county was being prepared the spelling was changed to Monongalia. It is not known if the spelling was changed on purpose or was an error.

    Monongalia County is known as the mother county for northern West Virginia. Eighteen of West Virginia's 55 counties and parts of three Pennsylvania Counties (Greene, Fayette and Washington counties) were created in whole or in part from Monongalia County. This latter territory was lost to Pennsylvania following the extension of the Mason-Dixon line in 1781.

    The first organizational meeting in the county took place at the home of Jonathan Coburn on December 8, 1776. The first county seat was located at the home of Theophilus Phillips, two miles from the present site of Geneva, Pennsylvania. After the Mason-Dixon line made his home a part of Pennsylvania, the county seat was moved to the home of Zackquill Morgan in 1782, in present day Morgantown.

    Morgantown, the county seat, was originally settled by Thomas Decker, who led a group of settlers to Decker's Creek, in the present site of Morgantown, during the fall of 1758. The settlement was destroyed the following spring by a party of Delaware and Mingo Indians. All but one of the original settlers, including Thomas Decker, were killed or captured in the attack.

    There is conflicting accounts concerning who arrived in the county next. Some accounts suggest that David Morgan arrived at the current site of Morgantown in 1768 and gave his settlement right to Zackquill (or Zackwell) Morgan. Other accounts suggest that Bruce Worley and his brother, Nathan, arrived before them, in 1766. Most historians cite the sworn deposition of Colonel William Crawford and credit Zackquill Morgan as the next settler in the county. Colonel Crawford indicated that Zackquill Morgan, James Chew, and Jacob Prickett moved into the area in 1766, and that he had visited the Morgan farm, near Decker's Creek.

    Colonel Zackquill Morgan, son of Morgan Morgan, received a legal certificate for 400 acres of land in the Morgantown area in 1781. In October 1785, at Colonel Morgan's request, the Virginia General Assembly specified that 50 acres of his land was to be laid out in lots, and a town, named Morgantown, established on the site. Purchasers of the lots were to build upon them within four years, but because of Indian hostilities the four year time limit was later extended an additional five years. In 1793, the Pittsburgh Gazette began delivering its paper to Morgantown and opened a road to it. The opening of the road helped the town began to grow , especially during the early 1800s as many pioneers heading west stopped in Morgantown for supplies. The city was incorporated on February 3, 1858.

    In 1790, when the first national census was taken, Monongalia County had the sixth largest population (4,768) of the nine counties that were then in existence and fell within the current boundaries of West Virginia. Berkeley County had the largest population (19,713), Randolph County had the smallest population (951), and there were a total of 55,873 people living within the present state's boundaries at that time.

    West Virginia University, the state's land grant university, was established in Morgantown in 1867.
 
 

Monroe County History
    Monroe County was created by an act of the Virginia General Assembly on January 14, 1799 from parts of Greenbrier County. According to the national census of 1800, Monroe County had a population of 4,188, the 9th largest population of the 13 counties then in existence in the present state of West Virginia. Berkeley County had the largest population at that time (22,006) and Wood County had the smallest (1,217).

    The county was named in honor of James Monroe (1758-1831), who was serving as the Governor of Virginia when the new county was formed. He was born on April 29, 1758 in Westmoreland County, Virginia, served in the Continental Army, and then as a member of the Virginia General Assembly in 1782. He then represented Virginia in the Continental Congress (1783-1786) and in the U.S. Senate (1790-1794). In 1794, he was named Minister to France by President George Washington. He then served as the Governor of Virginia (1799-1802, 1811), Special Ambassador to France to negotiate the purchase of Louisiana (in 1804), U.S. Secretary of State (1811-1817), and 5th President of the United States (1817-1825). His administration was dubbed the "Era of Good Feelings" because the politics of the era had relatively few factional battles and his Monroe Doctrine set the tone for American foreign policy for generations. He died on July 1, 1834.

    Thomas Batt, Robert Fullam and Thomas Wood were the first Englishmen to set foot in present day Monroe County. They explored the area in 1671. John Moss was the first permanent English settler in the county. He built a cabin near Sweet Springs in 1760. Christian Peters moved into the county in 1770, near the present site of Peterstown. That same year, a group of settlers (Adam and Jacob Mann, Valentine Cook, John and George Miller, and Isaac Estill) moved into the county and built Mann's Fort. A survey completed in 1774 indicated that there were 54 families living in the county. The county's first school opened in 1795, with Samuel Harper serving as the schoolmaster.

    Union, the county seat, was settled in 1774 by James Alexander. The town was chartered by the Virginia General Assembly in 1799 and laid out on James Alexander's land. In 1800, he donated land for a courthouse. The town was named Union because it was a rendezvous site where the troops would gather (forming a union) during the French and Indian Wars (1754-1763). Richard Shanklin was the first merchant in the town, opening his doors for business in 1800. James A. Shanklin became the town's postmaster that same year. In 1802, Charles Friend opened the town's first hotel. The town was incorporated in 1868.
 
 

Morgan County History
    Morgan County was created by an act of the Virginia General Assembly in March 1820 from parts of Berkeley and Hampshire counties. It was named in honor of General Daniel Morgan (1736-1802).

    Daniel Morgan was born in Hunterdon County, New Jersey, and moved to Winchester, Virginia as a youth. He served in Braddock's Army during the campaign against the Indians in 1755 and after the army's defeat retired to his farm. When the American Revolutionary War broke out, he was commissioned a Captain of the Virginia riflemen in July 1775. He fought in several battles, was promoted to General, and was awarded a gold star by the Continental Congress for his victory at the Battle of Cowpens in 1781. After the war concluded, he returned to his farm near Winchester. He was called out of retirement in 1794 and put in command of the Virginia military during the Whiskey Rebellion that was suppressed that year. In 1797, he was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives and served there for two years before retiring due to ill health. He died in Winchester on July 6, 1802.

    The first English settlers in the county arrived during the 1730s. Because most of these early pioneers were squatters, there is no record of their names. Historians claim that the first cabin in the county was built around 1745. As word of the county's warm springs spread eastward, Lord Fairfax decided that the county needed to be surveyed. George Washington was a member of the survey party that arrived at the present site of Berkeley Springs, the county seat, on March 18, 1748.

    Berkeley Springs became a health resort largely due to George Washington's efforts to promote the area among his friends. He revisited the area several times with his family. When he vacationed in the area in 1767, he noted how busy the town had become. Lord Fairfax had built a summer home there and a "private bath" and the social life was rated as quite pleasant. The Virginia General Assembly established the town as Bath in October 1776, naming it for the spa city called Bath in England. The town's population jumped during and immediately after the American Revolutionary War as wounded soldiers and others came to the area believing that the warm springs had medicinal qualities. The town was later known as Berkeley Springs, primarily because the town's post office took that name (combining Governor Norborne Berkeley's last name with the warm springs found there) because another post office, located in southeastern Virginia, was already called Bath. Since the mail was sent to and from Berkeley Springs, that name came into use.

    It is said that Berkeley Springs was well known among the Indians long before the white men arrived and that the valley was considered a neutral zone where Indians could come and bath in the springs without fear of attack, even from the most mortal of enemies.
 
 

Nicholas County History
 
    Nicholas County was initially created by an act of the Virginia General Assembly on January 30, 1818 from parts of Greenbrier, Kanawha and Randolph counties. The county's boundaries, however, were disputed and altered to its current status by another act of the Assembly on January 29, 1820. The county was named in honor of Wilson Cary Nicholas (1761-1820).

    Wilson Cary Nicholas was born on January 31, 1761 in Williamsburg, Virginia and later attended William and Mary College, leaving school in 1779 to enlist in the American Army. He rose through the ranks and by the end of the Revolutionary War was the commander of General George Washington's Life Guard. He later represented Albemarle County in the Virginia General Assembly (1784-1799), represented Virginia in the U.S. Senate (1799-1804) and in the U.S. House of Representatives (1807-1809). He also was the Governor of Virginia from 1814 to 1816. He owned land in present day Nicholas County and assisted in the county's formation. He died on October 10, 1820 and is buried at Monticello.

    In 1775, Major William Morris and his slave Peter Morris went on a hunting trip and after following several waterways became the first Englishmen to set foot in the present county. Major Morris claimed the land and offered it to his oldest son, William Morris, Jr. He was not interested in taking possession of the land and sold it to his brother, Henry (1747-1824). Henry moved to the county during the spring of 1791, building a cabin for himself and his family along Peter Creek, named in honor of his father's slave. He was soon joined by the families of Conrad Young and Edward McClung, who built cabins nearby. In 1792, tragedy struck the Morris family. A white man, named Simon Girty, spent the winter with them at the cabin. During the spring, Henry Morris discovered that he was wanted for several crimes and asked him to leave the farm. A dispute over the ownership of one of the Morris' dogs ensued, with Girty being escorted off of the farm at rifle point. That evening, Girty and two Indians attacked and killed two of Morris' daughters, Betsy and Margaret, as they were retrieving the families cows. One of the scalped girls lived long enough to tell her father who had killed her. Henry Morris then pursued the murders, but they escaped.

    The first meeting of the Nicholas County court took place on April 7, 1818 at the home of John Hamilton, near Kesler's Cross Lanes. He donated 30 acres of land for the establishment of the county seat. That area was formally established as Summersville on January 19, 1820. It was named in honor of Judge Lewis Summers who introduced the bill in the Virginia General Assembly that created Nicholas County. The town was incorporated on March 20, 1860.

    In July 1861, a Confederate spy named Nancy Hart, aged 20 and said to be remarkably beautiful, led an attack on Summersville that resulted in most of it being burnt to the ground. She was later captured and held in the Summersville jail. It was said that her striking beauty and dark, roving eyes played havoc with the guards. She was soon given the privilege of walking in the jail's courtyard with a guard escort. One evening she asked her guard if she could examine his pistol. The foolish guard, said to be overcome by her beauty and guile, gave it to her. She shot him dead on the spot and escaped to Confederate territory. After the war, she returned to the county, married Joshua Douglas, and lived in the county until her death.
 
 

Ohio County History
    Ohio County was created by an act of the Virginia General Assembly in October 1776 from parts of the District of West Augusta (Virginia). It was named in honor of the Ohio River that forms the county's western boundary. The river's name was derived from the Indian word Ohionhiio, meaning great or beautiful river.

    Robert Cavelier de La Salle was probably the first European to set foot in present Ohio County. He sailed down the Ohio River in 1669. In 1749, Louis Bienville de Celeron sailed down the Ohio River and buried a lead plate in present day Ohio County claiming all of the lands drained by the Ohio River for King Louis XV of France. He met several English fur traders on his journey and ordered them off of French soil and wrote strong letters of reprimand to the colonial governors protesting the English's presence on French soil.

    The first county court meeting was held on January 16, 1777 at Black's cabin near where West Liberty currently stands. West Liberty served as the county seat from 1776 to 1797, and was legally established on the lands of Reuben Foreman and Providence Mounce on November 29, 1787.

    In 1790, Ohio County had the fifth largest population (5,212) of the nine counties that were then in existence and fell within the current boundaries of West Virginia. Berkeley County had the largest population (19,713), Randolph County had the smallest population (951), and there were a total of 55,873 people living within the present state's boundaries at that time.

    Wheeling, the county seat since 1797, was originally settled by Colonel Ebenezer Zane and his brothers, Jonathan and Silas, in 1769. Fort Fincastle was built in 1774 to protect the settlers from Indians. The fort was later renamed Fort Henry, in honor of Patrick Henry, and was the site of a famous battle in September 27, 1777 between approximately 400 to 500 Indians, armed and supplied by the British, and the Fort's 42 men under the command of a Colonel Shepherd.

    Early in the morning of the 27th, 23 men were killed in a series of ambushes in a corn field. The remainder of Shepherd's command remained in the Fort, where the women and children living in the town had taken refuge. The Indians then attacked the Fort, firing on it throughout the day. During a lull in the battle, and with their ammunition nearly gone, Elizabeth Zane made a successful mad, heroic dash to her brother Ebenezer's house to retrieve a load of gunpowder. She returned to the Fort with her prize in her hands and bullets flying over her head. The gunpowder came in handy as the Indians soon renewed their attack. Later that evening, a group of 14 men from Cross Creek fought their way through the Indian's lines of attack and entered the Fort. At daybreak, another force of 40 men from Short Creek arrived and fought their way through the Indian lines to the Fort. Their commander, Major Samuel McColloch, became separated from his men and was pursued by the Indians. Surrounded on three sides by Indians and facing a 150 foot precipice, he urged his horse over the side. Miraculously, both he and his horse survived the leap and made their escape. Frustrated at losing McColloch and recognizing that the Fort was now reinforced, the Indians set fire to the town, killed about 300 cattle belonging to the settlers, and then left the area.

    Colonel Ebenezer Zane platted the town in 1793, and a year later it received its first post office which named the community in honor of the Zane family, calling it Zanesburg. The town was officially established on December 25, 1795 by an act of the Virginia General Assembly. The town was later incorporated, on January 16, 1806, and called Wheeling. According to John Brittle, who was held captive by Delaware Indians from 1791 to 1796, the town's name originated from the Indian word "Weeling" which means "place of the skull." It was said that when the first white settlers came down the Ohio River and entered Wheeling Creek, they were attacked and killed by Delaware Indians. The Indians beheaded one of the men, placed his head on the end of a pole, and pointed the face pointed toward the river to scare off any other whites that might make their way into the Delaware's territory.

    Wheeling was transformed into one the nation's most important trading centers and rest stops for the pioneers heading west following the extension of the National Road to its borders in 1818.

    Wheeling was the site of several firsts, both for the state and for the nation. The first bank in present day West Virginia, The Northwestern Bank of Virginia, opened in Wheeling in 1817. The first telegraph line to West Virginia reached Wheeling in 1847. The first suspension bridge in the world was completed in Wheeling in 1849. Wheeling was West Virginia's first state capitol until 1870 and again in 1875 and 1880. The first telephone in West Virginia was installed in Wheeling in 1880. The Bloch Brothers Tobacco Company in Wheeling originated outdoor advertising in 1890 when they began painting Mail Pouch Tobacco signs on bridges and barns across the nation.
 

Pendleton County History
    Pendleton County was created by an act of the Virginia General Assembly on December 4, 1787 from parts of Augusta, Harding and Rockingham counties (Virginia). It was named in honor of Edmund Pendleton (1721-1803).

    Edmund Pendleton was born in Caroline County, Virginia on September 9, 1721. He studied law and was admitted to the bar in 1744. In 1751, he served as a justice of the peace and was a member of the Virginia General Assembly from 1752 to 1774. He was President of the Virginia Convention of 1775 and 1778 (that ratified the U.S. Constitution), represented Virginia in the Continental Congress (1774-1775), and served as the Governor of Virginia (1774-1776). He later served as the President of the Virginia Court of Appeals. Judge Pendleton died on October 23, 1803.

    In 1790, when the first national census was taken, Pendleton County had the seventh largest population (2,452) of the nine counties that were then in existence and fell within the current boundaries of West Virginia. Berkeley County had the largest population (19,713), Randolph County had the smallest population (951), and there were a total of 55,873 people living within the present state's boundaries at that time.

    John Van Meter, a Dutch trader from New Jersey was probably the first European to set foot in the county. He accompanied a band of Delaware Indians on a raid against the Catawba Indians in 1732. The Delaware Indians lost the battle, but Van Meter later told his sons, John and Isaac, about the fine lands along the South Branch River and his sons later purchased a warrant for 40,000 acres in the area.

    In 1735, four squatters named Coburn, Howard, Walker and Rutledge, moved into the South Branch River area, near the current county's boundary. John and Isaac Van Meter (killed by Indians in 1757) and Peter Casey arrived in the early 1740s, as did two other men named Pancake and Foreman. When George Washington passed through the area in 1748, he noted that there were about 200 people living in the area. Most of these settlers were squatters living just outside of or on the present county's boundaries. At that time, Robert Green, of Culpeper, along with James Wood and William Russell, had purchased rights to almost all of the present county. It is believed that in 1745 a man named Burner was the first European to build a cabin within the future site of Pendleton County.

    The first legitimate, title-bearing settlers in the county were six families who bought title to 1,860 acres for 61 pounds and 6 shillings ($230.33) from Robert Green in 1747. They were the families of Roger Dryer; his son William and his son-in-law, Matthew Patton; John Patton, Jr.; John Smith; and William Stephenson. There are no records to indicate if they relocated that year of the next, but it is assumed that they moved to the county in 1747.

    Seybert's Fort, named for Captain Jacob Seybert of Pendleton County, was one of the earliest structures in the county. It was built by settlers about 12 miles west of Franklin in 1756 as a place of refuge during Indian uprisings. On April 28, 1758, with about 30 settlers, mostly women and children, gathered inside, the Fort was attacked by a band of about 40 Shawnee Indians led by Chief Killbuck. The Fort was surrounded by the Indians and after two days siege, Captain Seybert agreed to surrender the Fort to the Indians in exchange for their safe passage out of the area. Unfortunately, when the Fort's gates were opened, the settlers were attacked and all of them were taken captive except for a man named Robinson who escaped. After setting the Fort on fire, the Indians took their captives about a quarter of a mile to the east and on a hillside separated them into two rows and seated them on logs. The captives in one row were spared and the captives in the other, including Captain Seybert, were tomahawked to death. The 11 remaining captives were taken to the Shawnee Indian village at Chillecothe, Ohio. Five of the captives, including Captain Seybert's son, Nicholas, later escaped to tell the tale of their misadventures.

    The county seat, Franklin, was settled by Francis (Frank) Evick and was originally named Frankford in his honor. The town was chartered by the Virginia General Assembly on December 19, 1794. The town's name was later changed to Franklin because there was another Frankford in the state.
 
 

Pleasants County History
    Pleasants County was created by an act of the Virginia General Assembly in 1851 from parts of Ritchie, Tyler and Wood counties. It was named in honor of James Pleasants, Jr. (1769-1839).

    James Pleasants Jr., was born in Goochland County, Virginia on October 24, 1769. He studied law and was admitted to the bar in Goochland County. He served in the Virginia General Assembly from 1796 to 1803 and was the clerk of the Virginia lower house from 1803 to 1810. He represented Virginia in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1811 to 1819 and in the U.S. Senate from 1819 to 1822. He then was the Governor of Virginia from 1822 to 1825. He died on November 9, 1839.

    Robert Cavelier de La Salle was probably the first European to set foot in present Pleasants County. He sailed down the Ohio River in 1669. In 1749, Louis Bienville de Celeron sailed down the Ohio River, and may have set foot in present day Pleasants County. He claimed all of the lands drained by the Ohio River for King Louis XV of France. He met several English fur traders on his journey and ordered them off of French soil and wrote strong letters of reprimand to the colonial governors protesting the English's presence on French soil.

    Despite de Celeron's warning, many English fur traders and hunters continued to visit Pleasants County during the early 1700s, but their names have not been recorded. The first name that does appear in the memoirs of the era was an English fur trader named Tygart, who was said to have lived on Middle Island around 1765. In 1770, George Washington explored the area. The first, permanent settlers were Isaac and Jacob LaRue, Frenchmen who had been granted a large tract of land in the present county for their service to the colonies during the American Revolutionary War. They built a cabin on Middle Island in 1790. At that time, the entire county was a wilderness. In 1797, Basil Riggs settled above Raven Rocks narrows and starting in 1800 the county's population began to increase as several families moved into the county annually.

    The first meeting of the county court took place on May 15, 1851 at the home of Alexander H. Creel, at St. Mary's. At that time, there were less than 1,500 people living in the county. A collection was taken to raise $5,300 for the construction of a courthouse and jail, with Alexander H. Creel donating the most, $700. The county court then meet at the house of Isaac Reynolds while construction of the public buildings continued. The construction took a long time, and it was not until June 11, 1854 that the courthouse was completed and occupied.

    The land comprising St. Mary's, the county seat, was originally owned by Henry Thomas and was chartered as a town by the Virginia General Assembly in 1815. He transferred the title to the land to William McClerry, who transferred it to Stephen West. West's heirs later transferred the title to the land to Alexander H. Creel's father, who, in turn, passed it onto his son, the founder of St. Mary's, in 1834.

    Local legend had suggested that when Alexander H. Creel passed the area on a steamboat he had a vision in his sleep of the Virgin Mary who informed him that he was viewing "the site of what will one day be a happy and prosperous city." Once fully awake, he supposedly opened the outer door to his state room and clearly saw the lower end of Middle Island and the cove beyond. He marked the sight in his mind, returned, bought the land, and started the city. Record books of the time, however, indicate that the land was actually purchased by his father. In any case, he apparently changed his mind because he sold the land in 1837 to Hugh L. Pickens and started another settlement nearby, called Vaucluse. In 1849, he returned to the area, repurchased that portion of his land that is currently St. Mary's, and had Thomas Browse, another prominent citizen of the area, lay out the town for him. Creel named the town, then known as Pickens' Bottom, in honor of the Virgin Mary. Most historians believe that Creel returned to St. Mary's in anticipation of the extension of the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad to the town. At that time, there were only three or four houses in the town. Its population grew some after being named the county seat (it is said that all of the inhabitants of Vaucluse moved to St. Mary's after St. Mary's was named the county seat). Unfortunately, the railroad line to Ohio was built through Wheeling, with a branch to Parkersburg, leaving St. Mary's isolated and with a population of less than 200 through the Civil War years.

    St. Mary's was incorporated in 1872, but the charter was repealed in 1876. It was incorporated again in 1880. The discovery of oil in the area following the Civil War helped the city grow and prosper.
 
 

Pocahontas County History
    Pocahontas County was created by an act of the Virginia General Assembly on December 21, 1821 from parts of Bath, Pendleton and Randolph counties. It was named in honor of Pocahontas (1595-1617), the Indian princess who was the daughter of Chief Powhatan, the King of the Confederated tribes of Atlantic Virginia.

    Pocahontas is famous for having saved the life of Captain John Smith, founder and Governor of Jamestown, the first, permanent English settlement in America. According to the story, the English settlers had run out of food and went to the Indians seeking corn, but were refused any help. Recognizing that the colony would stare without more food, Captain John Smith attacked the local Indians settlement and secured the provisions necessary to keep the colony going. He was later captured by the Indians and condemned to death. He was dragged to a large stone where his head was to be crushed. Pocahontas, then about 12 years old, begged her father to spare Smith's life. When it appeared that the sentence was about to be carried out anyway, she covered Smith's head with her own body to shield him. Smith was then released and a few days later reached an agreement with Powhatan to allow the settlers to hunt in the area in exchange for two cannon and a grindstone. Pocahontas then spent much of her time with the settlers, learned their language and, when she was 17, married John Rolfe (or Rolph), one of the settlers. In 1616, she accompanied her husband to London where she was received with royal honors for her role in saving Smith and the colony. The following year, she was preparing to return to the colony with her husband but became ill and died, at the age of 22, from smallpox. She left behind her husband and their infant son, Thomas Rolfe. Pocahontas' real (Indian) name was Matoaka.

    Jacob Marlin and Stephen Sewell were the first English settlers to reach the county. They built and shared a cabin on the banks of the Greenbrier River in 1749. The current county seat, Marlinton, was named in Jacob Marlin's honor. It is said that they lived together for awhile, but had a religious disagreement over an infant baptism. Sewell stormed out of the cabin and lived temporarily in a large, hollow tree. He later moved about forty miles to the west and, reportedly, was killed by Indians in 1756. The tree which served as Sewell's home stood as a tourist attraction until 1930. Their settlement as originally known as Marlin's Bottom but was changed Marlinton shortly after Colonel John T. McGraw bought the land in 1890.

    The first permanent English settler in the county was Colonel John McNell, who built a cabin in a valley in the county called Little Levels in 1765. He was soon joined by Charles and James Kennison. They subsequently enlisted and accompanied General Andrew Lewis at the Battle of Point Pleasant.

    The Battle of Point Pleasant in Mason County was considered a turning point in the war against the Indians and a precursor of the American Revolutionary War. During the battle on October 10, 1774, General Andrew Lewis' army of 1,100 waged what was probably the most fiercely contested battle ever fought with the Indians within the state of Virginia. One-half of General Lewis' commissioned officers, including his brother Charles were killed, as were 75 of his non-commissioned soldiers. Another 140 soldiers were wounded. The actual number of Indians engaged or killed in the battle is not known, but included warriors from the Shawnee, Delaware, Mingo, Wyandotte and Cayuga tribes, lead by their respective chiefs and by Cornstalk, Sachem of the Shawnees and King of the North Confederacy. The remaining Indians fled into Ohio with Lewis' men in pursuit. Now on the defensive, the Indians later agreed to a peace treaty, ending what had become known as Lord Dunmore's War (John Murray, fourth Earl of Dunmore, was Governor of Virginia at the time).

    The first meeting of the Pocahontas County court was held in the home of John Bradshaw near Huntersville, on March 5, 1822. Mr. Bradshaw named the town in honor of the large number of hunters who came there during the trading season. It served as the county seat until 1891 when the county's residents voted to move the county seat to Marlinton. At that time, Marlinton had only about 100 residents, but Colonel John McGraw, of Grafton, through the Pocahontas Development Company, had offered $5,000 for the construction of a new courthouse if the county seat was moved to Marlinton. He owned much of the land in the area and was able to convince the railroad to extend a line to the town. Once the railroad line was completed in 1901, the town began to grow.

    The Battle of Droop Mountain, the most extensive battle of the Civil War in West Virginia, was fought within the county in 1863.
 
 

 Preston County History
    Preston County was created by an act of the Virginia General Assembly on January 19, 1818, from parts of Monongalia County. It was named in honor of James Patton Preston (1774-1843). He was born on June 21, 1774 in Smithfield, Virginia. He was a student at William and Mary College (1790-1795), organized a company of artillery in 1799, was a member of the Virginia General Assembly in 1802. He served as a Colonel in the War of 1812 and was seriously wounded at the Battle of Chrystler's Field on November 11, 1813. He later served as the Governor of Virginia from 1816 to 1819. During his tenure in office, the University of Virginia was established (in 1819). He ended his career as postmaster of Richmond, Virginia. He died on May 4, 1843.

    Preston County was visited by several trappers and hunters during the early 1700s, but their names were not recorded. In 1752, Samuel and Thomas Eckerlin (or Eckarly) became the first English settlers in present day Preston County. They were members of a monastic religious order that did not approve of violence, war or military service. They first settled along the Monongahela River and then moved to what has since become known as Dunkard Bottom, along the Cheat River. In 1756, Thomas Eckerlin was killed by Indians. After burying his brother, Samuel left the county.

    In 1761, four deserters from Fort Pitt, William Childers, Joseph Lindsey, John Pringle and Samuel Pringle, may have passed through the present county as they headed south, away from the Fort.

    In 1766, Thomas Butler became the first, permanent resident of present day Preston County. He was soon joined by Thomas Chipps, Jacob Corzel, John Scott, James Clark and John (or Jacob) Judy. In 1767, the surveyors Charles Mason and Jeremiah Dixon, ran their famous boundary line along the northern edge of Preston County. Other early settlers in the county included Samuel Worral and his son, Samuel, David Frazee and Richard Morris. They were all living in the county by 1770.

    The first meeting of the county court was convened at the house (tavern) of William Price in Kingwood in March 1818. The house was known for many years as "Herndon Hotel." Kingwood, the county seat, was originally settled by Conrad Sheets, Jacob Funk and a man named Steele in 1807. They named it Kingwood after a large grove of large and stately trees that grew in the area, known as "King-wood." The Virginia General Assembly established the town by legislative enactment on January 23, 1811, with John Roberts, Jacob Funk, William Price, James Brown and Hugh Morgan serving as trustees. Kingwood was incorporated by the Virginia General Assembly on March 22, 1853.
 
 

Putnam County History
    Putnam County was created by an act of the Virginia General Assembly on March 11, 1848, from parts of Cabell, Kanawha and Mason counties. It was named in honor of General Israel Putnam of Massachusetts (1718-1790).

    General Putnam was born in Salem, Massachusetts on January 7, 1718. He later moved to Connecticut where he owned and operated a farm. In 1755, he was appointed the commander of the Connecticut militia during the French and Indian War. He served with distinction and retired after the war to his farm in Connecticut. He was reactivated as the commander of the Connecticut militia during the American Revolutionary War. He commanded the American Army at the Battle of Bunker Hill and, for his services during the war, was promoted to the rank of major General, one of the first four major generals in the American Revolutionary Army. He retired from the military in 1779, due to ill health. He died on May 29, 1790.

    George Washington, who surveyed the county's Buffalo district in the fall of 1770, was probably the first man of European descent to set foot in the county. James Conner was the first settler. He arrived in 1775. In 1785, Theopolus Armour, his wife, son and baby attempted a settlement in the county, but his wife and baby were killed by Indians and he returned back east with his son. In 1799, Charles Connor, James Ellis and John Dudding moved to the county. Ellis built a cabin on the shore of Big Hurricane and John Dudding built a cabin on the Kanawha River.

    Winfield, the county seat, was established on a 400 acre tract of land owned by Charles Brown. He established a ferry across the river in 1818. The first meeting of the county court was held at the home of Talleyrand P. Brown, in Winfield, on May 22, 1848. The town was incorporated on February 21, 1868 and named in honor of General Winfield Scott, the commanding General of the American Army during the War with Mexico..

    The first Civil War engagement of significance in the Kanawha Valley was fought at Scary Creek, across the river from present day Nitro, on July 17, 1861. The Union Army, consisting primarily of troops from Ohio, suffered 23 fatalities during the battle while the Confederate Army, under the command of former Virginia Governor Henry A. Wise, had relative few losses. Despite the apparent victory, the Confederate Army decided to fall back to Charleston, and soon after left the valley to take up the fight in other parts of the state.
 
 

Raleigh County History
    Raleigh County was created by an act of the Virginia General Assembly on January 23, 1850, from parts of Fayette County. It was named in honor of Sir Walter Raleigh (1552-1618), an English soldier, adventurer, and the favorite of Queen Elizabeth.

    In 1584, Sir Walter Raleigh convinced the Queen to finance an expedition to the New World. He set sail from London in April 1584 with two ships. He was to explore the New World and find gold or other riches for the Queen. He reached the shore of North Carolina in July and remained there until September before returning to England. Although he did not find gold, he returned with a glowing description of the country. Happy to see his safe return, the Queen knighted Raleigh, named him Captain of the Queen's Guard, and appointed him to Parliament. The land was named Virginia, in the Queen's honor (unmarried, Queen Elizabeth was known as the "Virgin Queen"). Raleigh then convinced the Queen to send another fleet of ships to the continent to found a settlement and, by so doing, secure the lands from the St. Lawrence on the north to Florida on the south from the Spanish and the French. A total of 108 men made the voyage and established themselves on Roanoke Island, now North Carolina. Most of the "settlers" were actually speculators hoping to find gold and other riches and were not used to the hard work necessary to establish a permanent colony. When the supply ships returned later that year, most of the colonists, distressed that they had not found an easy way to get rich, demanded to be returned to England. Only 15 men volunteered to stay. In 1587, another fleet of ships brought more colonists to the Island, but when they arrived there was no trace of the 15 men who had stayed behind. It was assumed that they had been murdered by Indians. The colonists decided to stay and restart the colony only after the commander of the fleet assured them that he would return immediately with reinforcements. However, by the time the ships reached England a war had broken out between Spain and England and the ships were needed to defend the nation. A fleet of ships were finally sent to the colony in 1590, but when they arrived at the island, there was no trace of the colony. Sir Walter Raleigh's dream of an American colony had failed.

    Raleigh later fell into disfavor with the Queen, primarily because he was found having a relationship with Elizabeth Throgmorton, one of the Queen's maids of honor. He was sent to prison for a short time and he later married Elizabeth Throgmorton. After the Queen died in 1603, King James stripped Raleigh of his titles and lands, and imprisoned him, his wife and his son in the Tower of London for 13 years. He was released in 1616 to allowed to search for gold in the New World. The expedition failed and he was beheaded in 1618 at the insistence of the Spanish for his role in the destruction of the Spanish colony, San Tomas. It is said that when he went to his execution he was elegantly dressed and spoke for nearly an hour to a very large crowd that had gathered to see the event.

    John Peter Salley was the first Englishman to set foot in present Raleigh County. He explored the area in 1742. The next English visitor was probably Christopher Gist. He explored the lands south of the Ohio River on behalf of a land investment company (the Ohio Company) in 1750 and 1751. It is likely that he passed through the county on his return to Virginia. Between 1750 and 1830 the county was a favorite hunting site for fur traders who traveled throughout the county in search of beaver pelts.

    William Richmond was the first English settler in the county. He arrived between 1807 and 1810. John Harper arrived in 1810 and Joseph Harper arrived the following year. By the spring of 1815, there were 63 families living in the present county.

    Brigadier-General Alfred Beckley (1802-1888) was the most prominent citizen in the county for many years. He arrived in 1836 (then Fayette County) and served as the county's physician, preacher, and philanthropist. A graduate of West Point, he served in the military for 13 years before settling in the county. He later represented Raleigh County in the House of Delegates at Wheeling, and, at the onset of the Civil War, was commissioned a Brigadier-General of the Militia, under the command of General Henry A. Wise, in the Confederate Army. His command was disbanded in 1862 and he returned home to Beckley, which was occupied by the Union Army at that time. He surrendered himself to the Union officer in charge, and was held prisoner for several months before being released on parole. In his later years he was a leader in the state temperance movement.

    Beckley, the county seat, was founded on General Alfred Beckley's land and was originally called Beckleyville. Chartered by the Virginia General Assembly in 1838, some historians claim that the town was named for General Alfred Beckley's father, John Beckley. He was the first Clerk of the Congress during the administrations of Presidents George Washington, John Adams and Thomas Jefferson and later served as the first Librarian of Congress. Others claim that the town was named for General Alfred Beckley. In either case, the town had a very slow start. The first business did not locate in the town until 1850 and prior to that time the local settlers sarcastically referred to Beckley's land as "Beckley's Paper Town." By 1860, the town's population had grow to only 160, with another 160 living in the vicinity. From 1881 to 1897, the town was called Beckleyville, Town of Beckley, and Raleigh Court House. The name Beckley finally won out around 1897. It was incorporated by the West Virginia state legislature on April 26, 1927.
 
 

Randolph County History
    Randolph County, the largest county in the state, was created by an act of the Virginia General Assembly in October 1786 from Harrison County. According to the first national census taken In 1790, Randolph County had the smallest population (951) of the nine counties that were then in existence and fell within the current boundaries of West Virginia. Berkeley County had the largest population (19,713) at that time. There was a total of 55,873 people living within the present state's boundaries at that time.

    The county was named in honor of Edmund Jennings Randolph (1753-1813). He was born on August 10, 1753 in Williamsburg, Virginia to John "The Loyalist" Randolph (1727-1784) and Ariana Jennings. A graduate of William and Mary College, he studied the law and, in 1776, was appointed Attorney-General of the Commonwealth of Virginia. When the Revolutionary War broke out, he enlisted in the Continental Army and eventually became an aide-de-camp to General "The Loyalist"George Washington. After the war, he was a delegate to Continental Congress (1779-1789), a member of the Philadelphia Convention that wrote the U.S. Constitution (he proposed the famous Virginia Plan that was only partially adopted by the delegates and he later refused to sign the document), and served as the Governor of Virginia from 1786 to 1789. In 1789, he was appointed the Attorney-General of the United States and remained in that position until 1794 when he was appointed the U.S. Secretary of State. He left that office in 1795 and retired to his home in Virginia where he was active as a national leader in the Masons' organization. He died on September 13, 1813.

    David Tygart and Robert Files (or Foyle) were the first settlers in the county (and the present state of West Virginia). They arrived in 1753 (or 1754). Files cabin was built near the present site of Beverly and Tygart's cabin was two miles north. The Tygart River and Valley are named in honor of David Tygart and Files Creek is named for Robert Files. That winter, Indians attacked the Files' cabin and killed him, his wife and five of his six children. One of his sons was not in the cabin at the time of the attack and escaped. He fled to Tygart's cabin to warn him of the Indians' presence and intentions. They all immediately left the county for good. Eighteen years passed before the next settlers arrived.

    During Lord Dunmore's War in 1774, two small forts were built in the county, Westfall at Beverly and Currence near Huttonsville. The settlers in the area would gather there whenever Indians were about. It was not until 1777 that another settler was killed by the Indians. The Indians considered the settlers trespassers on their hunting grounds. Isolated incidents between the settlers living in the county and the Indians continued until 1781. In April of that year an Indian raiding party killed dozens of settlers in the county. Joseph Kinnan and three of his five children have the unfortunate honor of being the last settlers killed by Indians in the county. They were killed on May 11, 1791 and his wife was taken captive. She was released three years later after the Indians were defeated at the Battle of Fallen Timbers.

    Beverly, originally known as Edmundton in honor of Edmund Randolph, was renamed Beverly by the Virginia General Assembly on December 16, 1790, in honor of Governor Beverly Randolph. It was then named the county seat. It was laid out on the lands of James Westfall. Elkins, named for U.S. Senator Stephen Benton Elkins, a railroad magnate, lumber king, and wealthy banker, became the county seat after a three year battle with Beverly in 1900. At one point, a special train was formed at Elkins to mount an attack on Beverly. The attack was averted at the last moment, and the county seat subsequently was moved.

    Two "firsts" occurred in the county: the first 4-H camp in the world was held in Randolph County and the Files family were the state's first victims of an Indian massacre.
 
 

Ritchie County History
    Ritchie County was created by an act of the Virginia General Assembly on February 18, 1843 from parts of Harrison, Lewis and Wood counties. It was named in honor of Thomas Ritchie (1778-1854).

    Thomas Ritchie was born on November 5, 1778 in Tappahannock, Essex County, Virginia. His mother was the sister of Judge Spencer Roane, the namesake of Roane County (see Roane County history). He studied law for awhile, then, finding the law not to his liking, attended medical school in Philadelphia. He then decided he wanted to be a teacher and operated a school in Fredericksburg until 1803 when he opened a book store in Richmond. On May 9, 1804, he and his partner, W. W. Worsley, founded the Richmond Enquirer. A year later, he was the sole owner of the newspaper and slowly gained fame as one of Virginia's finest journalists. He continued as the editor and owner of the Richmond Enquirer until 1845 when he turned the paper over to his sons. He then moved to Washington and started the Washington Union. He edited the paper until his death in 1854. In addition to running a newspaper, he served with distinction in the War of 1812, served as the State Printer of Virginia from 1814 to 1834, and as the Congressional Printer in 1845.

    A man named Bunnell was the first English settler in the county. He built a cabin near Pennsboro sometime during the 1790s. He was soon followed by Jacob Husher and Abraham and William Cline. In 1801, Lawrence Mealey built a cabin about eight miles from Bunnell and by 1810 there were about 20 families living in the county, then called Mealey's settlement. By 1830, the county's population had reached about 1,500. The only town of note at that time was Ritchie (now Harrisville) and it had fewer than a dozen homes.

    Harrisville, the county seat, was settled by Thomas Harris and platted by him on January 3, 1822. The town was chartered by the Virginia General Assembly on January 3, 1832. The town was named the county seat by the act creating the county in 1843. The first session of the county court was held at John Harris' home. The town was then known as Ritchie or Ritchie Court House and was incorporated on February 26, 1869. In 1892, the town was renamed for General Thomas M. Harris, nephew of the town's founder and one of the commissioners in the trial of those accused of plotting the assassination of Abraham Lincoln.
 
 

Roane County History
    Roane County was created by an act of the Virginia General Assembly on March 11, 1856 from parts of Gilmer, Jackson and Kanawha counties. It was named in honor of Judge Spencer Roane (1762-1822)

    Spencer Roane was born in Essex, Virginia on April 4, 1762. He studied the law and was appointed a judge of the Virginia general court in 1789 and a judge of the Virginia court of errors in 1794. He was appointed a justice of the Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals in 1795 and served in that office until his death in 1822. He was a member of the commission that helped in the establishment of the University of Virginia in 1819. He died on September 4, 1822. His wife, Anne, was the daughter of Patrick Henry and his nephew, Thomas Ritchie, was one of the nation's leading publishers and the namesake for Ritchie County. It is said that his name was honored as the namesake for the county because of a simple act of kindness. According to the story, as a young boy J.P. Tomlinson's wagon became stuck in the mud. Judge Roane happened by and helped the boy free the wagon. Tomlinson never forgot the kindness and decades later, when laying the petition to form the new county before the Virginia General Assembly, he recommended that the new county be named in Judge Roane's honor.

    Jesse Hughes was probably the first Englishman to set foot in present Roane County. He led a small party of explorers through the Little Kanawha Valley in 1772. Many of his and his wife's, Grace (Tanner) Hughes, descendants became the county's earliest settlers.

    Spencer, the county seat, was patented by Albert Gallatin in 1787. The first settlers in the town were Samuel Tanner, his wife, Sudnar, and their child, and a man called Wolf, who lived with the Tanner family. They arrived in 1812. They found shelter in a cave while they built themselves a cabin. Several years later, more setters arrived, including J.S. Spencer, a school teacher. The town was then named Tanner's Cross Road, primarily because two paths bisected the town. It was later known as Cassville. In 1840, Raleigh Butcher, intending to go to California, came to where Spencer now stands and built a large frame house. The town then became known as New California, because it was the place where Butcher had stopped on his way west. The first meeting of the Roane county court was held at the home of M. Benson Armstrong on April 7, 1856 in New California. Later that year the county's voters selected New California as the site for their county seat. In 1858, the town was chartered by the Virginia General Assembly and renamed Spencer, presumably in honor of Judge Spencer Roane, although a weaker case can be made that it was also named in honor one of the town's first school teachers, J. S. Spencer. The town was incorporated on February 20, 1867.
 
 

Summers County History
    Summers County was created by an act of the Virginia General Assembly on February 27, 1871 from parts of Fayette, Greenbrier, Mercer and Monroe counties. It was named in honor of George W. Summers (1804-1868).

    George W. Summers was born on March 4, 1804 in Fayette County, Virginia. He was moved to the Kanawha Valley, near Clarksburg, by his parents when he was an infant. He graduated from Ohio University, studied the law and was admitted to the Virginia bar in 1827. In 1830, he was elected to the Virginia General Assembly and represented Kanawha County in the General Assembly from 1830 to 1840. He was elected as a Whig to the U.S. House of Representatives and served there from 1841 to 1844. He was a member of the Virginia Constitutional Convention of 1850, ran for the Governorship of Virginia in 1850 but lost to Joseph Johnson, and was then elected Judge of the Eighteenth Judicial Circuit of Virginia, serving from 1852 to 1858. In 1861, he represented Kanawha County in the Virginia Convention that passed the Ordinance of Secession, which he opposed. He died in September 1868.

    Colonel Abraham Wood became the first Englishman to explore the Summers County area when he traveled down the New River Valley in 1654. Christopher Gist passed through the county on his way home after exploring much of the present state of West Virginia on behalf of a land investment company, the Ohio Company, in 1750-1751.

    Andrew Culbertson was the first English settler in present day Summers County. He moved into the present county in 1753 and his farm became known as Culbertson's Bottom. He abandoned the farm the following year after the Indians went on the warpath. His farm was then occupied and claimed by Thomas Farely.

    After the county's formation, the county court was first held at the Baptist Church, two miles north of New River. The court was later moved to an office above C.L. Thompson's printing shop in Avis. That building burnt down in 1875 and the court moved to John Pack's storehouse on Hilton Island. A legal dispute then ensued between Dr. John Manser and E.B. Meader, who wanted the county seat at Foss, and Evan Hinton (called "Father of the County" due to his efforts to form the county) and his friends who wanted the county seat at Avis. The impasse over the location of the county seat was finally resolved when the Chesapeake & Ohio River Railroad Company donated three acres of land for county purposes, in the present site of Hinton, if the county seat was moved there. The county court house was constructed in Hinton in 1876 and occupied by the county court in 1877. Hinton has been the county seat since.

    Hinton was laid out on the land of Avis Gwinn Hinton by her husband, John Hinton, in 1831. The town grew very slowly until 1871 when the Chesapeake & Ohio River Railroad company blasted a path through the New River gorge and made Hinton the division terminal. The town then started to grow and was incorporated on September 21, 1880. Some historians claim that the town was named for Evan Hinton, who was active in the movement to create Summers County. Others suggest that it was named for John (Jack) Hinton, who was a prominent lawyer in the county and laid out the town in 1831. In 1927, the towns of Avis, Bellepoint and Hinton were consolidated and incorporated as the city of Hinton by the West Virginia state legislature.
 
 

Taylor County History
    Taylor County was created by an act of the Virginia General Assembly on January 19, 1844 from parts of Barbour, Harrison and Marion counties. Although some historians claim that the county was named for General Zachary Taylor (1784-1850), known as "Old Rough and Ready" and the 12th President of the United States (1849-1850), most claim that the county was actually named in honor of Senator John Taylor (1750-1824), a distinguished solider-statesman from Caroline County, Virginia. He graduated from William and Mary College, studied law, and was admitted to the bar in 1774. He served in the Continental Army during the American Revolutionary War, rising through the ranks to Major. He also served as a Colonel of Militia under General Lafayette during the war. He was a member of Virginia General Assembly (1779-1787) and represented Virginia in the U.S. Senate (1792-1794, 1803, and 1822-1824). He died on August 20, 1824.

    The first settlement in the county started about the year 1773 at Cross Roads, now Pruntytown. The name Cross Roads was derived from the crossing of the Washington Post Road and the Booths Ferry Pike in the town. It was later called Williamsport and was incorporated on January 1, 1801. On January 23, 1845, the town's name was changed to Pruntytown, in honor of John Prunty, the first settler in the area. The town was named the county seat when the county was formed in 1844. It continued to serve as the county seat until 1878 when the county's voters decided to move the county seat to Grafton.

    Grafton was originally settled by William Robinson in 1773. Some historians claim that the town received its name from railroad crews in the 1830s who called it "graftin" because it was the point at which a number of branch railroad lines met the railroad's mainline. Other historians suggest that the town was named in honor of John Grafton, a civil engineer employed by Colonel Benjamin Latrobe, who laid out the route across what was then northwestern Virginia for the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Company in 1852. Once the railroad arrived, Grafton began to grow and it was incorporated on March 15, 1856. Because of the railroad lines, the town was deemed of strategic importance by both sides during the Civil War and was the site of many battles, with the town changing hands many times. In 1872, Grafton made a concerted attempt to be named the state capitol, but failed. It was named the county seat in 1878.

    The only national cemetery in West Virginia is located in Grafton, on the west side of the river. It has 1,800 graves.

    Anna M. Jarvis, founder of Mother's Day, was born in Webster, near Grafton, on May 1, 1864. The Mother's Day Shrine is located in Grafton.
 
 

Tucker County History
    Tucker County was created by an act of the Virginia General Assembly on March 7, 1856 from parts of Randolph County. According to the 1860 census, there were only 245 families, and 16 slaves, living in the county at that time.

    The county was named in honor of Henry St. George Tucker, Sr. (1780-1848). He was born on December 29, 1780 in Williamsburg, Virginia. He graduated from William and Mary College, studied the law, and became a prominent Virginia jurist. He enlisted in the Continental Army during the War of 1812 and rose to the rank of Brigadier General of the Virginia State Militia. He later represented Virginia in the U.S. House of Representatives (1815-1819), served as a superior court judge (1824-1831), President of the Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals (1831-1841), and Dean of the faculty at the University of Virginia (1841-1845). He died on August 28, 1848.

    Samuel and John Pringle were the first Englishmen to set foot on the present site of Tucker County. In 1764, they passed through the county after deserting their post at Fort Pitt in 1761 (Pittsburgh). In 1766, John Couch became the first settler in the present county. He stayed six years before moving to Tygart Valley to join his two brothers who had settled there in 1772. In 1769, Christopher Neugen settled near Holly Meadows, lived there awhile and then moved away. Thomas Howell, who had been captured by Indians and taken beyond the Ohio River, passed through the present county in the early 1770s (probably 1771) after escaping and making his way through the wilderness back to Virginia. He died soon after reaching the settlements in Virginia.

    Thomas Parsons, a prominent citizen who lived near Moorefield, listened to Howell's tales of a beautiful valley he had passed through and decided to see it for himself. In about 1773, he traveled over the mountains and visited the present site of Tucker County. After claiming the land, his two sons, Thomas, Jr. (1730-1804) and James (1740-1813), moved to the present county in 1774. In March 1774, John Minear (1732-1781) and about a dozen families also moved into the present county, near St. George. However, that summer Lord Dunmore's War broke out and, fearing for their lives, all of the settlers abandoned the county for nearly two years, returning in even larger numbers in 1776.

    Tragedy struck the county's early settlers in April 1781 when three of its leading citizens, John Minear, Daniel Cameron and Jacob Cooper, were killed by Indians as they returned to their homes from Clarksburg to obtain legal patents for their lands.

    The act creating the county specified that the county court was to be held on the lands of Enoch Minear on the east side of Cheat River, and was to be called Saint George (the area had been known as Westernford) in honor of Henry Saint George Tucker, Jr. (1828-1863), son of the county's namesake who had a distinguished military career, rising to the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel in the Confederate Army. He died in 1863 from a fever at the Battle of Malvern Hill during the Civil War. He was serving as the clerk of the House of Delegates when the county was formed.

    The first officer killed during the Civil War (Confederate General Robert S. Garnett) died at the Battle of Corrick's Ford, near Parsons, on July 13, 1861. Parsons, the current county seat, was named for Ward Parsons. He owned the land the town was built on. The town was incorporated by the West Virginia state legislature in 1893.
 
 

Tyler County History
    Tyler County was created by an act of the Virginia General Assembly on December 16, 1814 from parts of Ohio County. The county was named in honor of John Tyler (1747-1813).

    John Tyler was born in James City County, Virginia on February 28, 1747. A graduate of William and Mary College, he studied law and was appointed a judge of the admiralty in 1776. He was a member of the Virginia General Assembly (1778-1788), serving as Speaker in 1781 and in 1783. He was elected a judge of the Virginia general court (1789-1808) and later served as the Governor of Virginia (1808 to 1811). After his term had expired, he was appointed by President James Madison Judge of the U.S. District Court for Virginia in 1811. Judge Tyler served in that position until his death on January 6, 1813. His son, John Tyler, was the 10th President of the United States.

    The French explorer Rene-Robert Cavalier Sieur de la Salle did not keep very good notes during his exploration of the Ohio River in 1669, but it is very likely that he was the first European to set foot on the present site of Tyler County. The second was probably Anthony Sadowski, an Indian trader and interpreter who traveled along the Ohio River in the early 1700s. In 1749, Louis Bienville de Celeron sailed down the Ohio River and may have set foot in the county. He claimed all of the lands drained by the Ohio River for King Louis XV of France. During his travels, he met several English fur traders and ordered them off of French soil. He also wrote letters of reprimand to the colonial governors protesting the English's presence on French soil.

    Charles Wells was the first English settler in the area, building a cabin near the present site of Sistersville in 1776. He was married twice and fathered 22 children, many of whom stayed in the county, helped clear the land, and make it a thriving community. The first meeting of the county court took place at Charles Wells' house on January 9, 1815. After Charles Wells died, his estate was passed onto his daughters, Sarah and Deliah, and Sistersville, built on the Wells' property, was named their honor. One of the most important dates in the town's history was January 28, 1818. On that day, a ferry service was established. It helped the town's economy to prosper and was instrumental in ensuring the town's survival as a viable community. Sistersville was incorporated on February 2, 1839.

    Middlebourne, the current county seat, replaced Sistersville as the county seat in 1815, primarily because it was more centrally located and had a larger population (then around 100). It had been established as a town by legislative enactment on January 27, 1813 on the lands of Robert Gorrell. He had settled in the area in 1798. The town was named Middlebourne because it was about halfway between Pennsylvania and the old Salt Wells on the Kanawha River above Charleston. The county court met at various residences throughout Middlebourne until 1854 when a court house was finally built. The town was incorporated on February 3, 1871.

    Tyler County is the site of the world's largest gas well, "Big Moses." It produces approximately 100 million cubic feet of gas each day, and was drilled in 1894.
 

Upshur County History
   
Upshur County was created by an act of the Virginia General Assembly on March 26, 1851 from parts of Barbour, Lewis and Randolph counties. The county was named in honor of Abel Parker Upshur (1790-1843).

Abel Parker Upshur was born on June 17, 1790 in Northampton County, Virginia. He studied the law and was educated at Yale and Princeton Universities. He was admitted to the bar in Richmond in 1810 where he practiced law for ten years before moving back to Northampton. He served as a member of the Virginia General Assembly (1820-1826), a judge in Virginia General Court, and a member of the Virginia Constitutional Convention of 1829-1830. He later served as President John Tyler's Secretary of the Navy (1841-1843) and Secretary of State (1843). He was accidentally killed on February 28, 1843 when a new cannon exploded on board the steamer Princeton at Mount Vernon, Virginia. Thomas Walker Gilmer, the Secretary of the Navy and the namesake of Gilmer County, was also killed in the explosion. President Tyler was present for the testing of the new gun, but survived the explosion.

First Settlers

The first native settlers in central West Virginia were the Mound Builders, also known as the Adena people. Remnants of the Mound Builder's civilization have been found throughout West Virginia, with a high concentration of artifacts located at Moundsville, West Virginia, in Marshall County. The Grave Creek Indian Mound, located in the center of Moundsville, is one of West Virginia's most famous historic landmarks. More than 2,000 years old, it stands 69 feet high and 295 feet in diameter.

According to missionary reports, several thousand Hurons occupied present-day West Virginia during the late 1500s and early 1600s. The powerful Iroquois Confederacy (consisting of the Mohawk, Onondaga, Cayuga, Oneida and Seneca tribes, and joined later by the Tuscaroras tribe) drove the Hurons out of the state during the 1600s. The Iroquois Confederacy was headquartered in New York and was not interested in occupying present-day West Virginia. Instead, they used it as a hunting ground during the spring and summer months.

During the early 1700s, central West Virginia, including present-day Upshur County, was used as a hunting ground by the Mingo, who lived in both the Tygart Valley and along the Ohio River in West Virginia's northern panhandle region, the Delaware, who lived in present-day eastern Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware, but had several autonomous settlements as far south as present-day Braxton County, and by the Iroquois Confederacy, especially the Seneca, one of the Iroquois Confederacy's largest and most powerful members.

The Mingo were not actually an Indian tribe, but a multi-cultural group of Indians that established several communities within present-day West Virginia. They lacked a central government and, like all other Indians within the region at that time, were subject to the control of the Iroquois Confederacy. The Mingo originally lived closer to the Atlantic Coast, but European settlement pushed them into western Virginia and eastern Ohio.

The Seneca, headquartered in western New York, was the closest member of the Iroquois Confederacy to West Virginia and took great interest in the state. In 1744, the Seneca boasted to Virginia officials that they had conquered the several nations living on the back of the great mountains of Virginia. Among the conquered nations were the last of the Canawese or Conoy people who became incorporated into some of the Iroquois communities in New York. The Conoy continue to be remembered today through the naming of two of West Virginia's largest rivers after them, the L