From a Barbour County Scrapbook
Clippings from the Barbour Democrat

submitted by Linda Graham.

Philippi, The City of Historical and Traditional Romance

By Newton L. POLING
Nestled in the hills of northern West Virginia is the peaceable city of Philippi. One who was never curious enough to delve into the history and tradition of the place would never suspect the rich romance which furnishes a background as interesting as that of any other town in the state. Before one knows it, he has acknowledged the quaintness of the town in the name which it possesses. No other city, town, or village in the United States is called Philippi. It is a fact that this name was not the one originally intended by its name-givers. "Philippi" was evolved after many misunderstandings and misspellings. At the meeting of the first county court in 1843, it was ordered to call the county seat "Philippa", the feminine form of Phillip. This was done to honor Phillip P. BARBOUR, an eminent jurist of Virginia, after whom the county had also been named. The word Philippa was often misspelled, as well as confused with the Macedonian city Philippi. After a few years this latter form was officially accepted and has since been recognized as correct.

But didn't the settlement have a name before it became a political unit? Yes, before 1800 it was called Anglin's Ford. William ANGLIN owned all the land on which the city was built. The few people who lived or traveled in this part of the state crossed the Tygarts River at Anglin's farm; hence the name Anglin's Ford. But after 1800, Daniel BOOTH established a ferry, which proved to be the best means of crossing the river between Beverly and Monongalia County. Thus the ferry was used extensively, and the settlement came to be called Booth's Ferry, which name was used till the official naming.

Not only is the name of the town of interest, but one of the surrounding hills has become known through out the state for its very suggestive name. The curiosity of the visitor is at once aroused when he hears of "No Business Hill." The story of how it received its name has been handed down through several generations. In 1825 Samuel ANGLIN had trouble with Jones GRIMES. ANGLIN, who lived on the west side of the Tygarts River at the foot of the hill, which was presently to receive a name, invited GRIMES over to his side. The latter was advised not to go, but he did not heed advice because he didn't want to appear cowardly. He got into his canoe and headed for the western bank. Just as he was attempting to land, ANGLIN shot him, killing him immediately. He would have floated down the river had not a woman, who lived nearby, rushed out in water up to her waist and pulled the canoe ashore. ANGLIN retreated to the hill but he kept a close guard of the river. When men attempted to cross the river to reach him, he kept them back at the point of his gun. At the same time he told them "it's none of your business." After this the hill has been refereed to as "No Business".

Turning from tales of name-origin to events and customs, we find more romance. Punishment by whipping was resorted to frequently in this county. Such a thing was legal in West Virginia until a few years before the Civil War. In a community where people were punished by this method, a whipping post was used. Although not many are aware of the fact, Philippi had a whipping post, which was located about one half-mile south of the extremity of the city limits on the road to Elkins. Indeed, whippings must have been as popular then as football games are now. When the sheriff took a man to the post for a whipping, he was followed by a large crowd of spectators. Many a man, while tied to that post, felt the urge to be a better man than he had been. [Transcriber's note: the article says: "continued next week", but I have not found the continuation in my grandmother's notes.]


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