From a Barbour County Scrapbook
submitted by Linda Graham.
Clippings from the Barbour Democrat
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
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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