Chapter VI - Counties and Boundaries of the State

History of Hampshire County West Virginia From Its Earliest Settlement to the Present
By Hu Maxwell and H. L. Swisher
Morgantown, West Virginia; A. Brown Boughner Printer; 1897

PART 1 State History
CHAPTER VI - COUNTIES AND BOUNDARIES OF THE STATE
Pages 74-90

West Virginia's boundaries coincide, in part, with the boundaries of five other states, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia and Kentucky. Some of these lines are associated with events of considerable historical interest, and for a number of years were subjects of controversy, not always friendly. It is understood, of course, that all boundary lines of the territory now embraced in West Virginia, except the line between this state and Virginia, were agreed to and settled before West Virginia became a separate state. That is, the lines between this state and Pennsylvania, Maryland, Kentucky and Ohio were all settled more than one hundred years ago. To speak briefly of each, the line separating West Virginia from Ohio may be taken first.

At the time the Articles of Confederation were under discussion in congress, 1778, Virginia's territory extended westward to the Mississippi river. The government of the United States never recognized the Quebec Act, which was passed by the English parliament before the Revolutionary war, and which extended the province of Quebec south to the Ohio river. Consequently, after the Declaration of Independence was signed, Virginia's claim to that territory was not disputed by the other colonies; but when he time came for agreeing to the Articles of Confederation which bound the states together in one common country, objection was raised to Virginia's extensive territory, which was nearly as large as all the other states together. The fear was expressed that Virginia would become so powerful and wealthy, on account of its extent, that it would possess and exercise an influence in the affairs of government too great for the well being of the other states.

Maryland appears to have been the first state to take a decided stand that Virginia should cede its territory north and west of the Ohio to the general government. It was urged in justification of this course that the territory had been conquered from the British and the Indians by the blood and treasure of the whole country, and that it was right that the vacant lands should be appropriated to the use of the citizens of the whole country. Maryland took this stand June 22, 1778. Virginia refused to consent to the ceding of her western territory; and from that time till February 2, 1781, Maryland refused to agree to the Articles of Confederation, On November 2, 1778, New Jersey formally filed an objection to Virginia's large territory; but the New Jersey delegates finally signed the Articles of Confederation, expressing at the same time the conviction that justice would in time remove the inequality in territories as far as possible. On February 22, 1779, the delegates from Delaware signed, but also remonstrated, and presented resolutions setting forth that the United States congress ought to have power to fix the western limits of any state claiming territory to the Mississippi or beyond. On May 21, 1779; the delegates from Maryland laid before congress instructions received by them from the general assembly of Maryland. The point aimed at in these instructions was that those states having almost boundless western territory had it in their power to sell lands at a very low price, thus filling their treasuries with money, thereby lessening taxation; and at the same time the cheap lands and the low taxes would draw away from adjoining states many of the best inhabitants. Congress was, therefore, asked to use its influence with those states having extensive territory, to the end that they would not place their lands on the market until the close of the Revolutionary war. Virginia was not mentioned by name, but it was well known that reference was made to that state, Congress passed, October 30, 1779, a resolution requesting Virginia not to open a land office till the close of the war. On March 7, 1780, the delegates from New York announced that state ready to give up its western territory; and this was formally done on March 1, 1781. New York having thus opened the way, other states followed the example and ceded to the United States their western territories or claims as follows: Virginia, March 1, 1784; Massachusetts, April 19, 1785; Connecticut, September 14, 1786; South Carolina, August 9, 1787; North Carolina, February 25, 1790; Georgia, April 24, 1802.

Within less than two months after Virginia ceded her northwest territory to the United States, congress passed an ordinance for the government of the territory. The need of cession was made by Thomas Jefferson, Arthur Lee, Samuel Hardy and James Monroe, delegates in congress from Virginia. The boundary line between Virginia and the territory ceded to the general government was the northwest bank of the Ohio river at low water. The islands in the stream belonged to Virginia. When West Virginia became a separate state, the boundary remained unchanged.

The line between West Virginia and Kentucky remains the same as that formerly separating Virginia from Kentucky. The general assembly of Virginia, December 18, 1789, passed an act authorizing a convention to be held in the district of Kentucky to consider whether it was expedient to form that district into a separate state. The convention decided to form a state, and Kentucky was admitted into the union in 1792. Commissioners were appointed to adjust the boundary line between Virginia and Kentucky, and agreed that the line separating the two Sates should remain the same as that formerly separating Virginia from the district of Kentucky. The line is as follows so far as West Virginia and Kentucky are contiguous: Beginning at the northwestern point of McDowell county, thence down Big Sandy river to its confluence with the Ohio.

The line dividing the northern limits of West Virginia, from the southern limits of Pennsylvania was for many years a matter of dispute. Maryland and Pennsylvania had nearly a century of bickering concerning the matter before Virginia took it up in earnest. It is not necessary at this time to give the details of the controversy. A few facts will suffice. Pennsylvania and Maryland having contended for a long time over their common boundary line, two eminent astronomers, Charles Mason and Jeremiah Dixon, of England, were employed to mark a line five degrees west from the Delaware river at a point where it is crossed by the parallel of north latitude 39 degrees, 43 minutes, 25 seconds. They commenced work in the latter part of 1763, and completed it in the latter part of 1767. This line called Mason and Dixon's line, was accepted as the boundary between Pennsylvania and Maryland, and the controversy was at an end. But beyond the west line of Maryland, where Virginia's and Pennsylvania's possessions came in contact, a bitter dispute arose, almost leading to open hostilities between the people of the two states. Virginia wanted Pittsburg, and boldly and stubbornly set up a claim to the territory, at least as far north as the fortieth degree of latitude. This would have given Virginia part of Fayette and Greene counties, Pennsylvania. On the other hand, Pennsylvania claimed the country south to the thirty ninth degree, which would have extended its jurisdiction over the present territory of West Virginia, included in the counties of Monongalia, Preston, Marion, Taylor, parts of Tucker, Barbour, Upshur, Lewis, Harrison, Wetzel and Randolph. The territory in dispute was about four times as large as the state of Rhode Island. It was finally settled by a compromise. It was agreed that Mason and Dixon's line be extended west five degrees from the Delaware river. The commissioners appointed to adjust the boundary were Dr. James Madison and Robert Andrews on the part of Virginia, and David Ritenhouse, John Ewing and George Bryan on the part of Pennsylvania. They met at Baltimore in 1779 and agreed on a line. The next year the agreement was ratified, by Virginia in June and Pennsylvania in September. A line was then run due north from the western end of Mason and Dixon's line, till it reached the Ohio river. This completed the boundary lines between Virginia and Pennsylvania; and West Virginia's territory is bounded by the same lines.

The fixing of the boundary between Virginia and Maryland was long a subject of controversy. It began in the early years of the colony, long before the Revolutionary war, and has continued, it may be said, almost till the present day, for occasionally the agitation is revived. West Virginia inherited most of the subject of dispute when it set up a separate government. The controversy began so early in the history of the country, when the geography of what is now West Virginia was so imperfectly understood, that boundaries were stated in general terms, following certain rivers; and in after time these general terms were differently understood. Nearly two hundred years ago the Potomac river was designated as the dividing line between lands granted by Maryland and lands granted by Virginia; but at that time the upper tributaries of that river had never been explored, and as no one knew what was the main stream and what were tributary streams, Lord Fairfax had the stream explored, and the explorers decided that the main river had its source at a point where the Fairfax stone was planted, the present corner of Tucker, Preston and Grant counties, in West Virginia. It also was claimed as the southwestern corner of Maryland. It has so remained to this day, but not without much controversy on the part of Maryland.

The claim was set up by Maryland, in 1830, that the stream known as the South branch of the Potomac is the main Potomac river, and that all territory north of that stream and south of Pennsylvania, belonged to Maryland. A line drawn due north from the source of the South branch to the Pennsylvania line was to be the western boundary of Maryland. Had that state succeeded in establishing its claim and extending its jurisdiction, the following territory would have been transferred to Maryland: Part of Highland county, Virginia; portions of Randolph, Tucker, Preston, Pendleton, Hardy, Grant, Hampshire and all of Mineral counties, West Virginia. The claim of Maryland was resisted, and Governor Floyd, of Virginia, appointed Charles J. Faulkner, of Martinsburg, to investigate the whole matter, and ascertain, if possible, which was the main Potomac, and to consult all available early authorities on the subject. Mr. Faulkner filed his report November 6, 1832, and in this report he showed that the South branch was not the main Potomac, and that the line as fixed by Lord Fairfax's surveyors remained the true and proper boundary between Virginia and Maryland. The line due north from the Fairfax stone to the Pennsylvania line remains the boundary in that quarter between West Virginia and Maryland, but the latter state is still disputing it.

When West Virginia separated from Virginia and took steps to set up a government for itself, it was at one time proposed to call the state Kanawha; and its eastern boundary was indicated so as to exclude some of the best counties now in the state. The counties to be excluded were Mercer, Greenbrier, Monroe, Pocahontas, Pendleton, Hardy, then including Grant; Hampshire, then including Mineral; Morgan, Berkeley and Jefferson. It was provided that any adjoining county of Virginia on the east: might become a part of the state of West Virginia whenever a majority of the people of the county expressed a willingness to enter the new state. But, before the state was admitted the boundary line was changed and was as follows: Beginning at the Tug fork of the Big Sandy river at the western corner of Wyoming county, thence following the dividing line between McDowell and Buchanan and Tazewell counties to Mercer, thence along the southern line of Mercer to Monroe, along the southern line of Monroe to Greenbrier, thence following the crest of the Alleghanies on the eastern boundaries of Greenbrier and Pocahontas to the corner of Pendleton, thence following the southern and eastern lines of Pendleton and Hardy, along the southern and eastern boundary of Hardy to Hampshire, along Hampshire's eastern line to Morgan, thence following the southwestern boundaries of Morgan, Berkeley and Jefferson to the Loudoun county line, thence following the Loudoun and Jefferson county lines to the Potomac river.

COUNTIES OF THE STATE

As is well known, the territory which now forms West Virginia was a portion of Virginia from the first explorations of the country until separated from that state during the civil war, in 1863. For a quarter of a century after the first settlement was planted in Virginia there were no counties; but as the country began to be explored, and when the original settlement at Jamestown grew, and others were made, it was deemed expedient to divide the state into counties, although the entire population at that time was scarcely enough for one respectable county. Accordingly, Virginia was divided into eight counties in 1634. The western limits were not clearly defined, except that Virginia claimed the land from the Atlantic to the Pacific, and it was no doubt intended that the counties on the west should embrace all her territory in that direction. The country beyond the Blue Ridge was unexplored, and only the vaguest ideas existed concerning it. There was a prevailing belief that beyond the Blue Ridge the country sloped to the Pacific, and that a river would be found with its source in the Blue Ridge and its mouth in that ocean.

The eastern portion of West Virginia, lying along the Potomac and its tributaries, was no longer an unbroken wilderness, but settlements existed in several places. In 1738 it was urged that there were people enough in the territory to warrant the formation of a new county. Accordingly, that portion of Orange west of the Blue Ridge was formed into two counties, Augusta and Frederick. Thus Orange county no longer embraced any portion of the territory now in this state. Frederick county embraced the lower, or northern part of the Shenandoah valley, with Winchester as the county seat, and Augusta the southern, or upper valley, with Staunton as the seat of justice. Augusta then included almost all of West Virginia, and extended to the Mississippi river, including Ohio, Kentucky, Michigan, Indiana and Illinois. From its territory all the counties of West Virginia, except Jefferson, Berkeley and part of Morgan, have been formed, and its subdivision into the counties will be the subject of this chapter. No part of West Virginia retains the name of Augusta, but the county still exists in Virginia, part of the original county of that name, and its county seat is the same as at first——Staunton.

In 1769 Botetourt county was formed from Augusta and included the territory now embraced in McDowell, Wyoming, Mercer, Monroe, Raleigh and portions of Greenbrier, Boone and Logan. No county in West Virginia now has the name Botetourt. It is thus seen that no one of the first counties in the territory of West Virginia retains any name in it. Spotsylvania, Orange, Augusta and Botetourt, each in its turn, embraced large parts of the state, but all the territory remaining under the original names is found in old Virginia, where the names are preserved. There was another county formed within the limits of West Virginia which has been subdivided until none of it exists under the original name. This was West Augusta. It was called a district, but it seems to have been as much a county as some of the others although the matter never was fully settled, as to just what West Augusta was. It was formed in 1776 and included the following territory: Wetzel, Marshall, Ohio, Brooke, Hancock counties, parts of Randolph, Tucker, Taylor, Preston, Marion, Monongalia, Harrison, Doddridge, Tyler, and all of Washington and Greene counties Pennsylvania, and parts of Alleghany and Beaver counties. Following are the counties of West Virginia.

Hampshire. Area 630 square miles; formed 1754 from Augusta; county seat Romney; population in 1790, 7,346; in 1800, 8,348; in 1810, 9,784; in 1820, 10,889; in 1830, 11,279; in 1840, 12,295; in 1850, 14,036; in 1860, 13,913; in 1870, 7,613; in 1880, 10,336; in 1890, 11,419; settled about 1730.

Berkeley. Area 320 square miles; county seat Martinsburg; formed 1772 from Frederick; population 1790, 19,713; in 1800, 22,006; in 1810, 11,479; in 1820, 11,211; in 1830, 10,518; in 1840, 10,972; in 1850, 11,771; in 1860, 12,525; in 1870, 14,900; in 1880, 17,380; in 1890, 18,702; settled about 1730.

Monongalia. Area 360 square miles; county seat Morgantown; formed from West Augusta 1776; population 1790, 4,768; in 1800, 8,540; in 1810, 12,793; in 1820, 11,060; in 1830, 14,056; in 1840, 17,368; in 1850, 12,357; in 1860, 13,048; in 1870, 13,547; in 1880, 14,985; in 1890, 15,705, settled about 1758.

Ohio. Area 120 square miles; county seat Wheeling; formed in 1776 from West Augusta; population 1790, 5,212; in 1800, 4,740; in 1810, 8,175; in 1820, 9,182; in 1830, 15,584; in 1840, 13,357; in 1850, 18,006; in 1860, 22,422; in 1870, 28,831; in 1880, 37,457; in 1890, 41,557; settled about 1770.

Greenbrier. Area 1,000 square miles; formed 1777 from Botetourt; county seat Lewisburg; settled about 1750; population in 1790, 6,015; in 1800, 4,345; in 1810, 5,914; in 1820, 7,041; in 1830, 9,006; in 1840, 8,695; in 1850, 10,022, in 1860, 12,211; in 1870, 11,417; in 1880, 15,060; in 1890, 18,034.

Harrison. Area 450 square miles; county seat Clarksburg; formed 1784 from Monongalia; settled about 1770; population in 1790, 2,080; in 1800, 4,848; in 1810, 9,958, in 1820, 10,932; in 1830, 14,722; in 1840, 17,669; in 1850, 11,728; in 1860, 13,790; in 1870, 16,714, in 1880, 20,181; in 1890, 21,919.

Hardy. Area 700 square miles; county seat Moorefield; formed in 1785 from Hampshire; settled about 1740; population in 1790, 7,336; in 1800, 6,627; in 1810, 5,525; in 1820, 5,700; in 1830, 6,798; in 1840, 7,622; in 1850, 9,543; in 1860, 9,864; in 1870, 5,518; in 1880, 6,794; in 1890, 7,567.

Randolph. Area 1,080 square miles, the largest county in the state; county seat Beverly; formed in 1786 from Harrison; settled about 1754: population in 1790, 951. in 1800, 1,826; in 1810, 2,854; in 1829, 3,357; in 1830, 5,000; in 1840, 6,208; in 1850, 5,243; in 1860, 4,990; in 1870, 5.563; in 1880, 8,102; in 1890, 11,633.

Pendleton. Area 650 square miles; county seat Franklin; formed in 1787 from Augusta, Hardy and Rockingham; settled about 1750; population in 1790, 2,452; in 1800, 3,962; in 1810, 4,239; in 1820, 4,846; in 1830, 6,271; in 1840, 6,940; in 1850, 5,797; in 1860, 6.164; in 1870, 6,455; in 1880, 8,022; in 1890, 8,711.

Kanawha. Area 980 square miles; county seat Charleston; formed in 1789 from Greenbrier and Montgomery; settled about 1774; population in 1800, 3,239; in 1810, 3,866; in 1820, 6,399; in 1830, 9,326; in 1840, 13,567; in 1850, 15,353; in 1860, 16,150; 1870, 22,349; 1880, 32,466; 1890, 42,756.

Brooke. Area 80 square miles, the smallest county in the state; formed in 1796 from Ohio; county seat Wellsburg; population in 1800, 4,706; in 1810, 5,843; in 1820, 6,631; in 1830, 7,041; in 1840, 7,948; in 1850, 5,054; in 1860, 5,494; in 1870, 5,464; in 1880, 6,013; in 1890, 6,660; settled about 1772.

Wood. Area 375; county seat Parkersburg; formed in 1798 from Harrison; settled about 1773; population in 1800, 1,217; in 1810, 3,036; in 1820, 5,860; in 1830, 6,429; in 1840, 7,923; in 1850, 9,450; in 1860, 11,046; in 1870, 19,000; in 1880, 25,006; in 1890, 28,612.

Monroe. Area 460 Square miles; county seat Union; settled about 1760; formed in 1799 from Greenbrier; population in 1800, 4,188; in 1810, 5,444; in 1820, 6,580; in 1830, 7,798; in 1840, 8,422; in 1850, 10,204; in 1860, 10,757; in 1870, 11,124; in 1880, 11,501; in 1890, 12,429.

Jefferson. Area 250 square miles; formed 1801 from Berkeley; county seat, Charlestown; settled about 1730; population in 1810, 11,851; in 1820, 13,087; in 1830, 12,927; in 1840, 14,082; in 1850, 15,357; in 1860, 14,535; in 1870, 13,219; in 1880, 15,005; in 1890, 15,553.

Mason. Area 430 square miles; county seat Point Pleasant; settled about 1774; formed in 1804 from Kanawha; population in 1810, 1,991; in 1820, 4,868; in 1830, 6,534; in 1840, 6,777; in 1850, 7,539; in 1860, 9,173, in 1870, 15,978; in 1880, 22,296; in 1890, 22,863.

Cabell. Area 300 square miles; county seat Huntington; settled about 1790; formed in 1809 from Kanawha; population in 1810, 2,717; in 1820, 4,789; in 1830, 5,884; in 1840, 8,163; in 1850, 6,299; in 1860, 8,020; in 1870, 6,429; in 1880, 13,744; in 1890, 23,598.

Tyler. Area 300 square miles; county seat Middlebourne; settled about 1776; formed in 1814 from Ohio county; population in 1820, 2,314; in 1830, 4,104; in 1840, 6,954; in 1850, 5,498; in 1860, 6,517; in 1870, 7,832; in 1880, 11,073; in 1890, 11,962.

Lewis. Area, 400 square miles, county seat Weston; formed in 1816 from Harrison; population in 1820, 4,247; in 1830, 6,241; in 1840, 8,151; in 1850, 10,031 in 1860, 7,999; in 1870, 10,175; in 1880, 13,269; in 1890, 15,895. Settled prior to 1784.

Nicholas. Area 720 square miles; county seat Summersyille; formed in 1818 from Kanawha, Greenbrier and Randolph; population in 1820, 1,853, in 1830, 3,346; in 1840, 2,255; in 1850, 3,963; in 1860, 4,627; in 1870, 4,458; in 1880, 7,223; in 1890, 9,307.

Preston. Area 650 square miles; county seat Kingwood; formed 1818 from Monongalia; population in 1820, 3,422; in 1830, 5,144; in 1840, 6,866; in 1850, 11,708; in 1860, 13,312; in 1870, 14,555; in 1880, 19,091; in 1890, 20,335.

Morgan. Area, 300 square miles; county seat, Berkeley Springs; formed in 1820 from Hampshire and Berkeley; population in 1820, 2,500; in 1830, 2,694; in 1840, 4,253; in 1850, 3,557; in 1860, 3,732; in 1870, 4,315; in 1880, 5,777; in 1890, 6,774.

Pocahontas. Area 820 square miles; county seat Huntersville; settled about 1749; formed 1821 from Bath, Pendleton and Randolph; population in 1830, 2,542; in 1840, 2,922; in 1850, 3,598; in 1860, 3,958; in 1870, 4,069, in 1880, 5,591: in 1890, 6,814.

Logan. Area about 400 square miles; county seat Lownsville; formed in 1824 from Kanawha, Giles. Cabell and Tazewell; population in 1830, 3,680, in 1840, 4,309, in 1850, 3,620; in 1860, 4,933; in 1870, 5,124: in 1880, 7,329; in 1890, 11,101.

Jackson. Area 400 square miles; county seat Ripley; settled about 1796; formed in 1831; population in 1840, 4,890; in 1850, 6,544; in 1860, 8,306; in 1870, 10,300; in 1880, 16,312; in 1890, 19,021.

Fayette. Area 750 square miles; county seat Fayetteyille; formed in 1831 from Logan, Kanawha. Greenbrier and Nicholas; population in 1840, 3,924; in 1850, 3,955; in 1860, 5,997; in 1870, 6,647: in 1880, 11,560; in 1890, 20,542.

Marshall. Area 240 square miles; county seat Moundsville; settled about 1769; formed in 1835 from Ohio; population in 1840, 6,937; in 1850, 10,138; in 1860, 12,937; in 1870, 14,941; in 1880, 18,840; in 1890, 20,735.

Braxton. Area 620 square miles; county seat Sutton; settled prior to 1796; formed 1836, from Kanawha, Lewis and Nicholas; population in 1840, 2,575; in 1850, 4,212; in 1860, 4,992; in 1870, 6,480, in 1880, 9,787; in 1890, 13,928.

Mercer. Area 400 square miles; county seat Princeton; formed in 1837 from Giles and Tazewell: population in 1840, 2,233; in 1850; 4,222; in 1860, 6.819; in 1870, 7,064; in 1880, 7,467; in 1890, 16,002.

Marion. Area 300 square miles; county seat Fairmont; formed in 1842 from Harrison and Monongalia; population in 1850, 10,552; in 1860, 12,722; in 1870, 12,107; in 1880. 17,198; in 1890, 20,721.

Wayne. Area 440 square miles; county seat Trout's hill; settled about 1796; formed in 1S41 from Cabell; population in 1850, 4,760; in 1860, 6,747; in 1870, 7,852: in 1880. 14,739; in 1890, 18,652.

Taylor. Area 150 square miles; county seat Grafton; formed in 1844 from Harrison, Barbour and Marion; population in 1850, 5,367; in 1860, 8,463; in 1870, 9,367; in 1880, 11,455; in 1890, 12,147.

Doddridge. Area 300 square miles; county seat West Union; formed in 1845 from Harrison, Tyler, Ritchie and Lewis; population in 1850, 2,750; in 1860, 5,203; in 1870, 7,076; in 1830, 10,552; in 1890, 12,183.

Gilmer. Area 360 square miles; county seat Glenville; formed in 1845 from Kanawha and Lewis; population in 1850, 3,475; in 1860, 3,759; in 1870, 4,338; in 1880, 7,108; in 1890, 9,746.

Wetzel. Area 440 square miles; county seat New Martinsville; formed in 1846 from Tyler; population in 1850, 4,284; in 1860, 6,703, in 1870, 8,559; in 1880, 13,896, in 1890, 16,841.

Boone. Area 500 square miles; county seat Madison; formed in 1847 from Kanawha, Cabell and Logan; population in 1850, 3,237; in 1860, 4,840; in 1870, 4,553; in 1880, 5,824; in 1890, 6,885.

Putnam. Area 320 square miles; county seat Winfield; settled 1775; formed in 1848 from Kanawha, Cabell and Mason; population in 1850, 5,335; in 1860, 6,301; in 1870, 7,794; in 1880, 11,375, in 1890, 14,342.

Barbour. Area 360 square miles; county seat Philippi; formed in 1843 from Harrison, Lewis and Randolph, population in 1850, 9,005; in 1860, 8,958; in 1870, 10,312; in 1880, 11,870; in 1890, 12,702.

Ritchie, Area 400 square miles; county seat Harrisville; formed in 1844 from Harrison, Lewis and Wood; population in 1850, 3,902; in 1860, 6,847; in 1870, 9,055; in 1880, 13,474; in 1890, 16,621.

Wirt. Area 290 square miles; county seat Elizabeth; settled about 1796; formed in 1848 from Wood and Jackson; population in 1850, 3,353; in 1860, 3,751; in 1870, 4,804; in 1880, 7,104; in 1890, 9,411.

Hancock. Area 100 square miles; county seat New Cumberland; settled about 1776; formed in 1848 from Brooke; population in 1850, 4,050; in 1860, 4,445; in 1870, 4,363; in 1880, 4,882; in 1890, 6,414.

Raleigh, Area 680 square miles; county seat Beckleyville; formed in 1850 from Fayette; population in 1850, 1,765; in 1860, 3,367; in 1870, 3,673; in 1880, 7,367; in 1890, 9,597.

Wyoming. Area 660 square miles; county seat Oceana; formed in 1850 from Logan; population in 1850, 1,645; in 1860, 2,861; in 1870, 3,171; in 1880, 4,322; in 1890, 6,247.

Pleasants. Area 150 square miles; county seat St. Mary's; formed in 1851 from Wood, Tyler and Ritchie; population in 1860, 2,945; in 1870, 3,012; in 1880, 6,256; in 1890, 7,539.

Upshur. Area 350 square miles; county seat Buckhannon; formed in 1851 from Randolph, Barbour and Lewis, settled about 1775; population in 1860, 7,292; in 1870, 8,023, in 1880, 10,249; in 1890, 12,714.

Calhoun. Area 260 square miles; county seat Grantsville; formed in 1856 from Gilmer; population in 1860, 2,502; in 1870, 2,930; in 1880, 6,072; in 1890, 8,155.

Roane. Area 350 square miles; county seat Spencer; settled about 1791; formed in 1856 from Kanawha, Jackson and Gilmer; population in 1860, 5,381; in 1870, 7,232; in 1880, 12,184; in 1890, 15,303.

Tucker. Area 340 square miles; county seat Parsons; settled about 1774; formed in 1856 from Randolph; population in 1860, 1,428; in 1870, 1,907; in 1880, 3,151; in 1890, 6,459.

Clay. Area 390 square miles; county seat Clay Court House; formed in 1858 from Braxton and Nicholas; population in 1860, 1,787; in 1870, 2,196; in 1880, 3,460; in 1890, 4,659.

McDowell. Area 860 square miles; county seat Perrysville; formed in 1858 from Tazewell; population in 1860, 1,535; in 1870, 1,952; in 1880, 3,074; in 1890, 7,300.

Webster. Area 450 square miles; county seat Addison; formed in 1860 from Braxton, Nicholas and Randolph; population in 1860, 1,555; in 1870, 1,730; in 1880, 3,207; in 1890, 4,783. This was the last county formed while West Virginia was a part of Virginia.

Mineral. Area 300 square miles; county seat Keyser; population in 1870, 6,332; in 1880, 8,630; in 1890, 12,085. This was the first county formed after West Virginia became a state. Grant county was formed fourteen days later, in 1866.

Grant. Area 620 square miles; county seat Petersburg; settled about 1740; population in 1870, 4,467; in 1880, 5,542; in 1890, 6,802.

Lincoln. Area 460 square miles; county seat Hamlin; settled about 1799; formed in 1867 from Kanawha, Cabell Boone and Putnam; population in 1870, 5,053; in 1880, 8,739; in 1890, 11,246.

Summers. Area 400 square miles; county seat Hinton, formed in 1871 from Monroe, Mercer, Greenbrier and Fayette; population in 1880, 9,033; in 1890, 13,117.

Mingo. Area about 400 square miles; formed in 1895 from Logan.

Nearly all the counties of West Virginia are named after well-known men, as follows: Barbour — James Barbour, governor of Virginia in 1812; Berkeley — William Berkeley, governor of Virginia in 1641; Boone — Daniel Boone, the pioneer of Kentucky; Braxton — Carter Braxton, signer of the Declaration of Independence; Brooke — Robert Brooke, governor of Virginia in 1794; Cabell — William H. Cabell, governor of Virginia in 1805; Calhoun — the statesman J. C. Calhoun; Clay — Henry Clay; Doddridge — Philip Doddridge of Virginia; Fayette General La Fayette; Gilmer — Thomas W. Gilmer, governor of Virginia in 1840; Grant — Ulysses S. Grant; Greenbrier — because many briers grew on the banks of the river; Hampshire — from a shire of that name in England; Hancock — John Hancock, the first signer of the Declaration of Independence; Hardy — Samuel Hardy of Virginia; Harrison — Benjamin Harrison, governor of Virginia in 1781; Jackson — President Andrew Jackson; Jefferson — Thomas Jefferson; Kanawha — an Indian word meaning - River of the Woods; Lewis — Charles Lewis, who was killed at Point Pleasant in 1774; Lincoln — Abraham Lincoln; Logan — an old Indian chief of the Mingoes; Marion — General Marion of the revolution; Marshall — John Marshall of Virginia, chief justice of the United States; Mason — George Mason of Virginia; Mercer — General Hugh Mercer, killed at the battle of Princeton; Mineral — named from its coal; Monongalia — an Indian name meaning - a river with crumbling banks; Monroe — James Monroe of Virginia, governor in 1799, Morgan — General Daniel Morgan of the revolution; McDowell — James McDowell, governor of Virginia in 1843; Nicholas — W. C. Nicholas, governor of Virginia in 1843; Ohio— an Indian word meaning the Beautiful river; Pendleton — Edmund Pendleton, of Virginia; Pleasants — James Pleasants governor of Virginia in 1822; Pocahontas — an Indian girl; Preston — James P. Preston governor of Virginia in 1816; Putnam — General Israel Putnam of the revolution; Raleigh — Sir Walter Raleigh; Randolph — Edmund Randolph, governor of Virginia in 1786; Ritchie — Thomas Ritchie of Virginia; Roane — Judge Roane of Virginia; Summers — Lewis and George W. Summers of Kanawha county; Taylor — John Taylor of Virginia; Tucker — Judge St. George Tucker; Tyler — John Tyler, governor of Virginia in 1808; Upshur — Judge A. P. Upshur, secretary of state under President Tyler; Wayne — General Anthony Wayne of the revolution; Webster — Daniel Webster; Wetzel — Lewis Wetzel the Indian fighter; Wirt — William Wirt of Virginia; Wood — James Wood, governor of Virginia in 1796; Wyoming — supposed to be an Indian name; Mingo — a tribe of Indians.

Return to the History of Hampshire County WV Index