Marion County, WVGenWeb

Farmington, Marion County WV (history)

Farmington, WV (a community located in western Marion County) was incorporated in 1896. Formerly known as Willeyville, Willeytown, and Underwood. Called Farmington because the population consisted principally of those engaged in farming. Farmington is located on Buffalo Creek about 10 miles west of Fairmont, WV. The Pittsburgh Coal Seam fueled the town's growth in the early 1900s. In 1968, an explosion at the Consolidated Coal Company No. 9 Mine killed 78 miners. The mine was sealed 10 days later as a result of fires and explosions therein. Recovery efforts commenced in 1969, and over the next 10 years the bodies of 59 miners were extracted. The disaster led to passage of the Federal Coal Mine Health & Safety Act of 1969. Farmington is the birthplace of Joseph Manchin III, 34th Governor of West Virginia and U.S Senator from West Virginia.

The first known settler at this site was James Goodin ("Jimmy Blue-eye"). Joseph Morgan built a mill here in 1801. The William Willey family owned the land when the town was laid out sometime before 1851, and it was called Willeyville or Willeytown after them. The name was changed to Farmington, then to Underwood, and then back to Farmington.

William Willey, Jr. had two sons who were distinguished politically. William J. Willey was a state senator when Marion County was formed in 1842, and his half-brother Waitman T. Willey became the first United States Senator to serve from the State of West Virginia.

William Ross Riggs, aged 47, contable;
murdered in Farmington in a coal-mine strike riot (February 24, 1915).

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