Marion County, WVGenWeb

Mannington, Marion County WV (history)

John Ice, (an early settler who built a log cabin at the forks of the Buffalo before 1770), sold 1,000 acres of land where Mannington is now located to Robert Rutherford in 1782, who had it surveyed in 1786. John Gray had 360 acres of land, and both of these land patents were issued at the state capital by Governor Patrick Henry. Rutherford bought Gray's patent and then sold all 1,360 acres to James Brown. After Brown's death, the land was sold by the court in 1824 to William Baker of Baltimore. In 1838, John Hanway purchased the tract and divided it into parcels. It seems that it was well into the 1800's before much development took place.

One of the first known houses in the town (other than Ice's) was built about 1834 by Abraham Hawkins, and one in 1843 by Oliver Nay for Wesley Clayton, and one of the first businesses was the tavern and store operated by George and Samuel Koon. The town was known as Koontown until 1852, when the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad was completed, and the town was named for one of the civil engineers working on the project, James Manning.

Mannington was incorporated in 1856, with Nimrod Morgan as its first mayor. Lumbering, milling, and tanning were the main industries until 1889 when oil was discovered nearby, turning the town into a boom town as the center of a major national oil and gas field. Dr. I. C. White, a geologist from West Virginia University, had a company formed and drilled a test well on the D. F. Hamilton farm in 1889. When Caleb and Frank Burt learned of this, they arranged for a well on their land, a half mile away. This well, Daisy No. 1, was one of the best ever drilled in the area.

Source: History and Progress of the County of Marion, West Virginia
by Geo. A. Dunnington, Publisher. 1880.
Pages 75-76

The third town in the county in population and importance, and the second -in point of wealth, is Mannington, lying eighteen miles west of the county seat, on the B. & O. R. R. It is also the youngest place, for previous to the year 1850 there were but few houses on the ground of what is now a beautiful and prosperous town. All the land upon which Mannington is built belonged to Geo. H. J. Koon and James Furbee, the descendants of whom constitute a large portion of the leading inhabitants. Mannington is one of the most prominent towns of this section of West Virginia, considerable business being done there. One of the most important branches of trade carried on is that of the manufacture of leather. Mannington sole leather received a prize at the Centennial Exposition at Philadelphia, in 1876. Quite a large lumber business is also carried on here.

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