My name is Glenda Thompson and I'm the volunteer county coordinator for the Mingo County site of the WVGenWeb project, which is part of The USGenWeb Project. Donna Brown was the previous county coordinator. We hope you find this site useful for your research.
About Mingo County WV
Mingo County was established on January 30, 1895 from Logan County. The county was named in honor of the Mingo Indian tribe that had been the earliest known settlers of the region. The county borders five other counties in West Virginia, two counties in Kentucky, and one county in Virginia.
The County Seat is located in Williamson which was incorporated as a town in 1894 and as a city in 1905. Other cities and towns located in the County include Baisden, Blackberry City, Borderland, Breeden, Edgarton, Emmett, Gilbert, Hampden, Justice, Kermit, Lenore, Lobata, Matewan, Meador, Myrtle, Naugatuck, Newtown, Nolan, North Matewan, Ragland, Rawl, Red Jacket, Sprigg, Thacker, Varney, Verner, Vulcan, Wharncliffe.
Excerpts from "History of West Virginia Old and New in One Volume"
by James Morton Callahan
The American Historical Society, Inc.
Chicago and New York, 1923
- Page 101 ... The earliest settlement in the present limits of Mingo county was made at the mouth of Gilbert on the Guyandotte after 1795 by French peasants under a man named Swan whose purpose was to start a vineyard there, followed by another on the Tug (at the mouth of Pond creek) by the Leslies, but all the inhabitants of these places were driven away by Indians. Provision for protection of later settlers along the waters of Big Sandy was made by the construction of blockhouses in 1790, after which the Indians ceased to give trouble in that region, although they stole horses in the Scioto valley as late as 1802.
- Page 149 ... The first saw mill at Mingo (upper end of the county) was built near Valley Head in 1822 and the wagon which hauled the irons for the mill was the first that crossed the mountains to Mingo. The first grist mill in the upper fifteen miles of the river was built about 1820 or 1822.
- Court House photo from page 492Page 491 ... The development in the vicinity of Williamson together with the inconvenience of communication with the county seat at Logan logically led to the formation of Mingo county from the southern territory of Logan in 1895. Since Logan and Mingo counties are served by two entirely different railroad systems, communication between them by rail is possible only at Kenova, Wayne County, where the Norfolk and Western crosses the Chesapeake and Ohio Railroad. The lack of direct connection between the two counties makes trade between them difficult and expensive.
- Page 523 ... In 1920, during strikes, United States troops were twice sent to Mingo county to protect property and preserve order. Miners and operators each charged the other with violent methods. In December, 1920, encouraged by the presence of Federal troops, Sheriff Blankenship began a campaign of "voluntary disarmament," resulting in a large collection of firearms obtained from miners and citizens and from coal companies. The amount of violence in Mingo was greatly exaggerated, and all the lawlessness and violence in that region of earlier private feuds was probably not due directly to the industrial struggle.