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[History Of Monongalia County]



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History of Monongalia County.

        A traditional account by historian Glenn D. Lough claims that the first settlers, Pompey Leggit and his wife Jenny Duvall Leggit, homesteaded at Rivesville in present-day Marion County in 1694. With them were Jenny's brother, John Duvall, the William Burris family, and the Bozarth family. The families are said to have moved on to Philippi in present-day Barbour County by 1704, a site they abandoned in 1721. The Leggit's sons, Thomas and George Leggit, established a trading post at Lowsville in 1766.

       Other early settlers in the mid-1700's in the original Monongalia County were the families of: Wendell Brown (at present-day Brownsville, Fayette County, PA); David Tygart and Robert Files (near present-day Beverly, Randolph County, WV); the Eckerlin brothers (Dunkard Bottom near Kingwood, Preston County, WV); and Thomas Decker at the mouth of Deckers Creek, present Monongalia County. Others in the Decker party included these surnames: Zern or Zorn, Falls, Thorn, Westfall, Cox, Statler or Stradler.

             1776 - Monongalia, Ohio, and Yohogania Counties were created from the District of West Augusta of Augusta County, VA. The northern portion of Monongalia, the northeastern portion of Ohio, and all of Yohogania were also known as Westmoreland County, PA which was also mother to several counties. The area that was the northwest corner of Monongalia became Washington County, PA in 1781, and Greene County, PA in 1796. The area that was the northeast corner of Monongalia became Fayette County, PA in 1783. The first courts of Monongalia were held on Phillips' Choice, the plantation of Theophilus Phillips, near New Geneva in Springhill Township, Fayette County, PA. In 1784, west Virginia Counties started to be carved out of Monongalia starting with Harrison in 1784.

              1779 - The first county seat was located at Mifflintown, present-day Woodbridgetown, near Rubles Mill in Georges Township, Fayette County, PA, but soon after the boundary dispute between Virginia and Pennsylvania was resolved. When they realised the county seat was no longer in the county, it was moved to what is now Morgantown.


Early History of Monongalia County, West Virginia

Monongalia County was one of the first three counties, along with Ohio and Youghiogheny counties, formed within the state. It was created by an act of the Virginia General Assembly in October 1776 from parts of the District of West Augusta (Virginia). It was named in honor of the Monongahela River, named by the Algonquin (Delaware) Indians. The river's name means river of crumbling banks or high banks fall down. When the bill creating the county was being prepared the spelling was changed to Monongalia. It is not known if the spelling was changed on purpose or was an error.

Monongalia County is known as the mother county for northern West Virginia. Eighteen of West Virginia's 55 counties and parts of three Pennsylvania Counties (Greene, Fayette and Washington counties) were created in whole or in part from Monongalia County. This latter territory was lost to Pennsylvania following the extension of the Mason-Dixon line in 1781.

The first organizational meeting in the county took place at the home of Jonathan Coburn on December 8, 1776. The first county seat was located at the home of Theophilus Phillips, two miles from the present site of Geneva, Pennsylvania. After the Mason-Dixon line made his home a part of Pennsylvania, the county seat was moved to the home of Zackquill Morgan in 1782, in present day Morgantown.

Morgantown, the county seat, was originally settled by Thomas Decker, who led a group of settlers to Decker's Creek, in the present site of Morgantown, during the fall of 1758. The settlement was destroyed the following spring by a party of Delaware and Mingo Indians. All but one of the original settlers, including Thomas Decker, were killed or captured in the attack.

There is conflicting accounts concerning who arrived in the county next. Some accounts suggest that David Morgan arrived at the current site of Morgantown in 1768 and gave his settlement right to Zackquill (or Zackwell) Morgan. Other accounts suggest that Bruce Worley and his brother, Nathan, arrived before them, in 1766. Most historians cite the sworn deposition of Colonel William Crawford and credit Zackquill Morgan as the next settler in the county. Colonel Crawford indicated that Zackquill Morgan, James Chew, and Jacob Prickett moved into the area in 1766, and that he had visited the Morgan farm, near Decker's Creek.

Colonel Zackquill Morgan, son of Morgan Morgan, received a legal certificate for 400 acres of land in the Morgantown area in 1781. In October 1785, at Colonel Morgan's request, the Virginia General Assembly specified that 50 acres of his land was to be laid out in lots, and a town, named Morgantown, established on the site. Purchasers of the lots were to build upon them within four years, but because of Indian hostilities the four year time limit was later extended an additional five years. In 1793, the Pittsburgh Gazette began delivering its paper to Morgantown and opened a road to it. The opening of the road helped the town began to grow , especially during the early 1800's as many pioneers heading west stopped in Morgantown for supplies. The city was incorporated on February 3, 1858.

In 1790, when the first national census was taken, Monongalia County had the sixth largest population (4,768) of the nine counties that were then in existence and fell within the current boundaries of West Virginia. Berkeley County had the largest population (19,713), Randolph County had the smallest population (951), and there were a total of 55,873 people living within the present state's boundaries at that time.

West Virginia University, the state's land grant university, was established in Morgantown in 1867.






Places of Monongalia County

The county seat is at Morgantown

* Morgantown * Westover


* Blacksville * Granville * Star City

Census-designated places

* Brookhaven * Cassville * Cheat Lake

Other Unincorporated Communities




* Baker Ridge

* Behler

* Bertha Hill

* Booth

* Bowlby

* Brewer Hill

* Browns Chapel

* Bula

* Canyon

* Cheat Neck

* Chestnut Ridge

* Clinton Furnace

* Core

* Crossroads

* Crown

* Daybrook

* Dellslow

* Delmar

* Easton

* Edna

* Everettsville

* Fieldcrest

* Flaggy Meadow

* Fort Grand

* Fort Martin

* Georgetown

* Greer

* Greystone

* Gum Spring

* Hagans

* Halleck

* Harmony Grove

* Hilderbrand

* Hoard

* Hog Eye

* Holman

* Hunting Hills

* Jaco

* Jakes Run

* Jere

* Kimberly

* Klondike

* Laurel Point

* Little Falls

* Lowsville


* Macdale

* Maidsville

* Maple

* McCurdyville

* McMellin

* Miracle Run

* Mooresville

* Morgan Heights

* National

* New Hill

* Opekiska

* Osage

* Osgood

* Pedlar

* Pentress

* Pierpont

* Pioneer Rocks

* Price

* Price Hill

* Pursglove

* Ragtown

* Randall

* Richard

* Ridgedale

* Ringgold

* Rock Forge

* Rosedale

* Sabraton

* Saint Cloud

* Saint Leo

* Sandy

* Smithtown

* Stewartstown

* Suncrest Lake

* Sunset Beach

* Sturgisson

* The Mileground

* Triune

* Tyrone

* Uffington

* Van Voorhis

* Wadestown

* Wana

* West Sabraton

* West Van Voorhis

* Worley

Additional Place List



County Sketches

WVU Poli Sci Dept.


County Histories.

History of Monongalia Co. of  1883 Preston Publ Co.

History of Monongalia Co. of  1889 Virgil Lewis.

Paul Pettit . Copyright 2010. Monongalia County WVGenWeb History Page .