Hardesty's History of Wirt County


In compliance with the act creating the new county, the first 
county court convened at the house of Alfred Beauchamp, in the 
town of Elizabeth, on the 23d day of May, 1848.  The following 
justices were present, viz.: Henry Steed, Charles Rector, William
Shepherd, Thomas Boggs , John P. Thomasson, William R. Goff, 
Silas B. Seaman, William P. Rathbone, Daniel Wilkinson and 
Alfred Beauchamp.

The court at once proceeded to an election of clerk.  Daniel
Wilkinson, Samuel Shepherd and William Smith were placed in 
nomination.  Beauchamp, Rector, Rathbone, Boggs and Steed
voted for Wilkinson; Goff, Seaman, William Shepherd and Tom-
asson for Shepherd.; no votes were cast for Smith.  Daniel Wil-
kinson having received a majority of all the votes cast was
declared to be elected clerk of the court for the time prescribed
by law. He at once came into court and qualified "as the law
directs," taking "the oath to support the constitution of the
United States, the oath of fidelity to the commonwealth, the oath
against dueling, and the oath of office."

John J. Jackson, jr., was then elected to the office of prosecu-
ting attorney to prosecute causes in behalf of the State in this 
court; J. C. Rathbone was then elected to the office of surveyor
of lands, and J. P. Thomasson was chosen commissioner of the
revenue; Selden S. Coe, Benjamin Baker, Alfred Cain and Wil-
liam Parril were chosen constables, or tipstaffs, as they are called
in the records of this county. Then the following attorneys, 
several of whom had before secured a license to practice in the 
circuit court, presented themselves and were duly licensed to prac-
tice in this court, viz.: Arthur I. Boreman, Alfred S. Kenaird, 
William S. Bird, William H. Safford, John G. Stringer, P. G. 
Van Winkle, Joseph Spencer, Albert G. Stringer, John F. Snod-
grass, Cabell Tavener, John E. Hays, J. J. Jackson, jr., J. B.
Blair, Clermont E. Thaw, Joseph C. Moore, J. M. Jackson and
Thomas Hall.

John Foster then made application for license to keep an ordin-
ary in the town of Pribble Mills in this county, and "the court 
being satisfied that the applicant was a person of good character,
not addicted to drunkenness or gaming; and will keep an orderly
and useful house of entertainment, his bond was taken and filed,
and his license granted." Henry Steed was recommended to his
excellency the governor as a suitable person to be appointed to
the office of sheriff, after which the court adjourned having put
in complete working order the machinery of Wirt county, named
in honor of William Wirt, one of Virginia's most gifted and hon-
ored sons.

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