Wirt county lies in the western part of the State, and from its position may be called the central county of the little Kanawha valley. It is bounded northwest by Wood county, northeast by Ritchie, southwest by Calhoun, south by Roane, and southwest by Jackson. The surface area is 290 square miles, 190 of which lie south of the Little Kanawha, and the remaining 100 north of that river. The surface is for the most part broken and hilly, but there lies perhaps fifty square miles of splendid bottom lands upon the banks of the Kanawha; the soil, which is a mixture of white clay and sand, is very productive. The hill lands is for the most part an intermixture of yellow and red clay, while occa- sionally is to be found a considerable deposit of black loam. Much of this land is well adapted to agriculture and especially so to grazing. We have said that it is hilly, but we are not to be understood as meaning that it is rough, for such is not the fact. The lowest depression is at the mouth of Hughs river, and the greatest elevation is Jeffneys knob, one mile west of Elizabeth, which rises to the height of 350 feet above the level at the mouth of Hughs river, so that it will be seen that the entire surface must lie within a perpendicular of 350 feet while a mean would be 175 feet. The Little Kanawha river flows through the county, in a north- west direction, dividing it into two unequal parts. It is navigable for steamers in high stages of water as far as Glenville, in Gilmer county, distant by river from Parkersburg 104 miles. It is locked from Burning Springs to the mouth. Its name is of Indian origin, being the same in both the Delaware and Wyandotte languages. The signification is, however, very different. In the former it signifies "River of the Woods," while in the latter it means "The River of Evil Spirits." Owing to the fact that many of their canoes were lost upon its rapid current, they supposed that an evil spirit resided at the bottom, which pulled their canoes beneath the water; hence the name. (See Johnson's Glossary of Indian Names.) Hughs river rises in Doddridge county, and after flowing through Ritchie, passed through this county, flowing through the northern part for a distance of twelve miles. It was named in honor of Jesse Hughs, whose memory is yet cherished in the mountain homes of West Virginia, where, as the children crowd around the fire to listen to the winter evening's recital, they hear related many of his fierce encounters with the savages among the mountains from whose sides flow the silvery currents that go to form Hughs river. Tuckers creek, Reedy creek, and Spring creek all flow in a northern direction and discharge their waters into the Little Kanawha, while Standing Stone-and Straight creek both fall into the same river from a northern direction. Good building stone is found in all parts of the county, that used in the construction of the locks in the Little Kanawka being taken from the immediate vicinity. Bituminous coal exists in various localities, but has not as yet been developed to any considerable extent. Surface limestone is found scattered upon the surface, which when collected and burned makes an excellent fertilizer, but no stratified deposits have as yet been discovered. Vast quantities of timber still exist, although many millions of feet of lumber have already been cut and shipped to distant markets. The principal varieties are white oak, black oak, red oak, chestnut oak, hickory, sugar, poplar, beech, elm, sycamore, pine, etc.