The first white men that saw the Little Kanawha valley were William Lowther, Jesse Hughs and Ellis Hughs. Both the latter, and probably the former, were soldiers in the battle of Point Pleasant, October 10, 1774, and Ellis Hughs was the last survivor of that sanguinary struggle. (See History of the Virginias in this work, p 196.) It was in the autumn of the year 1772 that these three daring adventurers, whose names are all illustrious in the annals of border warfare, left the spot where Clarksburg now stands, and traveled up the west fork of the Monongahela river to its source, where they crossed the dividing ridge near where Weston, the county seat of Lewis county, now stands, and journeyed down Sand creek to its junction with the Little Kanawha river, upon the banks of which they halted. Here was a beautiful mountain river, upon whose rapid current the eye of civilized man had never before rested, and amid the surrounding hills his voice had never before been heard. But they must follow its tortuous course -- its windings like a silver thread -- to its junction with some other mighty river, they knew not what. So the journey was continued down the river, and as they proceeded they bestowed names upon its tributaries which they have ever since borne. The first they reached from its general course they supposed was the one which they should have descended from the point near Weston, instead of Sand creek, it being a more direct route to the river which they were now exploring, and they christened it Leading creek. Then the next stream was one, the banks of which were-fringed with cedar, and Cedar creek was left behind; then one flowed out from beneath lofty pines, and it was named Pine creek; then high yellow clay banks indicated the mouth of another, and Yellow creek was left behind, after which a stream stretched away into the hills, a long line of its course being visible, and it was called Straight creek; then one flowed in from toward the setting sun, and it was West fork. From another they drank of its cool transparent waters, and it has ever been known as Spring creek; then the descent was continued a short distance, and upon the bank of the river the course of which they were traversing was discovered no less a curiosity than a burning spring, and the creek which here discharged its waters was named Burning Spring creek. Little thought these intrepid adventurers that they were upon the spot which should one day be honored with a world-wide celebrity, and that beneath their feet lay the "oily fluid" which a century hence was to attract men from all parts of the world, and that it was to become the Eldorado in which immense fortunes were to be made and lost in a day. Then another tributary was reached, and they called it Reedy. Upon the next an ascent was made, and several. miles up it a lofty stone was found standing erect upon one of the little bottoms that lay upon its bank, and Standing Stone creek has ever since been familiar to everyone acquainted with the Little Kanawha valley. Farther down a beautiful river united its rapid current with the Kanawha, and Jesse Hughs claimed the right to bestow his own name upon it. His comrades acquiesced, and on every map of Virginia since engraved Hughs river has been delineated. At the mouth of another stream were bluff banks filled with slate, and Slate creek was left behind. But the mouth of the river down which they were journeying was now near at hand, and soon the mighty "La Belle Riviere" of the early French voyagers was in sight, and our explorers stood upon its banks -- probably the first Englishmen that ever stood upon the spot where the city of Parkersburg now stands. Here the journey ended, and from here the homeward march was begun, and in due time all three arrived at the point from which they started, Colonel Lowther to take his seat in the colonial legislature, and Jesse and Ellis Hughs soon after to enroll their names as soldiers in Gen. Andrew Lewis' army, and to participate in all the vicissitudes through which it passed during Dunmore’s war. Thus was opened to settlement the beautiful valley of the Little Kanawha, now dotted with villages and thousands of happy homes.