History of Harrison County, West Virginia

In preparing a history of Harrison County, West Virginia, no literary merit is claimed as it is only a collection of events gathered from many sources, such as the records of the Courts, old letters and newspapers, books of a historical nature, and traditions that have been handed down from early times.

When Harrison County was created by an act of the Virginia Assembly in 1784, it extended over that vast territory reaching from the Maryland line to the Ohio River, with a front of sixty miles on that stream and including the upper waters of the Monongahela River, all of the Little Kanawha and portions of the waters of the Big Kanawha.

To give an account of the efforts and trials of the early settlers, to establish homes for themselves, and organize a stable government in this vast wilderness, is an undertaking of patient research and great labor, and the writer is painfully conscious of his inability to perform it adequately.

It has been the object of the writer to preserve all he could obtain, as to the early settlement of the County, and the customs and manners of the settlers, their food, furniture, clothing, houses, diseases and amusements before the records are destroyed and before the traditions pass from the minds of men.

This has been deemed more important than recent events as they can be established by more and better records than those of an earlier date.

The writer is indebted to the following works for valuable information in the preparation of this volume: V.A. Lewis' Reports as State Historian, Withers Border Warfare, DeHass' Indian Wars, Doddridges' Notes, History of Randolph County by Hu Maxwell and of Upshur County by W.B. Cntright, the history of Monongalia County by Wiley the rending of Virginia by Hall, and Thwaites Edition of the Border Warfare.

It is the writer's pleasure to acknowledge aid and assistance from Hon. Hu. Maxwell, Virgil A. Lewis, L.V. McWhorter, Hon. B. F. Shuttleworth, John Bassel and Luther Haymond.

If in this work the writer has succeeded in making the events surrounding the early history of his native County of interest to the reader he will feel that his labors have not been in vain.

 

Table of Contents

Early Discoveries 1
The Aboriginees 3
Settlement of Virginia 6
The French and Indian Wars 9
Early Settlements West of the Mountains 16
Indian Tribes 54
Early Indian Troubles and Dunmore's War 55
Indian Wars 58
Incidents Connected With Indian Wars 140
The Revolution 146
Formation of Counties 157
Land Laws 162
Cession of the North West Territory 163
The Mason and Dixon Line 164
The Great Woods 166
Native Animals and Birds 168
Life of the Settlers, Houses, Wed- dings, Amusements and Diseases 171
Climate and Natural Phenomena 184
Courts 188
United States Courts 192
County Courts 193
The Board of Supervisors 233
Criminal Court 234
Court Houses 235
Jails 242
Constitutions 244
Conventions and Legislatures 248
Roads 251
Clarksburg 254
Census of the County 274
County Districts and Townships 278
Churches 279
Schools 286
Newspapers 295
Slavery 302
The War of 1812 306
The Mexican War 312
Civil War 315
The Spanish War 331
New State 332
Incorporated Towns 340
Governors and Officials 349
William Haymond's Letters 352
Sketches of Pioneers 369
Indian Cave 396
Fourth of July Celebration 399
Banks 403
Whiskey Insurrection 406
Elections 409
Adjutant General's Report 413
Miscellaneous 426

 

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The period between 1900 and 1910 in Harrison County was similar to the 1970's for rapid change. Population grew from 27690 to 48381. Clarksburg started the decade a quiet rural town and ended the decade a booming industrial center. Older people living in such a time are motivated to save in the printed word a world that is slipping away. Fortunately, Henry Haymond was the man who took up his pen circa 1905 to preserve the early history of the county.

Mr. Haymond with the realistic, logical, discriminating mind of the lawyer researched records in county courthouses and the archives of the states of Virginia and West Virginia. Other researchers could yet today collect the same material from legal records, but no one could flesh out the skeleton of historic fact as did Mr. Haymond.

A member of a family of first settlers in the Monongahela Valley, he from early childhood had heard the traditions of the area. Alive when he wrote were historians Lucullus V. McWhorter, Virgil Lewis, Hu Maxwell men with whom he conferred. He need travel only a few doors away to talk with his father, Col. Luther Haymond, who had lived the history of the county since the first decade of the 1800's. He had accessible the private papers of the Haymond family.

Henry Haymond orients today's researchers. For example, when the court record says in describing the site of the second courthouse, "at the corner a brick house is built six poles from the intended Court House," a researcher can go to Henry Haymond who adds, "The brick house referred to was the famous Hewes Tavern which stood..." Henry Haymond at the age of twenty-four had watched the citizens wave good-byes to Clarksburg boys marching east on Pike Street to join Confederate troops in Grafton and knew the boys who caught a train to go to Wheeling to join Union forces, local scenes he but no other historian has described. His work is both a primary and a secondary source book.

The general reader finds Mr. Haymond's lean, terse style pleasing. The first edition of Haymond was not indexed. This handicapped the reader. A reprinted issue of Haymond with a name index is welcomed.