West Virginia Counties
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West Virginia Counties

There are fifty-five counties in the state of West Virginia. Fifty of them existed at the time of the Wheeling Convention in 1861, before which West Virginia was part of the state of Virginia. The remaining five (Grant, Mineral, Lincoln, Summers and Mingo) were formed within the state after its admission to the United States on June 20, 1863. At that time, Berkeley County and Jefferson County, the two easternmost counties of West Virginia, refused to recognize their inclusion in the state. In March 1866, the US Congress passed a joint mandate assenting to their inclusion.

Doddridge County, West Virginia

Doddridge County Education, Geography, and History

Doddridge County, West Virginia Courthouse

Doddridge County is a county located in the state of West Virginia. Its county seat is West Union.

Doddridge County is included in the Clarksburg, WV Micropolitan Statistical Area.

Etymology - Origin of Doddridge County Name

For Phillip Doddridge, a distinguished statesman of Western Virginian


County QuickFacts: CensusBureau Quick Facts

Early History of Doddridge County, West Virginia

Doddridge County was created by an act of the Virginia General Assembly on February 4, 1845 from parts of Harrison, Lewis, Tyler, and Richie counties. It was named in honor of Philip Doddridge (1772-1832), a famous statesman who traveled widely throughout the current site of West Virginia. It is not known if he ever set foot on what is now the county bearing his name.

Philip Doddridge was born in Bedford County, Pennsylvania on May 17, 1772, the second son of John and Mary (Willis) Doddridge. He applied himself to the study of law and settled down in Wellsburg, Virginia. Renowned for his debating skills, he quickly established himself as one of the best attorneys in Virginia. He served in the Virginia General Assembly in 1815-1816, 1822-1823, and 1828-1829. He was elected to the US House of Representatives in 1829 and served there until his death on November 19, 1832.

James Caldwell was the first known landowner in Doddridge County. He acquired the title to 20,000 acres of land in the county and patented the current site of West Union around 1787. He later sold the land to Nathan, Joseph and William Davis in 1807. The Davis family moved to West Union that year. It is said that the town's name was suggested by Nathan Davis. At that time, the town was located just across from Middle Island Creek from Lewisport, a small settlement of about six families. Lewisport was attempting to change its name to Union. Nathan Davis then suggested that their town, located just west of Union, be called West Union.

The Davis family sold most of their land, about 16,000 acres, to Lewis Maxwell, a Virginia congressman, for 23 cents per acre in 1808, 1809 or 1810. Among the first settlers to arrive in the new town were John Smith, Jacob Riley, Joseph Jeffrey and Matthew Neeley. John Chaney, who starting doing business in 1820, was the first merchant in the town. At about the same time, a post office was established in the town and appeared on the Virginia maps of the day as Lewisport, in honor Lewis Maxwell. On April 17, 1845, the first meeting of the county court was held at Nathan and Jane Davis' home. West Union, the county seat, was incorporated by the Virginia General Assembly on March 14, 1850 and by the West Virginia legislature in 1881.

Joseph H. Diss DeBar, noted artist, linguist, and the designer of the Great Seal and Coat of Arms of West Virginia, resided in Doddridge County.

Geography: Land and Water

As reported by the Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 320 square miles (830 km2), of which 320 square miles (830 km2) is land and 0.8 square miles (2.1 km2) (0.2%) is water

Neighboring Counties

Bordering counties are as follows:

  • East: Harrison County
  • North: Wetzel County
  • Northwest: Tyler County
  • Southeast: Lewis County
  • Southwest: Gilmer County; Ritchie County


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