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.

Harrison County, West Virginia

Harrison County Education, Geography, and History

Harrison County, West Virginia Courthouse

Harrison County is a county in the state of West Virginia. Based on the 2010 census, the population was 69,099. The county seat is Clarksburg. The county was founded in 1784.

Harrison County is part of the Clarksburg, WV Micropolitan Statistical Area.

Etymology - Origin of Harrison County Name

For Benjamin Harrison, distinguished Virginian, who was the father of William Henry Harrison, 9th President, and the great-grandfather of Benjamin Harrison, 23rd President


County QuickFacts: CensusBureau Quick Facts

Early History of Harrison County, West Virginia

Harrison County was created in July 1785 from parts of Monongalia County. It was named in honor of Benjamin Harrison. He was born in Charles City County Virginia, graduated from William and Mary College, served in the Virginia General Assembly in 1764, in the Continental Congress from 1774 to 1777, signed the Declaration of Independence, and served as Governor of Virginia from 1781 to 1784. He was also the father of General William H. Harrison, 9th President of the United States, and the great grandfather of Benjamin Harrison, the 23rd President of the United States.

In 1790, just after Harrison County was formed, it had next to the smallest population (2,080) of the nine counties that were then in existence and fell within the current boundaries of West Virginia. Berkeley County had the largest population (19,713), Randolph County had the smallest population (951), and there were then a total of 55,873 people living within the present state's boundaries.

The county seat was originally established at the house of George Jackson, at Bush's Fort on the Buchannon River. The current county seat, Clarksburg, was named for the explorer General George Rogers Clark. John Simpson, ancestor of President and Union Army General Ulysses Simpson Grant, is credited as the town's first, permanent settler. He arrived in 1765. In 1773, David Davisson claimed 400 acres of land, near present day downtown Clarksburg. The town was chartered by the Virginia General Assembly in October 1785 and was incorporated in 1795. The town's first newspaper, The By-Stander, began publication in 1810.

Harrison County was the site of numerous battles during the French and Indian Wars (1754-1763), especially around Nutter's Fort, where Clarksburg now stands, and around West's Fort, near the present site of Jane Lew.

Harrison County was the home of two famous Americans: Confederate General Thomas Jonathan Jackson, popularly known as "Stonewall" Jackson and John William Davis (1873-1955), Democratic nominee for President of the United States in 1924.

Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson was born in Clarksburg on January 21, 1824 and lived in the Clarksburg area until he entered West Point at the age of 18. He had a distinguished military career, rising to the rank of Major during the War with Mexico, and served during the campaign against the Seminole Indians in Florida. In 1851, he resigned his commission and returned to Virginia where he was elected Professor of Natural and Experimental Philosophy and Instructor of Artillery Tactics at the Virginia Military Institute at Lexington. Following Virginia's secession from the Union, he joined the Confederate Army as a Colonel and took command of a small body of troops near Harper's Ferry. He was soon promoted to Brigadier General and during the Civil War became known as one of the South's finest Generals. His nickname resulted from the performance of his troops and his personal demeanor during the Battle of Bull Run where, in the language of General Barnard E. Bee, of South Carolina, "he stood like a stone wall." General Jackson was accidently shot by one of his own men during the Battle of Chancellorsville. In his dying moments on May 10, 1863, he shouted out a command to move the infantry to the front, and then, realizing that he was dying, he whispered in his dying breath: "Let us cross over the river and rest under the shade of the trees."

John William Davis was born and raised in Clarksburg and is the only West Virginian to run for the Presidency of the United States as a nominee of a major political party. He received 8.3 million votes in 1924 (136 electoral votes) but lost to Calvin Coolidge, the Republican nominee, who received 15.7 million votes (382 electoral votes).

Harrison County was also the home of Joseph Johnson, the only Virginia Governor elected from the present state of West Virginia. The town of Bridgeport was established on his property on January 15, 1816.

Geography: Land and Water

As reported by the Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 417 square miles (1,080 km2), of which 416 square miles (1,080 km2) is land and 0.5 square miles (1.3 km2) (0.1%) is water.

The county is drained by the West Fork River and its tributaries, including Tenmile Creek, Simpson Creek, Elk Creek, and Hackers Creek

Neighboring Counties

Bordering counties are as follows:

  • East: Taylor County
  • Northeast: Marion County
  • Northwest: Wetzel County
  • Southeast: Barbour County; Upshur County
  • Southwest: Lewis County
  • West: Doddridge County


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