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.

Lewis County, West Virginia

Lewis County Education, Geography, and History

Lewis County, West Virginia Courthouse

Lewis County is a county located in the state of West Virginia. Based on the 2010 census, the population was 16,372. Its county seat is Weston. The county was founded in 1816.

Etymology - Origin of Lewis County Name

For Colonel Charles Lewis, famous soldier and pioneer leader, killed at the Battle of Point Pleasant in 1774.


County QuickFacts: CensusBureau Quick Facts

Early History of Lewis County

Lewis County was created by an act of the Virginia Assembly on December 18, 1816, from parts of Harrison County. The county was named in honor of Colonel Charles Lewis (1733-1774), who was killed at the decisive Battle of Point Pleasant in 1774. His dying words were "Push on boys. Don't mind me." He was second in command at the time, serving under his older brother General Andrew Lewis.

The Battle of Point Pleasant was considered a turning point in the war against the Indians and a precursor of the American Revolutionary War. During the battle, one-half of General Lewis' commissioned officers, including his brother were killed, as were 75 of his non-commissioned soldiers. Another 140 soldiers were wounded. The actual number of Indians engaged or killed in the battle is not known, but included warriors from the Shawnee, Delaware, Mingo, Wyandotte and Cayuga tribes, lead by their respective chiefs and by Cornstalk, Sachem of the Shawnees and King of the North Confederacy. The remaining Indians fled into Ohio with Lewis' men in pursuit. Now on the defensive, the Indians later agreed to a peace treaty, ending what had become known as Lord Dunmore's War (John Murray, fourth Earl of Dunmore, was Governor of Virginia at the time).

William Hacker, Thomas Hughes, Jesse Hughes, John Radcliff, William Radcliff and John Brown were the first Englishmen to set foot in Lewis County. They explored the area in 1769. Several of the frontiersmen liked the area so much that they decided to settle there. John Hacker built a cabin just to the south of the present site of Berlin during the fall of 1769 or early in 1770. John and William Radcliff built cabins not far from Hacker's cabin in 1770. The settlement, later known as Hacker's Creek, almost failed from the start. After constructing their cabins and planting corn and other crops, the three men returned to the South Branch settlements to get their families. While they were away, bison ate all of the crops they had planted. Fortunately, there was plenty of wild game available and the settlement survived and more than doubled in size annually as immigrants poured in from the east.

The first meeting of the county court was held on March 16, 1817 at Westfield, about five miles north of the current site of Weston. It was decided to locate the next meeting of the county court at the home of a Mrs. Newton in April 1818. At that meeting, it was decided to locate the county court at the farm of Henry Flesher, near the mouth of Stone Coal, and that the place be called Preston, in honor of James P. Preston, the Governor of Virginia at that time. In 1819, the area's residents decided to change the town's name. They were upset that the new county of Preston had taken their name and were concerned that the two places would become confused. They choose the name Fleshersville, to honor Henry Flesher who was the first settler in the area, arriving in 1784. On April 11, 1820 it was decided to build a permanent, brick courthouse and to locate it in Fleshersville (at the time many of the local residents still called the town Preston). It was also decided to rename the town since the name Fleshersville was not catching on very well. They decided to call it Weston. It was incorporated by the West Virginia state legislature in 1913.

The boyhood home of the famous Confederate General Thomas Jonathan "Stonewall" Jackson (see Harrison County history), known as Jackson's Mill, is located between Weston and Jane Lew and is the current site of the first 4-H Camp in the United States. The third Post Office to be established in the county was at McWhorter's Mill, present day site of the town of Jane Lew. Jane Lew was established in 1835 when Lewis Maxwell purchased the Jacob Bonnett farm and divided it into town lots. The town thus laid out was named Jane Lew in honor of Jane Lewis, mother of Lewis Maxwell.

Geography: Land and Water

As reported by the Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 390 square miles (1,000 km2), of which 385 square miles (1,000 km2) is land and 4.8 square miles (12 km2) (1.2%) is water

Neighboring Counties

Bordering counties are as follows:

  • Northeast: Harrison County
  • Northwest: Doddridge County
  • South: Webster County
  • Southeast: Upshur County
  • Southwest: Braxton County; Gilmer County


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