Clarksburg is a city in and the county seat of Harrison County, West Virginia, United States, in the north-central region of the state. It is the principal city of the Clarksburg, WV Micropolitan Statistical Area. The population of the city was 16,578 at the 2010 census. Clarksburg was named National Small City of the Year this past year. (National League of Cities)
The first documented visitor to the area now known as Clarksburg was John Simpson, a trapper, who in 1764 located his camp on the West Fork River opposite the mouth of Elk Creek at approximately (39.28128, -80.35145)
As early as the year 1772, settlers began locating their lands near where Clarksburg now stands, and in 1773 Daniel Davisson took up , upon which the principal part of the town is now located. The year 1774 found the following persons settled in the neighborhood of Clarksburg, Daniel Davisson, Thomas Nutter, Samuel Cottrill, Sotha Hickman, Samuel Beard, Andrew Cottrill, Obadiah Davisson, John Nutter, Matthew Nutter and Amaziah Davisson. There were no doubt others located on public lands of which no official record was made.
Clarksburg was formed in 1785 in Virginia. The city is named for General George Rogers Clark, who gained fame on the frontier by his many expeditions against the British and Indians in the Indian Wars and the war of the American Revolution, particularly by his capture of Fort of Vincennes, now in the State of Indiana, in 1778.
The first Court House, which was built in 1787, stood on what is now the North East Corner of Second and Main Streets and the jail stood on the opposite side of Main Street near where the Presbyterian church now stands.
In 1840 a daily line of stages and a regular mail service was established that connected with the Ohio River steamers at Parkersburg.
The historic district of Clarksburg is mainly outlined by Hewes Avenue on the north, Main Street on the south, Chestnut Street on the west, and E. B. Saunders Way [formerly Water Street] on the east.
On October 11, 1996, seven men having connections with the Mountaineer Militia, a local anti-government paramilitary group, were arrested on charges of plotting to blow up the Federal Bureau of Investigation's Criminal Justice Information Services Division complex in Clarksburg. While members of the group had been assembling large quantities of explosives and blasting caps, militia leader Floyd Raymond Looker obtained blueprints of the FBI facility from a Clarksburg firefighter. Plastic explosives were confiscated by law enforcement officials at five locations in West Virginia, Pennsylvania, and Ohio. Looker was taken into custody after arranging to sell the blueprints for $50,000 to an undercover FBI agent, whom he believed to be a representative of an international terrorist group. In 1998 Looker was sentenced to 18 years in prison. Two other defendants were sentenced on explosives charges, and the firefighter drew a year in prison for providing blueprints.