Place:Harrison, West Virginia, United States

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source: Family History Library Catalog


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Harrison County is a county in the U.S. state of West Virginia. As of 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.

Contents

History

the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia

Indigenous peoples lived in the area that would become Harrison County for thousands of years. The Oak Mounds outside Clarksburg were built by the Hopewell culture mound builders sometime between 1 and 1000 C.E.

18th century

White trappers visited the area that is now Harrison County as early as the 1760s. Some traded with the Native Americans of the area. The Virginia Colony claimed the area as part of its vast Augusta County. The first permanent settler in the area was hunter and trapper John Simpson, who erected a cabin at the mouth of Elk Creek on the West Fork River in 1763 or '64. Simpson left his name on "Simpson's Creek" (its mouth is about 9 miles downstream from present Clarksburg) after building and living in a cabin there for several months. Settler Daniel Davisson (1748-1819), an immigrant from New Jersey, claimed the land upon which present-day Clarksburg, Harrison County, was formed in 1773; the area was re-designated as part of Monongalia County, Virginia three years later. Simpson's story did not end well. According to a 19th-century local historian, he ...

... continued to hunt and trap for a year without encountering any other human being. In 1765, he went to the South Branch to dispose of a stock of skins and furs, and returning to his camp, remained until permanent settlements were made in the vicinity. ... Simpson's cabin was located about one mile from Clarksburg, on the west side of the West Fork River ... Simpson became indebted to a man named Cottrial to the amount of "one quart of salt" (a precious article at the time), which he agreed to pay him, either in money or salt, upon his return from Winchester, whither he was going to dispose of a stock of skins and furs. Upon his return, a dispute arose between them, regarding the payment, and Cottrial, in the heat of passion, hastened from the house, and grasping Daniel Davisson's gun, which stood leaning against the cabin, took aim through the space between the logs, and attempted to shoot Simpson. The latter, however, was too quick for him, and springing outside, grasped the gun from Cottrial's hands and killed him. This was the first tragedy of this nature in the vicinity.

After the American Revolutionary War, Harrison County was organized in 1784, formed from Monongalia County and named for Benjamin Harrison V,[1] who had recently retired as the Governor of Virginia. (He was the father of William Henry Harrison, 9th President of the United States and great-grandfather of Benjamin Harrison, 23rd president.) Over the next 72 years, all of eight present-day West Virginia counties and parts of ten others were formed from this original Harrison County.

The first meeting of the Harrison County court was held on July 20, 1784 at home of George Jackson. The group decided they needed to designate a permanent county seat. They moved the county seat to Clarksburg. The town, named in honor of the explorer General George Rogers Clark (1752–1818), was chartered by the Virginia General Assembly in October 1785, and it was incorporated in 1795.

19th century

Clarksburg's first newspaper, The By-Stander, began publication in 1810. Construction of the Northwestern Turnpike connecting Winchester and Parkersburg, reached the town in 1836, stimulating development by connecting it to other markets. Clarksburg's economic development was also helped by the arrival of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad in 1856. The railroad was instrumental in the development of the local coal mining industry during the late 1800s and early 1900s.

Timeline

Date Event Source
1784 County formed Source:Red Book: American State, County, and Town Sources
1784 Court records recorded Source:Red Book: American State, County, and Town Sources
1784 Marriage records recorded Source:Red Book: American State, County, and Town Sources
1786 Land records recorded Source:Red Book: American State, County, and Town Sources
1788 Probate records recorded Source:Red Book: American State, County, and Town Sources
1790 First census Source:Population of States and Counties of the United States: 1790-1990
1850 No significant boundary changes after this year Source:Population of States and Counties of the United States: 1790-1990
1853 Birth records recorded Source:Red Book: American State, County, and Town Sources
1863 Effective date for move from Virginia to West Virginia Source:Wikipedia

Population History

source: Source:Population of States and Counties of the United States: 1790-1990
Census Year Population
1790 2,080
1800 4,848
1810 9,958
1820 10,932
1830 14,722
1840 17,669
1850 11,728
1860 13,790
1870 16,714
1880 20,181
1890 21,919
1900 27,690
1910 48,381
1920 74,793
1930 78,567
1940 82,911
1950 85,296
1960 77,856
1970 73,028
1980 77,710
1990 69,371

Research Tips

Source:Haymond, Henry. History of Harrison County, West Virginia, from Earliest Days of Northwestern Virginia to the Present

Text from Harrison County, Virginia Page

[Harrison County, Virginia was redirected here in conformance to the WeRelate "1900 rule".]

Harrison County, Virginia was established in 1784 from part of Monongalia County, Virginia. Harrison County became part of West Virginia when it became the 35th state admitted to the Union.

From Preface of History of Harrison County, West Virginia:
"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."


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