Doddridge County WV
county was formed by legislative enactment, February 4, 1845, from parts of Harrison, Tyler, Ritchie and Lewis,
and named in honor of the distinguished Philip Doddridge.
Philip Doddridge was a native of Pennsylvania , born in Bedford county May 17, 1773. Facilities for acquiring
an education were very meager in the vicinity of his home. His father was his instructor, until at the age of 17
he was placed under the care of a private tutor at Wellsburg , Virginia , where he applied himself to the study
of Latin. This place, in 1796, became his permanent home. Young Doddridge, curious to see the world, made an engagement
with the proprietor of a flat-boat engaged in transferring flour and bacon to New Orleans . On his return he applied
himself to the study of law, with little assistance other than his own industry and genius.
In 1797, at the first court held in Brooke county, Philip Doddridge was permitted to practice law in the courts
of the county. Thus began his career as an attorney. His growing reputation soon extended beyond the quiet village
of Wellsburg , until he was acknowledged the first lawyer in that part of the State. Chief Justice Marshall said
of him in after years, "He is second to no one at the bar of the United States ;" and Webster observing
his portrait declared "He was the only man I ever feared to meet in debate." He was a member of the House
of Delegates in 1815-16, and again in 1822-1823, and again in 1828-1829. He was a member of the Convention for
amending the State Constitution in 1829, and the same year was elected to Congress. He died at Washington , November
19, 1832, and his remains were interred in the Congressional cemetery, where they now rest.
West Union was incorporated by act of Assembly, March 14, 1850. By the act creating the county it was made
the county seat, and the first court required to be held at the house of Nathan Davis, at that place.
[Source: History of West Virginia ; By Virgil Anson Lewis;
publ. 1887; Pg. 685; Transcribed and submitted by Andrea Stawski Pack]
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