Lincoln, the third county formed after the organization of the new State, has an area of 460 square miles. It was but two years after the sound of war died away that the county began her existence. On the 23d day of February, 1867Â—the fourth year of the Commonwealth a bill was passed by the Legislature entitled "An Act Establishing the County of Lincoln out of parts of the Counties of Cabell, Putnam, Kanawha and Boone." The county was called Lincoln in honor of the chief magistrate of the United States.
The first meeting of the Board of Supervisors was held on the 11th day of March, 1867, in what was known as Hamlin chapel, an old church which stood on the Curry farm, about one-fourth of a mile above the present county seat. There were present: William C. Mahone, of Carroll District; John Scites, of Sheridan, and William A. Holstein, of Duval. W. C. Mahone was made president, and Benjamin F. Curry, clerk, the latter giving bond in the penalty of $2000, with James A. Holly and Jeremiah Witcheras his securities. It was then ordered that the Board of Supervisors have the White Hall, a Southern Methodist church one-fourth of a mile below where the county seat now stands arranged for holding the courts until the proper buildings could be erected, George A. Holton and a majority of the trustees consenting thereto.
The first Circuit Court ever held in the county convened on the 1st day of April, 1867; William L. Hindman, Judge of the Eighth Judicial Circuit of West Virginia, presiding. On the 8th of March previous he had appointed Benjamin F. Curry clerk of the court.
W. H. Tomlinson, James H. Ferguson, T. B. Kline, W. H. Enochs, A. Vance and L. A. Martin were, on their own motion, granted license to practice law in the courts of this county. Judge Hindman then appointed L. A. Martin to prosecute in behalf of the State. He took the oaths as prescribed by law, and then, on his motion, James H. Ferguson was appointed his assistant.
It was at this time that the first grand jury that ever sat as a jury of inquest for the body of Lincoln county was impaneled. It was composed as follows: E. F. Harmon, foreman ; Anderson Bias, B. B.Wilkinson, D. M. F. Keenan, James Johnson, Henderson Drake, Henry Peyton, J. D. Smith, Hiram Adkins, Goldsberry Adkins, Andrew Adkins, Mathias Plumley, William Cooper, Anderson Adkins, Adam Cummings, Joseph A. Griffith, Zachariah Priesty, William Pauley, Peter Holstein, Silas Elkins and Henry B. Griffith. After receiving their instructions, they retired to consider of their presentments. Soon they returned and reported two true bills of indictment, one of which was against R. M. Lusher for obstructing the highway leading from Barboursville to Logan Court House. There being no further business, the court adjourned, and Lincoln county entered upon her career as a component part of the " Little Mountain State."
The first settlement within the county the date of which can be ascertained was that made by Jesse McComas, John McComas, David McComas, William and Moses McComas, all of whom came in the year 1799. In the summer of that year they cultivated twenty acres of corn, probably the first ever grown in the Upper Guyandotte Valley. In the autumn they returned east of the mountains and brought their families. Near them other cabins were soon reared by John Lucas, William Hinch and John Johnson. About the year 1800, Isaac Hatfield settled on Ranger's branch, a tributary of Ten-mile creek, and James Hatfield, William Smith and John L. Baker soon came to reside in the same vicinity. In 1807, Luke Adkins found a home near the mouth of Slash creek, on Mud river, twelve miles southeast of the present site of Hamlin. Near him other cabins were reared by his brothers, John and Mark, William and Richard Lovejoy, William Cummins, Mathias Plumley, Silas Cooper, Hamilton Adkins, Peter Holstein, William Smith and William Cooper. In 1801, John Tackett removed his family to a cabin on Trace-fork creek. Other early settlers along the same stream were James Wells, Jonathan Williams, Joseph Holley, James Alford, Reuben Cremeans, Abraham Smith and George Alford. In 1811, Richard Parsons led the way into the wilderness and settled at the mouth of Cobb's creek. Those who came to reside near him on that stream were Eli Parsons, Samuel M. Midkiff and James Lively.
Hamlin, the county seat, was named in honor of Hannibal Hamlin, who was Vice-president under him for whom the county was named. Section seventh of the act creating the county provided that the county seat should be on lands of Charles Lattin. At that time the spot was an old brier field, it having been cleared by David Stephenson, who patented the land and erected a cabin about the year 1802. He afterward sold it to James Fullerton. The land afterward passed into the possession of Linzie Cremeans, who, after occupying it for a time, sold it to Walker J. Sanford, who in turn sold it to James C. Black, who transferred it to James Ballard, from whom it passed to John Likens, and through him to James A. Holley, who about the beginning of the Civil War transferred it to Charles Lattin.
The first building erected after the town was laid out was the county jail, in 1867.
Hamlin was made the permanent county seat by legislative enactment February 26, 1869.
[Source: "History of West Virginia: in two parts" By Virgil Anson Lewis - Sub. by K. Torp]
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