Mercer county was formed by Act of Assembly, passed March 17, 1837, from parts of Giles and Tazewell, and named in honor of General Hugh Mercer, who fell at Princeton. The act defined the original boundaries to be as follows: "Beginning at the mouth of East river, in Giles county, and following the meanders thereof up to Toney's Mill Dam ; thence along the top of said mountain to a point opposite the upper end of the plantation of Jesse Belcher, deceased; thence a straight line to Peery's Mill Dam, near the mouth of Abb's Valley ; thence to a point well known by the name of Peeled Chestnuts; thence to the top of the Flat-Top Mountain ; thence along said mountain with the line of Logan, Fayette and Tazewell counties, to the New river; thence up and along the various meanderings of the same to the beginning."
At the time of the formation of the county there was not a village in it, but the erection of the county buildings formed the nucleus of a town, which, from the battlefield on which General Mercer fell, was called Princeton. A branch [History of West Virginia; History of West Virginia; Philadelphia :: Hubbard Bros., 1887]
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