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Mineral County, West Virginia
County History

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It was not until after West Virginia became a state in 1863 that the present Mineral County came into existence. Mineral County was created in 1866 by an Act of the West Virginia Legislature from the existing Hampshire County. The name was selected due to the vast reserves of minerals, especially coal. --Wikipedia.org
 
Mineral County was formed from Hampshire, by Act of February 1, 1866, and named from the vast mineral resources within its limits. Piedmont, "Foot of the Mountain,'' was laid out by the New Creek Company and Owen D. Downey, and incorporated by act of the Legislature, February 20, 1856.
[Source: History of West Virginia; By Virgil Anson Lewis; publ.1887; Pg. 730; Transcribed and submitted to Genealogy Trails by Andrea Stawski Pack]

Mineral County, West Virginia lies a stone’s throw from Maryland and just a three-hour drive from Washington. Home of Potomac State College and named for its vast mineral resources, Mineral County was a railroad and coal center at the beginning of the 1900s. The county has an area of 329.3 square miles.  Keyser is the county seat.

Located in the Eastern Panhandle, Mineral County was part of Hampshire before the Civil War. Local residents were more pro-Union than those living in the eastern part of Hampshire County. Following the war, in 1866, the new county was created.

There were skirmishes during the Civil War, and towns changed hands several times, usually only briefly. The village of New Creek, just south of Keyser, was a training camp for Union soldiers from Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois. Mineral County’s Y-junction, where the Northwest Turnpike intersected the New Creek road (now U.S. 50 and U.S. 220), was strategic for troop and supply movements into the Shenandoah Valley.

Ridgeley was a stockade and fort; Fort Ashby, a frontier post; and Doll’s Gap is said to be the birthplace of Nancy Hanks, mother of Abraham Lincoln. Other Mineral County villages and towns include Burlington, Blaine, Antioch, Beryl, Sulphur, Cross, Fountain, Ridgeville, Short Gap, and Wiley Ford.  [Excerpted from "The West Virginia Enclyopedia"]


Chap. 7.—An ACT establishing the county of Mineral out of a part of the county of Hampshire.
Passed February 1, 1866 Fourth Session.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:

1. So much of the county of Hampshire as is included within the following boundary lines, to-wit; Beginning at the point where the f dividing line between the county of Hardy and the said county of Hampshire intersects the line between this state and the state of Maryland, thence running with said line between said counties of Boundaries of Hardy and Hampshire, crossing Patterson's creek to the dividing Mineral county, line between the townships of Welton and Romney, in the said county of Hampshire, on the top of Middle Ridge, thence along the top of Middle Ridge and with the said line between the townships of Welton and Romney, to the dividing line between the townships of Frankfort and Springfield in the said county of Hampshire; thence along the top of said Middle Ridge and with said line between the said townships of Frankfort and Springfield to the Maryland line, thence with the dividing line between this state and the state of Maryland to the place of beginning, shall form one distinct and new county, which shall be called and known by the name of Mineral county.

2. All township officers within the bounds of the said new county, at the date of the passage of this act, shall remain in office for and during the terms for which they have been elected, and until their successors shall be elected and qualified according to law. The supervisors of the several townships within the said new county in office as aforesaid, shall constitute the board of supervisors of the said county of Mineral until their successors are elected and qualified as aforesaid, and shall have all the powers and perform all the duties, invested and imposed by law upon other boards of supervisors.

3. The county seat of said new county shall be at the village of County seat New Creek, situated on the Baltimore and Ohio railroad, and the board of supervisors of said new county shall proceed as soon as practicable after the passage of this act to provide a suitable court house and other public buildings for the said county, in the manner required by the seventh section of the act passed October twenty first, eighteen hundred and sixty-three, entitled "An Act defining in part the powers and duties of the several counties of the state."

4. The judge of the circuit court of the said new county shall as soon after the passage of this act as practicable, appoint a clerk for said court, and a prosecuting attorney and sheriff for said county, County officers who shall hold office until the first day of January, eighteen hundred and sixty-seven, and until their successors shall be elected and qualified according to law.

5. The said new county shall be attached to the same judicial circuit, and to define same congressional and senatorial districts with the said county of Hampshire.

6. The said new county and the said county of Hampshire shall each elect one delegate to the House of Delegates until a new appointment of representation therein shall be made as provided in the constitution of this state.

7. All process issued in the said county of Hampshire before the .organization of the said new county, and all public, dues and officers' fees which may remain unpaid by the citizens of the said new county, shall be executed, returned, collected and accounted for, by the sheriff or other officer in whose hands the same may have been placed, in the same manner as if this act had not been passed.

8. The courts of the said county of Hampshire shall retain jurisdiction over all actions, suits and proceedings herein pending at the passage of this act, and shall try and determine the same, and award execution or other process thereon, except in cases in which both parties reside in the said new county, which last mentioned cases, together with the papers and a transcript of the record of the proceedings therein had, shall, after that day, if either party so desire, be removed to the courts of the said new county, and there tried and determined as other cases.

9. The board of supervisors of said new county may create an additional number of townships therein, not exceeding four, without submitting their action in the matter to a vote of the people. The said board may also provide a place for holding the courts of said new county in the town of Piedmont, until the Completion of the court house at New Creek.

[Source: Session laws; By West Virginia; Publ.1866; Pgs. 7-10; Transcribed and submitted to Genealogy Trails by Andrea Stawski Pack]




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