Ritchie County
West Virginia

[Source: History of West Virginia ; By Virgil Anson Lewis; publ. 1887; Pg. 683;

Transcribed and submitted by Andrea Stawski Pack]




The act creating the county of Ritchie was passed February 18, 1843, the county being formed from parts of Lewis, Harrison and Wood.


Thomas Ritchie, from whom the county derives its name, was Virginia 's most famous journalist. He was born in 1778, and edited the Richmond Enquirer— formerly the Examiner—from 1804 to 1845, when he became the editor of the Washington Union. He died in 1854.


The county is drained principally by Hughes river, named in honor of Jesse Hughes, though the stream on Samuel Lewis' map, drawn in 1794, to accompany "Jefferson's Notes on Virginia ," is called Junius river.


Harrisville—then in Wood county—was laid out by Thomas Harris, and legally constituted a town by act of January 3, 1822, with James Mealy, Joseph Stewart, William L. Mitchell, John Harris and Edward Shelton, trustees. It was made the county seat by the act creating the county, and the first court was required to be held at the house of John Harris. The town was incorporated February 26, 1869.


Smithsville—then in Lewis county—was established a town by Legislative enactment, February- 14, 1842, on lands of Barnes Smith, with James Malone, James Hardman, Isaac S. Collins, Daniel Ayers and Benjamin Hardman, trustees.



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