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Tyler County Courthouse
TYLER COUNTY HISTORY
Tyler County was created by an act of the Virginia
General Assembly on December 16, 1814 from parts of Ohio County. The county was named in honor of John Tyler (1747-1813).
John Tyler was born in James City County, Virginia on February
28, 1747. A graduate of William and Mary College, he studied law and was appointed a judge of the admiralty in
1776. He was a member of the Virginia General Assembly (1778-1788), serving as Speaker in 1781 and in 1783. He
was elected a judge of the Virginia general court (1789-1808) and later served as the Governor of Virginia (1808
to 1811). After his term had expired, he was appointed by President James Madison Judge of the U.S. District Court
for Virginia in 1811. Judge Tyler served in that position until his death on January 6, 1813. His son, John Tyler,
was the 10th President of the United States.
Middlebourne, the current county seat, replaced Sistersville
as the county seat in 1815, primarily because it was more centrally located and had a larger population (then around
100). It had been established as a town by legislative enactment on January 27, 1813 on the lands of Robert Gorrell.
He had settled in the area in 1798. The town was named Middlebourne because it was about halfway between Pennsylvania
and the old Salt Wells on the Kanawha River above Charleston. The county court met at various residences throughout
Middlebourne until 1854 when a court house was finally built. The town was incorporated on February 3, 1871.
Tyler County is the site of the world's
largest gas well, "Big Moses." It produces
approximately 100 million cubic feet of gas each day,
and was drilled in 1894.
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