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Amazing Marion County Facts

Did You Know?

  • …that Marion County was formed in 1842, from Harrison County and Monongalia County.  It was named for hero of the Revolution, Gen. Francis Marion.  The county was home of Francis H. Pierpont, leader in the creation of West Virginia.  The Monongahela River forms just above Fairmont.

  • …that at junction of US 250 and WV 218, near Farmington is the Indian Raid Historical Marker. Here Nicholas Wood and Jacob Straight were killed and Mrs. Elizabeth Dragoo captured during Indian raid in 1786. Mrs. Straight and daughter made their escape from the Indians by hiding under sheltering rocks near by.

  • …that Fairmont State College was founded through private enterprise in 1865. It was established as a state institution in 1867 and known as Fairmont State Normal School. It became Fairmont State Teachers College, 1931. The name Fairmont State College was adopted in 1943. The historical marker is at the junction of US19 and Locust Avenue, in Fairmont.

  • …that the Confederate Cemetery Historical Marker is located in Fairmont at 3rd St. (WV 310) South, 0.4 miles south of US 250. Near this point, in a mass grave, lie the remains of 39 Confederate soldiers from the 6th, 7th, 11th and 12th Virginia cavalry units--part of the force led by Gen. W. E. Jones. They attacked Fairmont on April 29, 1863, after raids at Kingwood and Morgantown. The rebels routed the small Union forces, destroyed four railroad bridges, stole horses and cattle, and looted stores in town.

  • …That Mannington was once called Koontown but renamed in 1856 when chartered as town by Va. Assembly. It was incorporated under W. Va. law in 1871. Abundant natural gas attracted diverse industry by 1900. Brick, glass and boiler factories, machine shops, granite works, Bowers Pottery Co., among world's largest sanitary products maker, & Phillips Tool Co., serving the coal, oil and gas industries, were located here.

  • …That one mile south of Mannington at Flaggy Meadow is the site of the first oil well in the Mannington field, drilled Oct. 11, 1889. The location was scientifically verified by geologist I. C. White (1848-1927) using the anticlinal theory. Oil and gas boom sparked industrial growth in Mannington. Also at Flaggy Meadow is uncommon round barn built by Amos Hamilton in 1912 at cost of $1,900.

  • …That in Farmington at WV 218 North, just north of US 250 bridge is the Waitman T. Willey Historical Marker. A mile north stood the cabin in which Waitman T. Willey, the West Virginia’s first U.S. Senator, was born, October 18, 1811. He was elected August 4, 1863 by the Legislature, he served until March 3, 1871. He died on May 2, 1900 and is buried in Morgantown.

  • …That Barrackville Covered Bridge was built in 1853 by Eli and Lemuel Chenoweth, West Virginia's pioneer bridge builders. It is an excellent example of a modified Burr Truss and is in substantially original condition. The bridge was saved from destruction during Jones' Raid, on April 29, 1863, by the Ice family, nearby mill owners and Southern sympathizers. It's the only covered bridge in the state that bears its vehicular loads with essentially no modern reinforcement.

  • …That in Fairmont, at the Courthouse Square, Jefferson St. (county route 64) & Adams St. (US 250) is the Fairmont Historical Marker. Fairmont was the home of Francis H. Pierpont, whose services in the organization of this State are commemorated by his statue in Statuary Hall, Washington. He was governor under the Restored Government of the State of Virginia from 1861-1868.

  • …that in Fairmont at the Courthouse Square, Adams St. (US 250 North) is the Boaz Fleming 1758-1830 Historical Marker. Here in 1819, on land purchased from Thomas Barns, Boaz Fleming, pioneer, soldier of the American Revolution, founded his town, which, in 1820, the Virginia General Assembly established as Middletown, under a trustee form of government. Middletown was renamed Fairmont in 1843.

  • …that at US 250 (Fairmont Avenue), at junction with WV 310 (Third Street), in Fairmont is the site of Williams Memorial Methodist Episcopal Church, now Central United Methodist, where Father's Day was first observed on July 5, 1908. Rev. Webb conducted service upon request of Mrs. Charles Clayton, daughter of Methodist minister Fletcher Golden, just two months after first Mother's Day observance at Grafton.  National recognition of Father's Day achieved in 1972 by congressional resolution.

  • …that on County Route 73, by junction with County Route 76, northeast of Fairmont (just west of I-79 exit 139) is the Prickett's Fort Historical Marker. To the north stood a fort built in 1774, by Jacob Prickett. In 1777, Captain William Haymond commanded a militia company here, which guarded Monongahela Valley. In Prickett Cemetery are graves of Colonel Zackquill Morgan and other pioneers.

  • …that on County Route 73/73 (Old County Route 73), at junction with County Route 73/7 (Boothsville Road), in Boothsville.  It was named for Captain James Booth, pioneer soldier and settler. He was killed by Indians, 1778, and his companion, Nathaniel Cochran, wounded and captured. William Grundy, brother of the noted Felix Grundy, was also killed by Indians near by.

  • …that on US 19, near Rivesville-Fairview Road was Fort Paw Paw. North on high flat, overlooking the junction of Paw Paw Creek and the Monongahela River, was "Paw Paw Fort", a ninety-foot square stockade-fort erected in 1781. Rangers commanded by Captain Jack Evans garrisoned it.

  • …that on US 19 in Rivesville is the David Morgan Historical Marker. Near this spot in 1779, David Morgan killed two Indians. The attack on his two children had been warned in a strange dream. Morgan lived on a farm on the Monongahela River between Paw Paw and Prickett Creeks.

  • …that Coon's Fort was on US 19, 0.6 miles north of junction with WV 218, north of Worthington. To south was an Indian fort built in 1777 under direction of Captain James Booth. It was an important place of refuge for many early settlers in this valley. Near by was the iron furnace built by Benjamin Brice in 1812.

  • …that on County Route 56, at the Monongah Town Hall, in Monongah is the Historical Marker honoring the Monongah Disaster. On Dec., 6, 1907, 361 coal miners, many of them from countries far across the sea, perished under these hills in the worst mining disaster of our nation. The four who escaped died of injuries.

  • …that the Colonel George S. "Spanky" Roberts, USAF Memorial Bridge was named in honor of local American hero, "Spanky" Roberts (1914-84). He graduated from Dunbar High School & WV State College. He was the firsts African-American aviation cadet, at Tuskegee, in 1941. He was commissioned 2nd Lt. & pilot in 1942. He flew over 100 missions in Africa, Europe & Mid-East. He also commanded the 99th Fighter Squadron, and 332nd Fighter Group in WWII. He was decorated for meritorious service in WWII, Korea, & 25 year career.

  • …that at the Junction of WV218 and CR17 in Basnettville is the Lenna Lowe Yost Historical Marker. She was born in 1878 in Basnettville, Marion Co. She was President of Women's Christian Temperance Union by 1908 and led state suffrage movement in 1917, resulting in 1920 passage of 19th Amendment giving women right to vote. She was first woman to chair WV Republican party convention and be appointed to State Board of Education. She served as Director, National Republican Party Women's Division. Lenna Lowe Yost died on May 5, 1972.

  • …that the Robert H. Mollohan Bridge was completed in 1921, honoring WW I veterans. It was designed by Concrete Steel Engineering Co., NY and built by John F. Casey Co., Pittsburgh. Three 250 feet reinforced concrete arch spans, 90 feet above river, 1,266 feet. long. It connected Fairmont by trolley, foot and vehicle. It as listed on National Register; 1991, renamed to honor Congressman Mollohan's public service and restored in 2000.

  • …that at the Junction of WV218 and US250, Farmington is the Farmington Disaster Historical Marker. An explosion in Consolidated Coal No. 9 mine on November 20, 1968 resulted in deaths of 78 miners, with only 21 men rescued. The mine was sealed ten days later due to fires and explosions. In 1969 recovery efforts began. Over a ten year period the bodies of 59 miners were extracted. The mine was permanently sealed in November 1978. This disaster led to passage of Federal Coal Mine Health and Safety Act of 1969.

  • …that the Patriot Defender/David Morgan (1721-1813) Historical Marker is located at the David Morgan Memorial Bridge, Third Street, Fairmont. David Morgan, was a soldier during the French & Indian War. He served at Fort Necssity and in Braddock and Forbes Expeditions. Hw was a soldier in Revolutionary War. He provided drill grounds at Pettyjohn. He surveyed Pricketts Fort and southwest Virginia. He was a Justice of the peace. He was noted for saving two of his children in a fight with two Indians. He was the son of Col. Morgan Morgan. He surveyed with Washington for Fairfax Stone and explored with Boone & Gist. He settled in Fairmont in 1771. He surveyed Pleasantville (Rivesville) 1776. Upriver on his nearby 361 - acre River See, he established Pettyjohn with a ferry, mail drop, trading post, and home (extant) with salt works

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