HISTORY

[ Annexation ] Coal Mines ] Early History ] Epidemics ]  

Contributed by Doris Slaughter

This will be a big help in researching a family found on 1870 census of Wyoming County, but not on 1880 census.  Also, it will help to know they didn't "move."  When tracking land deeds, it will help to know the deed that was recorded between 1850 and 1871 may be recorded in Raleigh County after 1871, or McDowell County after 1858.

In 1871, Raleigh County annexed 168 square miles (107,520 acres) from Wyoming County.  This section of land is now called Slab Fork District.  Records in Raleigh County Land Books shows that William A. Fink asked for a boundary adjustment because he owned land in both counties, but lived only twenty miles from the Raleigh County Court House.  He only owned three hundred forty five and a half acres on Tommie Creek, so what was the reason for the large land grab, approved by the West Virginia State Legislature? In her book "Reference Book of Wyoming County History," Mary Keller Bowman states that Historian G. P. Goode wrote that the annexation was to strengthen each county's political majority: Democrat in Raleigh and Republican in Wyoming.  Of course, Raleigh County gained the rich coal fields of Winding Gulf.

Wyoming County was formed in 1850 from Logan County. When McDowell County was created in 1858, a part of Wyoming was assumed to be within its Jurisdiction.  Because Wyoming waited forty-five years to take action, McDowell won by default in 1905.  With the land taken by McDowell County and Raleigh County, Wyoming County now retains an area of 507.3 square miles.

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Last Revised: 01/23/05