Around 1789 a family named Carpenter settled at the mouth of the Holly River and became the first to live in the rugged area that would become Braxton County.
Located at the geographic center of the state, the county was formed in 1836 from parts of Kanawha, Lewis, and Nicholas counties. The county is named for Carter Braxton, a signer of the Declaration of Independence and a Virginia statesman.
The area enjoyed a population boom following the completion of rail lines in the 1890s.
From 1910 until around 1950 the population held steady at around 23,000. Today less than 15,000 call the county home.
The area is a major recreational area for the state and is home to both Sutton Reservoir and the Elk River Public Hunting Area.
Sutton, the county seat, was established in 1826 and is named for its founder, John Sutton.
Land in square miles: 513
Number of people per square mile: 28.6
Source: The 55 West Virginias: A guide to the State's Counties, by E. Lee North, Published by The West Virginia University Press.