John Simpson, the first known white settler to Harrison County, erected a camp at the present-day site of Clarksburg in 1764. Settlement of the area grew quickly and in 1772 Nutter's Fort was built on Elk Creek to protect the settlers from Indian attacks.
The county was formed in 1784 from part of Monongalia County and took its name from Benjamin Harrison who was governor of Virginia at the time. Sixteen counties were later carved from the original county.
Coal, gas and petroleum reserves have provided employment of area residents for more than 100 years.
Clarksburg, the county seat, was established in 1785 and is named for Revolutionary War hero George Rogers Clark. Other major communities in the county include Lost Creek, Shinnston and Salem.
Source: The 55 West Virginias: A guide to the State's Counties, by E. Lee North, Published by The West Virginia University Press.
Land in square miles: 416
Number of people per square mile: 165