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Ohio County

May 15, 2013

One of the smallest of West Virginia's 55 counties, Ohio County has historically been one of the most important.

Named for the River that forms it's western edge, Ohio County was first settled in 1770 by Ebenezer Zane. A fort protected the area from Indians and the British. On September 11-13, 1782, the last battle of the American Revolution was fought at Fort Henry.

Strategically located at the terminus of the country's first east-west roadway, the area quickly grew into a center of commerce. Nearby deposits of coal, iron ore as well as other natural resources made the area an ideal industrial location.

Article Photos

Wheeling's Independence Hall. ( Photo courtesy W.Va. Department of Tourism)

When Virginia joined the south in 1861 during the Civil War, a Restored Government of Virginia was set up in Wheeling. The city became the first capital of West Virginia when it became a state two years later. The capital later moved to Charleston.

Ohio County is home to Oglebay Park, one of the finest parks in the country. The 1,500 acre park is home to the Stifel Fine Arts Center, the historic Mansion Museum and the 65-acre Good Children's Zoo. The park is also home to the annual Festival of Lights.

Wheeling is home to the Wheeling Symphony as well as a number of colleges.

Fact Box

Population: 47,427

Land in square miles: 106

Number of people per square mile: 447


The Intelligencer

The Wheeling News-Register

1500 Main Street

Wheeling, WV 26003


Source: The 55 West Virginias: A guide to the State's Counties, by E. Lee North, Published by The West Virginia University Press.

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