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Pleasants County

May 15, 2013

French brothers Issac and Jacob LaRue first settled in the Pleasants County area around 1790. The county was formed from Wood, Tyler and Ritchie counties in 1851.

Oil and gas gave the area a boom period between 1890 and around 1910. The business remains a key industry for the area.

St. Marys, the county seat, was founded in 1849 by Alexander Creel. Creel, according to local legend, was traveling by steam boat when he had a vision of the Virgin Mary, the Virgin Mary told him that city founded at at the joining of of the Ohio River and Middle Island Creek would be happy and prosperous. He then purchased the land, marked off the streets and began the town which is named in honor of the Virgin Mary.

Article Photos

Fishermen try their luck in the Ohio River backwaters during the annual Bass Festival in St. Marys.

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

Fact Box

Population: 7,514

Land in square miles: 131

Number of people per square mile: 57.5

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