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Randolph County

May 15, 2013

The rugged Randolph area was first settled by Robert Files and David Tygart and their families around 1753. Indian attack drove killed the Files two year later and forced the Tygarts to retreat to the east.

It was not until 1772 that permanent settlers began moving into the area. The county was formed in 1787 Harrison County and included the land that is now all of Tucker County as well as part of what is now Barbour, Upshur, Pochontas and Webster counties. The county was named in honor of Jennings Randolph, who was governor of Virginia from 1786 to 1788.

The early economy of the county was agriculture based. Following completion of the railroad in 1889, coal and timber became major economic forces.

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The Kumbrabow State Forest is located in the county as well as part of the Monogahela National Forest. The county is host to the Mountain State Forest Festival held each year in Elkins.

Elkins, which was first known as Leadville, was renamed in 1890 in honor of Senator Stephen B, Elkins, and is the county seat.

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: 28,262

Land in square miles: 1,040

Number of people per square mile: 27.2

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