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Wetzel County

May 15, 2013

Wetzel County forms the base of West Virginia's northern panhandle and features both bottom land along the Ohio River and rough and hilly area.

Edward Dulin settled near present-day New Martinsville in 1773. The county was formed in 1846 from Tyler County and named for Lewis Wetzel, who had been a frontiersman and Indian fighter.

Oil and gas was the first industry to grow the area. It was later replaced by other industries including glass and chemicals.

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New Martinsville, the county seat, was chartered in 1838. First named Martinsville, the name when changed when it was discovered there was already a Martinsville in Virginia.

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: 17,693

Land in square miles: 359

Number of people per square mile: 49.3

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