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Wayne County's History
Wayne County was formed by an act of the Virginia General Assembly January 18, 1842 from parts of Cabell County. The county was named in honor of General "Mad" Anthony Wayne (1745-1796).
The county was originally surveyed in October 1770 as bounty lands for Captain John Savage and the 60 men in his company for their services during the French and Indian War. Captain Savage's land grant was issued on December 15, 1772 and it included much of present day Wayne County.
The first settler in the county was Samuel Short, who built a cabin in 1796 near the present town of Fort Gay. Robert Tabor arrived in 1798 and patented a tract of 2,500 acres nearby. Stephen Kelly also arrived in 1798. He built a cabin near Virginia Point.
The first meeting of the county court was held on April 11, 1842 at the home of Abraham Trout. Trout's Hill was then established as the county seat, in honor of Abraham Trout, the first settler in the region and the owner of the land on which the town was laid out. A log cabin was constructed to house the court. The town was later incorporated on March 27, 1860 and renamed Fairview. It was often called Wayne Court House by the local residents because the court house was the center of the area's social and economic life. In 1911, the town's name was changed to Wayne to conform with the local custom of referring to the town as Wayne Court House or, if in a hurry, as Wayne.
Wayne County is 517 square miles bound to the north by Cabell County the east by Lincoln County to the south Mingo County and the west by the Tug and Big Sandy Rivers. As of the 2000 Census the population was 42,903 predominantly centered to the north. The largest city in Wayne County is Huntington.
Read a first hand account of the only execution in Wayne County history by clicking HERE, that of Laban Walker.
For more Wayne County History Please visit: