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From the Logan Banner of Logan, WV, comes this bit of history about Wyoming County, dated 1927 and 1928:

Wyoming County In the Public Eye

Now that three railroads are contesting for the authority to build a branch line across Wyoming county, increased interest is shown in the probable early development in that bailiwick.

Wyoming has coal resources equal to those of any other county in the state, it is said, and it has wide valleys of fine farming land, and an unusually picturesque mountain country. Like Mingo, it was carved out of Logan territory, its formation having been authorized by an act of the general assembly passed January 26, 1850. With an area of 507.30 square miles it is more than 50 miles larger than this county, yet its population in 1920 was only 15,180.

That county’s valuation for taxation purposes exceeded $28,000,000 last year.

Wyoming county is divided into seven magisterial districts, as follows: Baileysville, Barkers Ridge, Center, Clear Fork, Huff’s Creek, Oceana and Slab Fork districts.

Wyoming county was stricken off from the older county of Logan, which took its name from a celebrated Indian chief. Another county was formed from Logan, many years later, and to this was given the name of Mingo, the tribe to which Logan belonged. Logan, Mingo and Wyoming are the three counties in West Virginia whose names are derived from the original settlers.

Wyoming county bears the name of an Indian tribe, and this tribe was later honored by having its name adopted by one of our great western States. While the derivation of the name, in its application to the county, seems to be clear, the origin of the name itself is veiled in obscurity. By some authorities it is said to be a corruption of the Indian Maughwaiwama, signifying a plain, or open space. Others assert that it is a creation of Thomas Campbell, the poet, and author, of “Gertrude of Wyoming.”

Pineville, the present county seat, is located near the center of the county. It has an elevation of 1,323 feet above the level of the sea and had a population of 304 in 1920. Later estimates do not greatly increase this figure. Pineville became the county seat years ago, having secured the removal of the seat of justice from the older town of Oceana.

Mullens, a prosperous town and center of the coal industry, had a population of 1,425 in 1920.

Oceana, long the county seat before its removal to Pineville, had at the last census a population of 90.

Source: Logan (WV) Banner, 25 November 1927.



Wyoming county’s new jail at Pineville has been accepted by the architects and will be formally turned over within the next few days.

Erected at a cost of approximately $150,000, the new bastille is perhaps one of the finest buildings of its kind in the southern part of the state. It is built of native stone throughout, and is a most imposing and beautiful building and one of which the county may well pride itself, says the Mullins Advocate.

It is three full stories high above the basements, heated by vapor, containing room for 70 prisoners with comfort, and can accommodate twice that number, if necessary. The cells and jail construction is of tool proof steel, equipped with the latest locking devices. A prisoner when confined in a cell, must go through three sets of tool proof steel bars to make an escape.

The building contains a large and comfortable residence for the jailer, including a large, well furnished and equipped kitchen, is supplied with hot and cold water throughout, including shower baths on the inside corridors of the jail, padded cells for the insane, hospitals for the sick and detention rooms for juveniles of both sexes.

In the basement there is an incinerator, together with a laundry and large supply rooms.

The building was formally approved on January 9th by A.F. Wysong of the firm of Wysong & Bengston architects, of Charleston, who had the construction of this building in charge. Early Brothers, of Mullens, contractors, constructed the building, while the heating system was installed by the Guyan Heating and Plumbing company, of Mullens. The plumbing was done by Wickline of Princeton. Mr. Wysong, after going over the jail carefully, approved the construction and recommended payment of the balance due on the several contracts.

Source: Logan (WV) Banner, 17 January 1928.