"Lovely Wintery Day in New Martinsville, WV" New Martinsville by butterflykizzez04

New Martinsville Travel Guide: 4 reviews and 25 photos

Wetzel County Courthouse

My niece Yvonne Copen and I enjoyed a long afternoon drive. We visited many little towns, traveling through 8 counties. We are very interested in architecture and enjoy trying and seeing new places. We happened upon New Martinsville and found this lovely Wetzel County Courthouse.

Wetzel County fronts on the Ohio River for about thirteen miles. The largest tributary of this river in the county is Fishing Creek, the whole basin of which lies within the area and drains 220 square miles. The remaining area is drained by Fish Creek, which flows northwest into Marshall County and by several small creeks and runs.

New Martinsville, the county seat and chief town, is located on the Ohio River. It has an altitude of 630 feet above sea level. By road, it is 283 miles from Bluefield, 150 miles from Charleston, 75 miles from Clarksburg, 243 miles from Martinsburg and 38 miles from Wheeling.

Wetzel County, in common with other counties of the Ohio Valley, has extensive agricultural interests, and in addition it has for many years been one of the more important oil and gas counties of the State. Natural resources other than oil and gas have not been developed, though coal at varying depths is present in many sections of the county.
The industrial plants of the county are located in the New Martinsville area. These include glassware, sand and gravel plants and lumber mills.

Statue of Levi Morgan

The statue of Levi Morgan is located on Main Street in New Martinsville.

Levi Morgan (1766-1825) was a frontiersman, hunter, government spy, militiaman and Indian fighter. In November 1791 Morgan was with Gen. St. Clair when he was defeated by the Indians. His grandfather was Morgan Morgan. Levi Morgan was born in Morgantown. Late in his life he moved to Kentucky.

Betsy Dragoo who lived near Prickett's Fort (near Fairmont) which was under the supervision of David Morgan. In 1786, she was captured on the Dragoo farm near the fort by Shawnee Indians and killed near Pine Grove as what's known as Betsy's Run. For the next several years, as Betsy's neighbors, James, Henry, and Benjmain Hays reached the age of 16 or so, they joined Morgan's Corp. Their main priority was for searching for information about Betsy's two year old son, William Dragoo, who was captured by the Indians when his mother was murdered. It was about 20 years before he was located. It is believed that James Hays was one of the 19 men under Levi Morgan when he was commissioned to establish a fort by the Ohio River at what would later be called New Martinsville. In 1782, James married Betsy's daughter, Elizabeth. In 1793, James and Elizabeth's first born son was named Levi. Since that time the name was not shown in either family tree, it is likely that James named his first born son for Levi Morgan. In 1805, James Hays received the rights to 400 acres of land and was the first settler at what is now Jacksonburg.

Streets of New Martinsville

New Martinsville is a city in Wetzel County. Formed in 1846

It is the county seat. The community is in the Eastern Standard time zone.

The latitude of New Martinsville is 39.644N. The longitude is -80.857W.

The estimated population, in 2003, was 5,823.

Named: For Lewis Wetzel, famous frontier character and Indian fighter

According to old diaries and minute books kept by explorers, trappers and surveyors, the French discovered the Allegheny River and descended it and the Ohio as far as the Falls of the Ohio in 1669. In 1749, the French made another expedition into our area to bury leaden plates marking their claim. The first English exploration was made by Christopher Gist who surveyed and mapped the area in 1752. The George Washington Land Company supposedly slept in the Steelton area on September 12, 1770. Lewis Wetzel, Levi Morgan, Matthew Kerr and Joseph Dorsey were here in the early 1770's too.

  • Last visit to New Martinsville: Dec 2005
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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