On December 15, 1772, Virginia Governor Lord Dunmore granted nearly 29,000 acres of British land along the Ohio River and the lower Guyandotte and Big Sandy rivers to 60 men as compensation for their service during the French and Indian War. The land grant was specifically for soldiers who had served under George Washington at the Battle of Great Meadows in Pennsylvania. The land transactions are known collectively as the Savage Grant, named for Captain John Savage.
The grant extended about 24 miles from what is now Cattlettsburg, Kentucky, to northern Cabell County. It included most of the present city of Huntington. Apparently, none of the original soldiers ever lived on their land, but all the tracts eventually were claimed by descendants or assignees of the 60 men. John Savage’s own parcel was sold to William Buffington, who willed it to his sons, Thomas and Jonathan. About 1796, Thomas and Jonathan Buffington came to the mouth of the Guyandotte River. Thomas was one of the earliest settlers of Cabell County and helped found the original county seat of Guyandotte in 1810.