January 26, 1850: Virginia General Assembly Creates Wyoming County

Jan 26, 2018

Wyoming County map
Credit e-wv, The West Virginia Encyclopedia

On January 26, 1850, the Virginia General Assembly created Wyoming County from part of Logan County. The original county seat was located at Oceana but was moved to Pineville in 1907.

The county’s first major industry was timbering, which began on a large scale about 1889. Before the arrival of railroads, logs had to be floated down the Guyandotte River to the Ohio River at Huntington.

Due to its rugged terrain, Wyoming County was largely landlocked, holding back its industrial development for decades. By 1890, there were scarcely more than 6,000 people living in Wyoming County. That all changed, however, with the arrival of the Virginian Railway in 1909.

The Virginian, which snaked into rural areas of southern West Virginia bypassed by the earlier Chesapeake and Ohio and Norfolk and Western railways, sparked Wyoming County’s largest industrial boom. It allowed businesses to ship coal, timber, and natural gas from the mountains and hollows of Wyoming County to Atlantic Ocean ports. The Virginian built a large railyard that made Mullens the county’s largest town. As a result, Wyoming County ranked 10th statewide in coal production during the 20th century.