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Last revision: April 5, 2022
|For Abraham Lilly, prosecuting attorney of Raleigh County from 1904 to 1908
|for John Alderson, Baptist minister who settled there in 1777
|for Alpha Pocahontas Coal Co.
|for the mining firm, American Eagle Colliery
|for Col. Anawalt, who was then manager of Union Supply Co.
|named by Andrew Leckie, owner of Leckie Smokeless Coal Co., for his mother Ann and his daughter Jean
|for David T. Ansted, British geologist, owner of the land where the town was built
|named by R. E. Brockman, president of Atlantic Smokeless Coal Co., an abbreviation of the company name
|for Athens, Greece
|for Josiah Beard, who immigrated from Scotland through Ireland to West Virginia, according to his great great granddaughter Alice Beard
|for John Beckley, first Clerk of the Congress, named by Alfred Beckley, his son, early settler (see note below)
|for J. Wade Bell and J. E. Wood, who established a coal camp there
|for Beckley Smokeless Coal Co.
|for Theodore Roosevelt, who believed in talking softly and carrying a big stick
|for Big Ugly Creek
|because of the growth of a dark blue flower and blue grass which grows there
|for postmaster George Washington Bolt (1864-1943)
|for Gen. Omar Bradley
|for Joseph H. Bramwell, coal developer
|for Bud Adams, owner of a logging camp on Barker’s Creek
|for James Caldwell, who developed the first hotel at White Sulphur Springs
|for Mrs. Etta Carter
|for a city in England, named by coal operator Samuel Dixon
|for Joseph K. Cass, chairman of the board of West Virginia Pulp and Paper Co.
|for an early settler
|for Curtis Vass, early settler
|for a Cincinnati balloonist who crashed on Keeney's Knob in April 1835
|for Clear Creek Coal Co.
|for cool + ridge or for Calvin Coolidge, U. S. President
|for John Cooper, coal operator
|for Corliss Amick who died in 1890 at age 3 [Shirey]
|for Cranberry Creek, because cranberries grew in abundance
|for Cole and Crane, a Cincinnati lumber company
|A history of Crow has: “Crow got its name by chance. At first the people thought that Pine Flats would be a good name, but the government rejected that because there was a post office with similar name. A resident, Douglas Scott, looked up at a flock of crows and said, ‘Let’s call it Crow.’”
|named by S. G. Bowyer in honor of his newly born daughter [Shirey]
|for Dan Rock, first postmaster
|for one of the officials of the United Thacker Land Co.
|for Charles R. Durbin Sr., banker, from Grafton and Morgantown
|Eddie Ryan, an early postmaster's son
|named by postal authorities for L. Goodwin of Oakvale, W. Va., whose own suggestion for a name was refused
|for John Epperly, an official of several mining companies in the area
|because of a spring having a gentle fall into the Greenbrier River
|for Lafayette, the French nobleman
|a name used to indicate heat
|for John Freeman, coal operator (see note)
|for Gauley, Moley, and Campbell
|for Judge Elbert Gary, president of U. S. Steel Corporation
|for U. S. Senator Henry Gassaway Davis
|for Gilbert Creek, which is named for an early traveler there who was killed by Indians
|for Glen Dale, the name of a farm owned by Samuel A. Cockayne there
|for Dr. George Preston Daniel, prominent resident
|for Grover Cleveland Hedrick (Oxley post office changed to Glen Hedrick in 1926)
|for Jean, the wife of Thomas G. McKell, a large landowner in the area
|for Glen Gelespie and Ray Thomas, sons of stockholders in the Commonwealth Lumber Co.
|for H. H. Rogers, president of the Virginian Railway
|for E. E. White, coal operator
|for the daughter of G. W. Stevens, president of the C&O Railroad
|for the Hemlock Hollow Coal Co. [Shirey]
|for Henry Lawson, property owner
|probably for A. M. Herndon, an official of the Winding Gulf Colliery Co.
|for John Hill, instrumental in having the town laid out (or for Richard Hill, early settler)
|for Col. William G. W. Iaeger, whose son, Dr. William R. Iaeger, had a plat of the present town made
|for Isabell Ann
|for Isaac T. Mann, founder of Pocahontas Consolidated Coal Co.
|for Jenkin Jones, coal operator (see note)
|for John Tolley and Ben Meadows
|for Josephine (Shrewsbury) Walker, the deceased mother of Conservator of Peace Bernie Walker. She married Christopher George Columbus Walker.
|for a log that fallen over a creek, making an easy place to cross
|for Kermit Roosevelt, son of President Theodore Roosevelt
|for a coal and coke company operating there
|for Frederick J. Kimball, a railroad official
|from the Koppers Company of Delaware which opened the mine there. Heinrich Koppers of Pittsburgh founded the Koppers companies. Named in 1937.
|for Nicholas Lake, who settled and named the town. First considered the name Lakes Mills but settled on Lake on the post office application, in 1880
|named by coal operator James K. Laing for his home county in Scotland
|named by the New River and Pocahontas Coal Co. [Shirey]; according to Donnelly, for Layland Ayers, b. Mar. 8, 1906
|for Col. William Leckie, coal operator
|for Chandler "Champ" Lester. The town started on land owned by him and John W. Gray
|for Gen. Andrew Lewis
|for Lilly and Hornbrook, the men who “opened up” this mining town
|perhaps for War Branch, thought of as Little War Creek, in contrast with War Creek in the southern part of the county; or from Little War Creek Coal Co.
|for Logan, the Indian chief
|because of Spy Rock, just west of the town, used by the Union Army [Shirey]
|for Lorrain Coal and Dock Co.
|for J. C. Maben of Philadelphia
|for Mabel Shinn Scott, of Fairmont, wife of Cyrus Ellison Scott, coal operator
|for General Douglas MacArthur
|for Col. William Madison Peyton, coal operator, or possibly President James Madison
|from the last syllable of the name of Ulysses Hinchman, member of the House of Delegates from Logan County
|see note below
|named in 1900 after Battle of Manila Bay during Spanish American War
|in honor of a large maple tree [Shirey]
|for the two coal companies doing business there, Margaret and Frances
|for Jacob Marlin, who settled there with Sewell during the winter of 1750-51
|for Matewan, New York, home city of the engineer who laid out the town
|is another name for Pocahontas, the Indian princess
|named by John Laing in honor of his mother, whose maiden name was McAlpin
|because a bridge was constructed across Meadow Creek there
|for the old Mitchell Farm there
|probably for Mona Coal Co., named for Mona Wilkinson, the daughter of a coal operator
|for James Montgomery, early settler
|for Mount Hope School, an early country school there
|for Andrew Jackson Mullins (1857-1938), land owner there (the name was inadvertently misspelled; later, residents of the town voted to retain the "incorrect" spelling)
|for Admiral Chester Nimitz
|because of its location on the north fork of Elkhorn River at its junction with the south fork
|Probably because the creek there runs in a northerly direction
|for Englishman John Nuttall who opened a mine and built 150 coke ovens [Shirey].
|because of a large white oak tree there and the fact that the town is on a hill
|for oak trees there
|see note below
|Postmaster Edward Wallace said in 1937 that when the post office was established, the people had a meeting to decide about a name. When someone suggested that the name be a very odd one, Mrs. M. J. Brown approved strongly and proposed this name.
|for Orange Gas Co.
|for Capt. William N. Page, coal operator
|because Indians painted the trees to mark their trail
|for a mine in Mexico visited by Samuel Dixon, coal operator
|for the Pax Branch stream, which was named for hunters who had camped near there earlier
|for the large peach grove there
|for Christian Peters, Revolutionary soldier who founded the town
|named by postmaster Leander Blankenship (b. about 1870) because he liked pie (information from Kathy Deskins, his granddaughter)
|for a pine forest there
|for the ruler of the underworld in classical mythology
|for Princeton, New Jersey, where Gen. Hugh Mercer was killed during the Revolutionary War
|for Prince E. Lilly and Thomas Wickham, who established the town
|Latin for "five mountains"
|for Quin Morton and Walter S. Wood, coal operators
|for Thomas W. and John Raine, lumber manufacturers (see note below)
|for the flashing dark eyes of Mrs. Maggie Rodes [Shirey]
|for Raymond Salvati, a superintendent for the Pond Creek Pocahonas Co.
|for Maj. William Renick, from Augusta County, Virginia
|for I. J. Rhodes, one of the founders of the town
|French for "green brier"
|because a keg of rum was lost in its banks by the settlers
|for Dr. Cyrus A Rupert, founder
|for St. Albans, Vermont
|Sam Black Church
|for a church named in honor of Rev. Samuel Black (1813-1899), a native of Greenbrier county
|for James Sauls, the mail carrier of the route between Oceana, Pineville, Spanishburg and Raleigh
|named by Samuel Dixon for the English town of Scarborough. The Post Office later shortened the name.
|named by coal operator Samuel Dixon for his birthplace, Skelton, England
|for the creek near the town
|for James Smithers, early settler
|for Sophia McGinnis, early resident
|for Spanish Brown, early settler
|for Phineas W. Sprague, head of C. H. Sprague Co. and a major stockholder in the New River Co.
|for the creek branch on which it is located
|for Edward T. Stotesbury, president of the Beaver Coal Co., named by E. E. White, coal operator
|for Judge Lewis Summers, who introduced the bill in the Virginia Assembly creating Nicholas County
|for Sue and Rose, the wives of the president and vice president of the Dayton Coal Corp.
|for Capt. W. D. Thurmond, who acquired the land in 1873 as payment for surveying work
|because the site of the town was a rendezvous for troops during the Indian wars
|for Uriah Cook, land owner
|for War Creek, named by the Indians because of a battle that occurred near the source of the creek
|for Webster County and the various sulphur springs there
|for Isaiah A. Welch, a captain in the Confederate army
|White Sulphur Springs
|for the sulphur springs there
|for B. W. White, early settler
|for coal operator Thomas Wickham
|for Wallace J. Williamson, founder of the town
|for Wyoming Coal Company; or for Wyoming and county (it is a mile from the Raleigh County line; on maps the county line was sometimes marked Ral-Co and Wy-Co on the two sides)
Beckley. According to The Origin of Certain Place Names in the United States (1905)
by Henry Gannett, Beckley was named for Alfred Beckley. However, other accounts say Alfred named
the town for his father.
Ghent - West Virginia Place Names has: “Mr. W. O. McGinnis, who helped to have the mail route established here, informs me that Ghent was named in 1902 for the Treaty of Ghent.” Records show the Ghent post office was established in 1903.
Hinton - According to A History of Clayton Community (1923) by C. H. Graham, “In 1872 Summers County was formed, taking into its territory that part of Monroe to which we belonged. The first sheriff to whom we paid taxes in the new county was Evan Hinton, after whose family the town of Hinton was named and who also was the chief promoter in having the new county formed.” According to the city's web site in 2007, “Hinton was laid out on the land of Avis Gwinn Hinton by her husband, John Hinton, in 1831. The town grew very slowly until 1871 when the Chesapeake & Ohio River Railroad company blasted a path through the New River gorge and made Hinton the division terminal. The town then started to grow and was incorporated on September 21, 1880. Some historians claim that the town was named for Evan Hinton, who was active in the movement to create Summers County. Others suggest that it was named for John (Jack) Hinton, who was a prominent lawyer in the county and laid out the town in 1831.”
Jenkinjones and Freeman - Jenkin Jones was born at Glyn Neath, Wales on Sept. 25, 1839. He came to the U. S. in 1863, and worked as a coal miner in Pennsylvania before moving to West Virginia, where he developed coal mines. Jones and John Freeman formed a partnership which opened the Caswell Creek Coal and Coke Co. and later, with Isaac T. Mann, they operated Pocahontas Consolidated Coal Co.
Oceana - One claim is that the town is named for Oceana, younger daughter of Cornstalk. Another theory is that it comes from an Indian word meaning big bottoms or level land. A third theory is that it is named for Ocie Anna, the Indian-stolen daughter of “old” William Cooke. Hamill Kenny of WVU believed this last explanation is most likely, pointing out that Ocie was a common West Virginia given name in earlier times and that the local pronunciation is oh-see-an-uh, not o-shee-an-uh.
Rainelle - The origin of the town name shown above is taken from the West Virginia Blue Book. Warren Napier writes, "Jeff, I grew up in Rainelle, as did my older brothers, and my father knew the Raines pretty well. You're right about it being associated with the Raines, of course, but, as we were told, it also is from the wife of one of the gentlemen, 'Nelle' Raine."
Wyoming. According to this web page, “There is no record of the name’s origin, though some say Wyoming County took her name from the Wyoming Indian tribe. Other historians believe that the name was suggested by its use in a poem written by Thomas Campbell entitled ‘Gertrude of Wyoming.’ Others suggested that the county’s name came from a loose translation of the Delaware Indian work Maughwauwama, meaning ‘large or extensive plains.’”