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Marion County celebrates its 173rd birthday

Times West Virginian photo by Emily Gallagher Marion County commissioners Rick Garcia (right) and Randy Elliott light the candles on a cake celebrating Marion County’s birthday.
Times West Virginian photo by Emily Gallagher
Marion County commissioners Rick Garcia (right) and Randy Elliott light the candles on a cake celebrating Marion County’s birthday.

FAIRMONT, W.Va. — Wednesday marked the 173rd birthday for Marion County, which was celebrated with a reception following the weekly Marion County Commission meeting in the J. Harper Meredith building.

The founding of Marion County was the dream of Boaz Fleming, who is regarded as the father of Marion County.

 In 1787, after the Revolutionary War, Fleming, 29 at the time, and a group of pioneers settled in the Monongahela Valley and in 1817-18 created a settlement they called Middletown.

Fleming had to pay taxes in both Monongalia and Harrison counties in what was then Virginia, and wanted to form his own county in order to save himself two long trips just to pay taxes.

In order to do this and form a county, a city would need to serve as the county seat. With towns in Mannington and Rivesville not interested in becoming the county seat, Fleming decided to develop Middletown to take the seat.

Twelve years after Fleming’s death, Middletown prospered and became the county seat for Marion County, fulfilling Fleming’s dream. Middletown changed its name to Fairmont the following year.

The event Wednesday was held to celebrate not only the founding of Marion County, but also all the history that has taken place in the region since…

 

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