Bill Cunningham

Bill Cunningham, the original Wetzel County WVGenWeb Coordinator created this website in 1996. Joyce Shaefer Yowler was the 2nd Coordinator.

Click the photo of Bill Cunningham (on the left) to visit his memorial page which was created by Joyce Schaefer Yowler.

Glenda Thompson is the volunteer county coordinator for the Wetzel County WVGenWeb site which is part of The USGenWeb Project. We hope you find this site useful for your research.


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About Wetzel County WVCounty outline map of West Virginia

Wetzel County, West Virginia was created in 1846 from Tyler County. It was named for Lewis Wetzel, a frontiersman and Indian scout.

It's northern border aligns with the Mason-Dixon line but is to the west of the actual Mason-Dixon line.

New Martinsville is the county seat.

When the thirteen original states were organized, the Wetzel County area fell within the area of Virginia and remained a part of that state until the formation of West Virginia in 1863. The area was originally within the limits of Ohio County, which was formed in 1776, and at that time included not only all of the panhandle, but extended indefinitely westward and for a considerable distance to the south. After the formation of the state of Ohio, the westward  extension of Ohio County, Virginia, became fixed by the Ohio River. In 1814 Tyler County, named in honor of President Tyler’s father, was formed from a part of Ohio County, and included what is now Tyler and Wetzel Counties. Wetzel County was created in 1846 from the northern part of Tyler County.

Excerpts from "History of Wetzel County, West Virginia"
by John C. McEldowney, Jr, 1901

  • Wetzel County WV Court HouseCourt House photo from page 92Page 93 ... The first session of court was held in April, 1846, in the house then owned by Sampson Thistle, which was designated for the place by the legislature. It was situated on the corner of Main and Jefferson streets, and is now (in 1901) the property of Otto Soland.
  • Page 94 ... In 1848 the county had sufficient funds in the treasury to build a new court house, which they did, but it was not completed until the year of 1852. The ground where the court house and jail were built was donated by Sampson Thistle and Pressley Martin, and when the court house was completed it was pronounced one of the best houses of its kind in the State. Court was held in the building until 1900.