Ritchie County
Tuesday, 15 May 2007 00:17

The government offices for Ritchie County are located in Harrisville. The town was platted in 1822, and grew slowly until 1843 when there was a new influx of settlers. Thomas Harris was the first settler.

When the town became the county seat it was called Ritchie Court House. But in 1892 it was renamed for General Thomas M. Harris, nephew of the founder and one of the commissioners in the trial of those accused of plotting the assassination of Abraham Lincoln.

Numerous derricks pump "liquid gold" in the surrounding area. Fertile soil grows large crops of grain and provides bluegrass pastures. There are large cattle raising operations.

Ritchie County is in northern West Virginia, where are livestock, dairy, fruit, and tobacco farms, in addition to oil and natural gas wells.

Ritchie County, established in 1843, was named in honor of Thomas Ritchie, distinguished early American journalist. The county comprises some 455 square miles of land area.

Ritchie was the founder and editor of the Richmond Enquirer in 1804. The paper, under his leadership, became one of the leading newspapers in the country. Ritchie's uncle was Judge Spencer Roane. Roane County was named after that distinguished jurist.
 
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