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How did Tyler County get its shape?

By Staff | Apr 23, 2014

(Editor’s note: This is the latest installment from the Tyler County Planning Commission in conjunction with the Tyler County Bicentennial.)

Many of us have seen the television program on the History Channel “How The States Got Their Shape.” Have you ever wondered how Tyler County got its shape?

In 1814, Tyler County was formed through its separation from Ohio County. At the time, Ohio County stretched from the midway point of the northern panhandle south to Wood County and east to Monongalia and Harrison counties.

The Virginia Assembly created Tyler County with boundaries to start at the southwestern corner of Pennsylvania, running due west to the Ohio River and south with the river to the Wood County line. The boundary then turned east with the Wood County line to Harrison County. The boundary line made a final turn north to separate what was Ohio County from Harrison and Monongalia Counties, ending where it started at the Pennsylvania border.

At its creation, Tyler County, was a much larger county, encompassing not only all of its present area, but also all of Wetzel County and half of Pleasants County as they exist today. Tyler County kept its original shape until the creation of Wetzel County in 1846. Then, in 1856, Pleasants County was created from Tyler and Wood counties.

Tyler County has retained its shape for 158 years. Some say it resembles the profile of a horse’s head.

Watch for more installments of “Celebrating the Tyler County Bicentennial” in coming editions of the Tyler Star News throughout 2014.

Acknowledgments: Thanks to Tyler County Planning Commission member, James McMullen, for his research and contribution to this article.