Clarksburg, WV


The first documented visitor to the area now known as Clarksburg was John Simpson,[6] a trapper, who in 1764 located his camp on the West Fork Riveropposite the mouth of Elk Creek at approximately 39°16′53″N 80°21′05″W (39.28128, -80.35145)[7]

As early as the year 1772, settlers began locating their lands near where Clarksburg now stands, and in 1773 Daniel Davisson took up 400 acres (1.6 km2), upon which the principal part of the town is now located. The year 1774 found the following persons settled in the neighborhood of Clarksburg, Daniel Davisson, Thomas Nutter, Samuel Cottrill, Sotha Hickman, Samuel Beard, Andrew Cottrill, Obadiah Davisson, John Nutter, Matthew Nutter and Amaziah Davisson. There were no doubt others located on public lands of which no official record was made.[6]

Clarksburg was formed in 1785 in Virginia. The city is named for General George Rogers Clark, who gained fame on the frontier by his many expeditions against the British and Indians in the Indian Wars and the war of the American Revolution, particularly by his capture of Fort of Vincennes, now in the State of Indiana, in 1778.[8]

The first Court House, which was built in 1787, stood on what is now the North East Corner of Second and Main Streets and the jail stood on the opposite side of Main Street near where the Presbyterian church now stands.

In 1824, Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson was born in Clarksburg.[8]

The Northwestern Turnpike, now known as U.S. Route 50, chartered in 1827, and begun in 1831, reached Clarksburg in 1836 and was macadamizedfrom the Tygarts Valley River to Parkersburg in 1848.

In 1840 a daily line of stages and a regular mail service was established that connected with the Ohio River steamers at Parkersburg.

The Baltimore and Ohio Railroad reached Clarksburg from Grafton in 1856.

During the Civil War, it served as a supply depot of the Union Army from 1861 to 1865. General George B. McClellan headquartered in the area from 1861 until the Battle of Bull Run.

The historic district of Clarksburg is mainly outlined by Hewes Avenue on the north, Main Street on the south, Chestnut Street on the west, and E. B. Saunders Way [formerly Water Street] on the east.

On October 11, 1996, seven men having connections with the Mountaineer Militia, a local anti-government paramilitary group, were arrested on charges of plotting to blow up the Federal Bureau of Investigation‘s Criminal Justice Information Services Division complex in Clarksburg. While members of the group had been assembling large quantities of explosives and blasting caps, militia leader Floyd Raymond Looker obtained blueprints of the FBI facility from a Clarksburg firefighter. Plastic explosives were confiscated by law enforcement officials at five locations in West Virginia, Pennsylvania, and Ohio. Looker was taken into custody after arranging to sell the blueprints for $50,000 to an undercover FBI agent, whom he believed to be a representative of an international terrorist group. In 1998 Looker was sentenced to 18 years in prison. Two other defendants were sentenced on explosives charges, and the firefighter drew a year in prison for providing blueprints.[9]


Clarksburg is located at 39°16′53″N 80°21′05″W, along the West Fork River and Elk Creek.[10]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 9.74 square miles (25.23 km2), all of it land.[1]

Clarksburg is located in West Virginia’s North-Central region.

Clarksburg is the home to the FBI’s National Crime Information Center.


Clarksburg is at the crossroads of U.S. Route 50 (Corridor D), the main arterial route for Clarksburg, and Interstate 79. Other major highways include West Virginia Route 20West Virginia Route 58U.S. Route 19, and West Virginia Route 98.

Landmarks And Attractions


Historical populations
Census Pop.
1880 2,307
1890 3,008 30.4%
1900 4,050 34.6%
1910 9,201 127.2%
1920 27,869 202.9%
1930 28,866 3.6%
1940 30,579 5.9%
1950 32,014 4.7%
1960 28,112 −12.2%
1970 24,864 −11.6%
1980 22,371 −10.0%
1990 18,059 −19.3%
2000 16,743 −7.3%
2010 16,578 −1.0%

2010 census

As of the census[2] of 2010, there were 16,578 people, 7,213 households, and 4,179 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,702.1 inhabitants per square mile (657.2 /km2). There were 8,132 housing units at an average density of 834.9 per square mile (322.4 /km2). The racial makeup of the city was 92.9% White, 3.9% African American, 0.2% Native American, 0.3% Asian, 0.3% from other races, and 2.4% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.6% of the population.

There were 7,213 households out of which 28.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 38.0% were married couples living together, 14.7% had a female householder with no husband present, 5.2% had a male householder with no wife present, and 42.1% were non-families. 35.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 14.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.25 and the average family size was 2.91.

The median age in the city was 39.5 years. 21.9% of residents were under the age of 18; 7.9% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 26.8% were from 25 to 44; 27.1% were from 45 to 64; and 16.3% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 48.0% male and 52.0% female.