About This Place
West Union, incorporated July 20, 1881, is a town in Doddridge County, West Virginia. The population was 806 at the 2000 census. It is the county seat of Doddridge County. The mayor is Robert Fetty as of 2011. The town is located along Middle Island Creek at the junction of U.S. Route 50 and West Virginia Route 18; the North Bend Rail Trail also passes through the town.
The area was first settled in the late 1700s by James Caldwell, who owned 20,000 acres of land that included present West Union. Caldwell sold this land to Nathan Davis and his brothers about 1807. They in turn sold 16,000 acres to Lewis Maxwell, a Virginia congressman. Nearby Maxwell Ridge is said to have a cave that was later used by the Underground Railroad.
Davis supposedly suggested the name West Union, in deference to a proposed town of Union to be built on the eastern side of the creek. Union has disappeared, if it ever existed, but West Union was incorporated in 1881. It was home to Matthew M. Neely, grandfather of West Virginia’s 21st governor. Governor Matthew M. Neely was born just south of West Union.