About Upshur County

Upshur County boasts of traditional values, picturesque scenery, a wide variety of natural resources, educational opportunities and an assortment of the things which make this a great place to live, work and visit.  With a population of approximately 24, 254,  Upshur County has one (1) incorporated community being the City of Buckhannon and sixty-eight (68) unincorporated communities.  The County is 355 square miles of rural scenery.

Buckhannon (which became the county seat) was legally established on January 15, 1816.  The origin of the name of Buckhannon is disputed. One account is that it is named for a Delaware Indian Chief named Buck-on-ge-ha-non. Another account suggests that it was named for the Buckhannon River which was named for John Buckhannon, a clergyman who explored the area in the 1780’s.  Buckhannon is now known for its beautifully adorned Main Street. 

Upshur County was created March 26, 1851 from parts of Barbour, Lewis and Randolph counties by an act of the Virginia General Assembly.  Upshur County was named in honor of Abel Parker Upshur (1790-1843). Some of his accomplishments included: he practiced law for ten years, served as a member of the Virginia General Assembly, served as a judge in the Virginia General Court, was a member of the Virginia Constitutional Convention. He also served as President John Tyler’s Secretary of the Navy in addition to many other endeavors.

Upshur County’s first Courthouse was completed in 1854 and was situated on the same two lots on which it is currently situated. The cost of construction was $7,300.00. The Courthouse was damage by fire three times during the first six months and saw heavy abuse during the Civil War. The remains of the building were removed in 1898 and replace with the current Courthouse.  The current Upshur County Courthouse was built in 1899 at a cost of $37,650.00.  Following a 2.3 million dollar bequeath from Judge Jack Dowell Jennings, the Upshur County Courthouse Annex was constructed in 1994.