History of Middle New River Settlements and Contiguous Territory
History of Middle New River Settlements and Contiguous Territory. David E. Johnston. (1906) 2007. Johnston traces the exploration and settlement of the New River in southwestern Virginia, with emphasis on the area that was set off in 1837 as Mercer County, and is now in southern West Virginia.
Several appendices list various county officials and present biographical sketches of early families.The author attempts to identify the earliest settlers at various stages of the settlement along the New River. As the population density increased, and as more and more counties were erected in this frontier area, Johnston tells of the creation of each new county, and lists the original officers in each. Mercer County was set off in 1837 from Giles County and Tazewell County, Virginia.At the same time, he narrates the clashes with the Indians as settlement progressed, and also gave accounts of local activities in the French and Indian War and the Revolutionary War. Nearly a third of the narrative section of the book treats the Civil War in Mercer County and vicinity.The appendices, which comprise nearly a third of the volume, include lists of county officials, lawyers and other prominent citizens, lists of Civil War soldiers from the area, and multigenerational biographical accounts of many of the families that settled early along the Middle New River.