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McDowell County, WV


McDowell County was formed in 1858 from part of Tazewell, VA. It derived its name from the governor of Virginia in 1843, James McDowell. Almost 150 years ago, the area was considered extremely inaccessible, and although the rails and roads improved this condition, it is still sparsely populated. Welch, the county seat, is the largest city in McDowell, with the population of just over 3,000. It is magnificently timbered and today still appears to have coal deposits under the mountainous acres of land in the county.