Wyoming County Courthouse

On March 22, 1850, the County Court met for the first time in Oceana, at the home of John Cooke. The Act which created the county also provided that the permanent place for holding court should be on the lands of William Cooke Sr., on Clear Fork.

The next day, March 23, James H. Ferguson, Patrick K. McComas and Stephen McDonald were appointed to superintend the survey of a public square, and to draw specifications for, receive bids for, and superintend the construction of the public buildings of the County. On July 19, 1850, the County Court awarded contracts for three public buildings totaling $2,000.

In August, 1851, the court met for the first time in its new home, built by John Lambert. Nearby was the jail, constructed by Mitchell Cooke, and the small brick clerk's office, built by James Cooke. The courthouse itself was a large, low, barn-like structure. It contained a court room, two jury rooms, a sheriff's office, and a small room for the prosecuting attorney. This building served the community until November 7, 1907, when it was destroyed by fire.

Before rebuilding the courthouse, the County Court decided to call for a vote to settle the dispute which had come up as to location of the county seat. Many people in the county were anxious to move the county government to Pineville, which was closer to the center of the county. The people voted in favor of moving to Pineville and the contract was let for the building of a second court house.

Work was started on the new building which was to serve as a temporary courthouse until the county could build a larger courthouse. Completed early in 1908, the new courthouse was a one story frame building. This building was used until 1916 when it was torn down and replaced by the present building.

On February 1, 1916, the county employed A. F. Wysong, architect, to furnish plans and specifications for a permanent courthouse. In June D. J. Phipps of Roanoke was awarded the contract for the construction of the present building of native stone, for $79,000. During the 1930s, the public square was terraced, landscaped, and beautified. A large part of that expense was paid by the Works Progress Administration projects during the great depression.

Records in the Courthouse

Type of recordYears the records cover
Birth Records1853 to present
Marriage Records1853 to present
Death Records1853 to 1859, 1865 to 1867 (incomplete) and 1875 to Present

Contact the courthouse or obtain copies of records by writing to:
County Clerk, Wyoming County Courthouse
PO Box 309
Pineville, WV  24874-8000
{Sources}
"Wyoming County History" by Mary Bowman
"From Cabins to Coal Mines" by Paul R. Blankenship
Article published in the Independent Herald, 8 January 1992.