Ohio County was organized in December 1776 when landholders met to elect administrators and choose a county seat. They selected Black's Cabin on Short Creek, now the site of West Liberty, as the first county seat. One of their early priorities was constructing a road connecting Fort Henry (Wheeling) and Elm Grove to facilitate transportation over the six miles between them. However, the instability of the Revolutionary War era and associated Indian attacks meant the new county court did not actually meet between June 1777 and April 1778.
Early on in the Revolutionary period, Black's Cabin was renamed West Liberty to celebrate the libertarian spirit of those first pioneers. By 1779 a courthouse had been built at West Liberty. Construction of a larger courthouse began there in 1796. Around this time, Wheeling was growing into a transportation and commercial hub, and began petitioning for the relocation of the Ohio County seat. Wheeling succeeded, with the court moving to the city on December 27, 1797. In June 1798 construction of a courthouse with adjoining jail, stocks and whipping post was started near present-day 10th Street in Wheeling. This small structure served until 1836, when a new building at 12th and Chapline Streets was authorized. That building was used until 1885, when the former state capitol building was acquired to house the county court. Finally, in 1960 the current Ohio County seat, the City-County Building, was dedicated on the site of that old state capitol building.
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Photo credits: Ohio County Public Library Archives, Wheeling WV