B a r b o u r s v i l l e
 The Best Little Village in the State

BarboursvillePic3Small– Click on The Picture Above –
For Information on The City of Barboursville, WV 


The Village of Barboursville was founded in 1813 by an Act of the Virginia Assembly. As the Cabell County Seat, it became a busy town of commerce and politics. A port of call for boats running on the Guyandotte River, Barboursville flourished as an industrial center. Many visitors came to the area to establish deeds and records and appear before the county court. During the Civil War several skirmishes took place in and around the village. After the war, the County Seat was moved to nearby Huntington. As the railroads and highways passed by, Barboursville became a quiet, residential setting of historic homes and figures.

Barboursville became the county seat of Cabell County in 1813. The county was taken from Kanawha County in 1809. It included all of Wayne, Lincoln, and a large part of Logan, Boone, and Putnam counties. Its area was 1750 square miles, with a population in 1810 of 2717, including 221 slaves and 25 Indians not taxed. Or about 1 1/2 persons to the square mile. We now have one sixth of this area, and more than 300 people to the square mile. Immigration began to come in about 1780 and land was easy to get, was marked out and claimed, and the state would sell the settler as much as one thousand acres or more, at the small price of $1.60 per 100 acres. Hence, everybody tried to see how much land they could get.

As soon as the town became the county seat, immigration became heavy. Hotels, livery stables, stores, shops and factories of all kinds were built. The stores carried large stocks of goods bought in New York or Philadelphia; generally on six or twelve months time. We had no drummers then. The merchants would go to the eastern markets about twice a year to buy their stock. These goods were exchanged for country produce, grain, dried fruit, hogs, ginseng, deer hides, and feathers. Women brought in products of the loom, jeans, linsey, flax, tow linen, and white flannel, all of which had a ready sale at home. There was much traffic between Barboursville and Logan.

Barboursville was known as a manufacturing town. There was a furniture factory, a fan mill factory, hat factory, wagon and buggy factory, two or three harness shops, a large tannery, which supplied the home market and exported as well, large lots of leather, there were several tailors, blacksmiths, shoemakers, a large mill built by Miller & Moore, which cut large quantities of steam boat bottoms, lumber of clear oak, some of it 36 feet long. All of it went to Jeffersonville, Indiana by barges, which were built in Barboursville.


 Morris Harvey College has an incorporated history of thirty-six years. The institution was founded in 1888 as the Barboursville Seminary; but finding it difficult to maintain the school because of the lack of endowment and equipment, the citizens of Barboursville induced the Western Virginia Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, to take over the plant and make it a denominational college.

 Accordingly, in 1889, it passed into the hands of the Southern Methodists of West Virginia, and name changed to Barboursville College.

In the above status, the school continued to function under the authority of state and church, until the close of the spring semester of 1909. Degrees in education, literature, arts, and sciences were conferred. The records show, that at this time, the requirements of education in the state and of endowment by the General Board of Education in the church were so raised, that the standard college rank was lost and the institution became a junior college, and so remained until 1919. In 1901, Mr. Morris Harvey, a resident of Fayetteville, West Virginia, became interested in education and his attention was toward Barboursville College. In recognition of his liberal gifts, the Board of Trustees changed the name of the school to Morris Harvey College.

 On account of the growing demand for more complete education at the hands of the church, and at the request of the local Board of Trustees, the General Board of Education determined in 1919 that the school should be made once more a standard, four year, collegiate institution. Pursuant to this decision, in each of the scholastic years of 1919-1921, the addition of the senior year made the program complete, and at the following commencement (1921) the first class with degrees in Arts and Sciences was graduated after a lapse of more than a decade.

The curriculum now leads to bachelors’ degrees in the college, or certificates in the special departments. The latter include four years in piano and voice; six grades and post graduate in violin; two years in home economics. There is also the standard academy following the requirements prescribed by the state for secondary schools.