On December 15, 1772, Virginia Governor Dunmore, as agent for King George III, granted 28,627 acres along the Ohio River and the lower Guyandotte and Big Sandy rivers to John Savage and 59 others who had served under George Washington at the Battle of Great Meadows, Pennsylvania, in the French and Indian War. This grant extended from what is now Cattlettsburg, Kentucky, to about Nine Mile Creek in northern Cabell County, approximately 24 miles. It included all of the original site of Huntington and most of the land added to the city since its founding.
Although reportedly none of the old soldiers ever lived on their land, some of the grantees met on the land grant in 1775 for a partial division, and all of the tracts eventually were claimed by descendants or assignees of the 60 men. Cabell County historian George S. Wallace states that William Buffington, of Hampshire County in what now is eastern West Virginia, purchased Lot 42 from John Savage himself and willed this parcel to his sons, Thomas and Jonathan. About 1796, Thomas and Jonathan Buffington came to the mouth of the Guyandotte River to take possession. Thomas built his home on the east side of the Guyandotte at the river’s mouth, while Jonathan built on the west side.
Thomas Buffington was one of the earliest settlers of what was to become Cabell County. He was instrumental in the founding of the town of Guyandotte, the first county seat, in 1810.
This Article was written by Joseph Platania
Last Revised on October 29, 2010
Wallace, George Selden. Cabell County Annals and Families. Richmond: Garrett & Massie, 1935.
De Hass, Wills. History of the Early Settlement and Indian Wars of Western Virginia. Philadelphia: H. Hoblitzell, 1851, Reprint, McClain, 1960.
Collections. James E. Morrow Library, Marshall University, Special Collections Department.