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Wayne is the county seat of Wayne County. It is located on Twelvepole Creek at the junction of State Routes 37 and 152 at an elevation of 707 feet. Founded in 1842, the town came into existence at the same time as the county. The act of the Virginia General Assembly that created the county also established a place for holding court on the land of Abraham Trout. The first county government met February 24, 1842, at Trout’s home.

Trout later deeded one acre on which to build a courthouse, and the town was first called Trout’s Hill. It was incorporated as Fairview in 1882, but was alternately called Wayne Courthouse until 1911 when the name was officially changed to Wayne. Both the town and county were named for General ‘‘Mad Anthony’’ Wayne, a hero of the American Revolution and the Indian wars.

Situated near the center of the county and away from the more populous areas near Huntington, Wayne town has remained small. Its 2020 population was 1,441, just 54 less than its peak of 1,495 in 1980. Since the beginning of the 21st century, the town’s population has grown by 30.4 percent.

Wayne has a nonpartisan government consisting of a mayor, recorder, police judge, and five-member council. The town clerk is appointed by council and the police chief is appointed by the mayor. Wayne is served by a branch library, a volunteer fire department, and a community park.

Written by Tim R. Massey


  1. Comstock, Jim, ed. West Virginia Heritage Encyclopedia vol. 7. Richwood: Jim Comstock, 1976.

  2. Kirby, Wesley D. History of Wayne Community. Morgantown: Agricultural Extension Division, 1926.

  3. Lewis, Stephen. An Overview of the History of Wayne County. Wayne: 1997.

  4. Taylor, Mildred. History of Wayne County. Wayne: Taylor, 1963.

  5. "Wayne, our Town," Pamphlet. Wayne Chamber of Commerce & the Woman's Club of Wayne, 1975. (updated in 2000)..