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The city of Logan is located on the Guyandotte River just off U.S. 119 (Appalachian Corridor G), at the junction of State Routes 10 and 44. It is the county seat of Logan County. Logan was first known by explorers of the 1780s as ‘‘Islands of the Guyandot.’’ In 1827, it was named Lawnsville after Anthony Lawson built a trading post at the confluence of the Guyandotte River and Main Island Creek. The first mayor was the poet Thomas Dunn English, who had the village chartered as the town of Aracoma by Virginia’s General Assembly in 1853. The U.S. Post Office established the first mail route, and the town was known as Logan Courthouse until 1907, when Mayor Scott Justice and the town council renamed it the city of Logan. For many years it has been a hub of the eastern coal industry.

The city’s greatest period of growth was between 1888, when a newspaper was established, and 1929, which marked the end of the expansion of the local coal industry. At its height during World War II, many businesses operated in Logan, including clothing stores, groceries, furniture stores, hotels, banks, automobile dealerships, public buildings, schools, and doctor and lawyer offices. Logan’s population peaked at 5,166 in 1940. After World War II, the city began to decline as mine mechanization cut the population of Logan County. The city’s population in 2020 was 1,438, less than half its 1980 total.

Among the famed residents of Logan was Dr. Henry D. Hatfield, who served as governor of West Virginia between 1913 and 1917. Logan is the home of Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College and of Logan Regional Medical Center. Logan High School, Grade School, and Middle School and the Public Library occupy Midelburg (or Hatfield) Island, adjacent to the historic downtown.

This Article was written by Robert Y. Spence

Last Revised on February 17, 2023

Cite This Article

Spence, Robert Y. "Logan." e-WV: The West Virginia Encyclopedia. 17 February 2023. Web. 25 July 2024.


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