A settlement existed here before Putnam County was formed, but it was not named until it was designated as the county seat. The courthouse, the county's second, surveys the town from an acropolis and stands on axis with Main Street, overlooking the tiny commercial district below. Several early frame stores on Main Street have false fronts and porches that extend over the sidewalk, conjuring images of “wild west” towns. For most of its existence, Winfield was a small courthouse town surrounded by fields. Now the rich Kanawha lowlands on its outskirts have been planted with fields of mini-mansions. From a population of 329 in 1980, Winfield grew to 1,858 in 2000.
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