West Union was settled in the first decade of the nineteenth century and became an important stop on the Northwestern Turnpike in the late 1830s. When Doddridge County was formed, the town was designated the county seat. West Union grew as a regional transportation and supply center during the petroleum boom, but little development occurred in subsequent years. A bird's-eye view drawn in 1899 depicts many buildings that still remain today. U.S. 50, which more or less follows the route of the old turnpike, now bypasses West Union to the south, freeing the town from the pressures of present-day development.
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