The act establishing Marshall County decreed that “the place for holding courts and erecting public buildings … shall be … Elizabeth.” Joseph Tomlinson, discoverer and first owner of the Grave Creek Mound, platted the town in 1798, naming it for his wife. In 1830, after his death, the widow Elizabeth platted an adjoining settlement, Moundsville. The two towns united officially in 1866, taking the name Moundsville and thus avoiding any further confusion with the Wirt County seat, also called Elizabeth. Jefferson Avenue, Elizabeth's former main street, still serves as the commercial “Main Street,” while the Marshall County Courthouse, major churches, and banks cluster several blocks southwest, closer to the Ohio River, at the heart of the once-separate Moundsville. The city's 2000 population was 10,998, one-third less than the all-time high of 15,163 recorded in 1960.
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