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History of Bethany

Brief History of Bethany

Isaac Williams built a cabin in 1769 on the banks of the Buffalo Creek, which were the camping grounds of the Mingo and Shawnee. One of the well known Native Americans was Chief Logan. A street is named after him in the Town of Bethany.


The Town of Bethany was given its name by Alexander Campbell in 1827 so that a post office could be started. Campbell was Bethany's first postmaster.


When West Virginia received statehood in 1863, Bethany College was its only degree-granting institution in higher education.


Not long after the death of Alexander Campbell in 1866, historical preservation began in the Town of Bethany.  The Campbell home site, plantation, family cemetery, a substantial portion of Campbell's private library and many 19th century documents were given to the college for preservation and use.  Sites were listed in the National Registry of Historic Places, and restoration projects developed. The number of visitors to the community increased, and interest in Bethany's history and restoration has grown. Visit the archives of the Bethany College library for more details on the early days of Bethany! Just opened in 2016, the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) National Historic Archives next to the Campbell Mansion (both are located just east of the Town of Bethany on State Route 67).

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