At the beginning…
The first settlers in the Monogahelia River Valley are supposedly Pompeii Leggit and his wife Jenny (Duvall), who settled at present day Rivesville in 1694. Along with them were Jenny’s brother, John Duvall, the William Burris family, and the Bozarth family.
In 1772, Zackwell Morgan sold 400 acres of land that is now lower Rivesville, first to Thomas Douthet, then when he didn’t pay for it to Casper Bunner (or Bonner). Most of this land he then sold to John Miller, Sr. In 1776, Morgan made a deal with Miller for enough land to build a town, and Morgan and his brother David laid out a town on the site named Pleasantville. Trustees for the town were the Morgans, Jacob Prickett, and Calder Haymond. This is reputed to be the first town legally established in Virginia west of the Allegheny Mountains. Zackwell Morgan, Sheriff of Monongalia County, was to make this the county seat after the Mason-Dixon line showed the old county seat to be located in Pennsylvania. However, for unknown reasons, Morgan moved to the site of present Morgantown and made it the county seat. In 1791, lots originally owned by Henry Batten were added to Pleasantville.
At the mouth of Paw Paw Creek was a settlement made by the Jolliffe family. This was called Paw Paw until the 1780’s, when it began to called Milford. Then in 1815, Joseph and John merrill purchased all of the lots in the original Pleasantville survey, turning them into just one parcel of land. The name Pleasantville was then dropped, and Milford was the name used for both of these settlements. About 1830, the town began to adopt the name Rivesville, In honor of early settlers John and Lawrence Hoult, whose father was Rives Hoult. A post office was established here in1837, with Elisha Snodgrass as the first postmaster.
Before 1780, brothers John and William Pettyjohn operated a ferry and trading post at the forks of the Tygart Valley and West Fork rivers, later moved up the Tygart a little way to serve a new wagon road. It is now the area around Fourteenth Street and Moore Place.