History Articles, Roane County

Roane County History

Spencer, built on hilly terrain, is the center of government for Roane County. Originally the settlement was called Tanner’s Cross Roads, after the first settler, Samuel TANNER, who is reported to have lived in a nearby cave about 1812. Sometime later, a man by the name of Raleigh BUTCHER left his home on Reedy Creek to go to California. Along the way he stopped at Tanner’s Cross Roads and got no further. In jest, the location was dubbed New California & in 1858 incorporated under that name. The name was changed to Spencer some years later in honor of Judge SPENCER ROANE, of the Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals, for whom the county is also named. Ritchie County was named for his nephew Thomas RITCHIE, a publisher & Editor. Roane’s wife Anne was the daughter of Patrick HENRY. The town is the site of Spencer State Hospital.

Livestock, fruit, tobacco & timber operations are found in Roane County, formed 1856 & located in the NW part of the state of West Virginia, and was established in 1843.

Early History
First Settlers of Mill Creek & Elk Fork Area
Spencer State Hospital
History of Roane County from the book “History of West Virginia in Two Parts, Virgil Anson Lewis, 1889”

Criminal History of Roane County

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3