The county is one of the north central counties of the State, and contains an area of 350 square miles, or 224,000 acres. It is bounded on the north by Harrison county, on the northeast by Barbour; east by Randolph; south by Webster, and on the west by Lewis. The surface is diversified by gently sloping hills and smiling valleys. The lowest depression is a point five miles east of the town of Buckhannon, where the Buckhannon river passes into Barbour county, and the greatest elevation is that of Cannan peak, which rises near the southern boundary. Kellys knob which rises on the boundary line between Upshur and Randolph, attains a height of several hundred feet; it is a western foot hill of the Rich mountain range, which trends northward through Randolph.
The principal stream is the Buckhannon river, which rises in the western part of Randolph, near the Helvetia post office, and flows northward to the town of Buckhannon, when, after forming a short bend known as "The Delta," it is deflected eastward. From the west it receives numerous tributaries, among which are Turkey run, French creek and Big run; from the east it receiver Big Sob creek, Grass run and others the extreme part is drained by the effluents of the Middle fork, a tributary of Tygarts Valley river, while in the western part are several small streams, which unite to form the headwaters of the Little Kanawha River.
The valley of the Buckhannon river is one of the most beautiful and fertile of trans-Allegheny Virginia, and for this reason within it many of the earliest pioneers found homes. It was a favorite hunting ground of the Indians, and here, as elsewhere, they disputed its possession with the most determined hostility, and dearly were many of those who dared to settle within it made to pay for their temerity. On its soil were enacted some of the most horrid scenes recounted in the annals of border warfare.
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