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Wayne County News
August 27, 1925


"Ninety percent of the people who live on Twelve Pole Creek in Wayne County do not know that both forks of Twelve Pole rise in Mingo county and flow through Lincoln county before they reach Wayne."

That statement was made to Wayne County News this week by a Wayne County man who cited us to the West Virginia Geological survey reports to confirm his statement that both forks of Twelve Pole do rise in Mingo and flow through Lincoln.

In this connection a statement of facts concerning Twelve Pole should be interesting to readers of Wayne County News.

This stream takes it source at the base of the Guyan Mountain in Mingo county and flows in a general northwest direction and empties into the Ohio river near Ceredo.

How Twelve Pole Was Named

The creek gets its name from the fact that the surveyors when locating the Savage land grant at its mouth in 1784, found its width to be twelve poles, or rods. Twelve Pole is said to have been named by George Washington, or at least by surveyors employed by Washington in making the Savage land grant survey.

It is the only large stream in the whole state of West Virginia having its source in the Ohio river section.

The main Twelve Pole is formed by junction of the East or Left Fork with the West or the Right Fork at the a point less than one mile south of Wayne. The length of the creek from the junction of the two forks to the mouth is 31 miles. The principal tributaries to Twelve Pole from the junction of the two forks down the the mouth are Toms Creek, Garretts Creek, Big Creek, Lynn Creek, Beech Fork, Camp Creek, Newcomb Creek, Plymale Branch, Haynies Branch, Buffalo Creek, Bobs Branch and Walkers Branch.

Source of Left Fork

The East Fork, better known as Right Fork, of Twelve Pole has its source in the northern part of Mingo county and flows in a northwestern direction 11 1/2 miles through Mingo county, 1 1/2 Miles through Lincoln county and 22 miles in Wayne county to the junction with Right fork. The length of this fork is thirty-five miles. The chief tributary streams to this fork are Two Mile, Newcomb, Peter Cave, Little Lynn, Camp Creek, Laurel, Brush Creek, Lick Creek, Rich Creek, Beechy Branch, Cove Creek, Bluelick Branch, Kiahs Creek, Milam, McComas, Crane Nest Branch and Cowpen Fork.

Source of Right Fork

The West or Right Fork of Twelve also rises in the Northern part of Mingo county and flows through Mingo for a distance of 15 miles, passing through the corner of Lincoln county and through Wayne county for a distance of little over 36 miles where it joine the Left Fork. The entire length of the Right Fork is 52 miles, which added to the 31 miles from the Forks to the mouth of main Twelve Pole makes the length of the entire stream from its farthest source 83 miles. The principal streams flowing into the Right fork are Patrick, Trace, Joels Branch, Billies Branch, Ferguson Branch, Big Branch, Missouri Branch, Moses Creek, Long Branch and Turkey Creek.

Is Scenic Stream

Twelve Pole is a historical and scenic stream. Its valleys provide some of the best farming land in the country. It was the sole means of transportation for hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of timber which was floated in the pioneer days of this county. And the scenic beauty and splendor along Twelve Pole compares most favorably with that found in any other county in the State.


With the recent completion of the Tug River Highway through Wayne county to the Mingo line, traffic has started between Wayne County and Logan court house by way of Williamson. A number of Wayne County people have made this trip to Logan within the past few days and also Logan people have been driving over this route extensively within the past two weeks. In dry weather, the road is excellent for automobile travel.

The Tug River Highway through this county from Hodges on the Wayne-Cabell line to Marrowbone on the Wayne-Mingo line is completed with the exception of a small detour of only a few hundred yards at the Wells Branch bridge near the residence of Mont Crum. A new bridge is under construction at this point but two detours are provided, a new detour around the hill road for a few yards having been opened only last week. The road from the Wayne-Mingo line to Williamson is reported good and is paved for some distance.

Over the above route it is about 107 miles from the Wayne Court House to Logan Court House and only approximately sixty-five miles from Wayne court house to Williamson. Following is a log which has been made by the Huntington Automobile Club which shows the exact distances and route to be followed in making a trip from Huntington over the Tug River Highway through Lavalette, Wayne, Dunlow and Crum to Williamson, thence by way of Pigeon Creek Mountain, Omar and Rossmore to Logan and from Logan to Charleston by way of Stollings, Blair and Kanawha City. The distance from Huntington to Charleston over this route is 200.1 miles.

H. M. Smith, manager of the Huntington Auto Club, recorded the following automobile log on a trip over this route last week:

Set your odometer at zero at the corner of Ninth Street and Sixth Avenue going west. . .[and] taking up route No. 8 [follow] concrete to the end of the pavement.

8.2 miles R. R. X turn left, begins dirt road, follow until odometer reads reads 19.2 miles; thence begins brick pavement.

20.2 Wayne court house

21.2 miles brick pavement ends, turn right cross bridge over dirt road

25.3 turn left R. R. X at Echo

45.5 miles bridge under construction, detour 150 feet over creek bed, cross Bull mountain, excellent earth road

61.3 miles Mingo county line begins

63.0 miles macadam; thence earth

69.9 miles macadam begins

72.3 miles macadam ends beginning earth road

77.0 miles, Nolan

80.7 Chatteroy

83.3 miles city limits Williamson

85.5 miles Williamson Court House

Continue through Williamson on pavement.

88.2 miles pavement ends, earth road begins, cross Pigeon Creek mountain, excellent earth road

94.7 miles keep right for Logan

98.0 miles gravel begins

109.2 miles turn left for Logan, leaving main route over narrow, rough earth road for 6 miles, damgerous in very wet weather

115.0 miles, gravel road begins

116.1 miles Stirrat

118.2 concrete ends, gravel begins

122.9 Rossmore

126.7 keep right for Logan, road to left goes to Holden

127.9 Logan court house

129.7 miles Stollings, end of concrete pavement, go over railroad, earth road begins

140.2 miles Blair, R. R. X

161.0 miles Madison, pavement ends, earth road begins, 6 miles very rough

193.7 miles, pavement begins, Kanawha City

200.1 Capitol street Charleston


A large number of Wayne Countians who are members of the Knights of the Golden Eagle are planning to attend the thirty-eighth annual session of the Grand Castle of the lodge and the twenty- fifth Grand Temple of the Ladies of the Golden Eagle, which will be held at the Odd Fellows Hall in Huntington on September 9th and 10th. Headquarters for the occasion will be at the Fifth Avenue Hotel. Wayne County is well represented on the roster of Grand Lodge officers of the K. G. E. William Gibson of Westmoreland is grand vice-chief; L. J. Rigg of Wayne Route 1 is grand first guardsman; and L. R. Lambert of Kenova is one of the grand trustees. Taylor Lambert, also of Kenova, is a member of the L. & A. committee of the Grand Castle.

Transcription by June White

Wayne County News