Daniel Davisson : Clarksburg’s Early Settler

The following information is a condensed history of Daniel Davisson, considered by many to be a founding member of Clarksburg WV.
In 1773, Daniel and Prudence built a log cabin on Elk Creek in Harrison County VA on the present day site of Clarksburg, WV. Their claim on 400 acres of land was recognized when the land commissioners sat in Clarksburg in 1781.

By 1778, Davisson had permitted a number of settlers to build cabins adjacent to his. One cabin joined another to form a wall that made the little village a fort. In that time of Indian raids, a fort was a necessary consideration.

At its first meeting near Buckhannon in 1784, the Harrison County Court decided to place the county buildings on Daniel Davisson’s land.

George Jackson asked permission at the same meeting to build a dam and grist mill on Elk Creek about a hundred yards from the edge of the village.

Daniel is everywhere in the court records of the 1780’s. He viewed the road to Levi Shinn’s, filled an order to build stocks, whipping post, and pillory in 1785 and collected a shilling for candles he furnished the justices in 1786.

He accepted a place on the committee to superintend construction of a building for Randolph Academy in 1788 and proved to the court that he had worked 20 days in 1788 and 30 days in 1790 as a commissioner helping to cut a road from the State Road near Kingwood to the mouth of the Little Kanawha River.

In 1788, he presented the court his commission as a Captain in The Virginia militia.

The Harrison County court ordered a courthouse erected in 1787 and by 1790, Daniel had built a residence and an ordinary across the street.This establishment functioned as a store, hotel, restaurant and meeting place.

In 1790, the county court accepted Hezekiah Davisson in place of Daniel to keep the road in repair from, for, and of Elk in Clarksburg to Limestone Creek and from the courthouse to the mouth of the Elk.

Apparently the Davisson establishment served as an unofficial adjunct to the Courthouse.

By 1795, the court authorized Daniel to keep the courthouse key and to sweep the courthouse clean for a year at 15 shillings.

By 1800, the court allowed Daniel $12.50 for his room to hold court for 1 year.

In 1799, Daniel was commissioned a Major in the 11th Regiment of the Virginia Militia. That year the governor received Daniel’s name as a man likely to be a justice of Harrison County.

Daniel was voted a delegate to the Virginia Assembly in 1801 and in 1802.

In 1817, Daniel was appointed High Sheriff of Harrison County for 1 year.

Prudence (Izzard) Davisson died in 1806 and Daniel in 1818.


“Clarksburg, A Bicentennial Album”
“History of Harrison County WV” p.153

Genealogical Information

Father: Obadiah DAVISSON b: JAN 1719/1720 in Wading River,LI,NY

Mother: Elizabeth UNK b: Abt 1721 in Wading River,LI,NY

Spouse :Prudence Izzard b: 1750 in Philadelphia,PA

Married: 1772 in Philadelphia,PA

Henry DAVISSON b: 1774 in Clarksburg,Harrison,WV

Catherine DAVISSON b: 1776 in Clarksburg,Harrison,WV

Lemuel Edward DAVISSON b: Abt 1778 in Clarksburg,Harrison Co.,WV

Elizabeth DAVISSON b: 2 FEB 1779 in Clarksburg, Harrison, WV

Nathaniel DAVISSON b: 1780 in Clarksburg, Harrison, WV

Edith DAVISSON b: 1782 in Clarksburg, Harrison, WV

Martha Louise DAVISSON b: 1784 in Clarksburg, Harrison, WV

George Izzard DAVISSON b: 29 APR 1786 in Clarksburg, Harrison, WV

Prudence Izzard DAVISSON b: 7 FEB 1788

Genealogical information courtesy of Rootsweb.com from the following GEDCOMs

Title: GEDCOM File : bill1022.ged

Author: William Hollis Albrecht

Date: 24 OCT 2002 Title: GEDCOM File : BIGTREE.ged

Author: Frank Craig Bertinchamps

Date: 10 DEC 2002 Title: GEDCOM File : HACKLE~1.ged

Author: Frank Craig Bertinchamps

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