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History of

Ireland, West Virginia


Ireland is situated in the southern end of Lewis County in Collins Settlement District on the extreme head of the right fork of the West Fork River.

The history of this little village actually started in 1729 in the Country, Ireland, when a son Andrew Wilson, was born in Erin. This Andrew Wilson emigrated to America in the Early 1800's. At the Lewis county Court House there is a deed which states that Andrew Wilson and a John G. Wilson purchased 600 acres from a Benjamin Willard on the right hand fork of the West Fork River in 1827. A deed also shows that Andrew and his wife, Elizabeth, sold some land in 1813 and in 1839. In 1839, the land was sold to Robert Clark and first school in the community was built there (called Clark School). The 1820 census shows eight person living in the Andrew Wilson household.

One of Andrew's children was named Matilda E. Wilson. On March 2, 1843, she married Michael Kelly. Her marriage certificate was signed by a Washington M. Wilson who swore she was over 21 years of age. The 1850 census shows Matilda (40 years) and Michael (34 years) having five others living in the household: Mary E. Kelly, 6 years; John A. Kelly, 4 years; Margaret J. Kelly, 2 years; March Wilson, 35 years and Hannah Cutlip, 16 years.

Because of Andrew Wilson's very advanced age and his native country, his nickname in the community became "OLD IRELAND". In November, 1843, one day after he voted for James K. Polk for President, Andrew Wilson died at the age of 114 years.

In 1847, when the first Post Office was being located in the community, they named it Ireland in honor of Andrew Wilson.

See the Irish Spring Festival History for more information on our little town.

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