Chartered in 1844 and incorporated in 1905, the City of Philippi is generally recognized as the site of first land battle of the Civil War, June 3, 1861. Colonel Benjamin Kelly led a surprise attack on the Confederates. The site of the battle was the Philippi covered bridge (1852, restored 1991).
Philippi, the county seat of Barbour County, is located on the Tygart Valley River, named after David Tygart, an early settler in the Beverly area, and was chartered in 1844 and incorporated in 1905. The first settlers of the area were Richard Cotteral and Charity Talbot, and their mother. They settled on Hacker's Creek two miles northwest of the present town of Philippi in 1780. The first settlement on the present site of the town was built in 1780 by William Anglin when he located his cabin on the track of 400 acres he owned. The place, initially called Anglin's Ford, passed through the hands of John Wilson, Daniel Booth, Judge Duncan, Eli Butcher, Elmore Hart, Thomas H. Height, and William Wilson, who, in 1843, laid out the plan for the town of Philippi. Under the ownership of Daniel Booth in 1800, the town's name was changed to Booth's Ferry. The ferry played an important part in transportation across the river until the covered bridge was built in 1852. Meanwhile, the town again changed hands and at the time Barbour County was formed in 1843, it belonged to William F. Wilson and William Shaw.
The town was renamed Philippi for Phillip Pendleton Barbour, an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States. It was originally to be named Phillipa -- the feminine form of Phillip in conformity with the Latin language. But because of misspellings and misunderstanding of the origin of the name (confusing it with the ancient city in Macedonia) the city was finally named Philippi.