Franklin is the headquarters for the government of Pendleton County. It was made the county seat in 1794. It is a trade center for a farming region and a rendezvous point for fishermen and hunters who frequent the area. There is a small dam to provide electricity and city water.
Franklin was first settled by Francis (Frank) Evick and named Frankford for him. Some years later when the town was incorporated, the name was changed to Franklin because of another Frankford in the state. In 1924 most of the town was destroyed by fire. That same year a new courthouse was built using all the local varieties of stone arranged in the order the stone is found in the local ground strata.
Pendleton County is in the Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia and is known for its summer resorts. There are livestock, dairy and fruit farms, as well as timber. Edmund Pendleton was an eminent Virginia jurist. He was a leader in pre-Revolutionary War politics and as such was a member of the Committee of Correspondence (1773). He was a member of the Continental Congress and Governor of Virginia from 1774 to 1776. The county is named in honor of Pendleton. It was founded in 1788. 4,8600-foot-high Spruce Knob is the highest point in the state. In 1758, the Shawnee under Chief Killbuck committed two massacres in Pendleton County, one at Fort Upper Tract and the second at Fort Seybert. The county's land area is 697 square miles.