Philippi, WV and the First Prosthetics Business in the Nation

First Land Battle of the Civil War

Philippi was the site of the first land battle of the Civil War, “The Philippi Races,” on June 3rd of 1861. During this battle, Union forces fired a six-pound round into a barn located on a farm guarded by Private James Hanger of the Confederacy, where the munition attack left his leg attached by skin alone. The leg was amputated just a few inches below the hip. Unsatisfied with the “Yankee” peg leg that he was initially fitted with, James Hanger designed and built an articulating prosthetic leg capable of movement at both the ankle and knee. Later that year, Hanger began producing advanced prosthetic legs for amputees. He obtained a patent, established a prosthetics business in Staunton, VA, and continued to improve his invention. Hanger’s prosthetic legs were eventually commissioned for wide scale distribution to war amputees throughout the world. Hanger, Inc. continues on as an innovative manufacturer of quality orthotic and prosthetic devices in the United States.

Philippi: The County Seat of Barbour County, WV

The settlement of Philippi – formerly “Anglin’s Ford” and “Booth’s Ferry” – was platted, named, and made the county seat in 1843, and was chartered in 1844. By the 1850s, when a major covered bridge was constructed at Philippi to service travelers on the Beverly-Fairmont Turnpike, the County’s population was approaching 10,000 people.

Business and Career Opportunities in Philippi, WV

Philippi is now home to 3,700 people, with a growing population. Job and quality of life opportunities in the local area include professional level management careers, farming, fishing, and forestry careers, extraction, maintenance, production, materials management and transportation, vocational training, an industrial park with an on-site railroad (located above the floodplain), gas development, abundant potable water, and coal and wood in abundance. Philippi is home to to Barbour County Historical Museum, a site containing antique relics dating back to 1635, as well as many Civil War items. Alderson Broaddus University is located in Philippi, as well.

Recreational Opportunities in and Near Philippi, WV

A wide variety of fun recreational and dining opportunities are present in and near Philippi, including:

  • Tygart Lake State Park: Cabins, Lodge, and Campgrounds. Call: 1 (800) 225-5982
  • Philippi Main Street Program: Local residents volunteer to welcome newcomers and care for our city.
  • Blue & Grey Reunion: Civil War battle re-enactments, ball, tea, exhibits, and more.
  • The Covered Bridge: The only double barrel bridge on a federal highway; Built in 1852
  • The Market Place: Garden market and cafe with fresh, seasonal food; 107 North Main Street in Philippi. Phone: (304) 457-5774
  • Anglin’s Ford Trading Post: Local handmade crafts and more; Main Street, Philippi. Phone: (304) 457-0500
  • Arden Gardens Restaurant: Enjoy the drive along the river; Dine at Gypsy’s Cafe. Phone: (304) 319-4161
  • Angel Band B&B: On the river at Arden. Phone: (800) 909-4262
  • Adaland Mansion: Tours, weddings, special events, dinners. Phone: (304) 457-1587