Logan County Exported Ginseng to China

Logan County Genealogical Society

September 27, 2013

(The following article was published in the Logan County Genealogical Society Newsletter, Vol. 27, Issue 1, 2004)


Just 117 years ago, the most thriving business over the whole territory of what is now Logan County was the gathering and preparation of ginseng for market. We (Four Wing News) reprint what an old newspaper had to say about it, a Notice in Western Virginia, Charleston, October 28, 1828:

“Logan County was organized in the Spring of 1824, when the whole freehold force of the county amounted to but 128 votes on a very animated and contested election of delegates. Since that period the county has very rapidly improved in its population and resources, as will be perceived from the following facts furnished by a gentleman residing there, and intimately acquainted with the business of the county.

At the last election 342 freehold votes were given. The exports of the county for the present year are estimated as follows: Ginseng, green from the forest, 180,000 lbs., for which eight cents per pound is received at the establishments for clarifying it for the Chinese market, and of which there exists five in the county, three pounds of the green root yielding one pound clarified for exportation.

Horned cattle sold to the feeders and grazers of the middle counties, 600, averaging $10 each.

Hogs fatted for market, upwards of 1,000 averaging 50 per head. Beeswax, peltry skins and furs, upwards of $1,000.”

Time has done a lot of marching since those back yonder days, and business in Logan County has undergone very remarkable changes.

— Logan County Genealogical Society meetings are held on the second Monday of each month at 6 p.m. in the Logan Area Public Library at Logan. Anyone wishing to learn more about researching their ancestors is welcome to attend the meetings or follow them on Facebook at Logan County WV Genealogical Society.