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Wytheville

Trip Planner USA  /  Virginia  /  Wytheville
(4.4/5 based on 240+ reviews for 4 attractions)
Things to do: sightseeing, nightlife, museums
Wytheville is a town in, and the county seat of, Wythe County, Virginia, United States. The population was 8,211 at the 2010 census.HistoryWythe County was created in 1789 and named for George Wythe, the "father of American Jurisprudence" and signer of the Declaration of Independence. In May 1790, Chris Simmerman donated 90 acres, along with John Davis's 10 acres, to establish a town and county seat. Robert Adams completed a town survey in November of that year, dividing the area into half-acre lots. The town didn't have an official name yet, but was generally known as Wythe Court House. Two years later, in October 1792, the town was officially named Evansham, for prominent local citizen Jesse Evans. After a disastrous fire in March 1839, the town was renamed Wytheville. At that time, it was home to about 500 residents.Polio epidemicWhat started off as a few cases of infantile paralysis during the summer of 1950 swelled into the hundreds. Out of the 5,513 inhabitants of the town, 184 people contracted the disease with 17 fatalities. From the beginning of June until the end of August, parents kept children inside and large gatherings were cancelled to diminish the chance of infection.As the epidemic progressed, ambulances drove victims approximately trip to Memorial Crippled Children’s Hospital in Roanoke, Virginia. Hearses from local funeral homes were used when ambulances were unavailable. Black patients with polio were repeatedly denied admission to Roanoke’s hospital and were forced to make the approximately trip drive to St. Philip’s Hospital in Richmond.
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