Beginning in the 1760s when the earliest settlers crossed the divides of the Allegheny Mountains and made their tomahawk claims along the waters of the upper Monongahela River in what became the Hacker's Creek settlements of western Virginia, the names and exploits of the frontiersmen of the region were indelibly inscribed in the pages of American history. These settlements were the western frontier of the fledgling nation far longer than any place in its western expansion; and, there were more conflicts between its people and the red man during the last half of the eighteenth century than anywhere else on the long frontier.
Hacker's Creek was named for John Hacker, a Stafford County,Virginia, native who came with the first party of men to settle at present-day Buckhannon, Upshur County, West Virginia. Finding that land he desired at Buckhannon had already been claimed by Samuel Pringle, an earlier sojourner in the region, he crossed the Buckhannon Mountain and selected four hundred acres on a tributary of the Muddy River, as the West Fork of the Monongahela River was then called. John Hacker thus became the first permanent European settler in what is today's Lewis County, West Virginia
John Hacker, the Pringles, and other early settlers in the Central West Virginia region were memorialized when the Hacker's Creek Pioneer Descendants was organized in 1982. The society's original purpose was to preserve the history and genealogy of the Hacker's Creek watershed in Lewis and Upshur counties.
The members soon realized that the focus of their efforts extended far beyond these very limited boundaries; and, they expanded their area of interest to include all of Central West Virginia in particular and the entire state of West Virginia
in general. The reasons for this expanded scope can best be understood by looking at the early history of the region and the formation of the various counties in the state.
Ninety-two persons from six states attended the first meeting of the HCPD at Broad Run Baptist Church in Lewis County in October 1982. Today the society has nearly a thousand members in nearly every state, Canada, Germany, and Russia.