By 1872, Charlestown was on the road to recovery from the effects of the Civil War. The county seat had been returned to Charlestown and repairs to the Court House were underway. On February 24, 1872, the General Assembly of West Virginia approved “An Act to Amend and Re-Enact the Charter of the town of Charlestown, in the County of Jefferson.” Among other provisions, the act required that municipal elections be held within 30 days.
At that time, West Virginia operated under the township system of government and Charlestown was situated in the Charlestown Township. Townships were similar to our present-day magisterial districts. Because at that time there were no elected municipal officers in Charlestown, the charter revision stipulated that the municipal election would be under the supervision of two township Inspectors. Edward Cooke and Hiram O’Bannon, both “Justices of the Peace for the County and Township aforesaid,” were the officials tapped to oversee the election.
In 1872, Charlestown was divided into three wards.
On March 4, Cooke and O’Bannon announced that on Monday, March 25th, 1872 municipal elections would be held in Charlestown to select a Mayor, a Town recorder, and six Councilmen. The polling place for Ward One was Holl’s Tavern on West Washington Street and would be supervised by George Kearsley, John Hilbert, and Charles Johnson. Ward Two supervisors were William Lippitt, Andrew Kennedy, and David Howell and the polling place was the old schoolhouse near the Methodist Church.
Ward Three voters cast their ballots at the brick schoolhouse on Samuel Street – across the street from the Baptist Church. Ward Three supervisors were James Lawrence Hooff, William Lyne Wilson, and Joseph Starry.
On March 25, 1872, in the first post-Civil War municipal election held in Charlestown, Edward Morton Lackland was elected Mayor and James Edgar Duke was chosen Recorder. Winners in the race for seats on Town Council were William P. Henson and John E. Hilbert in Ward One, Thomas W. Davis and Jacob Starry in Ward Two, and James Lawrence Hooff and John W. McCurdy in Ward Three. These men would oversee Charlestown’s continued recovery.
The 1872 charter revision more than doubled the original size of the town platted by Charles Washington. After running the metes and bounds and establishing the new town boundaries, “modern” survey techniques standardized the width of all the town’s streets. George Street and Washington Street both measured four rods wide or sixty-six feet. Congress and Liberty Streets were each sixty feet wide. Samuel, Mildred, and East Streets on the east end and Charles, Lawrence, and West Streets on the west end each measured fifty feet wide. Water Street and Mt. Parvo Avenue were thirty feet wide as were North Alley (present-day North Street), East Alley (present-day Seminary Street), South Alley (present-day Avis Street), and Academy Alley (present-day Academy Street). South of town South West Street became Bloomery Road which intersected the Bloomery Turnpike near the present-day location of the Charles Town Police Department, the old Acme Store. The Bloomery Turnpike came into Charlestown on South George Street. New streets would be added, and some street names would be changed as building lots were sold in Hunter’s Addition – the farmland owned by Mrs. Rebecca Lane Huston Hunter.