On July 4th, 1879 a group of influential citizens, led by Joseph Kelly, met at present day Nora to discuss the formation of new county and start a petition.  The group consisted of Joseph Kelly, Robert J. Phillips, James Venters, Abraham Mullins, Jeff Fleming, James Colley, David Smith, William Vanover, William Sutherland, Elijah Sutherland, John P. Chase and Jasper S. Colley.The meeting agreed upon the boundary lines of the new county and the petition was given to William J. Dickenson, an influential legislater from Russell County.  Then after some back and forth on the name of the new county, legislation passed to form Dickenson County on March 3, 1880 from Russell, Buchanan, and Wise County.  It was the last county formed in the state hence it's nickname of "Virginia's Baby" and was named for the previously mentioned William J. Dickenson.

The earliest permanent settler of present day Dickenson County was the infamous Richard 'Fightin Dick' Colley who settled near Sand Lick in about 1810 while the county was part of Russell.  In about 1830, John Mullins Jr. settled at Holly Creek (now Clintwood) and a few families were settled on McClure river near present day Nora.  The original county seat of Dickenson County was Ervinton, named for Micajah Ervin one of the pioneer settlers there.  Then in 1882, the county seat was moved to Holly Creek which was renamed Clintwood shortly thereafter.

More history on the formation of Dickenson County external link