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Most of the city is in Cabell County, for which it is the county seat.Huntington is the largest city in the MSA and the second largest city in West Virginia, with a population of 49,138 at the 2010 census.

After merging with several other railroads, C&O is now known as CSX Transportation.

The city was incorporated in 1871 just west of the earlier city of Guyandotte.

A farmer James Holderby (1782–1855) purchased the lands in 1821 upon which much of Huntington now stands which is why the area was known as Holderby's Landing prior to 1870-71 when it was incorporated and renamed; Holderby's estate included the lands gifted in 1837 to found what is now Marshall University.

The C&O purchased the area in 1870, and by 1873 when the railroad connected Richmond to the Ohio, it had undergone a transition from a sleepy agricultural region with the nearby subscription Academy into a growing rail center poised to act as a spring board for a railroad to penetrate and connect the midwest with the eastern seaboard.

It is often referred to as one of the northernmost cities in the South or one of the southernmost cities in the North.

The Huntington Metro Area is sometimes called KYOWVA, an acronym that refers to the three states that make up the region, (Kentucky, Ohio, and West Virginia).

The City of Huntington was founded as the western terminus of the Chesapeake and Ohio Railway in 1871 upon agricultural homesteads, and is eponymously named for the railroad's founder Collis Potter Huntington.

The first identifiable permanent settlement, Holderby's Landing, was founded in 1775 in what was then the Colony of Virginia, but the area had been sparsely settled by French as early as 1609.

Residents of Huntington are called "Huntingtonians." According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 18.46 square miles (47.81 km The Guyandotte River joins the Ohio River about 5 miles (8.0 km) east of downtown.

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