William Clark, while still a resident of Culpepper, Virginia, secured a tract of land in 1808 in the Buffalo area. In 1809, Clark came to the area and settled. Upon the marriage of his daughter Mary to Benjamin Kennerly Craig in 1826, Clark transferred "Buffalo Farm" to her as a wedding gift. Benjamin Craig became the founder of Buffalo. In 1833, Craig Secured the services of his brother James Craig who was a surveyor, to lay out the town and Incorporated it on April 2, 1837.
Several stories circulated as to the naming of Buffalo. One was that George Washington was surveying in the area and shot a Buffalo at a nearby spring. Another source was that the town was named for Buffalo Creek. The most likely story is that the town was named for the Post Office that was at the mouth of Big Buffalo Creek that was 4 miles up the river, but moved to the town soon after its founding.
Buffalo was once described by an early settler as a "quaint, picturesque town nestled beneath the foothills of Appalachia along the banks of the mighty Kanawha River." The description contains two basic elements that have provided Buffalo it's lifeblood, the fertile fields along the Appalachian Foothills and the Kanawha River. These two things have helped the town exist and thrive through the years.
Buffalo has a rich history starting with the Native American inhabitants of the 1600's, the early settlers who developed Buffalo, the booming of the river industry, the Civil War. Buffalo has played an important role in the history of West Virginia and has a colorful background. Buffalo has survived because of it's people who cared, had a vision and wanted to make the town a great place to live work, and play in the quaint, picturesque landscape of the Appalachian foothills and the Kanawha River Valley.