Shepherdstown is a town in Jefferson County, West Virginia, USA. Shepherdstown claims to be the oldest town in the state. In 1734, Thomas Shepherd was granted 222 acres (0.9 km), on the south side of the Potomac river. From that tract, he selected 50 acres (200,000 m) and laid out a town. He named his town Mecklenburg and petitioned the Virginia Assembly for a charter. It was officially chartered in 1762 by the Virginia General Assembly. Thomas Shepherd was the sole trustee. He owned the town and had the responsibility to conduct its government. In 1798 it was renamed Shepherds Town, which was shortened to Shepherdstown after the Civil War. The town's population was 1208 as of 2002. The town is also home to Shepherd University.