Preston, a N. county of West Virginia, bordering on Pennsylvania and Maryland, and intersected by Cheat river; area, about 600 sq. m.; pop. in 1870, 14,555, of whom 118 were colored. It occupies a valley between the Chestnut ridge on the west and the Alleghany ridge on the east, and the soil is very fertile. Iron ore, coal, sandstone, and slate are found, and there is extensive water power. It is traversed by the Baltimore and Ohio railroad. The chief productions in 1870 were 33,695 bushels of wheat, 20,580 of rye, 145,004 of Indian corn, 189,070 of oats, 27,346 of buckwheat, 11,961 tons of hay, 58,388 lbs. of wool, 193,233 of butter, 13,932 of honey, and 8,521 gallons of sorghum molasses. There were 3,596 horses, 4,526 milch cows, 6,423 other cattle, 23,336 sheep, and 6,703 swine; 2 manufactories of pig iron, 10 tanneries, 19 saw mills, and 4 woollen mills. Capital, Kingwood.
Preston, a town of Lancashire, England, on the right bank of the river Ribble, 190 m. N. W. of London; pop. in 1871, 85,427. It occupies an eminence rising from the river, here spanned by a handsome railway viaduct, 68 ft. high. The staple manufacture of Preston was originally linen, which is still made to some extent, but has been completely eclipsed by cotton. There are more than 50 cotton mills, besides manufactories of worsted, machinery, etc. Vessels of 300 tons can ascend to the quays. Preston owes its name, originally Priests' Town, to the number of religious houses it contained. In 1873 the number of places of worship was 48, of which 16 belonged to the church of England.