Keyser () is a city in and the county seat of Mineral County, West Virginia, United States. It is part of the Cumberland, MD-WV Metropolitan Statistical Area. The population was 5,439 at the 2010 census.
Keyser, the county seat of Mineral County, is located on the North Branch of the Potomac River at its juncture with New Creek in the Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia. Throughout the centuries, the town went through a series of name changes, but was ultimately named after William Keyser, a Baltimore and Ohio Railroad official.
The first Europeans to pass through what would become present-day Keyser are believed to have been William Mayo and George Savage, sent by Lord Fairfax in 1736 to seek out the source of the Potomac River. The first local land grant was issued by Fairfax to Christopher Beelor on March 20, 1752.
The place was first called Paddy Town, for Patrick McCarty, an Irish immigrant who came to then-Hampshire County, Virginia, sometime after 1740. Eventually, a community developed, which was also known as "the Irish Settlement." Initially a peaceful village, Paddy Town came under repeated Indian attacks after Major General Edward Braddock's defeat west of Paddy Town by French and Indian forces in 1755. The Paddy Towners built stockades and blockhouses to protect themselves. In 1762, Patrick McCarty was killed by a band of Indians while harvesting crops.
Patrick McCarty's son, Edward McCarty, was an enterprising fellow who put Paddy Town on the map after his father's death.