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Beckley

 

Beckley is a city and county seat of Raleigh County located in West VirginiaUnited States. It was founded on April 4, 1838.250px-Beckley_Main_Street[5] Beckley was named in honor of John James Beckley, who was the first Clerk of the House of Representatives and the first Librarian of Congress. It was founded by his son Alfred Beckley (US Army general and Confederate militia commander, born in Washington, D.C.). The current mayor since 1988 is Emmett S. Pugh, III.[6]

Although founded in 1838, Beckley existed only on paper at that time, “Alfred Beckley said he “was frequently jeered and laughed at for his Paper Town…”[7] Early in its history, the town was known asBeckleyville and Raleigh Court House. In 1850, “The act of creating the county (Raleigh) made the town of Beckleyville the county seat.” [8] The city is sometimes called the “Smokeless Coal Capital”, “The City of Champions” and the “Gateway To Southern West Virginia.” Beckley had the first “community antenna” television system in the United States, a forerunner of cable television.[citation needed]

Geography and climate

Beckley is located at 37°46′47″N 81°10′59″W (37.779764, −81.183193).[9]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 9.50 square miles (24.60 km2), of which, 9.49 square miles (24.58 km2) is land and 0.01 square miles (0.03 km2) is water.[1]

Due to its elevation, the climate of Beckley is either classified as mountain temperate or humid continental (Köppen Cfb or Dfb, respectively), and the city straddles the border between USDA Plant Hardiness Zones 6B and 7A.[10] Summers are warm and humid, although significantly cooler than low-elevation places within the state, with only one day of 90 °F (32 °C)+ highs annually, and winters are generally cold and snowy with occasional intervening warm periods and 10 nights of sub-10 °F (−12 °C) lows. Monthly mean temperatures range from 31.1 °F (−0.5 °C) in January to 70.6 °F (21.4 °C) in July. Snowfall averages 61.4 inches (156 cm) per season and chiefly occurs from December to March, with some accumulation in April and November and May or October falls much rarer.