|Motto:||The Gateway to Southern West Virginia|
Beckley is a city in and the county seat of Raleigh County, West Virginia, United States. It was founded on April 4, 1838.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 is Bill O'Brien.
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..." Early in its history, the town was known as Beckley, Raleigh Court House, and, occasionally, Beckleyville. The town was originally located in Fayette County, Virginia. In 1850 the act of the Virginia legislature creating Raleigh County named Beckley the county seat. 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.
During the presidential primaries of 1960, the vehicles of rivals John F. Kennedy and Hubert Humphrey stopped at the same streetcorner in Beckley. Recognizing each other, the two men got out and chatted briefly.