Raleigh County Courthouse
Raleigh County was once a favorite site for fur traders who traveled through the country in search of beaver pelts. The first setters came to the area in 1792: the most prominent of these was Brigadier General Alfred Beckley for whom the City of Beckley was named. Differences of opinion on the issues that brought forth the Civil War led to the creation of the new state of West Virginia on June 20, 1863. Raleigh County was named after Sir Walter Raleigh, an English soldier, adventurer, and the favorite of Queen Elizabeth, and was formed from parts of Fayette County on January 23, 1850.
Today Raleigh County has a population of around 80,000 people, making it the 6th largest in the state of West Virginia. It is a thriving commercial hub for the coal mining region of southern West Virginia.
Municipalities in Raleigh County are Beckley, Lester, Mabscott, Rhodell, and Sophia.
Total acreage in Raleigh County is 390,496, which is equivalent to 610 square miles. This courthouse is especially significant to me personally because it was here, at the age of 16, in 1961, I preached my first sermon to the inmates in the Raleigh County Jail, which occupies the top floor of the courthouse.