“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Beckley in Raleigh County, West Virginia — The American South (Appalachia)

James Bird Cole (1813-1880)

James Bird Cole (1813-1880) Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Merle T. Cole, circa May 2017
1. James Bird Cole (1813-1880) Marker
Inscription.  On this spot in 1842, James Bird Cole built the first residence in Alfred Beckley's 30-acre "paper town." Cole was born in Floyd County, Virginia, circa 1813. A blacksmith, he also established the first business in Beckley. He built his forge and shop directly across the street at the "23rd Mile Tree," which marked the distance from Pack's Ferry on the Bluestone River. The shop was ideally located at the intersection of the Giles, Fayette and Kanawha Turnpike and the Guyandotte Turnpike. Cole moved to Crab Orchard after the Civil War, where he died on 25 April 1880.
Erected 2016 by Raleigh County Historical Society.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Industry & CommerceSettlements & Settlers. A significant historical year for this entry is 1842.
Location. 37° 46.616′ N, 81° 11.236′ W. Marker is in Beckley, West Virginia, in Raleigh County. Marker is at the intersection of South Kanawha Street (West Virginia Route 210) and Howe Street, on the left when traveling north on South Kanawha Street. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 200 S Kanawha St, Beckley WV 25801, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least
Three Generations Dedication image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Don Davis, December 2016
2. Three Generations Dedication
Three generations of descendants gathered for a group dedication on December 17, 2016. From left: great-great grandchildren Merle T. Cole and Patricia A. Cole Davis; 94-year old great-grandson Carl Thomas Cole; and great-great-great granddaughters Lisa K. Davis Clark and Julie E. Davis.
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8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Samuel Haas Bridge (23 Jan. 1884 - 27 Mar. 1965) (a few steps from this marker); Beckley (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); The Raleigh County Bank (about 500 feet away); Gen. Alfred Beckley (about 600 feet away); Site of First State Police Headquarters (about 600 feet away); Salvation Wall (about 600 feet away); Civil War Site (about 600 feet away); The Attar Center (about 600 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Beckley.
Additional keywords. first resident, first business
Credits. This page was last revised on July 12, 2021. It was originally submitted on July 9, 2021, by Merle T. Cole of Daniels, West Virginia. This page has been viewed 71 times since then and 12 times this year. Last updated on July 12, 2021, by Merle T. Cole of Daniels, West Virginia. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on July 9, 2021, by Merle T. Cole of Daniels, West Virginia. • Devry Becker Jones was the editor who published this page.

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Mar. 25, 2023