city, seat of Monongalia county, northern West Virginia, U.S., on the Monongahela River, 77 miles (124 km) south of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The first settlement there (1758) did not last, and Zackquill Morgan, son of West Virginia's first permanent settler, Morgan Morgan, founded a new community in 1766. The county seat was moved there in 1783, and the town was chartered in 1785. The first steamboat arrived in 1826, after which considerable river traffic developed. The railroad arrived in 1886 and spurred the town's growth. Coal mining also fueled expansion, although mining from the nearby Scott's Run coalfield did not begin until the early 20th century.
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