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The mayor has little, if any, executive authority and essentially is the "first among equals" on the city council.
The mayor, however, has a bully pulpit as Roanoke media frequently cover the mayor's appearances and statements.
For the junction for the Shenandoah Valley and the Norfolk and Western roads, Kimball and his board of directors selected the small Virginia village called Big Lick, on the Roanoke River.
Although the grateful citizens offered to rename their town "Kimball", at his suggestion, they agreed to name it Roanoke after the river.
This gave the railroad the route structure it was to use for more than 60 years.
The Virginian Railway (VGN), an engineering marvel of its day, was conceived and built by William Nelson Page and Henry Huttleston Rogers.
American Viscose opened a large rayon plant in Southeast Roanoke in October 1917.
Today it stokes steel mills and power plants all over the globe.
The Norfolk & Western was famous for manufacturing steam locomotives in-house.
The native people who lived near where the city was founded did not speak Algonquian. There were also Cherokee speakers in that general area who fought with the Catawba people.
The city grew frequently through annexation through the middle of the twentieth century. The state legislature has since prohibited cities from annexing land from adjacent counties.