J. McHenry Jones

Wheeling Register
September 17, 1898

Has Jones Been Elected?

Evidence That the Announcement Was a Trifle Premature.

A Queer Proceeding On The Part Of A Committee Of The Board Of Regents Of The Colored State Normal School. Selection Will Probably Be Made - Prof. Jones Has Received No Information On The Subject.

A Charleston telegram in yesterday's Intelligencer stated that Prof. J. McH. Jones, of this city, had been selected as principal of the State Colored Institute at Farm, W. Va. It appears that the publication was a trifle premature, although it is probable that Prof. Jones will be offered the place. J. D. Hill is the present principal, and Prof. Jones was told some weeks ago that he could have the place.

It appears that there was a scheme on the part of Republican members of the Executive Committee of the Board of Regents to oust Hill and put Jones in as his successor, but the scheme went off half cocked. The committee is composed of Messrs. Hanen, Turner and Whittington. Mr. Whittington received no notice of a meeting to be held Thursday, and was attending a Senatorial conference in Charleston on that day. Mrssrs. Hanen and Turner went to the school, and at noon the statement was given out that Prof. Jones had been chosen. Mr. Whittington, feeling that he had not been courteously treated and knowing that the proceeding was irregular, called up the other members of the committee by phone, and was told that the report was all a mistake. They hedged when they learned the attitude of Mr. Whittington. It is probable that the majority of the committee will make this selection at another meeting, but it must then be ratified by the full Board.

The Charleston Gazette, commenting on the action of Messrs. Hanen and Turner, says:

In the meantime, J. McHenry Jones has been requested not to be uneasy, but just to "lay low." If Jones is selected it will be against the intent and genius of the institution. It will be a slap in the face, direct and hard, of the colored people of this part of West Virginia, a slap the sting of which will smart for many a long day.

A large number of these people for whom this slap is intended will wonder why they are to be slapped. They are wondering why the Board of Regents should go to the PanHandle for a man when the position belongs and has practically been promised to a man from this section.

Be it known, then, that the fine Italian hand of Chairman Dawson and the John Hancock of the Governor is in the transaction, though they will say, of course - the Board did it. Ohio county is going to cut quite a figure in the contest for the United States Senatorship. Too many plums cannot be distributed in that section.

Prof. Jones, when seen by a Register reporter yesterday, stated that he had not been officially notified of his selection, and, in fact, had received no communication of any kind bearing on the subject. The position had not been offered to him, and his acceptance of it would depend upon a certain contingency. There would be more honor and a larger salary attached to the position than to that which he now holds, but he is very well pleased with Wheeling.

African Americans

West Virginia Archives and History