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Portraits of
Women in West Virginia

Betty Zane
Elizabeth "Betty" Zane, hero of Fort Henry. 1952-11. For more information on Zane, see our "Time Trail, West Virginia" program, bibliographical info from our Notable West Virginians, and an article from West Virginia History.

Louise McNeill Pease
Louise McNeill Pease. Pocahontas County native Louise McNeill Pease was named poet laureate of West Virginia in 1978. Her poetry collections and books include Gauley Mountain, Paradox Hill, Elderberry Flood, and The Milkweed Ladies. Click here for more information.

Elizabeth Kee
Congresswoman Elizabeth Kee of Bluefield. On July 17, 1951, Democrat Elizabeth Kee of Bluefield was elected to complete the unexpired term of her husband, U.S. Representative John Kee, who died on May 8, becoming the first woman in the state's history to serve in Congress. Chase Ltd., Photo, Washington 6, D. C. Click here to learn more about Kee.

Mother Jones
Fiery labor organizer Mary Harris "Mother" Jones. Click here to read a "Time Trail" program; click here for bibliographical information on Jones.

Ann Maria Reeves Jarvis and daughter Anna Jarvis.
Anna led a small tribute to her mother at Andrews Methodist Church on May 12, 1907, and dedicated her life to establishing a nationally recognized Mother's Day. The first official Mother's Day ceremonies were held at Andrews Methodist in Grafton and the Wanamaker Store Auditorium in Philadelphia on May 10, 1908. Six years later, President Woodrow Wilson signed a Congressional Resolution setting aside Mother's Day as a national holiday to be celebrated on the second Sunday in May. Click here for bibliographical information, or here for more on the founding of Mother's Day.

Pearl S. Buck
Pocahontas County native Pearl Sydenstricker Buck, who won the Nobel Prize for her book, The Good Earth. Click here to find research materials on Buck.

"Mad Anne" Bailey (1742-1825)
Wearing buckskin pants and a petticoat, carrying a long rifle and hunting knife, she distinguished herself as a scout and messenger during the Revolutionary War. She is buried in the Point Pleasant, West Virginia Battle Monument State Park. Click here for an article and bibliographical information on Bailey.

Belle Boyd
Martinsburg native Belle Boyd, noted Confederate spy and author of Belle Boyd in Camp and Prison. Ph78-1.10.2. Click here for a listing of books and articles on Boyd available in the West Virginia State Archives Library.

Harriet B. Jones
Dr. Harriet B. Jones was the first woman licensed physician in West Virginia and one of the first women to serve in the West Virginia Legislature. She was elected to the House of Delegates from Marshall County in 1924, serving two terms. Ph78-1. Click here for a biographical sketch of Jones.

Virginia Mae Brown
Brown was appointed Assistant Attorney General of West Virginia, the first woman to hold that post. In 1961, she became the first woman Insurance Commissioner in the state. Brown also became the first woman to head a U.S. regulatory commission in 1969, when she was named chair of the Interstate Commerce Commission. Ph88-17

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Women in West Virginia

West Virginia Archives and History