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Portraits of
Women in West Virginia

Mildred Mitchell- Bateman
Mildred Mitchell-Bateman was the first African-American woman to be named to a high-ranking office in West Virginia state government. In 1962, she became director of the Department of Mental Health and served in that capacity for fifteen years. In 1977, Governor Jay Rockefeller merged the Department of Mental Health into the larger Department of Health. Mitchell- Bateman resigned as director and became chair of the Psychiatry Department of Marshall University's medical school on July 1. Ph88-17. Click here to learn more about Mitchell-Bateman.

Elizabeth Hallanan
Elizabeth Hallanan of Charleston. In 1983 she was appointed United States District Judge by President Reagan. Ph88-17

Mary Behner Christopher
Mary Behner Christopher worked for nine years in the northern West Virginia coalfields for the Board of National Missions of the Presbyterian Church, U. S. A. Click here to learn more about Mary Behner Christopher.

Elizabeth Simpson Drewry
Elizabeth Simpson Drewry of Northfork. She was elected to the West Virginia House of Delegates in 1950. Click here to learn more about Drewry.

Minnie Buckingham Harper
Minnie Buckingham Harper of Keystone. Harper was appointed to the West Virginia House of Delegates by Governor Howard M. Gore on January 10, 1928 to fill the unexpired term of her late husband. She was the first African American woman to become a member of a legislative body in the United States.

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Women in West Virginia

West Virginia Archives and History