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Harriet B. Jones


Physician Harriet B. Jones (June 3, 1856-June 28, 1943) was born in Ebensburg, Pennsylvania, but she grew up in Terra Alta, Preston County. She attended the Wheeling Female College and graduated from the Women’s Medical College of Baltimore in 1875. Specializing in gynecology and abdominal surgery, Jones opened a private practice in Wheeling in 1886, becoming the first woman licensed to practice medicine in West Virginia.

Jones served as the assistant superintendent of the state hospital in Weston from 1888 to 1892, when she returned to Wheeling to open a women’s hospital. A public health crusader, Jones was secretary of the West Virginia Anti-Tuberculosis League, which sponsored educational programs in every county. She campaigned vigorously for the establishment of Hopemont Sanitarium, which opened near Terra Alta in 1913. She also supported the creation of the West Virginia Children’s Home and the West Virginia Industrial Home for Girls.

Jones was active in the West Virginia Federation of Women’s Clubs and the Women’s Christian Temperance Union. As a staunch advocate of women’s rights, Jones was an officer in the West Virginia Equal Suffrage Association. After women won the vote in 1920, she was elected as a Republican from Marshall County to a term in the state House of Delegates in 1924. She is the only West Virginian named on a plaque erected in 1930 in Washington D.C. by the League of Women Voters, which bears the names of the leaders of the suffrage movement.

Written by Christine M. Kreiser


  1. West Virginia Women. West Virginia Heritage Encyclopedia. Richwood: Jim Comstock, 1974.

  2. Howe, Barbara J. West Virginia's Women Organizations, 1880s-1930. West Virginia History, (1990).