Attorney Virginia Mae Brown was born at Pliny, in Putnam County, on November 13, 1923. After graduating from the West Virginia University College of Law, she forged a pioneering career in government. In 1952—before she’d turned 30—Brown became the first woman to serve as assistant attorney general in West Virginia history.
In 1961, Governor Wally Barron named her West Virginia Insurance Commissioner, the first woman to hold that post in any state. The next year, Brown became the first woman ever appointed to a state Public Service Commission.