June 3, 1856: Harriet Jones MD Born

Harriet Jones, MD

Physician Harriet Jones was born in Pennsylvania on June 3, 1856, but grew up at Terra Alta in Preston County.

After attending Wheeling Female College, she graduated from the Women’s Medical College of Baltimore.

In 1886, Jones opened a private practice in Wheeling, becoming the first woman licensed to practice medicine in West Virginia. Her specialties were gynecology and abdominal surgery.

In 1888, she became assistant superintendent of what would become the Weston State Hospital. She stepped down four years later to start a women’s hospital in Wheeling. A public health crusader, Jones was secretary of the state Anti-Tuberculosis League and campaigned to establish the state Children’s Home in Elkins, the state Industrial Home for Girls at Salem, and Hopemont Sanitarium, which opened near Terra Alta in 1913.

A staunch women’s rights advocate, Jones was active in the state Federation of Women’s Clubs, Women’s Christian Temperance Union, and state Equal Suffrage Association. In 1924, she was elected to the House of Delegates as a Republican from Marshall County, making her one of the first women to serve in the legislature.

Harriet Jones died in 1943 at age 87.