“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Fairmont in Marion County, West Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)

Francis H. Pierpont Home

“Father of West Virginia”

Francis H. Pierpont Home Marker image. Click for full size.
By J. J. Prats, June 21, 2014
1. Francis H. Pierpont Home Marker
Inscription. Ahead near Pierpont Avenue stood the home of Francis Harrison Pierpont, governor of the Restored Government of Virginia and the “Father of West Virginia.” Here he brought his bride, Julia Augusta Robertson Pierpont, in 1854. Here their four children were born. In his library building in April 1861, Pierpont devised plans that restored loyal Virginia to the Union and gave life to West Virginia.

On April 29, 1863, Confederate forces under Gen. William E. Jones captured Fairmont and destroyed the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad bridge over the Monongahela River. Pierpont was in Wheeling, serving as the governor of the Restored State of Virginia, while his family was with relatives in Washington, Pennsylvania. Angered at not finding Pierpont, the Confederates burned the books from his library in the street. A Confederate tried to save the family Bible. Retrieved by a neighbor, it now rests at the West Virginia State Museum in Charleston.

After the Commonwealth of Virginia seceded in April 1861, representatives of the Unionist counties of northwestern Virginia, meeting in Wheeling, effected the plan that Pierpont devised here. Declaring Virginiaís governmental offices vacant, they established a "restored" government of Virginia, electing Pierpont governor. In 1863, under Pierpontís leadership,
Francis H. Pierpont Home Marker image. Click for full size.
By J. J. Prats, June 21, 2014
2. Francis H. Pierpont Home Marker
Pierpont Street runs between the white and the brick building in the distance.
West Virginia became a state with Wheeling as the capital, and Arthur I. Boreman was elected governor. Pierpont moved the capital of Restored Virginia to Alexandria. After the war ended in 1865, he relocated Virginiaís government and his family to Richmond, Va. In 1868, Pierpont, replaced by a military governor, returned to Fairmont.

Pierpont resumed his law practice, held political office, and taught school for former slaves. Falling ill in 1896, he stayed with his daughter in Pittsburgh, Pa. He died in 1899 and was buried in Fairmontís Woodlawn Cemetery.

(sidebar) You are standing on the site of the Methodist Protestant Church. Here two major events occurred as a result of the Civil War. In 1865, the West Virginia Normal School began providing teacher training for the stateís new free schools. It later became Fairmont State University and Pierpont Community and Technical College. Here also, in 1869, under Pierpontís leadership, efforts were begun to reunite the Methodist Church, which had split over slavery. The reunion occurred in Baltimore Md., in 1877.
Erected by West Virginia Civil War Trails.
Marker series. This marker is included in the West Virginia Civil War Trails marker series.
Location. 39° 29.193′ 
Francis H. Pierpont image. Click for full size.
Internet Archive
3. Francis H. Pierpont
“Governor of Virginia. 1861 to 1865, with state government at Alexandria. Provisional Governor, Appointed by President Johnson, 1865 to 1868.”
The Soldier in our Civil War Frank Leslie et al., 1893
N, 80° 8.425′ W. Marker is in Fairmont, West Virginia, in Marion County. Marker is at the intersection of Quincy Street (U.S. 19) and Jackson Street (U.S. 19), on the right when traveling north on Quincy Street. Click for map. Marker is in this post office area: Fairmont WV 26554, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Fairmont (approx. 0.2 miles away); Marion County Courthouse (approx. 0.2 miles away); High-Level / Million Dollar Robert H. Mollohan Bridge (approx. 0.2 miles away); Attack on Fairmont (approx. 0.2 miles away); Boaz Fleming (approx. 0.2 miles away); A. Brooks Fleming House (approx. 0.2 miles away); Battle for the Bridge (approx. 0.3 miles away); Graves of the Pierponts (approx. 0.3 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Fairmont.
More about this marker. Above the second column on the marker is a photograph of the “Pierpont House, with Pierpont seated on the steps.” On the lower left are portraits of Julia Pierpont and Francis H. Pierpont. In the sidebar on the lower right is a photograph of the Methodist Protestant Church circa 1920.
Categories. Churches, Etc.War, US Civil
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by J. J. Prats of Springfield, Virginia. This page has been viewed 300 times since then and 104 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on , by J. J. Prats of Springfield, Virginia.   3. submitted on , by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland. This page was last revised on October 4, 2016.
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