The Frank and Jane Gabor West Virginia Folklife Center on the shared main campus of Fairmont State University and Pierpont Community & Technical College will host a birthday celebration in honor of Francis H. Pierpont, “The Father of West Virginia.” Students, faculty and staff are invited to the Folklife Center for birthday cake and coffee from 9:30-10:45 a.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 25.
Historian JoAnn Lough will make a special appearance as Julia Robertson Pierpont to wish her “husband” a happy birthday.
Francis H. Pierpont, who was born on January 25, 1814, was the Governor of Restored Virginia from 1862-1868. Under his administration, the northwestern counties of Restored Virginia requested statehood and West Virginia, the 35th state, was born. Pierpont and his wife, Julia Robertson Pierpont, lived in Fairmont. Julia Pierpont died in 1886, and Francis Pierpont died in 1899. They are buried in Woodlawn Cemetery in Fairmont. Pierpont Community & Technical College carries on the Pierpont name today.
January is a month of historic birthdays:
- The birthday of Boaz Fleming, the founder of Fairmont, was January 3, 1758.
- Marion County was established on January 14, 1842.
- Fairmont, originally called Middletown, was established as a town on January 19, 1820.