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West Virginia Women's Suffrage Trail

Zone 4 of 10: Fairmont

You are vieweing item 19 of 40 in this tour.

The Hotel Manley opened in February 1903, owned by Charles E. and Jessie G. Manley. The Manleys operated the hotel at least through the 1910s. Jessie G. Manley and her mother, Margaret J. Grove, were leaders of the West Virginia woman suffrage movement. Grove served as the first president of the Fairmont Political Equality Club and Manley was the first president of the West Virginia Equal Suffrage Association. 


Masonic Temple and Hotel Manley, c. 1908

Wheel, Building, Photograph, Window

Postcard of the Masonic Temple and Hotel Manley, c. 1910s

Building, Property, Window, Sky

Margaret Jane Grove, c. 1932

Jaw, Font, Rectangle, Monochrome

Jessie G. Manley, 1896 ["Photograph of Florence Jessie Grove (Mrs. Charles E.) Manley (1858–1940) of Fairmont, West Virginia, circa 1896; founding president of the West Virginia Equal Suffrage Association; image snipped from The Woman's Edition of Fairmont Index (September 1896)"]

Forehead, Head, Hairstyle, Eyebrow

Advertisement for the Hotel Manley in the 1904 Fairmont City Directory

Font, Parallel, Rectangle

"Ellen Harn and Her Two Sisters Live To Combined Age of 300." The Lincoln Star, April 17, 1932.

Newspaper, Publication, News, Font

West Virginia Argus, December 6, 1900

Font, Number, Newspaper, Paper product

This 1908 bulletin reports that the West Virginia State Federation of Women's Clubs would be held in Fairmont in 1908 with the Hotel Manley as the convention headquarters. The WV report also mentions that the Fairmont Political Equality Club was admitted into the Federation that year.

Newspaper, Publication, Font, Material property

The Manley Hotel hosted a banquet for suffragists attending the 1915 state suffrage convention in Fairmont

Newspaper, Publication, Font, Material property

The West Virginian, April 9, 1915

Newspaper, Publication, Font, Material property

Charles E. Manley graduated from Fairmont Normal School in 1875 and Jessie Grove Manley graduated in 1877.

Font, Publication, Paper, Paper product

Sanborn Fire Insurance Map from Fairmont, Marion County, West Virginia, April 1912

Map, Rectangle, Font, Schematic

Charles and Jessie Manley lived at the Hotel Manley (the address varies between 312 and 317 Jefferson in the city directories)

Font, Writing, Number, Art

Margaret J. Grove also lived with the Manley's at 317 Jefferson, form the 1917 Fairmont City Directory

Font, Art, Circle, Writing

Margaret Jane Harn was born to John (II) and Charlotte Hay Harn on April 18, 1832 in Frederick County, Maryland. Harn attended Shippensburg Academy and Cedar Hill Seminary between 1853 and 1855 and began teaching school in the winter of 1855. She married Martin Luther Grove on December 8, 1856 and the couple had four children. Martin Grove died on October 20, 1867, at age 37, of typhoid fever and Margaret J. Grove remained on their farm for a few years. In 1870, Margaret Grove moved with her children to West Virginia where she continued to work as a teacher, including teaching in schools for African American children. She eventually moved to Fairmont, WV and became active in the early West Virginia suffrage movement. The Fairmont Political Equality Club was organized on November 28, 1895 at the Fairmont Normal School and, although in her 80s at that point, Margaret J. Grove took the position of president. Grove remained active in the Fairmont-area suffrage movement and also advocated for women’s education. Margaret J. Grove lived with her daughter Florence Jessie Grove Manley for many years until her death in 1933 at the age of 101.

Florence Jessie Grove, eldest child of Martin and Margaret Grove, was born near Mount Airy, Maryland on October 23, 1858. After the death of her father, she moved with her mother and siblings to Flemington, West Virginia. She attended West Virginia College and then the Fairmont Normal School before entering teaching like her mother. Jessie Grove married Charles E. Manley on November 7, 1878. Jessie Manley served as assistant clerk of Marion County during the time that Charles Manley served as county clerk.

Like her mother, Jessie G. Manley was active in the West Virginia suffrage movement. In the fall of 1895 West Virginia held its first suffrage convention in Grafton to organize a state suffrage association. At this convention the West Virginia Equal Suffrage Association (WVESA) was founded and Jessie G. Manley was chosen as the organization’s first president. She and four other women represented West Virginia at the 1896 National American Woman Suffrage Association convention in Washington, D. C. Manley served as president of the WVESA and then stepped down, continuing to work as the State press correspondent for the suffrage movement. She was a delegate to the NAWSA convention in 1900 and worked for suffrage until the 19th Amendment was ratified in 1920. She continued to advocate for women’s rights up until her death in 1940.

Margaret J. Grove, Florence Jessie Grove Manley, and Charles E. Manley are all buried in Woodlawn Cemetery in Fairmont, WV.

“Biography of Florence Jessie Grove Manley, 1858-1940.” Biographical Database of NAWSA Suffragists, 1890-1920. https://documents.alexanderstreet.com/d/1011002245. Accessed January 26, 2022.

“Biography of Margaritte (Margaret) J. Harn Grove, 1832-1933.” Biographical Database of NAWSA Suffragists, 1890-1920. https://documents.alexanderstreet.com/d/1011002242. Accessed January 26, 2022.

Effland, Anne Wallace. “The Woman Suffrage Movement in West Virginia, 1867-1920.” M. A. Thesis, West Virginia University, 1983.

"Ellen Harn and Her Two Sisters Live To Combined Age of 300." The Lincoln Star, April 17, 1932. Newspapers.com. Accessed January 26, 2022. https://www.newspapers.com/clip/7683411/the-lincoln-star/.

Fairmont, City Directories, 1904-1939. Ancestry.com. Accessed January 26, 2022.

“The Ancestors and Family of Steven Harn Redman.” Accessed January 26, 2022. https://steveredman.com/ellenharnmanuscript2.htm#_Toc124670936.

U.S Census Records, 1870-1930. Ancestry.com. Accessed January 26, 2022.

West Virginia, U.S. Compiled Marriage Records, 1863-1900. Ancestry.com. Accessed January 26, 2022.

“Women in the West Virginia Woman Suffrage Movement.” Fighting the Long Fight: West Virginia Women and the Right to Vote. A West Virginia Archives and History Online Exhibit. Accessed January 26, 2022. http://129.71.204.160/history////exhibitsonline/suffrage/suffragewomen.html#a1jm.

Image Sources(Click to expand)

"Masonic Temple and Hotel Danley, Fairmont, W. Va." West Virginia History OnView. West Virginia & Regional History Center. Accessed January 26, 2022. https://wvhistoryonview.org/catalog/042999.

"Masonic Temple and Manley Hotel Fairmont West Virginia WV 1910s DB Postcard." eBay, Accessed January 26, 2022. https://www.ebay.com/itm/275130837589?mkevt=1&mkcid=1&mkrid=711-53200-19255-0&campid=5338722076&customid=&toolid=10050&amdata=enc%3AAQAGAAAAkCGk7y80IiX249SXTwV4OUUBpnNZV4KQWaHqmPdq0qD1%2BAShZbGngvQuolnObBp3aQa%2F7Q%2Bh3KxaKLC4DP6PANbfxKJROZCpAFqhOoE0kns%2B8Qj7EJyjJsIYHESIu7rP3eD%2Bwhwby1rjF2QRr32gt4YyA1FMEv34%2FVlJ2U%2FFLQwYMinQX5Z5Z5MsOkksRrJvRg%3D%3D.

"Ellen Harn and Her Two Sisters Live To Combined Age of 300." The Lincoln Star, April 17, 1932. Newspapers.com. Accessed January 26, 2022. https://www.newspapers.com/clip/7683411/the-lincoln-star/.

"File: Jessie Grove Manley 1896." Wikipedia. Accessed January 26, 2022. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Jessie_Grove_Manley_1896.jpg.

Ancestry.com. U.S., City Directories, 1822-1995 [database on-line]. Lehi, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2011. Accessed January 26, 2022.

"Ellen Harn and Her Two Sisters Live To Combined Age of 300." The Lincoln Star, April 17, 1932. Newspapers.com. Accessed January 26, 2022. https://www.newspapers.com/clip/7683411/the-lincoln-star/.

West Virginia argus. [volume], December 06, 1900, Image 3. Chronicling America. Accessed January 31, 2022. https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn86092245/1900-12-06/ed-1/seq-3/.

The Federation Bulletin: A Magazine for the Woman of To-Day. National Official Organ of the General Federation of Women's Clubs. Vol. VI. Boston, October, 1907, No. 1. Accessed January 26, 2022. https://books.google.com/books?id=9hMTAAAAYAAJ&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_ge_summary_r&cad=0#v=onepage&q&f=false.

The West Virginian. [volume], April 06, 1915, Page PAGE 3, Image 3. Chronicling America. Accessed January 31, 2022. https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn86072054/1915-04-06/ed-1/seq-3/.

The West Virginian. [volume], April 09, 1915, Image 1. Chronicling America. Accessed January 31, 2022. https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn86072054/1915-04-09/ed-1/seq-1/.

Fairmont State Normal School Catalogs. Internet Archive. https://archive.org/details/catalogs18951900fair/page/n5/mode/2up. Accessed January 26, 2022.

Sanborn Fire Insurance Map from Fairmont, Marion County, West Virginia. Sanborn Map Company, Apr, 1912. Map. https://www.loc.gov/item/sanborn09403_006/. Accessed January 26, 2021.

Ancestry.com. U.S., City Directories, 1822-1995 [database on-line]. Lehi, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2011. Accessed January 26, 2022.

Fairmont, West Virginia, City Directory, 1917. Ancestry.com. U.S., City Directories, 1822-1995 [database on-line]. Lehi, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2011. Accessed January 26, 2022.