Mollie Virginia Smith


Beautiful Tributes Paid to Memory of Beloved Woman at Baptist Church.
The Daily Telegram., December 17, 1908

Attended by a large number of sorrowing friends, the funeral of Miss Mollie Virginia Smith was held at the First Baptist Church Thursday afternoon. The services which were beautiful and impressive, were in charge of the Rev. B. D. Selle pastor of the church, assisted by the Rev. Lewis E. Peters, who delivered a touching eulogy, and the Rev. Mr. Smith, of Fairmont, who read the Scripture lessons. At the close of the services at the church the body was taken to the Odd Fellows’ Cemetery and placed in the grave.


There were many beautiful floral tributes, among them being designs sent by the board of regents of the Fairmont state normal school, the faculty and students of the school, the Ladies’ Aid Society of the First Baptist church and the Clarksburg Woman’s Christian Temperance Union. Floral emblems were also sent by more than a half hundred personal friends of the deceased woman.

The pall bearers were George B. Chorpening, Claude Gore, Dr. Benjamin Shuttleworth, D. W. Jacobs, Hugh Jarvis and Arthur Parsons.

Many from surrounding towns and cities attended the funeral, among them being Dr. C. J. C. Bennett, president of the Fairmont Normal Schools, Miss Ida Abbott, Miss Ware, and others of the faculty and students of the school; Mrs. Smith, Mrs. N. R. C. Morrow, Miss Loll Lowe and Mr. and Mrs. Kemble White, of Fairmont; Mrs. Ira G. Robinson, of Charleston; Mrs. A. G. Dayton, of Philippi, who was a classmate of Miss Smith; Dr. Sinsel, of Grafton; Miss Emma Robinson, of Bridgeport; Miss Nora Coon, of Boothsville, and Miss Nellie Martin and mother, of Bridgeport.

Mollie Virginia Smith has many friends who will eagerly read these lines hoping to find in them consolation for bleeding hearts. What a vain and useless quest. Under the spell of sacred grief the potency of words vanish and the beauty of rhetoric is unnoticed. Some on has said that at the brink of the grave, “language hesitates and philosophy falters.” Let us hope, then, that a voiceless homage may please her even better than great words or printed eulogy.


Mollie Smith was in love with life and duty, but when death touched her with his icy finger she was ready and those who saw the bright, peaceful face in its last smiling repose, never doubted that her sleep was sweet and her happiness eternal. Now indeed are we wiser. Death has given us a new and clearer perspective and we know more of the hearts she had uplifted, the lives she has lightened and the burdens she has borne. There is a sadness not only in the homes of the cultured and prosperous, but in the little hovels where her unheralded charities gave hope and comfort to those in distress.

She loved nature, the roses, the birds and the children, and, thanks to the thoughtfulness of her friends, her last month of pain was spent amidst “a wilderness of flowers,” Yes, those to whom she had been kind brought their blossoms while she lived–then they brought more when she died and this December night she will sleep beneath a medley of carnations, garlands of sweet peas and rare chrysanthemums and roses. The next Springtime will not forget to send its offering, and above her, the flowers and grasses, and winds will weave sweet lullabies and whisper messages of love.

A favorite motto, and one she kept conspicuously on her writing desk, truly gives us a glimpse of her inner life:

I live for those who love me, Whose hearts are kind and true, For the heaven that smiles above me, And awaits my spirit too; For the task my God assigned me, And the good that I can do.”

Though her calling and life work was that of an educator she found time to give her diversified accomplishments a wide range. In the Baptist Church, of which she was a devout member, in the temperance cause, in the Young Women’s Christian Association, in the Bible cause, in the Chautauqua circle, in fact, in every movement the object of which was the uplifting of humanity, she was ever willing to do her part.

When her health failed she was interesting herself in the organization of a branch of the Daughters of the American Revolution at Clarksburg.

Revolutionary Soldiers Image

Miss Smith’s ancestors were pioneers and patriots in the days of the Revolution and include some of the most prominent families of the historic Shenandoah Valley. Her social standing and prestige were high and her acquaintance wide. She was a graduate of Broaddus College and had taken special courses at other noted institutions in Ohio and New York. She had traveled extensively in America, and in 1903 in company with her sisters, Rose Lee and Cora Smith, she visited most of the cities and capitals of the Old World. She was called from this life in the bright noonday of triumphant womanhood. She was recognized as one of the leading educators of her state, and her worth was known and recognized throughout the South.

Two years ago she was elected principal of Cox College at Atlanta, GA., one of the most noted and beautifully appointed institutions of the country, of which John Temple Graves is a trustee. At the urgent request of the West Virginia School regents, however, she declined this appointment to continue her work as preceptress at the Fairmont Normal. She had been connected with the normal schools for several years, having been called back to her native state from Alabama where she was a member of the faculty of the Anniston Female-Seminary.

The Fairmont Times gives an extended account of her life and in conclusion says:

“In this city Miss Smith was very well known and was greatly liked and respected. At the Normal she was always one of the most popular teachers and her death will be learned throughout the State by hundreds of young ladies who came in contact with her in this manner, with extreme sorrow and regret. She was at all times amiable and congenial, and was a favorite with both teachers and students.”

During her last illness she was surrounded by many of those near and dear to her, including her mother, Mrs. Ellen Smith, of Denver; Miss Cora Smith, Mrs. L. A. Righter and Mrs. Stuart F. Reed.

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