West Virginia State Museum Education

West Virginia's Holiday Legacy


Father's Day


Sonora Smart Dodd of Spokane, Washington, is credited with founding Father’s Day in 1910. However, a "Father's Day" service was held on July 5, 1908, in Fairmont, West Virginia, in the Williams Memorial Methodist Episcopal Church South, now known as United Methodist Church. Grace Golden Clayton was already mourning the loss of her father when, in December 1907, the Monongah Mine Disaster in nearby Monongah killed 361 men. It left around a thousand children without fathers, so Clayton suggested her pastor Robert Thomas Webb honor all of them.

Helpful Links

e-West Virginia Monongah Mine Disaster Information