West Virginia State Museum Education

West Virginia's Historic People

Important People

Minnie Buckingham Harper

Minnie Harper

Minnie Buckingham Harper (May 15, 1886-February 10, 1978) was the first African-American woman to serve as a member of a state legislative body in the United States. She was born in Winfield, Putnam County, later moving to the coalfields of McDowell County. She was appointed by Governor Howard Gore on January 10, 1928, to fill the unexpired term of her husband, E. Howard Harper. Mrs. Harper had received the unanimous recommendation of the McDowell County Republican Executive Committee to fill her husband’s position.

Information cited from: Talbott, I. D. "Duke" and Charles M. Murphy "Minnie Buckingham Harper." e-WV: The West Virginia Encyclopedia. 15 May 2018.

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