Sunday, June 3, 2018

Jettes Mollohan (1869-1947)

Portrait from the 1920 West Virginia Blue Book.

   A one-term member of the West Virginia House of Delegates from Nicholas County, Jettes Mollohan served as Nicholas County sheriff and chairman of the Nicholas County Democratic committee prior to his legislative victory in 1918. Late in his life, Mollohan would return to politics, being elected as the mayor of Summersville, West Virginia on the Citizens Party ticket. One of twelve children born to Anson and Anna (Riffle) Mollohan, Jettes Mollohan was born (depending on the source) on either May 28, 1869, or June 20, 1871, in West Virginia. Despite these varying dates of birth, Mollohan's obituary in the Charleston Daily Mail (posted below) lists it as occurring on June 20, 1869, "near Frametown."
   Little information could be located on Mollohan's early life or schooling, excepting note of his marriage on December 29, 1892, to Nancy Elizabeth Tinnel (1874-1941). The couple were wed for nearly fifty years and would have a total of seven children, listed as follows in order of birth: Exie (1893-1905), Ethel Lee (1895-1961), Bertha Maude (1897-1978), Esker Ray (1899-1965), Clara (died in infancy), Thelma Louise (1912-2007) and Russell Dale (1913-2001).
  Residing at Birch River, West Virginia following his marriage, Mollohan and his family later removed to Summersville, where they would reside for the remainder of their lives. Following his resettlement in that city, Mollohan became active in civic affairs of Nicholas County, eventually rising to become Vice President of the Nicholas County Bank. He would enter the political life of that county in the late 1900s, taking office as County Assessor in 1908, and following a four-year term in that post served as Sheriff of Nicholas County from 1913-17. Sources also relate to Mollohan being a farmer and "manufacturer of staves and lumber."
  In 1917 Mollohan was elected chairman of the Nicholas County Democratic Executive Committee and continued in that post even after receiving the Democratic nomination for the West Virginia House of Delegates in the summer of 1918. In November of that year, Mollohan would defeat Republican nominee J.T. Burdette by a vote of 1,609 to 1,400 and took his seat at the start of the 1919-21 session. This term would see Mollohan sit on the house committees on Forestry and Conservation, Immigration and Agriculture, and Medicine and Sanitation, and he wasn't a candidate for renomination in 1920
  Following his term, Mollohan continued residency in Summersville, where he was a member of the Baptist church and the Summersville Lodge No. 76 of Free and Accepted Masons. Late in his life, Mollohan returned to politics when he was elected to the first of six terms as Mayor of Summersville, winning his last term in July 1947, just four months prior to his death. Widowed in 1942, Mollohan would later reside with his daughter Ethel and son-in-law Okey Mearns until his death at their home on November 2, 1947. The 78-year old former legislator and his wife are interred at the Tinnel-Mollohan Cemetery in Birch River, West Virginia.

Mollohan's obituary from the November 3, 1947 Charleston Daily Mail

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