History and Preservation Efforts

The Historic Fleming Mansion
GFWC Woman's Club of Fairmont


Thomas Walter Fleming (1846-1937) was a decendant of a pioneering Fairmont family, Thomas and Aretas Brooks Fleming, the eighth governor of West Virginia, were cousins. Their great grandfather was Nathan Fleming, brother of Boaz Fleming, the founding father of Fairmont.

Fleming married Annie Sweeney of Wheeling. They were married more than 60 years and died within a week of each other in July 1937. Annie was one of the founders of the Woman's Club when she began inviting local women to the Neo-Classical Beaux-Arts home she had designed to discuss civic progress and social issues. She was the Club's first president. One of Annie's last wishes was that her home be passed on to the Club. Purchase of the residence in 1938 from the Fleming heirs, Allison Sweeney Fleming who was President of First National Bank (Wesbanco today) and his sister Jean M. Wilshire, provided the GFWC WCF with a permanent home.

Thomas W. Fleming spent his entire life in business ventures that helped Fairmont grow from a minor town into an important retail and industrial center in north-central West Virginia. Fleming served as Mayor of Fairmont for two terms and was elected to the House of Delegates in 1905. He was the first to understand the significance of street cars and interurban lines in Fairmont. It was under his guidance as mayor that the first street in the city was paved (from the end of the South Side Bridge to Monroe Street. The first city waterworks were built from funds that he personally lent to the city. Mr. Fleming's wealth derived inpart from the development of coal and oil in Marion, Monongalia, Harrison and Doddridge counties.




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