Father#039;s Day has local roots

Published 12:00 am Saturday, June 19, 2004

As families pay tribute to dear old dad today, Lawrence Countians can savor the thought that the woman credited with starting Father's Day had roots in this area.

Grace Golden Clayton, credited with organizing a Father's Day celebration in 1907 in her hometown of Fairmont, W.Va., was the daughter of Lawrence County native, the Rev. Fletcher Golden, according to Lawrence County Historical Society member Naomi Deer.

"He was raised on a farm between Lawrence Street Road

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and State Route 93," Deer said. "After you pass the Hills Shopping Center, if you look over in the bottom, when the leaves are off the trees, you can see the white house that was the Golden place."

Deer said she became acquainted with the Golden family history through

the Rev. D.D. Meighen, pastor of Central United Methodist Church in Fairmont. Meighen had visited the Briggs-Lawrence Library several years ago when Deer worked there. A couple of months ago, Meighen called Deer and told her about his research into Clayton's family roots, including those that run into Lawrence County soil.

According to Meighen's research, Golden was baptized at Zoar Baptist Church in 1846 and layer became a circuit minister, preaching at churches throughout the region and eventually moved with his family to Marion County, W.Va.