Strangers to Us All
Lawyers and Poetry

Lillian Ruth Wotring Wiles

(ca. 1875- )
West Virginia

Lilian Ruth Wiles was a native of Hayfield, Virginia. She graduated from the College of Law in 1899. She was one of the first three women to graduate from the College of Law at West Virginia University. (The first woman graduate, in 1895, was Agnes Westbrook Morrison, of Wheeling, Virginia. She was admitted to the bar in 1896 and practiced law in Wheeling with her husband, Charles Sumner Morrison. Leila Jesse Frazier of Upper Norwood, Surry, England graduate in the class of 1899 with Lillian Ruth Wiles.)

"A contemporaneous newspaper account depicts Ms. Frazier's journey to Morgantown to initiate her law studies. She put her husband on the train in Martinsburg, and set off unaccompanied on horseback across the mountains. Riding 'man fashion,' she arrived in Morgantown several days later, wearing a black riding habit with a divided skirt, carrying a brace of revolvers, and 'armed with a most remarkable amount of courage and daring.' While at the College of Law, Ms. Frazier was President of the Women's League of WVU, a support group comprised of women enrolled at the University, and WVU"s first women's organization. . . . Ms. Frazier practiced law with her husband in Morgantown and was outspoken on behalf of women's rights.

Ms. Wiles, a former school teacher who authored works of poetry and prose, was also active in women's issues. She was instrumental in re-activating the Women's Christian Temperance Union in Morgantown in 1897. Ms. Wiles handled legal affairs for her husband's real estate business." [Teree E. Foster & Sandra M. Fallon, West Virginia's Pioneer Women Lawyers, 97 W.Va. L. Rev. 703, 706-707 (1995)(footnotes omitted)(A footnote indicates that some of the biographical information was obtained from Eleanor Hoard Bungard, a niece of Lillian Wiles.)][Lillian Wiles maiden name was Wotring.][Lillian Wiles's husband, was John W. Wiles.]


Lillian R. Wiles, The Kingdom of Vision (Morgantown, West Virginia: Press of Morgantown Printing & Binding Co., 1932)

[OCLC indicates only four libraries with Wiles' The Kingdom of Vision: West Virginia University, Brown University, Virginia Historical Society Library, Library of Congress.]