• A visit to Union 2013. If you grew up in Union, West Virginia and you have not been able to return to Monroe County recently, chances are you will enjoy a little tour of Union and the area.

    View a Picture Tour of Union & Monroe County.


Tribute to Harold Harrison Mohler – Owner/Editor of The Monroe Watchman


Harold Harrison Mohler - Owner/Editor of The Monroe Watchman


Harold  Harrison Mohler was born on January 17, 1933, at Salt Sulphur Springs, West Virginia, son of Clarence Delifield Mohler and Annie Edward Mottesheard Mohler.  He was one of nine children.  Harry grew up accustomed to farm work and spent much of his leisure time in the outdoors.

Harry Mohler

He attended Monroe County Schools where he was active in sports and played football for Union High School at the time when the football squad was changing from the six-man team to the eleven-man team. He graduated from Union High School in 1953.  He became a part-time employee of  “The Monroe Watchman” as a student at Union High School and in 1955, he became a minor stockholder in a corporation formed to operate the old newspaper.

Harry Mohler

On a cold, wet and dreary day in 1953, Harry left Monroe County for a tour of duty with the US Armed Forces.  The next day he bid his farewells in Alexandria, Va. and left for duty as a volunteer with the U.S. Army’s Security Agency (ASA).   He took basic training with the 101st Airborne Division at Camp Breckenridge, Kentucky.  He then was briefly assigned to Fort Devens, Massachusetts. When the Korean hostilities ended in July of 1953, he was undergoing advanced training at Fort Gordon, Georgia.

He was awarded a Congressional Appointment to the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, and while waiting transfer to Tome Institute (U.S.N.A.Preparatory School), Port Deposit, Maryland, he served on an Arlington National Cemetery Funeral Detail stationed at Fort George G. Meade, Maryland.  After graduating from prep school and passing the entrance exam, he was discharged from the U.S. Army and became a Midshipman at the Naval Academy, Class of 1958.


Harold H. Mohler

Upon returning to Union, Harry accepted a full-time position with “The Monroe Watchman”. He married Iris Dale Porterfield of Waiteville, daughter of Christina Kessinger Porterfield and Lowell L. Porterfield and they had two sons; Harrison Craig Mohler and Harold  Roderick “Rod” Mohler.

By 1965, Harry  Mohler had acquired 50% ownership of “The Monroe Watchman”, and became the editor.  The same year he was given the opportunity to purchase the holdings of the other major stockholder, the late James Malcolm Johnston, and became the Owner/Editor.

The Editor’s era at the Monroe Watchman was characterized by his stubborn straightforwardness, heartfelt convictions, and fiery editorials which eventually gained him the respect of even those with whom he strongly disagreed.  He leaves for his children a legacy of honor and idealism…..a knowledge that the value of integrity lies beyond any price…..a realization that social or economic stature is often of little consequence in determining human worth.  For the inspiration of his example, and for the gift of these convictions, his sons shall be eternally grateful.  Harry Mohler loved his family, his work, sports, reading, hunting, fishing and otherwise partaking of the great outdoors!  He strongly supported education and athletics in the public school system and was a member of the Monroe County Board of Education in Union.

H. H. Mohler

Harold  Harrison Mohler died January 23, 1997, while in the hospital in Roanoke, Virginia.  Upon his death, his wife Dale Porterfield Mohler took over the responsibilities of  “The Monroe Watchman”. She became Publisher and General Manager and both sons, Craig and Rod have played active roles in the operations of The Monroe Watchman. His eldest son Dr. Harrison Craig Mohler became the Editor.  His youngest son Harold Roderick Mohler became Legal Counsel and Sportswriter.

Harold  Harrison Mohler’s life was one of passion for the people, places and things that he loved.  He dreamed mighty dreams, he thought mighty thoughts, and endeavored to persevere.

Excerpts taken from “The Monroe Watchman”

Submitted by:  Linda Elmore Cohernour – Class of 1961