STAUNTON V. FIELD - SIXTH PRINCIPAL, 1853-1854
When Rev. William B. McFarland left, Rev. Staunton V. Field, also a Methodist Episcopal minister, became the Academy’s sixth principal on September 24, 1853, serving a single school term until August 8, 1854. Rev. Field, however, had a much longer association with the Academy than just the one year as its Principal. By 1857 the Academy was in dire financial straits because of debts incurred during the construction of an addition to the school. To help alleviate the situation, the Trustees used the title to the Academy’s property as collateral for a note of $650 to Robert Holderby, which would become due one year later, February 16, 1858. In September 1857 at the Annual Conference meeting the trustees took a further step to pay off the note by forming the Marshall College Joint Stock Company, with the thirty members subscribing $50 each. Rev. Field was selected as the company’s treasure and its first field agent.
The trustees also petitioned the Virginia Assembly to change the school from an academy to a college, in hopes of expanding its programs and hopefully drawing more students, which was approved by the Virginia Assembly in 1858. Rev. Field was named as one of the school’s twenty-one trustees. Field’s association with Marshall College ended soon thereafter, because by 1860 he had moved to Covington, Virginia.
Staunton V. Field was born in 1819 in Virginia. He married Mary J. Williams. They had four children, two boys and two girls. He was a member of the old and influential Field family of Culpepper, Virginia. In 1843 he was the minister of the Methodist Episcopal Church in Suffolk, Virginia.
During the Civil War he threw his support for the Confederacy. On June 26, 1861, at Lewisburg, (West) Virginia he joined George W. Hammond’s Company D, Sixtieth Virginia Volunteers, becoming a lieutenant. He resigned his commission on January 24, 1862, because of illness and returned home where he died of consumption on July 7, 1866, at the young of age of forty-seven. He was buried in the Field family cemetery plot at Madison Heights, Virginia.
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