REV. J. M. BROWN - TEACHER, 1861
According to Benjamin H. Thackston, after he left Marshall College in May 1861 a "Rev. Mr. Brown," and "D. W. Thrush" took charge of the school respectively, and he called these two men Principals. There is, however, no evidence that they were ever hired with this title, but were more likely members of the faculty who stepped up to superintend the institution during the period of its decline. It is probably for this reason that, in at least on one list, they are not included among the school’s Principals. For this reason, Brown is not designated as one of Principals in this paper
     Vera Andrew listed his name as "Rev. J. M. Brown." The Cabell County 1860 Federal Census listed a John R. Brown, "minister," who was twenty-two; he may or may not be the same man. Thackston wrote that Rev. Brown "was sickly and was soon succeeded by Mr. Thrush, of Pennsylvania, who taught until the civil war began." Without additional information, the possibility of further identifying Rev. Brown, especially with the lack of his full name, is nearly impossible. All that can be said is that he must have only supervised Marshall College for a very brief period, perhaps only days or weeks at the most.

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