JOSIAH BAIRD POAGE - FOURTH PRINCIPAL, 1843-1850

Marshall Academy’s fourth Principal was thirty-year-old Rev. Josiah Baird Poage, a Presbyterian minister. He took office in September 1843. It was only after his employment at the Academy that he took an "interest in the local Presbyterian pastorate," becoming the minister of the Western Church after Thom left. He received a salary of $400 a year from his congregation, and a similar salary from the Academy. Upon his employment he issued an advertisement for the coming school term in the Kanawha Republican, October 5, 1843. During his tenure, Marshall Academy drew "students from Kentucky and Ohio, and from the counties of Cabell, Wayne, Mason, Greenbrier and others, of Virginia. He combined "the capacity of instructing with a liberal knowledge of the languages and the sciences usually taught in academies and colleges." A newspaper reported that his students performed well in their examinations, which "proved him to have been as efficient as anyone that ever had the government of that academy." He served as the Principal until July 1850. The following necrology gives the highlights of his life and academic career:
     Josiah Baird Poage, the son of Robert and Mary Poage, was born in Bath County, Virginia, June 25, 1813. When he was four years old, the family removed to Greenup, Boyd Co., Ky. His preparatory studies were pursued at home, and in the Literary Department of Lane Seminary. He was graduated from Marietta College, Ohio, in 1839; was received to the communion of the Greenup Presbyterian Church at the age of seventeen years; spent a year in teaching after leaving college; entered Princeton Seminary in 1840 and graduated in 1843; was licensed by the Presbytery of Philadelphia, June 22, 1843; was ordained an evangelist by the Presbytery of Green View, Oct. 4, 1845; was stated supply of Western Church, Va., and Burling[ton] Church, Ohio, 1843-50. With these churches he had charge of Marshall Academy, now Marshall College, the recipient of the Peabody Fund for West Virginia. In 1850 he removed to Missouri and took charge of Mount Prairie and Pleasant Hill Churches, 1850-55. In 1855, he established the Watson Seminary in Ashley Pike Co., Mo., having charge of the Ashley Presbyterian Church. This he left in 1860. He was engaged in missionary work and teaching, 1860-73; stated supply of Eastern and Willow Beech Churches, 1872-73; teacher at La Grange, Mo., 1873-77; Red Oak, la., 1877. In the latter year he removed to San Francisco, Cal. From that time until his death, he was connected with the "Occident," as its office editor. He was emphatically a Christian gentleman, decided in his opinions, but charitable in his spirit. He died at his residence in San Francisco, Cal., Dec, 18, 1884, in the seventy-second year of his age.
     Mr. Poage was married, near Lewisburg, Va., April 25, 1844, to Miss Francis A. McElhany Arbuckle. Two sons and three daughters were the fruit of this marriage, survive him. (2) At Bridgeton, N. J., Nov. 4, 1872, to Miss Mary Reeve Clark, grand-daughter of the Rev. Nathaniel Reeve. She survives him.

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