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2014 Exhibit

2014 Exhibit: Morgantown, WV
200 Years of Education

Poster about the history of education in West Virginia, featuring in old picture of morgantown, nestled in the hills beneath a blue sky.

As home to West Virginia University, the city of Morgantown is broadly recognized as one of America's leading centers of higher education. This distinction did not begin with the founding of WVU in 1867, but dates back more than half a century earlier to the founding of the Monongalia Academy. From the Academy's inception in 1814 until 1867 when its assets helped found WVU, the Academy and its sister institutions, the Morgantown Female Academy and Woodburn Seminary, provided "higher" education to thousands of students from throughout the region and beyond.

To commemorate the 200th anniversary of the founding of the Monongalia Academy, this year's West Virginia Day exhibit chronicles the history of education in Morgantown, from frontier schools in the late 18th century to the beginnings of WVU.

To access a PDF slideshow of the exhibit, please use the following:

An Early Monongalia County School 

A faded black and white image of a wooden schoolhouse with a simple roof. It looks to be one room.

Educational opportunities on the western Virginia frontier were few at the turn of the eighteenth century.  Whereas private schools and tutors abounded in eastern Virginia, such avenues were lacking in Trans-Allegheny Virginia.  Where they did exist, frontier schools were often crude affairs offering only rudimentary lessons.   This log schoolhouse constructed sometime in the early nineteenth century was located at Core, (West) Virginia.  It was in this rustic building that the noted American educator Alexander L. Wade (1832-1904) began his distinguished teaching career.

McKinnon Arithmetic Primer

Faded workbook bound in bark in 1765 for teaching math. The pages are worn and stained

Educational publications were rare on the frontier in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. Thus, parents and teachers routinely had to make their own textbooks. This homemade primer, bound with bark, was made by Rev. David McKinnon in 1765 for the purpose of instructing his daughter Anne in arithmetic. The book, which also contains rules of grammar, hymns, and quotations, was subsequently employed by McKinnon descendants including the Rogers family of Morgantown.

The Monongalia Academy Officially Begins

An open book with slightly discolored pages

Legislative Act Creating Monongalia Academy

The Monongalia Academy was incorporated by this act of the General Assembly of Virginia on November 29, 1814.

The Monongalia Academy

the monongalia academy, a two story building with several shuttered windows, a chimney and a bell tower

The Monongalia Academy’s first classes are thought to have been held in a building on the corner of Spruce and Willey (then Boundary) streets.  The school continued at this location until a new building was constructed by the trustees on a lot at Spruce and Walnut streets.  This building (see photo at left, ca. 1860) served as the home of the Academy from 1829 until 1867 when the assets of the Academy were donated toward the establishment of WVU.  The University held the property only briefly before selling it to help fund the construction of WVU’s first building, University (now Martin) Hall.

The Monongalia Academy, the Early Years 

a minute book, open, you can see the spread is filled with writing, some scratched or scribbled out

Minute Book of the Monongalia Academy (above)

Relatively little is known about the Monongalia Academy's first years as records for this period are lost. The minute book on display here was begun in 1827. It documents the purchase of a lot for and construction of a new building on the northeast corner of Spruce and Walnut streets. It also reveals the extent to which the Academy served as a local loan agency. Among the Academy's foremost clients were the trustees themselves. While the practice of money lending, to be repaid with interest, was meant to augment the treasury, it is clear that the practice was abused. Some loans were never repaid. Indeed, questionable financial practices generally, in money lending and lottery ventures, led to legal entanglements for the trustees and an indictment on at least one occasion.

Portraits of three men, one looking forward with dark hair, a profile of a white-haired man, and a third looking forward without a necktie

Monongalia Academy Trustees (from left to right)

Thomas P. Ray, Trustee and Treasurer, ca. 1827-1841

Thomas Wilson, Trustee and Secretary, 1814-1826

Mathew Gay, Trustee and President, ca. 1827-1857

Funding the Monongalia Academy 

a yellowed document with cursive writing detailing a loan of $150

Loan in the Amount of $150 "payable in six months“ (above)

The Trustees of the Monongalia Academy used the Academy's financial resources liberally as a lending bank with the goal of financial gain through charging interest.

a horizontal paper with cursive writing. it is yellowed and has staining

Funding of the Academy (above)

The Virginia General Assembly Act that officially created the Monongalia Academy in 1814
decreed that a percentage of all surveyors' fees collected in Monongalia County would be earmarked to help fund the school. While these funds were no doubt appreciated, they were not nearly sufficient. In order to raise additional monies, the trustees of the school endeavored to augment resources through schemes including conducting lotteries and by lending money to be repaid with interest to local citizens.

Two documents side by side. the on on the left is yellowed and covered with cursive. the one on the right is lighter in color and end with signatures next to wax seals

Lottery Contracts

These legal agreements document the Monongalia Academy's lottery enterprises. Management of the lottery was subcontracted to external companies who were responsible for advertising and conducting the lottery. Proceeds from these ventures were a major source of funding for the Academy.

an open book containing account records of a student

Monongalia Academy Student Accounts & Other Costs

Student account records contained in the ledger at left reveal that enrollees routinely spent far more on food, shelter, clothing, laundry services, school supplies and other supplies and services than they did on tuition.  The documents pictured below show the cost of supplies and the amount that the Monongalia Academy paid in taxes on its land (less than $2).

two rectangular slips, listing cost of supplies and the taxes the academy paid on its land   

The Monongalia Academy Building on Fire

a two story building on fire, several onlookers stand in the yard watching

The Monongalia Academy building was destroyed by fire in 1897.  A grand new public school was built on this lot and opened two years later.

Monongalia Academy Students

report cards stacked on top of each other. some are discolored.

Exercises and Report Card of John W. Mason

The above exercises and report cards at left, were those of John W. Mason. Mason both studied and taught at the Monongalia Academy during the mid-1860s. He went on to read law under Judge Marshall Hagans of Morgantown, winning admission to the bar in 1867. A highly esteemed attorney and judge, Mason served as Commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service under President Benjamin Harrison from 1889-1893. Also included here is a note from educator Alexander Wade attesting to Mason's excellent performance in Monongalia County public school prior to his admission to the Monongalia Academy.

exercises done by a student on lined paper. the paper is faded with age

Monongalia Academy: Quality and Curriculum 

a list of courses taught at the academy. the page is slightly yellowed

Take a closer look at the courses offered by Monongalia Academy in the 1860s.  Some of these classes are still taught in schools today—some are not!

What level and caliber education did the Monongalia Academy provide? That likely depended in great measure on the individual! While basic educational skills were required for admission, reading, writing, and spelling were standard subjects for pupils deemed to be of the first and second "class." Greek and Latin were offered to students of the fourth class, and Moral and Intellectual Philosophy to those of the fifth. Students of classes 6 through 10 studied advanced subjects including Algebra, Rhetoric, Surveying ,and Navigation among others.

Many graduates used the education they received at the Academy as a springboard directly into professional careers in assorted fields. Others continued their educational odyssey at other institutions. Some fared quite well with the foundation they received at the Academy. For example, Eli Marsh Turner, class of '64, graduated as Princeton's valedictorian in 1868.

Literary Societies at the Monongalia Academy 

two documents side by side. one is yellowed and the one on the right is less so

The Monongalia Academy hosted a pair of literary societies during the 1850s, the Monongalian Society and the Columbian Society. Literary societies were common at private academies and colleges during the age. They were in many ways precursors of sororities and fraternities. Members met for social occasions and programs routinely consisting of orations and music.

Monongalia Academy Finances 

several tuition receipts. some are pink, some are yellow, and the rest are cream colored.

Monongalia Academy Tuition Receipts (above)

These miscellaneous tuition receipts date from the 1850s. In 1854, the tuition rate was $3.75 per quarter or $15 per year. Calculating the modern value of that sum is difficult. Estimates range anywhere from $3,000 to over $10,000.

an open ledger used to record money paid to the academy

Ledger of Monongalia Academy (above)

This ledger was used to record money owed and paid to Monongalia Academy.  


an open math workbook, with neat cursive and organized straight lines

Algebra Workbook

This meticulous algebra workbook, dating from the year 1841, was compiled by an unknown student at the Monongalia Academy. Exercises vary in difficulty from supposedly "simple equations" to complicated "reductions of radical quantities."

James Robertson Moore  & Elizabeth I. Moore

a white man with short beard and a high collared shirt with a jacket and vest

The Reverend James R. Moore and his wife Elizabeth I. Moore had a profound impact on education in Morgantown.  A Presbyterian minister, J. R. Moore was principal of the Monongalia Academy from 1852 until his death in 1864.  A Wheeling native, Mrs. Moore founded the Woodburn Female Seminary with her husband and served as principal of the institution until its assets were transferred to help found West Virginia University in 1867.  Mrs. Moore subsequently purchased the Morgantown Female Academy which she operated until the school was destroyed by fire in 1889.

a white woman looking into the camera, in a high-necked simple black dress. she has a hand propped against her cheek and she has a small smile on her face. this is Elizabeth I. Moore

Academy Students 

student report cards on yellowed paper

Student Grade Reports, 1853 (above)

H. Lowe's report cards show that he received high marks in his studies, which included reading, arithmetic, and penmanship.  He also received high marks in “General conduct” and “Observance of School Rules”.

a cream colored booklet that contains a list of teachers and students of monongalia academy 1854

Catalogue of the Teachers and Students of Monongalia Academy, Morgantown, VA. for the Year Ending in July, 1854 (above)

a soldier sits in uniform, looking into the camera. the frame is a gilded golden brown and warm red

U.S. Army Corporal Jacob Pierpoint, ca. 1861

Jacob Pierpoint attended the Monongalia Academy in the late 1850s. He subsequently moved from his home in Morgantown to Indiana, enlisting in the army at the outbreak of the war. Pierpoint's regiment, the 19th Indiana was attached to the renowned "Iron Brigade". His last letter April, 1862 from the Shenandoah Valley, to his parents in Morgantown report the wounding of his hands and his hope to be sent home to recuperate. Sadly records show Pierpoint died later that same month, the exact cause is not known.

Academy Teachers 

an older white man looks slightly off center, has balding gray hair and a long mustache, a necktie

Adams W. Lorentz, Monongalia Academy Teacher

A.W. Lorentz taught at the Monongalia Academy in the 1850s and 1860s and later WVU. Among his students at the former institution were future U.S. Navy Rear Admiral French Chadwick and future WVU President E. M. Turner. Lorentz was named interim principal of the Academy in 1864. After the Academy was dissolved, he served alternately as a faculty member and on the Board of Regents for WVU for the next quarter century.

Morgantown Female Academy

an open pamphlet concerning information about the morgantown female academy

Morgantown Female Academy Catalogue, 1849 (above)

This pamphlet contains information pertaining to courses, tuition, room and board rates, textbooks, and location. It also lists faculty and the names of 143 students enrolled.

a close up picture of a page of the act of virginia legislature that authorized the academy

“Morgantown Female Academy and by that name shall have perpetual succession...” Acts of the Virginia Legislature, 1839 (above)

Confusion abounds over the correct name of the Morgantown Female Academy during the mid-nineteenth century. The matter is settled by referring to the Act of the Virginia Legislature that authorized the establishment of the school as a distinct entity in 1839. While the school was often referred to by other titles including Morgantown Female Seminary, Whitehall Female Seminary, Methodist Seminary and Morgantown Female Collegiate Institute, no legislative authorization of a name change occurred until the school was sold to Elizabeth Moore in 1869. At that time the name was officially changed to the Morgantown Female Seminary.

several documents with neat cursive. one is a light lavender color.

“You will please not consider me a candidate for your seminary” -- Letter from C. R. Pomeroy to W. T. Willey, July 24, 1857

The West Virginia and Regional History Center holds a cache of letters received by Waitman T. Willey in his capacity as a trustee of the Morgantown Female Academy. The correspondence pertains to matters including courses of study, books, tuition and other costs, as well as inquiries and applications for faculty and administrative positions. The letter displayed here, by Reverend C. R. Pomeroy of New York, reveals that in at least one case, tensions between the north and south interfered with faculty recruitment. Intent on visiting his prospective place of employment, Pomeroy traveled to western Virginia by rail in July 1857. When he disembarked at Fairmont he was informed that " ... northern men were not wanted in any part of [this] state [Virginia]." He promptly withdrew his application.

a two story building with three shuttered windows on the second floor. it has a porch with an overhanging roof

Upon completion of the Monongalia Academy’s new building in 1830, the Academy’s trustees turned their full attention to establishing a school for female students.  The Virginia General Assembly granted their petition to form the Morgantown Female Academy as a department of the Monongalia Academy the following spring.  The trustees used funds from the proceeds of the sale of the Academy’s old building at Spruce and Willey to construct an edifice for the newly chartered school on the corner of Fayette and Chestnut streets.

The Female Academy struggled during its first few years relying on the Monongalia Academy’s resources to keep it afloat.  In an effort to improve the situation by separating the two, the trustees petitioned the General Assembly to separately incorporate the Female Academy in 1838.  When permission was granted, ties between the two schools were largely severed.  A new board of trustees for the Female Academy was appointed including Waitman T. Willey, William Lazier, George Hill, Guy R. C. Allen and Reuben B. Taylor.

a warm golden paper with neat cursive concerning poor conditions in Female Academy Building

Poor Conditions Reported of Female Academy Building (above)

Created as a "department" of the Monongalia Academy, the Morgantown Female Academy first held classes in the Academy's old building at Spruce and Willey. A. C. Werninger, a trustee of the Monongalia Academy, documents the "much out of repair" condition of the structure. This property was later sold to build a new female academy building at Fayette and Chestnut streets.

a sheet of worn paper announcing the reopening of the female academy 1854

Handbill Advertising Reopening of the Female Academy, ca. 1854 (above)

Funds for the new building were appropriated in 1852. The new structure was probably finished in ca. 1854.

a two page spread that is slightly discolored and describes Morgantown Female Seminary closing exercises

Morgantown Female Seminary Closing Exercises, July 12 & 13, 1854

Also known as the Morgantown Female Academy, the closing exercises included public examinations of the classes.

Woodburn Female Seminary

a yellowed black and white photo of a large building, with several rectangular vertical windows.

The estate of Thomas Ray was sold in 1857 to a group that included Reverend James R. Moore and his wife, Elizabeth Moore, for the purpose of establishing a female seminary.  The Moores had been involved in the supervision of the Monongalia Academy since 1852 and were interested in providing for advanced education of women.  The seminary was incorporated in 1858 and named the Woodburn Female Seminary.  Located on a knoll overlooking the Monongahela River just north of Morgantown, Woodburn opened in May, 1858, offering preparatory subjects beyond the course of high school.  The seminary was closed in 1866 and the building turned over to create the land grant state college, WV Agricultural College, subsequently West Virginia University.

an open ledger with cursive documenting student debits

Ledger, 1858-1861

The Seminary's account book preserves records of students' debits (noted by a "Dr'') and credits ("Cr'').  The enlargement below shows the charges for board, tuition, music lessons, etc.

an enlargement of the previous image showing tuition charges for board, tuition, music lessons and others

Emily Reed Norton at Woodburn Female Seminary 

stack of yellowed papers concerning emily reed's attendance of the Woodburn female seminary

"I think this is the most delightful situation I ever saw." Letter from Emily Reed to her mother, November 12, 1858

Emily Reed, from Kanawha Salines in Kanawha County, was one of the first students enrolled at the new Woodburn Female Seminary. She wrote several letters home expressing how thrilled she was with the school, the students, the faculty, and her classes. Financial matters were her only concern. So much so she was unable to visit home after her mother died in the summer of 1859. Emily graduated in 1859.

a portrait where a woman looks into the camera. she is wearing gloves, a satiny caped overcoat, and a had with a tall brim. she is slightly smiling. this is Emily Reed norton.

Emily Reed Norton

a white man sits crossed legged in a chair. he wears a suit, a bowtie and looks into the camera. a woman, emily norton, stands next to him in a floor-length gown with puffed sleeves, holding her hat in her left hand.

Moses and Emily Reed Norton ca. 1865

Martin Hall and Woodburn Seminary Building, WVU Campus, ca. 1870

martin hall and woodburn seminary (the future woodburn hall) in woodburn circle
martin hall and woodburn seminary, future woodburn hall, in woodburn circle

The Woodburn Seminary (white building) was donated to the state to help found WVU in 1867. Martin Hall (brick building) was constructed to its left in 1870. The seminary building (renamed College Hall) was destroyed by fire in 1873 and was replaced with Woodburn Hall in 1876. This, the oldest section of the WVU downtown campus, is known to Mountaineers as Woodburn Circle.

The Watchman, September 1, 1850

front page including masthead of the watchman, a young peoples' paper in 1850. the paper is discolored and worn

This issue of the Watchman or Young People's Paper was published here in Morgantown by W. D. Siegfried. The paper's masthead declared it was: "Devoted to the Benefit and Entertainment of Young People." Some of the articles in this issue included: "The Prince of Magicians," "More Large Peaches," "Mrs Brannerhassett" (i.e. Blennerhassett) as well as an advertisement for the Morgantown Female Seminary (Academy).

Penmanship Classes 

a stack of papers on which a student has practiced penmanship

Briggs' Penmanship, 1839 

Penmanship was usually a course offered, along with drawing, in academies and institutions of the day. This workbook "explains analytically the movements of the arm, hand and fingers." These are examples of the "great variety of exercises" found in the book.

a series of writing exercises written by amy eveline sexton of French Creek, Lewis County.

Practice, Practice, Practice! (above)

This leaf of handwriting exercises was written by Amy Eveline Sexton of French Creek, Lewis County. It is not known if Amy attended the Female Academy or Woodburn Seminary in Morgantown, but it is likely that this type of practice was required in both schools. Amy added the doodling for extra credit.

Morgantown Female Seminary, 1870-1889

a brick two story building with a large flowering tree in front and a white wooden fence

The Morgantown Female Seminary stood at the corner of High and Foundry streets.  It was opened by Elizabeth Moore, former principal of Woodburn Female Seminary, in 1870.  In this photograph Mrs. Moore is pictured on the balcony, third from left.  When this building was destroyed by fire in April 1889, supporters of coeducation considered its destruction to be “a blessing in disguise.”  Less than a month later, the West Virginia University Board of Regents, with an endorsement from President E. M. Turner, ordered the collegiate departments of the University opened to female students.

Morgantown Educational Institutions Map

A black and white 3-d map of Morgantown with different colored stars to mark the locations of education institutions.

1897 Morgantown Map Legend:

Blue Star: 1814 Monongalia Academy building located on southeast corner of Spruce and North Boundary (Willey) streets (Lot# 124-Kerns).

Purple Star: 1830-1866 Monongalia Academy building located on the northeast corner of Spruce and Walnut streets.

Orange Star: 1833-1869 Morgantown Female Academy, located at the corner of Bumbo Lane (Fayette Street) and Long Alley (Chestnut Street).

Light Green Star: 1869-1889 Morgantown Female Seminary located at Foundry and High streets.

Brown Star: 1858-1866 Woodburn Female Seminary located on Front Street (University Avenue - Woodburn Circle).

Red Star: 1882-1939 Beechurst Elementary (African-American School) located on Beechurst Avenue.

Yellow Star: 1869-1875 Jones Methodist Episcopal Church housed the first organized African-American School in Monongalia County, located on Long Alley (Chestnut Street).

a colorized photo of Morgantown in 1880.

Race and Education 

Virginia State Code of 1819

Be it therefore enacted, That all meetings or assemblages of slaves or free negroes ... at any school or schools for teaching them reading or writing ... under whatsoever pretext, shall be deemed and considered as an unlawful assembly ....

side by side portraits of two african american women, both wearing floor length dresses. on the left, she rests a hand on a wooden chair and as the other hangs at her side. On the right, she holds her hand angled at her waist. their hair is pulled back

Sisters Susan and Hattie Jones ca. 1860 (above)

Susan and Hattie ("Little Hat") Jones were the daughters of "Aunt Becky." All three were owned by Monongalia Countian Hiram Haymond. At the time of this photograph, education of slaves was forbidden by state law.

Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson's accounts book

"Stonewall" Jackson - Slave Teacher

Thomas Jackson was a deeply religious man. He championed the cause of education of African Americans to enable them to study the Bible by creating a Sunday School for slaves and freedmen at the Lexington Presbyterian Church, serving as its chief instructor. Jackson sometimes met with opposition since Virginia law allowed "Negros to gather in the daylight for divine service", but forbade "schools for teaching them reading and writing.” However, believing God's laws superseded man's laws, he continued to teach his class. Jackson's account books (example above) record many tithes to his Sunday School after he left Lexington for war.

Alexander L. Wade and the Grade System 

an older man with a medium length white beard looks into the camera. he has a straight face and a high necked white shirt with a jacket and a necktie

Alexander Wade, A Graduating System for Country Schools, 1881.

Alexander L. Wade (1832-1904) was teaching in Monongalia County when he perceived the need to differentiate and formally recognize varying "grades" of educational attainment achieved by his students. It was a novel idea in an era when students of all levels studied together, each at his/her own pace. Wade proceeded to develop a system of eight progressively higher grades culminating in graduation. Publishing his method in his book A Graduating System for Country Schools in 1881, Wade's plan was soon adopted by schools throughout America. It is the basis for the present-day twelve-grade system.

a brown cloth-bound book with golden embossed writing for the title, which reads, "A Graduating System for country schools," by alex L. wade

Morgantown African American School 

A small building with an overhand over the front door and four windows on the front

Monongalia County records suggest that educational opportunities for the county’s African American population date back to the early nineteenth century.  The children of slaves in Morgantown are said to have attended classes in the Monongalia Academy building at Spruce and Willey as early as 1814.  Another source reports that 90% of the county’s free black population was literate in 1850.

This building, which sat next to WVU’s Stansbury Hall, served as Morgantown’s African American school during the post-Civil War era.  The nationally significant educator Alexander L. Wade (1832-1904) was among those who taught here.

Susan Maxwell Moore 

Two middle aged women stand side by side, with an arm around the other. On the left, she wears glasses and a knee-length satiny dark colored dress. On the right, she wears a light colored cotton dress. they are smiling

The daughter of Elizabeth and James R. Moore, Susan Maxwell Moore graduated with the Morgantown Female Seminary's Class of 1872 (see diploma below). After further study at the Peabody Institute and New England Conservatory of Music, she taught at Mt. Holyoke and Denison colleges before returning to her hometown at accept a position as Dean of Women at WVU. She held the position for two decades, continuing to teach piano thereafter. She is pictured above with fellow piano teacher Grace Martin Snee, ca. 1930.

susan maxwell moore's diploma from the Morgantown Female Seminary, class of 1872

Eva Emma Boyers Hubbard

A young woman with curled hair in an updo looks past the camera. She is wearing a high-collared white underdress underneath a high-collared darker colored dress with fabric covered buttons

Eva Hubbard (photo above) graduated as the head of her Class of 1876 at the Morgantown Female Seminary.  The still life below, painted around that time or shortly afterwards, displays her budding artistic talent. Hubbard went on to a position of prominence in West Virginia art history circles. After furthering her studies in art in Wheeling and at the Cooper [Union] Institute in New York, in 1897 she became the first instructor of art at West Virginia University where her students included Blanche Lazzell (1878-1956). 

a painting of light pink rhododendrons against a backdrop of dark green leaves. There is a cold embellished frame surrounding the painting.

Rhododendrons, Oil on artist board, ca. 1875-1885 (above)

Distinguished Alumni of Monongalia Academy

a man in a suit and bowtie sits in a wooden chair. to his left is a white and spotted dog with a collar

William P. Willey (1840-1922) and Bob the dog (above)

Son of Waitman T. Willey, William studied law with his father and was admitted to the Bar in 1864.  Two years later, he became Prosecuting Attorney for Monongalia County; he would continue to practice in Morgantown and later in Baltimore, Maryland.  Returning to West Virginia, he served as editor of Wheeling’s Daily Register from 1878 to 1883, when he began working at WVU.  He served as a professor of Law here until 1896.  Bob was Willey’s pet dog, the Law College mascot and a favorite of the students.

front pages and masthead of the West Virginia Bar, established by William P. Willey

William P. Willey's The West Virginia Bar (above)

William P. Willey established The West Virginia Bar in 1894, and served as the editor-in-charge from 1894 until retiring in 1917. The Bar began as an official publication of the West Virginia State Bar Association printing monthly issues. Today known as the West Virginia Law Review, it is the fourth oldest law review in the United States, is no longer associated with the WV Bar Association, and is edited by students of the WVU College of Law.

a middle aged man with oiled hair and a large mustache looks past the camera. he is wearing a jacket over a vest and white shirt and bowtie

Marmaduke H. Dent (1849-1909) (above)

Dent was the first graduate of West Virginia University in 1870, as well as the first president of the WVU Alumni Association.  He taught for a few years before studying law.  He was admitted to the bar in 1875.  He practiced law in Grafton and was later elected to serve in the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals from 1893 to 1904.

a picture of a man with balding gray hair and a large mustache. he looks off center and is wearing a jacket over a cravat and a high necked white shirt

Eli Marsh Turner (1844-1908) (above)

Following his education in Morgantown, Turner studied at Princeton University (then called the College of New Jersey), graduating in 1868 as Valedictorian.  He taught Greek at his alma mater for over four years before returning to West Virginia.  He became active in politics, practiced law, and was elected to the West Virginia Senate in 1876.  He served as President of WVU from 1885 to 1893, and was awarded a Doctor of Laws degree from Washington and Jefferson College in 1886.

a gold-accented bicorn hat which was part of Chadwick's naval uniform attire

a portrait of a young man looking to the right. he has smoothed back hair and is wearing a jacket

French Ensor Chadwick (1844-1919) (above)

After attending Monongalia Academy, Chadwick attended the United States Naval Academy from 1861 to 1864.  He served in the Navy from 1864 to 1906, working his way up to the rank of Rear Admiral. The bicorn hat above was part of his uniform attire. He also served as President of the United States Naval War College from 1900 to 1903.  Chadwick was an avid military historian and published several books, including The Causes of the Civil War.  

a middle-aged man with a medium length beard, smoothed hair, and a jacket over a white shirt with a bowtie. his expression is neutral and serious

John W. Mason (1842-1917) (above)

During the Civil War, Mason was a soldier in the Union army.  After the war, he attended Monongalia Academy and later taught there.  He read law under Judge Marshall Hagans of Morgantown and was admitted to the bar in 1867.  He practiced law in Grafton from 1867 to 1889, and was then appointed Commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service by President Benjamin Harrison, serving from 1889 to 1893.  He served his state in a variety of other capacities, including as a Circuit Court judge, Chairman of the West Virginia Debt Commission, and member of the Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia.

a hydrometer lays against a black cloth background

Commissioner John Mason's Hydrometer, ca. 1889-1893 (above)

As Commissioner of the IRS, John Mason (Class of 1866) used this instrument to measure the alcohol content of beverages in order to determine tax by proof and to also to uncover fraud.

a balding man with a medium length gray beard and a stern expression.

George C. Sturgiss (1842-1925) (above)

After paying his way through Monongalia Academy by teaching and tutoring, Sturgiss studied law with Waitman T. Willey and passed the bar in 1863.  From 1864 to 1865, he served as paymaster’s clerk in the Union Army.  He also served as the first Monongalia County superintendent of public schools.  His career included serving in the West Virginia House of Delegates from 1870 to 1872; serving as Monongalia County’s prosecuting attorney from 1872 to 1880; as U.S. attorney for the district of West Virginia from 1889 to 1893; as U.S. Representative from West Virginia from 1907 to 1911; and as judge of Monongalia County’s circuit court from 1912 to 1920.  He was also secretary to WVU’s first Board of Trustees, and served for four years as president of the Board of Regents.

a middle aged man with combed-back hair, and a jacket over a collared white shirt and short necktie

Samuel Woods (1822-1897) (above)

After graduating from Allegheny College, Woods served as an instructor at Monongalia Academy from 1845 to 1849, and also took advantage of learning opportunities and the Academy library.  He also studied law in Pittsburgh before settling in Philippi.  Elected to represent Barbour County at the Virginia Convention of 1861, he voted in favor of Virginia’s secession from the Union.  During the Civil War, he was a member of the famous Stonewall Brigade in the Confederate Army.  After the war, he was a member of the West Virginia Constitutional Convention of 1872.  He was later appointed judge of the State Supreme Court of Appeals, serving from 1883 to 1888.

a man, probably in his 30's or 40's, with a mustache, wavy hair and a serious expression as he looks to the side. He has a jacket, a white shirt and bowtie

Chauncey F. Black (1839-1904) (above)

Black entered Monongalia Academy in 1853, when he was just 14.  Afterward, he was educated at Hiram College and Washington & Jefferson College.  Black worked as a journalist and author, and reportedly ghostwrote The Life of Abraham Lincoln from His Birth to His Inauguration as President in 1872, in cooperation with Ward Hill Lamon.  Later, he served as the third Lieutenant Governor of Pennsylvania from 1883 to 1887, and unsuccessfully ran for Governor in 1886. 

a printed version of a speech given by Chauncy F. Black, June 1860.

Published Address of Chauncey F. Black, June 27th, 1860 (above)

Black delivered this speech to his fellow Monongalia Academy alumni at the "Re-Union Association's" inauguration.

Rear Admiral French E. Chadwick's Ceremonial Sword & Scabbard 

an ornamental sword, with gold decorations

the hilt of the sword, with an ornate gold design that wraps around into the handle

a program for the sword presentation ceremony for French E. Chadwick

In 1899, the Citizens of West Virginia presented Chadwick with an ornate sword, shown above with its scabbard, in honor of his heroic service during the Spanish and American War. The program for the sword presentation ceremony is above.  Chadwick was promoted to Rear Admiral in 1904.