1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Staunton

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STAUNTON, an independent city and the county-seat of Augusta county, Virginia, U.S.A., about 135 m. N.W. of Rich- mond. Pop. Cr89o) 6975; (1900) 7289, including 1828 negroes and 149 foreign-born; (1910) 10,604. Staunton is served by the Chesapeake & Ohio and the Baltimore & Ohio railways. It lies between the Alleghany Mountains and the Blue Ridge, on a plateau about 1380 ft. above sea-level, in a fertile farming country with good pasture on the hillsides. In Staunton are a county court-house, the Western State hospital for the insane (1828), the Virginia school for the deaf and the blind (1839), the King's Daughters' hospital (1895), Dunsmore business college, Staunton military academy, the Mary Baldwin sem- inary, formerly Augusta female seminary (founded in 1842) and Stuart Hall (for girls), which was founded in 1843, was incorporated in 1845, an d w &s reincorporated in 1907 under its present name in honour of Mrs J. E. B. Stuart, wife of the Confederate cavalry leader, who was its principal in 1879-1898. One mile east of Staunton is a U.S. national military cemetery with graves of 753 Union soldiers killed at Port Republic, Cross Keys and Piedmont; and west of the city is a Confederate cemetery with a memorial monument. The municipality owns the waterworks, the electric-lighting plant and the opera house An interesting feature of the city government is the employment of a business manager (elected annually by the city council), whose duties are in general similar to those of the business manager of a large corporation — e.g. he buys the city's supplies and has general supervision over the city improvements. The first settlement in this vicinity was on Lewis Creek, about 2 m. east of the city, in 1731. A county court-house was built here in 1745, and the name Staunton, in honour of the wife of Sir William Gooch (then lieutenant-governor), whose maiden name was Staunton, was used in 1 748-1 749, but Staunton was not incorporated as a town until 1761. It was chartered as a city in 1870, and then became a municipality independent of the county. The corporate limits of the city were extended in 1965 and, as its population thus became more than 10,000, Staunton was made a city of the first class.