Category Archives: Tyler

Madison Stathers

Submitted to the West Virginia Biographies Project by:
Chris & Kerry
December 10, 1999

The History of West Virginia, Old and New
Published 1923, The American Historical Society, Inc.
Chicago and New York, Volume II

MADISON STATHERS, Ph. D., head of the department of Romance Languages of West
Virginia University, is a native West Virginian, and his pronounced inclination
for linguistic studies early lead him to an intense devotion to the language and
literature of modern Europe, and for over a decade he has been head of the
department, including instruction in the French and Spanish tongues at West
Virginia University.

Doctor Stathers was born near Alma, Tyler County, West Virginia, August 29,
1877, son of George B. and Sophia (Furbee) Stathers. His grandfather, George
Stathers, was born at Hull, England, June 8, 1817, and was a boy when he
accompanied his parents, John and Mrs. (Jennings) Stathers, to America, the
family settling at Centerville, Washington County, Pennsylvania, along the old
National Pike. George Stathers grew up there, and after his marriage located at
Scenery Hill in Washington County, where his wife, Mary Hill, was born.
Subsequently they removed to Tyler County, West Virginia, where George Stathers
died in 1895. George B. Stathers was born at Scenery Hill, Pennsylvania, May 16,
1846, and four years later accompanied his father and uncle to Alma, Tyler
County, West Virgina, where for many years he engaged in the mercantile and
lumber business and where he died December 7, 1916. He was a successful
businessman and also had a spiritual relationship with the Methodist Church
and its Sunday school, with the Masonic Order and frequently was a candidate for
important local offices. He was a democrat in politics. George B. Stathers
married Sophia Furbee, who was born at Alma, West Virginia, April 24, 1845, and
who is still living at the old home there. Her parents were Bowers and Nancy
(Bond) Furbee, the former a native of Delaware and the latter of Baltimore. The
Furbees are a very old American family, having been transplanted from England
during the seventeenth century. Caleb Furbee, great-grandfather of Doctor
Stathers, was a captain in the Revolutionary forces from Delaware. Late in life
he with his son, Bowers, and other children moved to what is now West Virginia
and settled near Rivesville in Monongalia County. George B.. Stathers and wife
had six children: Miss Mary Emma, at home; Madison; a son that died in infancy;
Roy and Ray, twins, the former dying in infancy, while the latter lives at the
old homestead at Alma; and George Lawrence, who died in infancy.

Madison Stathers was educated in the public schools of Tyler County, attended
West Virginia Wesleyan College at Buckhannon from 1896 to 1899, and took his A.
B. degree from West Virginia University in 1901. After a brief period of
employment in the general offices of the Pennsylvania Railroad at Pittsburgh he
returned to West Virginia Wesleyan College as a teacher in the year 1902-03. He
then went abroad for advanced studies leading to the Doctor’s degree, and in
1905 received the Ph. D. degree from the University of Grenoble, France. His
Doctor’s thesis was Chateaubriand et l’Amerique, published in book form by
Allier Freres at Grenoble. During the summer of 1905 Doctor Stathers continued
his studies in Spain, and for the school year 1905-06-was an instructor in West
Virginia Wesleyan College. In the fall of 1906 he joined the faculty of West
Virginia University as instructor in Romance Languages, was assistant professor
from 1907 to 1910, and since 1910 has been professor and head of the department.

His linguistic accomplishments include a fluent command of English, French,
Spanish and some German and Italian, and he also has a reading knowledge of the
Latin and Portugese. He is author of two school and college text books, “Lope de
Vega, La Moza de Cantaro” published by Henry Holt & Company, and an edition of
“Erckmann-Chatrian, Historie d’un conscri de 1813” published by Ginn & Company
of Boston in 1921.

Doctor Stathers was abroad on leave of absence from his duties at West Virginia
University studying in Spain and France during 1910 and again in 1921. He is a
life member of the Modern Languages Association of America, a life member of the
American Association of Teachers of Spanish, a member of the American
Association of University Professors, is a Phi Beta Kappa and a member of the
college fraternity Phi Kappa Psi; was a member for a time (Socio transeunte) of
the Ateneo of Madrid, Spain; a member of the West Virginia University Faculty
Club, and an honorary member of the English and French clubs of West Virginia
University. He has been a member of the advisory Board American Field Service
Fellowships for French University since 1920.

August 6, 1907, Doctor Stathers married Nellie M. Dauphinee at Colchester,
Connecticut. They have one son, George Dauphinee Stathers, born September 6,
1911. Doctor and Mrs. Stathers are members of the First Presbyterian Church at
Morgantown. Mrs. Stathers was born at Lunenburg, Nova Scotia, Canada, daughter
of J. Newton and Bessie (Begg) Dauphinee, natives of Nova Scotia, her father of
French and her mother of Scotch ancestry. Her parents now live at Colchester,
Connecticut. Mrs. Stathers was educated in Lunenburg Academy, in the Classical
High School of Providence, Rhode Island, and graduated A. B. from Brown
University of Providence in 1902.