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Barringer, Paul Brandon

by Marcus B. Simpson, Jr., 1979

13 Feb. 1857–9 Jan. 1941

Paul B. Barringer. Courtesy of "University of Virginia : its history, influence, equipment and characteristics, with biographical sketches and portraits of founders, benefactors, officers and alumni."Paul Brandon Barringer, physician and educator born in Concord, was the son of Rufus Barringer, a general in the Confederate Army, and Eugenia Morrison Barringer, whose father, the Reverend Robert Hall Morrison, was the first president of Davidson College. His grandfather, General Paul Barringer, served in the U.S. Army during the War of 1812. His mother's sisters were married to General Thomas J. ("Stonewall") Jackson and General Daniel H. Hill of the Confederate Army. Following his early education at Bingham School in North Carolina and Kenmore School in Virginia, he enrolled in the University of Virginia, where he studied chemistry, agriculture, and mechanical drawing before receiving a medical degree in 1877. He received his M.D. from the University of the City of New York in 1878 and returned to Dallas, N.C., where he practiced for three years. From 1881 to 1884 he studied in clinics in London, Paris, and Vienna.

In 1886, Barringer became the attending physician at Davidson College. There he taught anatomy, physiology, and histology and established a medical preparatory school, which became the North Carolina Medical College, the first medical school chartered in the state. In 1889 he was appointed professor of physiology and surgery at the University of Virginia, where he subsequently taught medicine, ophthalmology, and dermatology; he served as chairman of the medical faculty from 1891 to 1895 and as chairman of the university faculty from 1895 to 1903. From 1907 to 1912 he was president of Virginia A & M College, later known as Virginia Polytechnic Institute. During World War I he worked for the federal government, supervising public health measures in American coal mining areas.

Barringer published a variety of scientific papers dealing with cholera, syphilis, and typhoid fever. He was a recognized authority on venomous reptiles and wrote extensively on the subject. He authored a series of studies of the American Negro between 1896 and 1901. Barringer was a member of the American Medical Association, Southern Tri-State Medical Association, and North Carolina Medical Society and was president of the Medical Society of Virginia. He served on the Virginia Board of Health and Board of Agriculture and was president of the Albemarle County Red Cross. He was a member of Zeta Psi social fraternity, Nu Sigma Nu medical fraternity, and the North Carolina Academy of Science and was honorary president of the University of Virginia Alumni Association. In recognition of his contributions to education and medicine, he received honorary LL.D. degrees from the University of South Carolina and Davidson College.

Barringer married Nannie Irene Hannah in 1882; the couple had seven children. He died in Charlottesville, Va., and was buried there in University Cemetery. He was an active member of the Presbyterian church.

References:

R. H. Lafferty, The North Carolina Medical College (1946 [portrait]).

Additional Resources:

A Guide to the Papers of Paul B. Barringer, 1881-1983. A Collection in Historical Collections, Claude Moore Health Sciences Library Accession Number MS-34.University of Virginia Health System Virginia Heritage, Guide to Archives and Manuscripts in VA: http://ead.lib.virginia.edu/vivaxtf/view?docId=uva-hs/viuh00034.xml

Barringer, Paul B. (Paul Brandon), 1857-1941 in Library of Congress: http://id.loc.gov/authorities/names/n84804527.html

Paul Brandon Barringer, 1907-13, Life and Times of Virginia Tech Presidents: http://www.president.vt.edu/presidents/Barringer.html

A Guide to the Paul B. Barringer Papers 1913-1919. A Collection in Special Collections Collection Number RG 2/6. Virginia Tech, Virginia Heritage, Guide to Archives and Manuscripts in VA:: http://ead.lib.virginia.edu/vivaxtf/view?docId=vt/viblbv00035.xml

Barringer, Paul B. (Paul Brandon) 1857-1941 search results in WorldCat: http://www.worldcat.org/identities/lccn-n84-804527

Presidents of Virginia Tech, Paul Brandon Barringer, University Archives, Virginia Tech: http://spec.lib.vt.edu/archives/125th/pres/barring.htm

Barringer, Paul B. (Paul Brandon). University of Virginia : its history, influence, equipment and characteristics, with biographical sketches and portraits of founders, benefactors, officers and alumni. New York : Lewis Publishing Co. 1904. http://archive.org/details/universityofvirg02barr (accessed April 1, 2013).

Image Credits:

Barringer, Paul B. (Paul Brandon). University of Virginia : its history, influence, equipment and characteristics, with biographical sketches and portraits of founders, benefactors, officers and alumni. New York : Lewis Publishing Co. 1904. http://archive.org/details/universityofvirg02barr (accessed April 1, 2013).

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Copyright notice

This article is from the Dictionary of North Carolina Biography, 6 volumes, edited by William S. Powell. Copyright ©1979-1996 by the University of North Carolina Press. Used by permission of the publisher. For personal use and not for further distribution. Please submit permission requests for other use directly to the publisher.

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