Paul Brandon Barringer

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Paul Brandon Barringer

Birthplace: Concord, Cabarrus County, North Carolina, United States
Death: January 09, 1941 (83)
Immediate Family:

Son of Brig. Gen. Rufus C. Barringer (CSA) and Eugenia Erixene Barringer
Husband of Nannie Irene Barringer
Father of Rufus Hannah Barringer; John Hannah Barringer; Anne Maria Barringer; Paul Brandon Barringer; George Hanna Barringer and 5 others
Brother of Ann Morrison Barringer
Half brother of Warren Clay Coleman; Thomas Clay Coleman; Osmond Long Barringer and Rufus Chunn Barringer

Occupation: 6th President of Virginia Tech, medical doctor
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Paul Brandon Barringer

Paul Brandon Barringer (February 13, 1857 – January 9, 1941) was the sixth president of Virginia Tech, serving from September 1, 1907 through July 1, 1913. He was also chairman of the faculty at the University of Virginia from 1895 through 1903.

Barringer was the son of Rufus Barringer and was named after his grandfather, General Paul Barringer (1776-1835). He spent some of his childhood in Concord, North Carolina, where, as an eight-year-old, he beat Confederate States of America President Jefferson Davis in a game of chess. Davis had just fled Richmond, Virginia after the Confederate surrender by Robert E. Lee.

He received his M.D. degree from the University of Virginia in 1877 and also received an M.D. from the University of the City of New York in 1877.


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.