William Mayfield

William Henderson Mayfield

Founder at Will Mayfield College

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Will Mayfield College

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President  - Flat River Mining Company


M.D.  - 

Mayfield-Smith Academy

medicine , St. Louis Medical College

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Will Mayfield College was established by Dr. William Henderson Mayfield in Marble Hill, Missouri, in 1885.Set on a ridge top, the campus provided a panoramic view of the surrounding Ozark foothills.After 50 years of service, financial difficulties forced the school to close in 1934.Biographical Sketch of Dr. William Henderson MayfieldHistory of Will Mayfield CollegeEl Nathan Comes to Marble HillThe Arts and Science BuildingInformation Sources Used in the Web Site Biographical Sketch of Dr. William Henderson MayfieldThe prevailing force behind the establishment of the Will Mayfield College was Dr. William Henderson Mayfield.He was born 12 January, 1852 on a farm near the Bollinger County communities of Mayfield and Patton, to George Washington and Polly Cheek Mayfield. Through his father's family a geographical line can be traced from Missouri, east to Mayfield, Kentucky, east again to Lincoln County, North Carolina, and then north to Pennsylvania, where European ancestors made their entry into Colonial North America. (A contemporary of W. H. Mayfield wrote that the family came from Germany and the name was previously spelled Meyfeldt; more recent research indicates that the Mayfield's lived in England prior to coming to America.) William's grandfather, Stephen Mayfield, enlisted in the Light Horse Brigade of North Carolina soon after the war between the 13 colonies and Britain began.He remained in military service for the duration of the Revolutionary War. William Henderson Mayfield received his early education in a one-room, country school.Advanced training was received at Carleton Institute, a Methodist school at Farmington, and the Fruitland Normal School near Cape Girardeau, Missouri.He served several terms as a school teacher before changing his occupation to merchant in 1874.On May 10 of that same year he married Ellen Catherine Sitze, of Madison County. 1877 was a momentous year for Mayfield.He left the mercantile trade to study medicine under Dr H. J. Smith of Smithville (now Sedgewickville, Missouri).In that year he was elected messenger to the St. Francois Association of Baptist Churches.Within that same year, he and Dr. Smith launched the project to establish a Baptist institution of learning in Smithville.This first attempt failed, but the idea was not abandoned.In 1880, a new school site was selected in Marble Hill and the work renewed. At the same time Mayfield was working to establish the school, he was also completing a degree in medicine at St. Louis Medical College (then the medical department of Washington University).Graduating in 1882, Dr. Mayfield returned to Bollinger County to set up his medical practice.He was not in practice long before he received a request to accept the chair of Materia Medica, Therapeutics and Diseases of Children at the College of Physicians and Surgeons, St. Louis.He accepted the position and moved with his wife to 1914 North Eleventh Street in St. Louis.Their residence became the site of a ministry of medicine, the American Hospital Association. The Mayfield's dedication to providing medical assistance to the public far exceeded ordinary expectations of professional duty, but the patients which eventually over-flowed their home convinced them of the need for expanded services.Through Rev. H. A. Slaughter an annex was opened at another residence to handle more patients.A search began for a suitable property with capacity for all the patients .Returning from a medical call on Taylor avenue, Mayfield guided his horse down a drive which lead to a building known as the Dausman Mansion at 909 North Taylor.Drawing closer, he noticed a "For Rent" sign.A lease agreement was drawn up for use of the building and grounds at the rate of 100 per month with an option to buy.At this site, the Missouri Baptist Sanitarium (Missouri Baptist Hospital) was begun in 1887. In 1908, Mayfield and his associate, Dr. Walter G. Tyzzer, supplied funding through the Board of Foreign Missions of the Southern Baptist Conventions to establish the Mayfield-Tyzzer Hospital in Laichow Fu, in northern China.In 1908, they provided financial assistance to build the Will Mayfield Hospital at Huchow, in southern China. In addition to these accomplishments, Mayfield and his wife played a part in establishing hospitals in Chicago and Boston, the Farmington and Sweet Springs Sanitariums in Missouri, and launched campaign to establish facilities to treat patients afflicted with tuberculosis.He also served as president of the Flat River Mining Company in Missouri. After the school established in Smithville (now Sedgewickville) by William Henderson Mayfield and Dr. Smith failed, classes were begun again in 1880 in Marble Hill, Missouri.In 1903, the name of the academy was changed to Will Mayfield College, not to commemorate the name of one of its founders, but as a memorial tribute to the son of William and Ellen Mayfield.Will Mayfield had attended Mayfield-Smith Academy, graduating in 1901.Suffering from tuberculosis (then called consumption), he moved to Colorado and then to Arizona.He died 28 January, 1902, at the Mayfield Sanitarium in St. Louis. The college continued to grow through the early 1900's.Course offerings included the expected basics in English, composition, penmanship, mathematics and science as well as practical courses in book-keeping and typewriting.A course of study was available for ministerial students.Instruction was also available in biology, botany, zoology, analytical geometry, theory of equations, plane sailing, navigation and integral calculus, Latin, German, French, pedagogy, vocal and instrumental music, and philosophy. There were separate athletic organizations for young men and women: football (men only), baseball, basketball, volleyball, and tennis.Biography of William Henderson Mayfield, M.D., Patrick, Wiley J., Bowling Green, Missouri, 1912.

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