Woman of the Century/Maria B. Brooks Stafford
STAFFORD, Mrs. Maria Brewster Brooks, educator, born in Westmoreland, N. H., in 1809. Her parents, of English origin, were enterprising and successful. Of their five daughters, all were married early, except Maria, who remained in school for thorough training. In 1833 she was invited by Rev. William Williams, whose wife was her friend, to go to Alabama as assistant teacher in the Alabama Female Institute. She became the central figure in that school and taught most successfully until she became the wife of Prof. Stafford, of Tuscaloosa. Prof. Stafford was a North Carolinian by birth and education, and his high scholastic attainments admirably fitted him for the responsible position to which lie was called as professor of ancient literature in the Alabama State University, where he remained from 1837 until 1856. His MARIA BREWSTER BROOKS STAFFORD. health failing, he resided his place in the State University Prof, and Mrs. Stafford were then invited to take charge of the Alabama Female Institute, where the professor, in the companionship of books and friends, found rest and solace the remainder of his life. Three children were born to them, two daughters and a son. For several years Mrs. Stafford gave all her time to the work of educating and character-building. She closed her school during the Civil War and opened it anew in 1865. She taught till 1872, devoting herself thereafter to her husband. The death of her husband in 1873 was followed in 1880 by the loss of her daughter Alice, a bride of six weeks. In 1884 she went to live with her first-born child, Belle, the wife of Rev. J. P. Dawson, of Danville, Ky. Her only son, F. M. Stafford, lives in Chattanooga, Tenn.