This distinguished looking guy with the full mustache is Roliston Woodbury. A great name, isn’t it? If I were to write a novel set at a teacher’s college in New England just after the Civil War, I would invent a character, a war hero who returns to school at the age of 26, and I would name him Roliston Woodbury. And this wouldn’t be a stretch of the imagination. Woodbury survived the Battles of Cedar Mountain, Second Bull Run, Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville and Gettysburg before returning to Maine and attending Farmington Normal School. He graduated in 1867 and immediately became a faculty member and assistant to the principal. About ten years later Woodbury got the opportunity to run a school himself. He left to become principal of Farmington’s sister school, the Eastern Maine Normal School at Castine.
Unfortunately, Woodbury was only at Castine for about ten years before he died at the young age of forty-eight. Those who knew him said that despite his successes in education, the war always haunted him. “The death he had faced so often followed on his steps, and in his later years, walked by his side, and he knew it,” observed a colleague in a memorial speech about Woodbury. “Yet it was his choice to stand at his post to the last…”