The Minnie Ann Webb Scholarship
R-MC has been fortunate, since its founding, to have a long list of generous donors who have created scholarships and made it possible for so many students to attend.
When Financial Aid awards them, students may wonder: who are these donors and why did they start this scholarship? Many of the named scholarships were created by well-known benefactors and alumni of the College. Established and named for cherished alumni, trustees, families of students and alumni, and faculty members, both living and deceased, scholarships allow those named to live on forever in a tangible way.
Occasionally, a scholarship is created through the generosity of someone we never knew during their lifetime. The Minnie Ann Webb Scholarship is one such fund.
Who was Minnie Ann Webb and what was her connection to the College? Not much was known about her life until I began to research her life and located a couple of her descendants. Thanks to an oral history given by her brother, Ballard, through the Virginia Writers’ Project during the Great Depression, and part of the Federal Writers' Project, I had a place to start.
Minnie Ann was born in 1883 in Craig County, Virginia, to a large farming family. Her parents, William and Susan Webb, had nine children, though not all of them lived to adulthood. By 1940, only four of them were living, including Minnie and Ballard.
Ballard was one of the oldest of the nine children. After completing his education and teaching school for a year at Custer’s Mill, Craig County, he had an argument with his father over a girl who had taken Ballard away from his farming chores. He decided to leave home (he never married) and spent a few years as a farm and ranch hand traveling from Virginia to Missouri, California and Montana until the Spanish American War broke out. Ballard joined the army and became a career soldier. He eventually was promoted to staff sergeant and company draughtsman as well as the official photographer for his unit.
Minnie was the youngest of her siblings and Ballard paid for her to attend Massey Business College in Richmond where she graduated in 1907. She then followed him on his travels with the Army and became his companion and housekeeper.
Minnie’s father William had served in the Civil War, was a Confederate drummer, and was wounded in the Battle at Chickamauga, Tennessee in 1863. Minnie’s great-nephew, Don, was bequeathed the drum in her will along with the Webb family Bible. He has fond memories of his great-aunt.
Don recalled her stories about their travels including being on the ship that brought the first German prisoners-of-war during World War I to the United States. She also visited Arizona before 1912 when it was still Arizona Indian Territory.
Ballard and Minnie spent a few years in the Philippines and Hawaii before coming home to Roanoke when Ballard retired from the US Army in 1928. They built a house on Chatham Street which still stands. Minnie bequeathed it to the Virginia Methodist Home for the Aged.
Lifelong Methodists, her descendants agree that Minnie must have learned about R-MC through her church. She was generous to Methodist churches and schools during her lifetime and bequeathed more than $300,000 in her will. She died in 1967.
Don remembers his great-aunt as representing “the best of that dying Victorian age, when manners, reserve, decorum, and civility were an expected and daily part of life.”
Randolph-Macon College is grateful to Minnie Ann Webb for her generosity which continues to make a college education easier to accomplish for students today.
If you’d like to establish a scholarship, please contact the R-MC Advancement Office at 804-752-7218.
The Office of College Advancement • P.O. Box 5005, Ashland, VA 23005
email@example.com • 866-694-4574