William James Vaughn

William James Vaughn

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Bobbye C. Winston


Dr. William James Vaughn, born Feb. 15, 1834 in Wilcox Co. AL and died Dec. 1, 1912 in Nashville, TN, the son of James Pulliam Vaughn and Susan Rebecca Richards Vaughn, founded the Engineering Department at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa according to Dr. James Benson Sellers, author or History of the University of Alabama and a descendant of Joseph Vaughn and a cousin of Dr. William James Vaughan. Dr. Vaughn first was headmaster at the old Summerfield School, a boarding school  located near Selma. Dr. Vaughn then taught at the University of Alabama then went to Vanderbilt University in Nashville, TN and remained there for the duration of his academic career.

He was married to Abbie Maria Scott on Aug. 17, 1865. Abby Scott Vaughn was born Sept. 21, 1841 and died Dec. 18, 1923.

Their children were:

1. William Massey Vaughn born Aug. 6, 1866 and died Nov. 26. 1949

2.  Eugene Houghton Vaughn born Oct. 25, 1868 and died March 6, 1920.  He married Margaret Musgrave.

3.  Harry Scott Vaughn born Jan. 4, 1870 and died Feb. 14, 1958. Married Florence Sloan.

 4. Stella Scott Vaughn born Nov. 4, 1871 and died Oct. 23, 1960.

William James Vaughn

Stella Scott Vaughn

William James Vaughn, seated, with students while at the University of Alabama.  From A Register of Officers and Students. University of Alabama 1831 - 1901 by Thomas Waverly Palmer Dated 1901. From A Register of Officers and Students. University of Alabama 1831 - 1901 by Thomas Waverly Palmer Dated 1901.

5. Robert Hargrove Vaughn born Feb. 2, 1876 and died Dec. 26, 1936. Married Willa Rinehart. 

Transcript of William S. Vaughn, grandson of William James Vaughn and son of Dr. Harry Scott Vaughn. He was first student at Vanderbilt to graduate with all A's. This is on display at the Vaughn House at Vanderbilt.


Home of Dr. William J. Vaughn in Nashville The Vaughn home was donated by his children and used as the Center For The Humanities by Vanderbilt University.

The Vaughn Home

This house, one of seven constructed before Vanderbilt opened
For classes in October 1875, has served as a residence for
Married Faculty Members, a Dormitory for men and for women,
And offices for the Department of Romance Languages
And Teaching Assistants in Western Civilization.

From 1884 to 1912, Residence 5, as it was commonly known,
Was the home of Dr. and Mrs. William J. Vaughn. Dr. Vaughn
Was Professor of Mathematics at Vanderbilt for Thirty Years,
Professor of Mathematics and Astronomy for Sixteen Years,
And University Librarian for Twenty-Six. His Five children,
Including his daughter, Stella Scott Vaughn (A1896), and
Son, Harry S. Vaughn, (D.D.S.,1894), grew up in this house.
Two of Dr. and Mrs. Vaughn’s Grandsons, Houghton D. Vaughn
And William S. Vaughn (B.S., 1923), President of the Board
Of Trust from 1968 to 1975, Provided Funds For its Restoration.

In Recognition of the Important contributions of the Vaughn
Family to the Life of the University, The Board of Trust Voted
To Name this Building The Vaughn Home

November 1987