Virginia History Series
Historical Hall of Fame: John Walter Wayland, (1872- 1962) was a teacher, historian, poet, and author of over 30
In 1872 John Walter Wayland was born in Woodlawn in Shenandoah County, Virginia. He graduated from Bridgewater College in 1899 and
in 1907 he received a Ph.D. from the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, Virginia.
Dr. Wayland was one of the first faculty
members at the State Normal School in Harrisonburg, Virginia which later became Madison College and is presently James Madison University.
He taught there until 1931 and also taught at various times at Bridgewater College, University of Virginia and University of Tennessee.
He taught History and Social Science and was head of the department while at the State Normal School. He died in 1962, at age 89,
while shoveling snow.
During his lifetime, Dr. Wayland published over thirty books including A History of Rockingham County, How to
Teach American History and A History of Virginia for Boys and Girls. Besides authorship of books, he wrote the lyrics to the song
"Old Virginia", set to music by Will H. Ruebush.
"Tell me of a land that's fair, With the smile of heaven there, Of a land that's e'er the dearest as I roam; Where the
hills encircling rise, And blue mountains kiss the skies - O that land is Old Virginia, And my home!"
Tell me of a land where
glows Love's first blush upon the rose, Where the lily springs the whitest from the loam: Where the "Daughter of the Sky" And the
James go rolling by - O that land is Old Virginia, And my home!
Birthland of story, Homeland of glory, Thousands of voices are singing
to thee;With garlands fairest, With heart gems rarest, We crown Virginia, sweet land of the free.
Tell me of a land that gave Ever bravest of the brave, First to hail the star of freedom in the gloam; Where the deeds that men may do
Prove them truest of the
true - O that land is Old Virginia, And my home!
Tell me of a land where love, Fix'd in woman's heart doth prove, Best of all
the gifts to man 'neath heaven's dome; Ah! the angels there awhile Banish care with beauty's smile -
O that land is Old Virginia,And my home!