William Henry Ruffner, educational reformer, clergyman, and geologist, was born in Lexington on 11 Feb. 1824. After pursuing careers as a preacher and a geological surveyor, he was appointed in 1870 as Virginia's first superintendent of public instruction by the General Assembly. During Ruffner's tenure, he developed Virginia's free public school system. Resigning from his position in 1882, Ruffner returned to geological surveying and farming before becoming the president of the State Female Normal School, now Longwood College, in 1884. Ruffner retired in 1887 and died in 1908 in Asheville, North Carolina. Nearby stood his house Tribrook.