Robert H. Stockton & Mary E. Culver- College Benefactors
In 1917, Christian University officially changed its name to Culver-Stockton College to honor its benefactors Mary Culver and Robert Stockton.
Mary E. Culver
Mary Elizabeth Connegys was born in Champaign County, Ohio, on March 19, 1841. One of three daughters and two sons, she moved with her family to Indiana as a child. On Dec. 1, 1860, she married Lucius Llewellyn (L.L.) Culver. They lived in Illinois until moving to St. Louis, Missouri, in 1876 where Culver, an inventor who was skillful in improving kitchen ranges, became a business partner with Robert Stockton. Their company, Majestic Manufacturing Co., produced malleable kitchen ranges.
The Culvers had no children and invested their energy and funds into philanthropic activities. After Culver passed away in 1899, Mary Culver inherited his stocks. She made generous donations to what was then known as Christian University, guided by the advice of her husband’s business partner, in order to help the college advance teacher salaries, improve library and laboratory facilities, and build L.L. Culver Gymnasium.
Robert H. Stockton
Robert Henry Stockton was born in Mt. Sterling, Kentucky, on July 5, 1842. At the age of 12, he was orphaned when both his parents died. He lived with his grandmother and worked in a shoe store until age 15 when he moved to Missouri with an uncle. Stockton joined the Confederate army near the end of the Civil War. After the war, he moved back to Missouri and worked for Simmons Co. He met L.L. Culver and they began the Majestic Manufacturing Co., which became a prosperous business that manufactured iron kitchen ranges. Stockton handled sales, and Culver handled the factory.
Christian University President Carl Johann met Stockton on a fund-raising campaign. Stockton became a generous donor, giving money to help repair the college after a fire, to build cottages for married students, supporting teachers’ salaries, paying off college debt, and more.