Staunton was founded in 1747, recognized by the General Assembly as a town in 1761, and incorporated as a city in 1871. Staunton is named in honor of the wife of William Gooch, an early Virginia governor. The City is an educational center. The Virginia School for the Deaf and the Blind was founded in the City in 1839 and Mary Baldwin College, a private liberal arts college for women, was established three years later in 1842.
Staunton is the birthplace of Woodrow Wilson, the 28th President of the United States. In 1908, Staunton became the first jurisdiction in the country to use the council-manager form of government, which it continues to use today.