U.S. Naval Academy Class Rings

Graduates Remembered

First Lieutenant William Henry Stayton

First LT Stayton
First Lieutenant William H. Stayton

First Lieutenant Stayton personally donated his class ring to the Museum on September 1, 1937. [1] Manufactured by Tiffany & Company, Stayton’s ring features an anchor with crossed cannons, a trident overlaid by crossed swords and rope, and a monogram of “USNA 81” on the dark green stone. The company indicated in a November 27, 1936 letter that the 1881 designs were hand carved and only produced two copies.

William Henry Stayton was born March 28, 1861 in Leipsic, Delaware. After graduating in 1881, Stayton entered the Marine Corps and was assigned to the Judge Advocate Office in Washington D.C.. After obtaining his law degree Stayton resigned his commission, but later joined the New York Militia at the start of the Spanish American War. During his time in the New York Naval Militia, Stayton wrote the Naval Militiaman's Handbook.

On June 18, 1898, Stayton joined the United States Auxiliary Navy Force as a Lieutenant. Lieutenant Stayton commanded the USS Enquirer along the eastern seaboard.[2] After receiving an honorable discharge, he worked for the newly formed Navy League and started the anti-prohibitionist organization the Association against the Prohibition Amendment. He died on July 13, 1942 in Smyrna, Delaware and is buried in Arlington National Cemetery.

stayton ring


[1] United States Naval Academy Class Ring Collection Master List, retrieved on January 7, 2014.

[2] “Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships Online,” accessed April 24, 2016, http://www.hazegray.org/danfs/patrol/enquirer.htm.