William Stuart Symington I (b1839)
Grandfather of William Stuart Symington III (born 1901)
- Younger brother Thomas Alexander Symington II (born 1842)
Co-Founder (along with his younger brother Thomas Alexander Symington II (born 1842) ) of the Davison, Symington and Company (approximately 1855 ... see the excellent 1951 scanned book on Davison Chemical's history up until 1951: 1951-10-davison-book-its-background-and-contributions-since-1832-chester-hockley-ocr.pdf / https://drive.google.com/open?id=1tYLksPXWxqfoAADLEsGhHqtetVoxalH- ); Later on, this became known as the Davison Chemical Company in the late 1800s.
SYMINGTON FAMILY HISTORY - BEFORE W.S. SYMINGTON I WAS BORN
"Stuart Symington - A Life" : Page 1 - 4
According to family tradition, the original Symington in America, James [Symington], arrived from Scotland in 1785. 1 He landed in Philadelphia, where he worked as a stonecutter. Aboard ship he had met Margaret Ogilvie, a young Scotswoman traveling alone. Her marital status at the time remains unclear. Either she was the widow of a man named William Ogilvie, or she was running away from an unhappy marriage with him. Divorce was hard to come by in Scotland in the eighteenth century. Margaret had left behind two children, apparently with her mother, and was pregnant with a third, [but] she completely captivated young James Symington, who was making his way co America from Ayrshire.
How Margaret paid for her passage to America is unknown. [...]. At some point she became acquainted with another passenger, Robert Morris, the wealthy Philadelphia banker and signer of the Declaration of Independence who was famed as the "financier of the Revolution." Morris invited her to join his household as housekeeper or governess. Her child, a daughter initially named Deborah Morris, was born in the Morris home, and when in 1787 her shipboard acquaintance persuaded her to marry him, she was given away by Morris. About a year after their marriage, James and Margaret Symington moved to a house on Brandywine Creek, near Wilmington, where James operated a mill for grinding flint. In 1800 they moved to Baltimore and James resumed the stonecutting trade. Apparently he did rather well. When he died in 1827, he left an estate of seventy-five thousand dollars, a substantial sum in the early nineteenth century.
James adopted Deborah, and he and Margaret eventually had two more daughters and three sons, one of whom was Thomas [Symington], born December 23, 1793, on Brandywine Creek. Thomas served as an apprentice to his father in the stonecutting trade, and then as a young man went to work for William Stuart, who had a stonecutting and marble business. Stuart, whose father had fought in the War of the Revolution, became lieutenant colonel of the U.S. Infantry defending Baltimore during the War of 1812, being credited, according to family legend, with "saving" Fort McHenry during the British naval bombardment the night of September 13, 1814, when he took over from the commandant, alleged to have been drunk. In addition to being a war hero, William Stuart was a successful businessman who was active in politics. He served several terms on the Baltimore city council and as a member of the Maryland House of Delegates. He had a short term as mayor of Baltimore, after which he became president of the Maryland Institute of Arts. His daughter, Angeline, whom Thomas Symington married in 1825, was obviously quite a catch.
[Thomas Symington's wife Angele passed when he was at the age of seventy-one.] He [then] married Mary Wilson, thirty-seven, whom he had met at the Episcopal Church, where she was the church organist; she bore him two children before he died in 1875 at the age of eighty-two.
Thomas Symington did well financially, making substantial sums in real estate, marble quarries, and chemicals and fertilizer. He furnished much of the marble for the 1850 addition to the capitol building in Washington. He provided the cornerstone of the Washington Monument as a gift. Unlike many others, including his son, he seems to have survived the Civil War financially intact. In 1862 he retired to a farm outside Baltimore, which he named " Indian Spring," managing his various business enterprises in addition to farming. When he died, he left an estate of one hundred thousand dollars in cash and what apparently was a substantial unrecorded balance that he divided among his children.
Note - Years later, other members of the Symington family bought the "indian Spring" farm back...
"Stuart Symington - A Life" Page 1 - 4
Thomas and Angeline had two daughters and four sons. The oldest of the sons, born January 5, 1839, they understandably named William Stuart, after Angeline's father.
This first W Stuart Symington [ who became William Stuart Symington I ]- as is true of all his descendants who have borne the name, he dropped " William" - enlisted in the Virginia Militia at the age of twenty-two to fight for the Confederacy in the Civil War. He became a second lieutenant at the outset and about a year later was appointed first lieutenant in the Confederate Army. Stuart became an aide to his first cousin by marriage, General George E. Pickett, and served in that capacity throughout the war. He fought with Pickett at Five Forks, Drewry's Bluff, Gettysburg, and Petersburg. Near the end of the Seven Days in June 1862, he disobeyed Pickett's orders to join him in Richmond and stayed behind to participate in the Battle of Frayzer's Farm. His horse was shot seven times and finally killed. He also had a horse shot out from under him during the futile, bloody assault on Cemetery Ridge in the waning hours of the Battle of Gettysburg. In command of Union troops at Cemetery Ridge was Brigadier General James S. Wadsworth, whose granddaughter Evelyn would become Mrs. W Stuart Symington III.
Lieutenant Symington remained with Pickett during all of the dreary months from Gettysburg to Appomattox and was among those cited by Pickett, in his final report to General Lee, "for gallantry and untiring zeal. " He surrendered his sword as a captain, but throughout the rest of his life he was referred to as "Major." Whatever his rank, his devotion to the Lost Cause remained undiminished. In its obituary of him, the Baltimore Sun wrote, "wild horses would not have dragged an admission from him that he believed that the South was in the wrong. " Rather than sign the Oath of Allegiance required of all former Confederate officers, he went to Germany, studying at the University of Heidelberg, until the frenzy calmed down. He was vice president of the Society of the Army and Navy of the Confederate States in Maryland, and in the last year of his life the society gave a testamentary dinner for him, the only person they had ever so honored up to that time. Three days before his sudden death on June 9, 1912 - he collapsed after a game of golf on a hot Sunday afternoon - he had led a parade of Confederate veterans celebrating the Confederate Memorial Day.
After returning to Baltimore from Germany, Major Symington went into the fertilizer business. Apparently, he was not very good at it.
Note: Among others of the Davison, Symington and Company was his younger brother Thomas Alexander Symington II (born 1842) ) (approximately 1855 ... see Excellent 1951 scanned book on Davison Chemical's history up until 1951: 1951-10-davison-book-its-background-and-contributions-since-1832-chester-hockley-ocr.pdf / https://drive.google.com/open?id=1tYLksPXWxqfoAADLEsGhHqtetVoxalH- ); Later on, this became known as the Davison Chemical Company in the late 1800s.
The company went into bankruptcy, and its owner lost everything. The family had to sell their big house on Charles Street and move into a small, rented house on North Avenue, not a particularly fashionable part of the city. Later he recovered somewhat, serving as secretary of the Consolidated Gas Company in Baltimore. By the time of his death, he was looked upon as one of Baltimore's leading citizens and, even in the midst of the family's most serious financial vicissitudes, they moved in Baltimore's most fashionable society.
One reason for that could well have been the woman Major Symington had the good fortune to marry. While in Richmond during the war on a recruiting trip, he attended a debutante ball at which he met a beautiful young woman named Lelia Skipworth Powers, daughter of a prominent Episcopal clergyman. In addition to her beauty, she possessed an impeccable Virginia lineage. Through her mother she was a direct descendant of Benjamin Harrison, who was married to Anne Carter, daughter of Robert "King" Carter, whose descendants included the Lees. After returning from Germany, Major Symington went back to Richmond and persuaded Lelia to marry him. They made a handsome couple, and, before Lelia died at the age of forty-four, they had a daughter and seven sons. The sons were all strapping young men, inheriting physiques that reflected their father's strength and their mother's beauty. All of them, with one exception, went into business and became financially successful.
Legal - Oct 1968 :
Washington Fire Insurance Company vs. Davison and Symington.
See 1870-cases-argued-and-determined-in-the-court-of-appeals-of-maryland-vol-xxx-oct-1968-to-aprill-1969.pdf / https://drive.google.com/open?id=15S0jr1v1pq2De4ocfIhdLJnBAuUVeMtO