Copyright © 2011-2018 John N. Lupia III

Davidge Gambrill (1836-1905), was born August 8, 1836, Anne Arundel County, Maryland, son of Dr. Stevens Gambrill (1799-) and Elizabeth (1803- ). The distinguished Gambrill family also owned a farm in Anne Arundel County, Maryland. The family name is often given variant spellings such as Gambrell, Gambril, &c.

Davidge Gambrill became a broker and dealer in gold and silver coins, and broken bank bills and other paper money though his main business was as a stock and bond broker, real estate and insurance broker and agent. This combination of business venues except that of stock and bond broking was typical of many of the well-known northern coin dealers like Ebenezer Locke Mason, Jr., for example. The coin dealerships of the southern states from the 1860's to the 1890's remained closer associated to banking than in the northern states. Of course, we have a few exceptions like Luther Brown Tuthill, the renown Confederate note dealer.

In 1864, he was drafted during the Civil War and is listed as working as a laborer at Annapolis Junction.

He moved to Charleston, South Carolina in 1866 as a broker of Phosphate of Lime and Mexican Guano, at Taft & Howard’s, Charleston, South Carolina. In 1869, he moved to Columbia, South Carolina and worked as a specie coin and bank bills broker beginning in July.

Fig. 1. Gambrill became a dealer in gold & silver specie coins Daily Phoenix, Thursday, July 8, 1869, page 3, advertisement

Fig. 2. This is the coin dealership advertisement of the 1860's and 1870's found in the southern states that differed in appearance from that of the more specialized dealers in the northern states. Coin and paper money dealing to collectors was certainly part of this business though probably not the mainstay. Intelligencer, Thursday, 9 September 1869, page 3, advertisement

Fig. 3. Emma Slann Gambrill. Elizabeth Waring MacMaster, The Girls of the Sixties (1937) photo of Mrs. Gambril

On July 14, 1870, he married Emma Slann Guignard (1847-1928), daughter of James Sanders Guignard (1803-1868) and Elizabeth Richardson Guignard (1811-1852). They had no issue.

Fig. 4. Daily Phoenix, Tuesday, February 15, 1870, page 2

Figs. 5 & 6. D. Gambrill Columbia, S. C. stationery and letterhead. "Brokerage and Exchange Office of Davidge Gambrill, Dealer in Bonds, Stocks, Gold & Silver, Coin, &c. Columbia, S. C., postmarked December 18, 1872. Courtesy Lupia Numismatic Library.

Fig. 7. A different letterhead a few moths later in March 1873. Courtesy Lupia Numismatic Library.

September through December 1873 he was the broker for the Public Library of Kentucky Fund Raiser selling 60,000 raffle tickets with 12,000 in $1.5 million cash prizes. He seems to have retired in the summer of 1875, although working occasionally since he is in the 1900 U. S. Census listed as a Broker and Insurance Agent.

Fig. 8. State, Friday, December 15, 1905, page 16

Fig. 9. Sun (Baltimore, Maryland), Friday, December 15, 1905, page 9

He died December 14, 1905 at his home 1219 Henderson, Columbia, Richland County, South Carolina. He is buried at Trinity Episcopal Church Cemetery, Columbia, Richland County, South Carolina.

Bibliography :

Charleston Daily News, Friday, 30 March 1866, page 7

Daily Phoenix, Thursday, July 8, 1869, page 3, ad

Daily Phoenix, Thursday, July 22, 1869, page 3, ad

Intelligencer, Thursday, 9 September 1869, page 3

State, Friday, December 15, 1905

Sun, Friday, December 15, 1905

Elizabeth Waring MacMaster, The Girls of the Sixties (1937) photo of Mrs. Gambrill

Michael Hailt, The Civil War Draft in Maryland: Lists of Drafted Men, 1862-1865, Volume II 24 June 1864- 8 Apr 1865 (Hait Family Research Services, 2010)