A cool, pleasant day. Bill remained at home. Nan and I went in the carriage to Church. Zac drove Shakespeare and George. Hardie rode Fannie to Acquinton. Dined at Mrs. Hill’s and returned about bedtime. I had retired. – – Told us of someone shooting D. Gregg through his window.1 – – Randolph left today, quite presumptuously.
- Dr. Daniel H. Gregg, 64, who lives between Rumford and Ayletts, survived to live another 19 years. When he died he was invariably described in numerous obits as “wealthy.” How he chose to distribute his wealth, before and after his death, remained newsworthy for years. A native of Massachusetts, graduate of Dartmouth and Philadelphia’s Jefferson Medical College, he married Maria R. Day of Fredericksburg in 1828. By 1840 Dr. Gregg was well established in King William. He did well, eventually owning many acres and slaves and becoming an active member of King William’s (minority) Whig Party. An obit spoke of his, “economical habits” and that he “had no patience with sloth and idleness.” The same obit stated, “He thought the rich should work as well as the poor.” This sentiment, coming from a Yankee, might be taken as a thinly veiled insult to his well-to-do neighbors. Before the war a disagreement over slavery between his Virginia wife and visiting Boston mother forced him to side with one or the other. What followed was an epic divorce and estrangement from his only child, Mary. During the war the unfortunate location of his property near Ayletts lent itself to destruction by Union forces, whatever his views on slavery might have been. However, survivor Gregg prospered after the war, probably a testament to his habits, wise investments, and maybe northern family connections. Towards the end of his life he became known in Richmond for his philanthropy. He was instrumental in the establishment of the Richmond Home for Ladies, now Covenant Woods, and a major expansion of St. Joseph’s Academy and Orphan Asylum, now St. Joseph’s Villa. Caroline will not mention the shooting, nor Dr. Gregg again. Click here to read the good doctor’s obit in the Richmond Dispatch, 26 August, 1885, page 1. (back)