1969: An Important Silver Bequest

In 1969, the Society was bequeathed a fine silver commemorative tea and coffee service, along with other Danby family items, from prominent local and Princeton graduate, Henry Gregg Danby (1883-1968). Danby was a local businessman who was involved with various enterprises, including the Wilmington Candy Company and the New Jersey and Wilmington Ferry Company. The set had originally been a retirement gift to his father, John Henry Danby (1853-1921) from the Union National Bank of Wilmington, Delaware to commemorate fifty years of service to the bank from 1870-1920.

This bequest was important to the Society because it came from a family and business that both had deep Delaware roots. Henry’s mother, Georgine Gregg Danby, was the only surviving daughter of William Henry Gregg, the president of a prosperous carriage making company located at 8th/9th and Orange Streets in Wilmington. His great-grandfather, John Danby (1788-1857) was a Wilmington cooper who had made barrels for the DuPonts. The Union National Bank of Delaware for which his father had worked for so many years was chartered on February 15, 1839 and began life as the Union Bank of Delaware. In 1865, it became certified as a national bank and changed its name to the Union National Bank of Delaware. The bank would later be acquired by Wilmington Trust in 1943. The Executive Committee unanimously agreed to accept this bequest at its January 23rd meeting and the service would later become part of the exhibits in the museum in Old Town Hall.

Danby silver
The Danby silver service set (DHS collection)

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