This obit was originally published 2/3/1862 in The Charelston Mercury. I posted it 2/3/2006 on my blog "Chronicles of the American Civil War" http://www.pddoc.com/cw-chronicles.
I have no connections to this line and have no additional knowledge of it.
Death Of A.S. Willington, Esq.
February 3, 1862, The Charleston Mercury
The community of Charleston was startled, on Sunday morning by the sad news of the death of AARON SMITH WILLINGTON, the aged and well known Senior Editor and Proprietor of the Courier. He died quite suddenly, about two o’clock on Sunday morning, of a stroke of apoplexy, experienced only a few hours previously.
Mr. WILLINGTON was born in East Sudbury, Massachusetts, March 12, 1781, and had therefore nearly completed his 81st year. In his early life he was apprenticed, as a printer, in the office of the Boston Palladium, and there gained his first insight into the business in which he afterwards became so successful. In 1802, when Mr. LORING ANDREWS of Massachusetts came to Charleston, with the view of publishing a daily newspaper here, Mr. WILLINGTON accompanied him, in the capacity of foreman. Early in January of the following year, “The Charleston Courier” made its appearance, as “by A.S. WILLINGTON for LORING ANDREWS.” Thus, although not at first a proprietor, the deceased was identified, both in name and fact, with the Courier, from its original issue, and the remainder of his life was closely interwoven with its fortunes. Through all the early years of the existence of that journal, his industry and unflagging energy were mainly instrumental in giving it support. In 1806, he became one of its proprietors, the style of the firm being then “MARCHANT, WILLINGTON & Co.” During the troublous times of 1812, the Courier espoused the cause of the Federal party, which bitterly opposed the war against Great Britain. In the days of Nullification, from 1828 to 1833, the Courier became the mouth piece of the Union party in its struggles with the States Rights party; and again, when the policy of Secession came to be earnestly urged upon the people of the State, the Courier was an organ of the Co-operationists, as opposed to those in favor of “Separate State Action.” In the midst, however, of all these trying periods of political excitement, though party feeling ran high, Mr. WILLINGTON incurred no personal odium, even amongst those who most strenuously opposed the politics of his paper. Upon the election of President LINCOLN, in 1860, all former party lines, were, for the time, obliterated, and the South became an unit for resistance. The deceased fully approved and advocated the final step which separated the Southern from the Northern States of the Union.
Mr. WILLINGTON was a man of close observation, and of varied and accurate information. He was eminently upright in all his dealings, pure in his life, and faithful in the performance of all the duties of a good citizen. His excellent judgment and admirable business [….] are attested by the fact, that, in an avocation that rarely makes men rich, he had amassed an independent fortune. In charities of every kind, he bestowed his well-earned wealth with an unstinting hand.
Mr. WILLINGTON had occupied, with ability and efficiency, many honorable positions — having served as Alderman, Member of the Legislature, and as Director in Banks and Insurance Companies. In the declining years of his life his eyesight became seriously impaired, but, with characteristic industry, he maintained, to the last, as far as possible, those habits of close attention to business to which he had become inured. On the afternoon of the very day on which he was stricken down, he paid his usual visit to the Courier office.
Mr. WILLINGTON was twice married — first to ANNA, daughter of the late venerable ISAAC COURSE, Esq., and afterwards to SARAH T., daughter of JOHN PRATT, Esq., of Boston, Massachusetts. He had one daughter, HARRIET E., to whom he was devotedly attached, and who is now the wife of WILLIAM YOUNG, Esq., Editor of the New York Albion.
The funeral of the deceased will take place tomorrow morning, at St. Phillip’s Church. Many, who have had occasion to know and appreciate his unassuming character and blameless life, will sorrowfully follow his remains to the grave.
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