m. 13 FEB 1839
m. 20 Dec 1864
Facts and Events
Colonel Chiswell Dabney Langhorne (4 November 1843 – 14 February 1919) was an American railroad millionaire. He was the father of Nancy Astor, Viscountess Astor and the maternal grandfather of both Joyce Grenfell and Michael Langhorne Astor.
Langhorne was born in Lynchburg, Virginia. His family were wealthy slave-owners before the American Civil War but lived in greatly reduced circumstances after the war. Langhorne, however, made a new fortune, working first in the tobacco auctioneering business and then in railroads.
As a youth he entered the Confederate Army and served with distinction during the war. Soon after the Civil War, he went to Danville, Virginia. The sale of loose-leaf tobacco by auction on a warehouse floor originated in Danville just before the Civil War. The practice, which was called the "Danville System", was quickly and widely adopted. It is said that Langhorne set the pattern of the tobacco auctioneer's chant, which was also quickly adopted and followed everywhere.
He moved his family to Richmond in 1885, where he landed a construction contract with the Chesapeake and Ohio Railway through the influence of his wartime commanding officer. This was the start of his railroad fortune.
He died in Richmond following an illness of several weeks.