A question arose from my article last week on Henry H. Stambaugh, who donated the money that built Stambaugh Auditorium. Was Henry the “Stambaugh” in Stambaugh-Thompson’s, the Youngstown-based hardware chain of stores? As it turns out, he was not. Rather, it was his uncle, Captain Daniel Beaver Stambaugh. Daniel was the younger brother of John Stambaugh, Henry’s father.
Daniel was born April 6, 1838 to John and Sarah Beaver Stambaugh (hence that middle name!). He grew up on the Brier Hill farm of his family and became involved in the coal and iron interests of his father, brother John, and nephew Henry. He eventually had investments in iron mines in Idaho and Colorado.
In 1861, President Lincoln called for 75,000 men to volunteer for the Union effort in the Civil War. Stambaugh signed up in Company B, 19th Regiment, Ohio Volunteer Infantry. He served four months and reenlisted in June 1862 as a second lieutenant of Company A, 105th Regiment, Ohio Volunteer Infantry. He fought at Chickamauga, where he was seriously wounded, hospitalized forty days before rejoining his command in the battles for Atlanta and the “March to the Sea.” He rose from second to first lieutenant and then was appointed Captain in August 1863. He was honorably discharged June 5, 1865.
He married Margaret Osborne on November 15, 1867 and had three children, one of whom, Phillip, predeceased him. It was around this time that he entered the hardware business, eventually forming a company, Fowler & Stambaugh. John Thompson had joined the firm as a bookkeeper around 1880. When Fowler died, Thompson became general manager while Daniel Stambaugh served as president, and the company became Stambaugh-Thompson. Thompson’s son Philip started out as a clerk, and by 1906 took his father’s place as general manager, succeeding to the presidency upon the death of Daniel Stambaugh.
Daniel Thompson was in good health until he suffered a fall while walking on West Federal Street a little over a week before his death at age 76. He had broken no bones but was advised to rest up from the shock to his body. The day before he died, he spoke to callers, expecting to be out again in a day or too. Thursday morning, he went into cardiac arrest from which he was not able to be resuscitated, dying at 9:45 am on January 14, 1915. He is buried in Oak Hill Cemetery.
The Vindicator concluded his obituary noting that he “was a brave soldier, a courteous gentleman, and possessed those personal attractive traits which made him a congenial companion and a staunch and true friend. His sudden death brings deep sorrow to the community.”
Indirectly, there was a tie between Stambaugh-Thompson’s and Stambaugh Auditorium, beside the name. Henry Stambaugh was on the board of directors of Stambaugh-Thompson’s and held stock in the company. And after Henry’s death, Philip Thompson was one of the trustees of the bequest that built Stambaugh Auditorium.
What shouldn’t be lost is that Daniel B. Stambaugh, along with the Thompson’s built Youngstown’s leading hardware store as well as maintaining connections to the coal and iron business. He was one of the builders of Youngstown, establishing a business that lasted over one hundred years.
To read other posts in the Growing Up in Working Class Youngstown series, just click “On Youngstown.” Enjoy!