Friday, November 16, 2012

Fraternally yours, Augustus W. Aston

Please note that I'll be updating this page with additional information about Gus and his family which has been graciously provided by Emily and Carter Baker.  Through the sharing of information from Moran Place I've made some online friends and acquaintances that have made me laugh, made me think, made me question and, well you get the idea.  Carter and Emily have done all that and more for me.   Should you come across this page and have an interest in learning more about my friend Gus Aston and his family, please contact Emily and Carter. (July 22, 2013).  Scroll down past the original post about Gus to see newly added pictures and information.

Friends were very important to the Moran family.   If you could see all of the pictures and correspondence we have about and from friends you'd know what I mean.  So many times we can't identify the friends and sometimes we are blessed with having an inscription on the photograph as in the case of Pierre Toutant Beauregard and Augustus "Gus" W. Aston.

Fraternally yrs
Augustus W. Aston
Pierre and Gus were friends of James H. Moran III.  He also attended St Albans and the University of Virginia and that is where we believe the friendship developed. This photograph of Augustus Aston was found in a trunk in the attic at Moran Place.  On the back is the image of a woman from another picture that "bled" onto  Gus' picture.

You'd think having a name and date would make it easy but not always.  So I'll share the information I have about Gus Aston here.  Perhaps someone will come along and fill in the blanks.

His name is Augustus White ASTON.  The photograph was taken when he was attending the University of Virginia.  You can't see it very well but there is an imprint under the picture that says "University Store, Holsinger, Charlottesville VA".  Rufus W. Holsinger had a reputation for quality work and was a famous photographer.

According to Gus' world war I draft registration he was born July 21, 1875.  I have seen it listed in family trees as 1874.  I found references to him in Vol. 11 of Corks and Curls (1899), the yearbook for the University of Virginia.  He was a member of The St. Albans' School Club, the German Club, The Thirteen Club, and on page 192 he is listed, Augustus W. Aston of Meadow View.  Meadowview Virginia is where he lived.

I found an article in the Richmond Dispatch dated Sept. 14 1902.  There was a big party honoring the 11th Session of St Albans at Radford VA opening for the year.  Among the many attendees Gus Aston is listed and he was attending "stag".

In 1916 Gus was the best man at his niece's wedding in Knoxville TN.  From the Knoxville Daily Sentinel:  "This evening at 9 o'clock at the Church street M.E. church, South, the marriage of Miss Emily Stringfield KENNEDY and Mr. Ralph Victor THURSTON will be solemnized....Mr. Gus Aston, of Virginia, uncle of the bride, will serve as best man."  Emily KENNEDY's mother was Sarah Elizabeth ASTON, sister of Augustus White Aston, the subject in our picture.  Their parents were Augustus Washington ASTON and Emily Elizabeth KENDRICK.

Census Information:
1880- 5 years old living at home with his mother and siblings.  His father has died by this point.
1890 - the census that was lost to fire
1900 - he is living in Charlottesville VA and is listed as a "law student"
1910 - 34 years old living at home with his mother and sister.  Occupation is cashier.  I have seen in another reference that he was cashiering at the bank.  Later he became the president of "the county bank".  James Moran also became the bank president of the Dresden Bank which his family owned.
1920 - 44 years old and living with his sister.  Their mother has passed on.  Occupation is Banker and cashier
1930 - 54 years old, his sister Mary is still living with him.  His occupation is now listed as Farming.  I wonder if this had anything to do with the depression and so many banks crashing?  The Dresden Bank crashed as well and James Moran had moved on to other business endeavors.
1940 - 64 years old.  His sister Mary is still in the household and his brother William H Aston has joined them.  Augustus' occupation is now Postmaster.

And that is where the trail ends.  I did find him listed in some family trees with a date of death Sept 14, 1943 but I haven't been able to confirm that and I don't know where he is buried.  Drop me line if you can tell me when Augustus died and where he's buried.

Updated June 17 2013:  Thanks to EastPiney we now know that Gus is buried in the Aston Family Cemetery in Cedarview Virginia.  Here's the link to his memorial on Findagrave.

Updated July 26 2013:
Emily Elizabeth Kendrick
1835 - 1913
Augustus W. Aston
1815 - 1876
Gus' parents were Emily Elizabeth Kendrick, pictured in 1862, and Augustus Washington Aston.  Emily and A.W. were married in 1862 and made their home at Cedarville which is also the name of the community where they lived.

A.W. had purchased the house in 1860.  Before it became Cedarville and home to the Aston family the house had been an Inn and stopping point on the route going west through the Cumberland Gap.  If only houses could talk I'm sure it would have many interesting tales to tell us!

Cedarville, front view, post-1900
Cedarville, back view, post-1900
Emily and A.W. Aston had several children beginning in 1863 with the birth of James Samuel followed by William Houston, Sarah Elizabeth, George Crismon, Bennie and Mary Emily.  Augustus "Gus" was their last child born in 1874.  In addition to building a family with Emily, A.W. was busy building business partnerships usually with relatives.  He owned several stores with one being in McKinney, Texas.  Not willing to rest on his laurels A.W. built a gristmill at Cedarville just prior to his death in 1876.  On June 8, 1876, Augustus Washington Aston died leaving behind his widow Emily to raise their four surviving children and to carry on the operation of Cedarville and his many businesses.  A few years later the grist mill was torn down and the stones moved to the Aston Cemetery.  They have since been moved to a private farm. The mill was later re-opened in Meadowview by AW.'s son, Will, and operated as Aston Milling and Mercantile Co., Inc.

Pictures of Cedarville, Emily Elizabeth Kendrick Aston, and Augustus Washington Aston are used here with permission of Emily and Carter Baker who also provided me with the material for today's post.  Other posts will follow soon.


  1. Gus Aston is buried in the Aston Cemetery at Cedarview, VA, which is just a mile or so from Meadowview. His sister, Bettie, was my wife's grandmother; the Emily whose marriage you mention was her daughter. You've done a great job researching Uncle Gus and I will be glad to add more details if you want. And he was a bachelor all his life.

  2. Thank you so much for updating me on Gus. It would be really nice to add some more information about his life. Feel free to contact me at at with whatever additional information you'd like added.

    I don't know if you have many pictures of him but I'd be happy to send you a clean version sans copyright image via email if you like.