CAPT. LEROY PARKER
Capt. Leroy Parker Daingerfield was a talented and brilliant Virginia man, and
of a family of great distinction shared by its various members in the Old
Dominion. Captain Daingerfield became identified with California soon after the
first mining excitement, and one of his daughters is a resident of San
He was born in Rockingham County, Virginia, December 14, 1825. The family
subsequently moved to Bath County, Virginia, where he spent his early years. In
1850 Leroy Parker Daingerfield, with his brother, William Parker Daingerfield,
left the East and after a long voyage around the Horn arrived in San Francisco.
For a time the brothers engaged in mining in Shasta and Trinity counties.
William Parker Daingerfield remained the rest of his life a resident of
California and became a man of great distinction. Soon after taking up the
practice of law he was elected judge of the Ninth Judicial District, comprising
most of California. At the beginning of the Civil war he removed to San
Francisco, where he practiced law and subsequently served on the bench of the
Twelfth Judicial District and was finally made a judge of the Superior Court
and served until he died while in the performance of his duties in 1880.
Leroy Parker Daingerfield in 1852 kept a hotel near the town of Sacramento.
Believing that the true wealth of California lay in agriculture rather than in
mining, he began the growing of fruit, vegetables and hay as well as live stock
[sic]. While he was proprietor of the hotel a man very ill applied for lodging.
His partner refused him admittance, but Leroy Daingerfield insisted that the
man should not be turned away and he nursed the stranger through smallpox,
contracting the disease himself after the man had gone his way. He had to nurse
his own case. Fortunately he was not very ill, so that he could taken [sic] an
amount of gold to a stump some fifty feet away, indicate in writing what he
wanted and a man would then come and get the gold and bring the supplies. Leroy
Daingerfield was associated with many of the conspicuous pioneers of the ‘50s
and knew many of the characters mentioned by Mark Twain in “Roughing It.”
Captain Daingerfield in 1855 returned East and married Margaret Virginia Beard.
Subsequently he engaged in agricultural pursuits in Bath County, Virginia, and
from there moved to Augusta County. When the war broke out between the states
he was one of the first to enlist in the Confederate army, and was the first
man wounded in the battle of Philippi, where he lost a leg. Subsequently he was
made a captain and put in the commissary department. Captain Daingerfield was a
staunch democrat and a member of the Episcopal Church. He died October 8, 1904,
at the age of seventy-nine, and was buried beside his wife at Verona, in
Augusta County, Virginia. By his marriage there were three daughters: Eliza
Leroy, who married John W. Alfriend; Juliet Octavia, who died when forty years
old; and Lucy Brockenbrough.
Lucy Brockenbrough Daingerfield is the wife of William H. DeBell, and is now
living in San Francisco, at 240 Twenty-first Avenue. Her husband is a prominent
educator who has been assistant superintendent of schools in San Francisco for
thirty years. Mr. and Mrs. DeBell have three children, Margaret Elizabeth,
Henry Daingerfield and Virginia.
Transcribed by Donna L. Becker
Source: "The San Francisco Bay Region" Vol. 3 page 210- 211 by Bailey Millard.
Published by The American Historical Society, Inc. 1924.