From the Richmond Dispatch, 1/24/1882, p. 1, c. 3

Death of a Remarkable Man.

Nathan Enroughty (Darby) died on Saturday night at a ripe old age at the residence of his son Willis, near Malvern Hill. The deceased was the eldest of the family well known in this section, whose name by some singular perversion being called Darby instead of Enroughty has given rise to numberless etymological discussions, and all of them fruitless. Nathan Darby was, according to the report of a neighbor who was in the city yesterday, about a hundred years of age, but Richmond gentlemen who knew him long and well think that statement exaggerated, but are confident that he was over ninety, and most probably about ninety-two. He was soldier of the war of 1812, and a pensioner of the Government, and away into middle age was remarkable for great strength and endurance. Many are the anecdotes told concerning his physical contests. Certain it is that no man of his time dared to claim superiority over him in a struggle where the weapons of nature were were the only ones to be employed. It is related of him that some thirty-five years ago he came to Richmond and went to Sadler’s restaurant, on Main street opposite the Old Market, and there a crowd of a dozen men began tantalizing him. The result was that the old gentleman’s dander rose and – so the story goes – he knocked down eleven of them. The twelfth fled, followed by Mr. Darby, who chased him out of the room and struck at him as he closed the door behind him. Mr. Darby’s blow missed the man and struck the door with such violence that his arm was shattered. That he carried his arm in a sling for a long time, and that the above was the current explanation, is well remembered by some of our elderly citizens.

Mr. Darby was a Henry Clay Whig, was active at the polls, and in the animated political strifes of those times had had many encounters, wherein he showed his prowess. And yet his reputation was that of a man who never made causeless quarrels and who never imposed upon the weak or took unfair advantage of an adversary.

Deceased was the father of quite a large family. Frank, one of his sons, lives on the Turkey-Island farm; another, Nathaniel, keeps a store near Malvern Hill; he died at the residence of Willis Darby; and still another son, now dead, was on our police force. Of other children we have no account. Mr. Darby had been blind for eleven years, and was thus doomed to an inactivity which was in strong contrast with the vigor and energy of his earlier years. He died Saturday night, and was buried yesterday near his home. His neighbors speak of him as a man of integrity, and have quite as many anecdotes of his kindness as of his feats of strength. The popular family name has been given to a settlement and to a road – Darby town and Darbytown road – and in that section of Henrico numerous kinsmen survive him, all of whom sign their names Enroughty and are called Darby.


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