Our History


Rising From the Ashes

  • Isaac Davenport Jr. and Charles E. Wortham form Davenport & Co. as an insurance agency
  • Davenport & Co. extends its business lines and specializes in “southern” investments: railroads, banks and insurance agencies
  • Isaac and Charles record their first securities transaction in September 1863
  • In 1865, Isaac Davenport Sr. passes away and the Davenport office is destroyed in the Evacuation Fire
  • Davenport moves to 1113 East Main Street, one of the first buildings to be rebuilt during Richmond’s reconstruction efforts

In other news:

  • The Civil War divides the country
  • The Civil Rights Act is passed
  • The Transcontinental Railroad is completed
  • Financial Black Friday (9/24/1869) occurs in an attempt to corner the gold market


Upward Trends

  • In June 1873, Davenport & Co. becomes a founding member of the Richmond Stock Exchange
  • Davenport provides startup capital for investments including sweet cigars, patent medicines, candy and chemicals
  • Virginius Newton, Isaac Davenport Jr.’s son-in-law, joins the firm 

In other news:

  • The New York Cotton Exchange is established in 1870
  • The Panic of 1873, financial crisis, hits Europe and North America
  • Standard Oil Company is incorporated by John D. Rockefeller
  • 15th Amendment to the Constitution is ratified


The Arrival of Lady Liberty

  • Thomas Edison and Alexander Graham Bell form the Oriental Telephone Company
  • U.S. Civil Service is established
  • AT&T is incorporated as a subsidiary of American Bell Telephone Company
  • The Statue of Liberty arrives


Ushering in the Next Generation

  • Isaac Davenport Jr. and Charles Wortham pass away
  • Virginius Newton becomes head of Davenport & Co.
  • Coleman Wortham Sr., great-nephew of Charles Wortham, joins the firm as partner

In other news:

  • The Wrigley Company is founded
  • The General Electric Company is formed
  • Edison patents the radio
  • The New York Stock Exchange collapses, causing a four-year depression
  • The first U.S. patent for the automobile is granted


Weathering More Change

  • Coleman Wortham Sr. becomes senior partner of Davenport & Co.
  • Virginius Newton passes away and is buried in Hollywood Cemetery in Richmond

In other news:

  • The panic of 1907, also known as the Bankers’ Panic or Knickerbocker Crisis, ensues
  • U.S. currency is placed on the gold standard
  • Wilbur and Orville Wright complete the first sustained and manned plane flight
  • Oklahoma is admitted into the Union as the 46th state


A Period of Influence

  • The 16th Amendment is ratified, permitting a tax on income
  • The Federal Reserve System is authorized by Congress
  • U.S. joins World War I
  • Time zones are officially established in the U.S.


The Sale and The Crash

  • Future Davenport president Alexander P. Armour  joins the firm at the age of 14 as a “Board Boy”
  • Davenport sells its insurance business to Marsh & McLennan

In other news:

  • 1929 Stock Market Crash occurs and begins the Great Depression
  • The 19th Amendment is passed, giving women the right to vote
  • The first issue of Time magazine is published
  • IBM is founded


A New Deal to End the Depression

  • In 1936 Coleman Wortham Sr., Davenport partner and chairman, passes away
  • Willliam R. Trigg Jr. is nominated as a member of the board of governors of the NYSE, the first time a Southern city had been represented on the Exchange
  • Davenport is considered among the oldest firms in Virginia

In other news:

  • The New Deal is passed and the Gold Standard dropped
  • The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission is established
  • Social Security Act is passed
  • The Empire State Building, the Golden Gate Bridge and the Appalachian Trail are completed


A World At War

  • Davenport regularly trades in local department stores Miller & Rhoads and Thalhimer’s
  • Some of Davenport’s members are called into military service, including Coleman Wortham, Jr.
  • Despite the war, Davenport stays in business amidst the closing of many other financial firms

In other news:

  • The attack on Pearl Harbor launches U.S. involvement in World War II
  • The first atomic bomb is exploded in a test, the Trinity Test
  • The United Nations is formed
  • The first non-stop around-the-world flight is completed
  • NATO is formed


Davenport & Company Welcomes Valentine & Munford

  • Future chairman  Henry Valentine II joins the firm
  • Future vice chairman Beverley B. Munford III joins the firm
  • The firm grows from a handful of associates to 17 people ​

In other news:

  • The Korean War is fought
  • The first color television goes on sale
  • Racial segregation in public schools is declared unconstitutional
  • Alaska and Hawaii are admitted as states


New Generation New Location

  • After more than 100 years, Davenport relocates to the Ross Building at 8th and Main, the most modern and desirable location in Richmond at the time
  • Robert Giles joins Davenport at age 21
  • Future president Coleman Wortham III joins the firm, becoming the fourth generation of his family to do so

In other news:

  • The Cuban Missile Crisis comes to a head
  • The Civil Rights march on D.C. occurs with Martin Luther King Jr.
  • John F. Kennedy is assassinated
  • Legislation on civil rights is passed banning discrimination in jobs, voting and accommodations
  • The Vietnam War is fought
  • Martin Luther King Jr. is assassinated
  • The U.S. puts the first human on the moon
  • The Internet is invented


From Co. to Inc. New Name, Big Change

  • Davenport & Co. becomes Davenport & Co. of Virginia, Inc.
  • With the new corporation, the firm’s NYSE seat is now in a corporation’s name rather than an individual partner’s
  • Henry Valentine II becomes president and CEO of the new corporation
  • Davenport’s Employee Profit Sharing Plan is started
  • Davenport joins with Branch and Co.

In other news:

  • The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission deregulates brokerage commissions
  • The Watergate scandal causes Richard Nixon to resign as U.S. president
  • Secretariat wins the Triple Crown
  • The Arab Oil Embargo is enforced, creating an energy crisis
  • Viking I lands on Mars
  • The name Microsoft is trademarked


Expansion Begins

  • Davenport makes its Profit Sharing Plan available to investors, when Joe L. Antrim III starts Davenport Asset Management
  • Davenport builds its team by adding Michael S. Beall
  • Lucy W. Hooper joins the firm as the first female professional employee and registered representative
  • In the late 1980s, Coleman “Coley” Wortham III is elected president
  • The firm has its largest expansion in the firm’s history
  • Three new branches are established: Virginia Beach (1982), Charlottesville (1987), Williamsburg (1989)

In other news:

  • The Space Shuttle is launched for the first time
  • The largest tax cut in U.S. history is passed
  • IBM introduces the personal computer
  • The Challenger Space Shuttle explodes after liftoff
  • The Berlin Wall comes down


Crossing a Milestone

  • Davenport Asset Management crosses $1 billion and offers its Core strategy in mutual fund form
  • Davenport's Richmond office moves to One James Center, where the headquarters remains
  • Davenport's business structure is reorganized from a corporation to an LLC
  • The Public Finance division of Davenport is formed with the addition of David P. Rose and James M. Traudt


  • Iraq invades Kuwait, starting the Gulf War
  • The 27th Amendment is passed, prohibiting Congress from giving itself a midterm or retroactive pay raise
  • NAFTA goes into effect, creating a free trade zone between Canada, the U.S. and Mexico
  • The World Trade Organization is created
  • Alan Greenspan describes the runup of stock prices as “Irrational Exuberance”
  • The Dow Jones crosses 10,000 for the first time
  • The Euro currency is introduced


Heading into the Modern Era

  • Davenport creates FundAdvisor as well as the Value & Income and Equity Opportunities separately managed account strategies
  • Davenport employees on the NYSE floor are safe but shocked after the events of September 11, 2001

In other news:

  • Retailer Montgomery Ward closes its doors after 128 years in business
  • Islamic terrorists hijack four U.S. planes and crash them into the Pentagon and World Trade Center; War on Terrorism begins
  • U.S. Congress passes a $700 billion bailout package for Wall Street and banking businesses
  • Barack Obama becomes the first African American president
  • Unemployment reaches 10.2% even as a $780 billion stimulus package is passed


Building Wealth And Earning Trust

for more than 150 years

  • Lee Chapman becomes president and CEO of the firm
  • Davenport Asset Management crosses $5 billion in assets under management
  • Davenport starts the Value & Income and Equity Opportunities no-load mutual funds
  • The Small Cap Focus Fund, the fourth Davenport Asset Management equity strategy and no-load mutual fund, is created
  • Davenport Shares is established in 2011 to formalize associates' volunteer and charitable firm initiatives

In other news:

  • The Affordable Care legislation is passed and goes into effect
  • The BP deep water oil rig explodes in the Gulf of Mexico
  • Osama Bin Laden is killed by U.S. Navy SEALS
  • The first licenses for driverless cars are granted to Google
  • Scientists at Cornell University grow a living ear using a 3-D printer and cell cultures