David Sinton of Cincinnati was born in County Armagh, Ireland. His father was John Sinton, a linen manufacturer, of Anglo-Saxon origin, the original family name having been Swinton: a name borne by not a few men of distinction in the history of Great Britain. On his mother's side he was of Scotch extraction, her maiden name being McDonnell. Coming to the United States when he was three years old, the family settled at Pittsburgh, Pa. Leaving home at the age of thirteen, he became salesman at $4 per month, at Sinking Springs, in the state of Ohio. Two years later he went to Cincinnati, but soon returned to the former place, where his business talents shortly afterward secured him an engagement.
Having succeeded in adding materially to his savings, he again went to Cincinnati and established himself in the commission business; but this venture not proving so profitable as he expected, he sold out, and going to Washington, Fayette County, he took charge of and managed, very successfully, an extensive dry goods establishment. His next removal was to the Hanging Rock iron region, where he assumed control of the landing and river business for James Roger & Co., and afterwards of the manufacture of pig iron, hollow ware, etc., of John Sparks & Co., at Union Furnace, Lawrence County, Ohio.
Within two years he was appointed manager of their entire works, of which he soon became part owner. He afterwards built the Ohio Furnace, and rebuilt the Union Furnace, which, together, did a large business in the manufacture of iron. Returning in 1849 to Cincinnati, which he made thenceforward his permanent place of residence, Mr. Sinton established an office for selling the products of the furnaces in which he was interested.
He, meanwhile took an active part in many of the leading enterprises of Cincinnati, and added to its wealth and beauty by the erection of many substantial and eloquent buildings. He distinguished himself as notably, however, by several munificent public gifts. After presenting $100,000 to the Union Bethel, and $33,000 to the Young Men's Christian Association, in order that a debt might be removed from their property.
Mr. Sinton married Miss Jane Ellison, of Manchester Ohio, and had two children, Edward and Annie. The former died in 1869, and the latter married, December 4, 1873.