Born in New York to a Dutch immigrant family by the name of Guenther, Lewis Ginter came to Richmond at the age of 18 during the 1840s as a linen merchant. He opened a home-furnishing store and did well--earning a $40,000 profit in 1860. He later served in the Confederate army under General Joseph R. Anderson.
In 1874, Ginter entered partnership with John Allen, of John F. Allen Company which manufactured tobacco products. He(Ginter) donated the land on which the Union Theological Seminary is built. The building of the famed and historic Jefferson Hotel was funded by Major Lewis Ginter -- some say that it is his monument.
Richmond thanks this beloved Richmonder by the naming many places after him. Some examples are the Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens, Ginter Park, and the Ginter Mausoleum.