Cecilia Lawton, wife of W.W. Lawton (a successful James Island cattleman), was quite the remarkable business person.
Cecilia owned and operated the Battery Dairy and from her peninsular bottling plant, supplied the area with fresh milk. When the opportunity presented itself, she acquired the Mills House and renamed it the St. John Hotel after her son.
With her profits, Cecilia purchased Marshlands Plantation on the Wando River which in 1901 she sold to the United States government. That property became the Charleston Navy Base.