Plainfield Garden Club








Member: Stewart, Mrs. Percy Hamilton (Elinor DeWitt Cochran) '15

1919 Plainfield Garden Club directory: not listed

1928 Treasurer Book April 15th $5.00
1929 Treasurer Book Associate April $10.00
1930, 1931 Tresurer Book Associate

1932 Treasurer Book: Associate Stewart, Mrs. Percy H. 1/32 Pd. Resigned

1932 Directory* Address: 563 West Eighth Street
* = This directory is not dated but is presumed to be from the year 1932.
NOTE: Mrs. Percy H. Stewart, 563 West Eighth Street is listed as an "Associate Member"
NOTE: This entry is crossed out by hand.

On the membership roster, there was a listing for a Mrs. Anna Stewart '22 residing at 526 West 7th Street, Plainfield (1922) We presume that this was Mrs. Walter Eugene (Anne G. Leeper) Stewart, mother-in-law to Mrs. Percy H. Stewart '15.

Most likely related to these PGC Members:
Cochran, Mrs. Homer P. (Elisabeth Nash) '52
Harlow, Mrs. Edward Dexter (Elsie Cochran Martin) '15

Barlow, Mrs. DeWitt Dukes (Mary Lee Brewer), Jr. '65
Hubbell, Mrs. DeWitt '22
Ivins, Mrs. DeWitt Clinton (Louise Morton Fox) '15

Percy Hamilton Stewart, Mayor of Plainfield 1912 - 1913

Percy Hamilton Stewart (1867–1951), mayor of Plainfield in 1912 and 1913, represented New Jersey's 5th congressional district from 1931-1933.

Percy Hamilton Stewart (January 10, 1867, Newark, New Jersey - June 30, 1951, Plainfield, New Jersey) was a Democratic Party politician who represented New Jersey's 5th congressional district in the United States House of Representatives from 1931-1933.

Biography
Stewart was born in Newark, New Jersey on January 10, 1867, where he attended the public schools. He graduated from Yale College in 1890 and from Columbia Law School in 1893. He was admitted to the bar the same year and commenced practice in New York City. He served as mayor of Plainfield, New Jersey in 1912 and 1913. He was chairman of the Union County Democratic committee in 1914 and of the Washington Rock Park Commission of New Jersey from 1915-1921. Stewart served as a member of the New Jersey State Board of Education from 1919–1921 and of the New Jersey State Highway Commission from 1923-1929. He was a delegate to the Democratic National Conventions in 1920 and 1928.

Stewart was elected as a Democrat to the Seventy-second Congress to fill the vacancy caused by the death of Ernest R. Ackerman and served from December 1, 1931, to March 3, 1933. He was not a candidate for renomination in 1932, but was an unsuccessful candidate for election to the United States Senate.

He resumed the practice of law until his retirement in 1941. He died in Plainfield on June 30, 1951 and was interred in Hillside Cemetery in Scotch Plains, New Jersey.

References
Percy Hamilton Stewart at the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress
Percy Hamilton Stewart at Find a Grave
United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Ernest R. Ackerman Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New Jersey's 5th congressional district
December 1, 1931 – March 3, 1933 Succeeded by
Charles Aubrey Eaton
Party political offices
Preceded by
Alexander Simpson Democratic Nominee for the U.S. Senate (Class 2) from New Jersey
1932 Succeeded by
William H. Smathers
Persondata
Name Stewart, Percy Hamilton
Alternative names
Short description
Date of birth January 10, 1867
Place of birth
Date of death June 30, 1951
Place of death

Retrieved from "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Percy_Hamilton_Stewart"

November 2, 1894 New York Times wedding announcement

Sanford - Murray

PLAINFIELD, N.J., Nov. 1 – There was a brilliant wedding in the Crescent Avenue Presbyterian Church at 7:30 o'clock this evening, when Miss Minnie Breckinridge Murray, daughter of John W. Murray of the German Insurance Company of New York, was married to Joseph Webster Sandford, Jr., son of Joseph W. Sanford of Westervelt Avenue. A large assemblage of society people witnessed the event. The Rev. Dr. William R. Richards, pastor of the church, performed the ceremony. The church was elaborately decorated with palms and chyrsanthemums.

The bride wore a handsome gown of white corded silk and carried a bouquet of beautiful roses. The maid of honor was Miss Augusta Knox Murray. The bridesmaids were Miss Stella Place, Miss May Sanford, and Miss May Grace Brewster of New York. Albert Tilney was best man. The ushers were Percy H. Stewart, George S. Beebe, Howard W. Beebe, Fred W. Walz, Walter F. Murray, and James E. Murray. A reception followed at the home of the bride's parents.

May 15, 1912 New York Times article on Alexander Smith Cochran, welathiest bachelor in America

and brother to Mrs. Stewart

563 West 8th Street, Planfield

How about some good news? Plainfield still has some very fine sugar maples. A particularly nice one is at the Van Wyck Brooks house at 563 West 8th Street

2007 from Gregory Palermo's Plainfield Tree Blog

Van Wyck Brooks

Plainfield's famous native son, Van Wyck Brooks, made his mark in the literary world as critic, editor, and cultural historian. His 1936 The Flowering of New England won the Pulitizer Prize in history. In later years, Brooks said that Plainfield, with its characters, whould be good subject matter for a novel. However, Raymond Nelson, biographer of Brooks, stated that "Plainfield retained permanantly the power to depress him beyond tears."

From Plainfield, New Jersey's History & Architecture by John Grady and Dorothe Pollard

Percy Stewart and Elinor Cochran Stewart

From Plainfield, New Jersey's History & Architecture by John Grady and Dorothe Pollard


Owner of the former Van Wyck Brooks house, Percy Stewart in his later years relaxing with his favorite German shepherd.

Percy Stewart's wife, Elinor Cochran Stewart, was daughter of Alexander Smith Cochran, the wealthy Yonkers carpet man. An acknowledged leader of society, Mrs. Stewart was active in many civic affairs. The Stewart's niece noted that more help than family lived in their magnificent mansion.

This handsome West Eighth Street house, owned by Van Wyck Brooks' wealthy maternal grandfather, was where the budding author spent his formative years. The home was later purchased by Percy and Elinor Stewart and doubled in size (as shown here). The inside was fitted out with the panels, walls, and ceilings from an ancient Scottish castle purchased from the Duveens. The end result caused a friend of Van Wyck Brooks to quip that the house was "colonial outside, baronial inside."

Mrs. Percy Hamilton (Elinor DeWitt Cochran) '15

Mr. and Mrs. Walter Eugene Stewart

Is this the woman labeled in our membership roster as Mrs. Anna Stewart '22 residing at 526 West Seventh Street in 1922?

from Plainfield, New Jersey's History & Architecture by John Grady & Dorothe Pollard

Percy Stewart's father, Walter Eugene Stewart, was one of the founders of the Plainfield Country Club and also served as the first treasurer to the Crescent Avenue Presbyterian Church. His wife, Anne G. Leeper Stewart, had been raised in New York society and according to her grandaughter, found aspects of Plainfield society "decidedly provincial."

The Stewart boys: Percy, Irving and Walter

From Plainfield, New Jersey's History & Architecture by John Grady and Dorothe Pollard

1. Shown in a rare early image, Percy Hamilton Stewart, the oldest of the three brothers, attended Yale and Columbia Law School, graduating with honors. He served as Mayor of Plainfield, State Highway Commissioner, and also in the House of Representatives, filling the vacancy left by the death of Ernest Ackerman

2. At 6' 2", Irving Stewart, seen here with the family dog Nip, was the tallest of the brothers. His service in World War I compromised his health. He later moved to Virginia where he became a writer for the Gloucester County Gazette.

3. Walter, the middle brother, graduated from Yale and became a cavalry lieutenant in the Spanish-American War. On his way home from the Philippines, he died suddenly in San Francisco.

Historical People Burined in Hillside Cemetery

https://www.hillsidecemetery.com/historical.html

Percy Hamilton Stewart (1867-1951) US Congressman

Plainfield by John A. Grady and Dorothe M. Pollard

Originally occupied by the Ames-Brooks family, this West Eighth Street house was acquired in 1900 by Rep. Percy Hamilton Stewart and his wife, Elinor Cochran. In the decade that followed, the home was doubled in size and was outfitted with the walls, panels, and doors from an ancient Scottish castle.

In Republican Plainfield, Democrat Percy Stewart was elected mayor. He also served in the U.S. House of Representatives but was unsuccessful in his Senate bid. His popularity was attested to, however, when over 400 Plainfielders of both parties turned out to pay respect to their fellow townsman.

Plainfield by John A. Grady and Dorothe M. Pollard

Fantasy fails in comparison with Pulitzer Prize-winning author Van Wyck Brook's memories of childhood days on West Eighth Street during Plainfield's gilded age. He wrote as follows:

By the time the quiet Quaker village where Woolman had preached in the meetinghouse had become a full-blown Wall Street Suburb. Even the name of Peace Street had vanished forever . . . Vast red sandstone houses rose, like so many Kenilworth castles, with turrets, verandahs, balconies and porte-cocheres, with arches, fountains, coach-houses, kennels and stables . . . In any case . . . it seemed to be a stable world, permanently supported by cast iron customs . . . the grinding sound of the coffeemill that rose early from the kitchen mingled with the other summer sounds, the mowing of the lawn and the far away beating of carpets, the whirring of the water sprinklers, the rocking of hammocks, bespeaking not only security but endless time for everything."

From Sciences and Portraits, Memories of Childhood and Youth; Van Wyck Brooks; E.P. Dutton & Company, New York; 1954

563 West Eighth Street

http://www.vwbhd.org/VWBHD_Website/Van_Wyck_Brooks_Estate.html

Click the link above to view many photos of the house.

Hillside Cemetery

Birth: Jan. 10, 1867
Death: Jun. 30, 1951

US Congressman. He was elected to represented New Jersey's 5th District in the House of Representatives, having been appointed to fill the vacancy cuased by the death of Congressman Ernest R. Ackerson, and serving from 1931 to 1933. He unsuccessfully ran for US Senator. (bio by: Russ Dodge)

Burial:
Hillside Cemetery
Scotch Plains
Union County
New Jersey, USA

Maintained by: Find A Grave
Record added: Jan 03, 1999
Find A Grave Memorial# 4265

Hillside Cemetery

Dan Damon's Blog October 25, 2011

Van Wyck Brooks mansion on Preservation Commission agenda tonight

Plainfield's iconic Van Wyck Brooks mansion on West 8th Street is on the Historic Preservation Commission's agenda tonight. The commission meets in the City Hall Library at 7:30 PM and the public is welcome.

At issue are window replacements to the sunroom at the rear of a first floor apartment. The owner has already replaced the windows and is seeking a certificate of appropriateness for 'wood or vinyl grids to be placed on the outside of vinyl...windows'.

The Van Wyck Brooks Historic District, the city's largest, discussed the proposed changes at its monthly meeting last week, and a sizeable contingent is expected to attend and speak at tonight's meeting.

Though an important item on tonight's agenda, several of the other items may also spark considerable comment – especially as some property owners have failed (or evaded) fulfilling work agreed upon with the HPC.

In a dire real estate market, preservation-minded homeowners need more than ever to press home the argument that maintaining the integrity of historic homes and properties in the city is integral to undergirding the overall value of the city's trove of historic and vintage residential properties.

A decline in property values would negatively affect the city's tax base. While it is widely understood that external factors such as the collapse of the real estate market due to the subprime mortgage crisis and subsequent foreclosures are factors beyond the control of local homeowners, maintaining the fabric of the city's residential neighborhoods and historic districts certainly is within the scope of things the City can ensure.

But as in all things regarding City Hall, citizens and property owners must adopt the ancient motto: Semper Vigilans.

Be always watchful.

http://ptoday.blogspot.com/

The Van Wyck Brooks masnion on West 8th Street, after which the District is named.

Percy Stewart Mansion

aka Van Wyck Brooks house

October 25, 2011 Bernice Paglia Blog

Tuesday, October 25, 2011
HPC Discusses Van Wyck Brooks Home

I went to listen to the proceedings at the Historic Preservation Commission meeting tonight, but did not take notes. Dan, who posted an advance on the meeting, did take notes, so maybe he will file a blog post on it.

The big issue was supposed to be renovations at the Van Wyck Brooks home that is now a 10-unit multi-family building in need of many repairs. In public comment Tuesday, members of the Van Wyck Brooks Historic District association deplored both the owner's proposal to repair failing windows as well as prior actions taken without seeking the HPC's input. Some speakers felt the owners had deliberately dodged HPC requirements and were suspicious that more of the same was to come. After a long discussion, the commission agreed to adjourn the matter to its Dec. 13 meeting, by which time the owner will have secured estimates for various kinds of repairs.

I'm sure Dan will tell you more either tomorrow or before the December HPC meeting.

Plainfield has six residential historic districts. To learn more about the Van Wyck Brooks district, click here.

–Bernice

Dan Damon's Blog October 27, 2011

The frustration of both Plainfield's Historic Preservation Commission and residents of the Van Wyck Brooks Historic District was palpable at Tuesday's commission meeting, where window replacements to a sunroom of the iconic Van Wyck Brooks mansion was on the agenda.

Yet for all the tension, the meeting proceeded at a pavane-like pace, tempers mostly – but not entirely – under control, as the commissioners and the daughter of the owner wrestled with how to proceed.

Tina Glaser, daughter of the long-time owners the Novello family of Scotch Plains, says she has taken over management of the 10-unit rental property since the passing of her father. Glaser was at the meeting, yet again, in an attempt to mollify the HPC after the sunroom windows were removed and replaced with unlike windows and without prior review by the Commission.

Feelings run high not only because of the inconic nature of the property as the namesake for the historic district, but because of a history of evasion and disregard of the HPC by the Novello family over the years.

I remember driving by on a Sunday afternoon in 2003 to discover workmen replacing the original wood sash windows with vinyl ones. A neighbor complained to City Hall the next day, but the damage was done.

I also know from friends and acquaintances who have lived in various of the apartments over the years that there have been persistent issues with deferred maintenance leading to water penetration with serious internal consequences (including falling ceilings).

Ms. Glaser's own expert witnesses, a Plainfield architect and another from Summit, testified to the serious conditions that needed addressing.

However, her case was not made easier by the revelation that the allegedly unrepairable leaded glass window panels had not been save, but in fact had been disposed of by the workmen.

It came out in the back-and-forth between Glaser and the commissioners that she had not delved deeply into what kind of window options were available before the installation of the non-compliant panels.

Commissioners offered several suggestions of manufacturers whose products might either remedy the issue altogether or mitigate it to an extent that would satisfy the Commission.

Eventually it was agreed to continue the matter at the December meeting, at which Ms. Glaser promised to submit alternative plans that would be – hopefully – more acceptable, including full estimates, good color photographs of the subject windows, and actual physical samples of proposed window solution(s).

Perhaps more alarming than the issue of the sunroom windows was to hear Ms. Glaser describe the poor condition of the soffits and gutters and cracks in the facade of yellow brick owing to water penetration of a longstanding nature.

It seems clear to me that there has been no strategic assessment and plan of action prepared by the owners and that issues are simply addressed on a piecemeal basis, there being no guarantee that problems are being tackled in an order which will remediate them at their source.

Ms. Glaser expressed grave concern that the conditions were now threatening the interior of the mansion. Though interiors are not within the purview of the HPC's mandate, it is no stretch to assert that the interior of the VWB house – lifted from a castle in Scotland, I have been told – adds considerably to any real estate value the property has.

It would be an absolute shame if this magnificent landmark were to be lost to posterity owing to poor management and care by its owners.

HPC consultant Gail Hunton was correct when she remarked the Commission and the residents have a concern to 'defend' the preservation of significant properties such as the Van Wyck Brooks mansion.

But there is little that the HPC can do about neglect, as the Commission only comes into the equation when an owner decides to take some action regarding the exterior of the property.

For now, the pavane continues, and Ms. Glaser will return in December.

Casual passersby may not grasp just how large the
Van Wyck Brooks property is.

563 West 8th Street

December 4, 2011 Van Wyck Brooks Historic Holiday House Tour

Mrs. Stewart's house, commonly known as the Van Wyck Brooks house, was not featured on the tour that carried the former owner's name.

563 West 8th Street

563 West 8th Street

563 West 8th Street

December 14, 2011

Hillside Cemetery

December 14, 2011

Hillside Cemetery

August 20, 2012 Neltje Doubleday

Email from Mary Kent to Susan Fraser:

I am forwarding you a question from Marian Hill about Neltje Doubleday. I do not recall the name. I was sure if anyone knew it would be you.

Best, Mary


Email from Marian Hill (GCA President) to Mary Kent:
From: "marianwhill@earthlink.net" <marianwhill@earthlink.net>

Subject: Re: Neltje Doubleday
Date: August 18, 2012 8:50:04 PM EDT
To: Mary Kent <kentmary@me.com>
Reply-To: marianwhill@earthlink.net

Dear Mary,

I have a quick question: Was Neltje Blanchan Doubleday a member of your garden club. Thank you for verifying this for me. She is one of my favorite authors.

Hope you are enjoying these last wonderful summer days,
Marian


Susan Fraser's Response to Mary Kent:

Hi Mary,

I do indeed know that name and really wish we had more time to get over to the Plainfield Library and crack open our vault of records. Sadly as of today's date, I don't believe Neltje was a member. However, I am fairly certain she was the niece of founding member:

Mrs. James Wilde (Carrie T. Milliken) deGraff '15

I also think she was related to MANY of our Plainfield Garden Club members. Her son's wife, the famous Robert deGraff, sent in a memorial fund for Polly Heely in 1988. She was a local Plainfield girl and must have known Polly – perhaps grew up with her?

Neltje was part of the elite of Plainfield (and Plainfield Garden Club) both through her family and her husband, Frank Doubleday. Frank worked at first for Scribner publishing and his relative, Maxwell Perkins (related to MANY Plainfield GC ladies) was the very, very famous editor at Scribner's – he helped publish Hemingway, Fitzgerald, Wolfe and many more famous authors. (No coincidence that Scribners was the publishing company for Neltje.)

You can read about Maxwell here at this direct link:

Mrs. Seymour, Jr. (Esther Moody Barlow) Perkins '49

Neltje's daughter married a Babcock, a very prominent Plainfield family, and that puts her in the same family of Tabby Cochran, Somerset Hills GC through Tabby's husband.

Other Plainfield GC members that Neltje was related to are listed below. Most notably Archibald Cox – whose mother was a Plainfield Garden Club member. Jennifer Gregory who lives in the Cox home has promised me that one day we can come for a tour! Susan

Huntington, Miss Florence '15
Huntington, Mrs. Howard (Agnes Fales Strong) '19
Cox, Mrs. Archibald (Frances Perkins) '25
Nash, Mrs. Philip Wallace (Helen Babcock) '57
Nelson, Mrs. Arthur G. '32, President 1936 -1937, 1940 - 1942
Cochran, Mrs. Homer P. (Elisabeth Nash) '52 (Tabby's mother-in-law)
Harlow, Mrs. Edward Dexter (Elsie Cochran Martin) '15
Stewart, Mrs. Percy Hamilton (Elinor DeWitt Cochran) '15

Mrs. de Graff's son, Robert Fair de Graff, was the famous creator of paperback books! It was his wife that sent the memorial for Mrs. Heely in 1988.

Residence of Percy H. Stewart, 563 West Eighth Street

In this illustrated book, the Courier-News has sought to present some of the representative homes of The Plainfields and adjoining territory, together with such other buildings of interest and importance as would serve to convey an idea of the physical attractioins of one of the most beautiful and healthful cities in the Metropolitan District. The homes reflect the desirability of this community as a place of residence.

The churches, schools, clubs and public buildings pictured serve to give the stranger some conceptions of the beauty of the city and its right to be termed the "Queen City" of New Jersey.

With picturesque Watchung Hills as a background, this section with all its natural advantages, plus a progressive spirit, coupled with high class local governing bodies and a live Chamber of Commerce, is pecularily adapted for home sites and, as a result, it has enjoyed a steady and healthy growth for many years.


publication circa 1917

Family Tree

Not sure if there is a familial relationship between Mrs. Percy Hamilton Stewart and notable Plainfield citizen Charles Hamilton Frost who owned "Questover" at 1060 Central Avenue. See file for Mrs. F. Willoughby (Virginia Voorhis) Frost.

1925 Meeting Minutes

May 13, 1925 Meeting Minutes

May 13, 1925 Meeting Minutes

May 27, 1925 Meeting Minutes

Tracy-Streuli

PLAINFIELD, N. J., June 28. Miss Caroline Frederica Streuli, daughter of H. Alfred Streuli of Hillside Avenue, a New-York silk manufacturer, was married at high noon to-day to Evarts Tracy, son of J. Evarts Tracy, a New-York lawyer, who lives in West Eighth Street here. The ceremony was witnessed by a large and fashionable gathering, which entirely filled the Crescent Avenue Presbyterian Church. The Rev. Dr. William R. Richards officiated.

The bride wore a beautiful gown of white satin with old lace trimmings. Miss Kathryn Yates was the maid of honor. The bridesmaids were Miss Bessie Ginna, Miss Marion Dumont, Miss May Tracy, Miss Margaret Tracy of Plainfield, Miss Lillian Brooks of New-York, and Miss Sidney Wharton of Pittsburg. Percy A. Stewart was best man. The ushers were Lewis S. Haslan of New-York, Yale Kneeland of Brooklyn, Wallace D. Simmons of St. Louis, Henry M. Sage of Albany, and Alfred Streuli and Robert S. Tracy of Plainfield.

Washington Rock Park Commission 1921

Scannell's New Jersey's First Citizens: Biographies and Portraits ..., Volume 2

Alexander Smith Cochran -- Mrs. Percy's brother

The Making of a Collection: Islamic Art at the Metropolitan

November 1, 2011–February 5, 2012

Alexander Smith Cochran (1874–1929)

Alexander Smith Cochran was the heir and principal owner of the Alexander Smith & Sons carpet mills of Yonkers, New York, which by the time of his death in 1929 was the largest carpet manufacturer in the world. He was also an enthusiastic yachtsman and engaged philanthropist, who as a young man had demonstrated a particular interest in literature. Cochran graduated from Yale University in 1896, where he had regretted the lack of a congenial atmosphere in which to discuss literature and the arts with classmates and faculty. In the last fifteen years of his life Cochran suffered from tuberculosis and divided his time between cruising and vacationing. Nevertheless, he continued to take an interest in various philanthropies. In 1911, he founded Yale's Elizabethan Club, purchasing a clubhouse, providing the club with an endowment of $100,000, and donating a substantial collection of rare Elizabethan and Jacobean books. He was also an art collector who supported the Met with various gifts.

A lover of literature, Cochran collected books and other works on paper, as well as seventeenth- to eighteenth-century European tapestries and furniture, which he gave the Museum in 1911. He was particularly fond of Persian manuscripts. This rather uncommon interest for the time is explained by his friendship with A. V. Williams Jackson, a scholar and professor of Persian literature at Columbia University, who guided Cochran through the Middle East. In 1907 they traveled together to Iran. Jackson also prepared the catalogue of manuscripts that Cochran donated to the Met in 1913. The gift contained twenty-four mainly Persian manuscripts, thirty single-page paintings, and one bookbinding. The Museum's collection, which until then included few Persian codices, was suddenly enriched with examples of various periods, handsomely illuminated or adorned with beautiful paintings. Among these gifts were two sixteenth-century Khamsas (Quintets), each a masterpiece: one of Nizami composed in Safavid Herat; the other of Amir Khusrau Dihlavi at the Mughal court in India.

Alexander Smith Cochran -- Mrs. Percy's brother

Friends of Connequot River State Park

Alexander Smith Cochran (1874 1929) was a wealthy manufacturer, sportsman and philathropist from Yonkers, New York. He was the son of Willam F. Cochran and grandson of Alexander Smith, founder of the Alexander Smith Carpet Company.

Cochran inherited his money from his parents and his maternal uncle Warren B. Smith who left Cochran the bulk of an estate estimated to be worth $40 million in 1902. Cochran was the inheritor and principal owner of Alexander Smith & Sons Carpet mills of Yonkers, which by 1929 was the largest carpet manufacturer in the world.

Cochran's properties included Glen Eyrie in Colorado Springs.
Cochran graduated from Yale University in 1896. In 1911, he founded Yale's Elizabethan Club by purchasing a clubhouse on College Street, providing the club with an endowment of $100,000 and donating a substantial collection of rare Elizabethan and Jacobean books. These include the four folios of Shakespeare, the 40 quartos acquired from the Huth Collection, the finest of the four known copies of "Venus and Adonis," and the unique copy of The Quenes Maiesties Passage, describing Queen Elizabeth I's first progress the day before her coronation. Cochran, who maintained contact with the club, occasionally made up shortfalls in the operating costs to prevent a member fee from being instituted.

Cochran donated an endowment and his collection of illuminated manuscripts of Persian poetry to the Department of Islamic Art of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 1913. In 1907, he accompanied his friend the scholar A. V. Williams Jackson to Iran. This may have inspired Cochran's collecting; Jackson published a scholarly catalogue on these works in 1913.

Cochran was a member of the New York Yacht Club. Initially not a very enthusiastic yachtsman, he owned and raced the sloop Avenger in 1909 and had won the Astor Cup. He decided to build a schooner that could make the Atlantic crossing and compete well in Europe, and ordered the Westward built between 1909 and 1910 by Nathanael Herreshoff of the Herreschoff Manufacturing Company of Rhode Island. The Westward was a 96-foot-waterline steel schooner and was the largest sailboat the Herreshoff Company had made at the time. Cochran raced the yacht off England and Europe in 1910 with Charlie Barr as the skipper. The season was a stunning success. Westward won every race in German waters and eight of nine in England. Cochran sold Westward to a German syndicate in 1911, having become interested in larger yachts. He was already having a large three-masted schooner called Sett Call designed for him by William Gardener. Cochran decided to become an America's Cup contender and asked Gardener to also work on an America's Cup prospect for him. Vanitie was the result. Both Vanitie and Sett Call were built by the George Lawley and Sons Corporation of Boston.
In 1914, Cochran competed in his yacht Vanitie to be selected to defend the America's Cup against Sir Thomas Lipton's yacht. Vanitie lost to Resolute in the 1914 trials but was able to try again in 1920, because the defense of the cup was put off during World War I. The 1920 campaign was not successful; Vanitie lost 7-4 in the final selection series.
Cochran became known as the "Richest Bachelor in New York," thanks to press coverage of his marriage to the actress and singer Ganna Walska, her third husband. Cochran met Walska in 1919, married her in Paris and briefly lived with her in his Murray Hill home. In 1920, divorce proceedings were started. They were completed with a settlement that amounted to $US3 million, a substantial sum in 1920.
Cochran died in 1929, aged 55.

Elizabethan Club at Yale

History
From Stephen Parks, "Old Yale: Origins of the ‘Lizzie'"
Yale Alumni Magazine, December 1986.

The Founder: Alexander Smith Cochran
The Club's founder was a man of considerable interest. Alexander Smith Cochran's family had been in the carpet manufacturing business in Yonkers, New York, for several generations. On leaving Yale, Cochran entered the carpet works as a hand and moved rapidly up to become president five years later. After the death of his uncle, he installed another man as president and turned full-time to his three leisure devotions–yachting, books, and philanthropy.

In 1910, Cochran launched his renowned schooner, the Westward, and sailed from America to England in fourteen days. Throughout that summer he raced the Westward in European waters, from Cowes to Kiel. His record against such famous craft as the Shamrock, the Kaiser's Meteor and the Germania was perfect. In 1914 Cochran built the sloop Vanitie as a trial yacht for the America's Cup races that year. He took the lead in organizing the crew and managing the boat in preliminary races, but the outbreak of war in August interrupted those plans. In January, 1917, Cochran turned his steam yacht Warrior over to the British Navy to be converted into an armed cruiser, and accepted the commission of Commander in the British Royal Naval Reserve to remain in charge of it. At the war's end, he was named Commander of the Order of the British Empire.

In the heyday of the gossip column, Cochran was widely known as America's richest bachelor, with a net worth of more than $50 million. His marriage in 1920 to Ganna Walska, the Polish soprano, made society headlines; the stormy divorce less than two years later made for spicier newspaper reading.

The Gift
In the last fifteen years of his life Cochran suffered from tuberculosis and divided his time between cruising on the Restless and vacationing on an estate he had acquired in Colorado. Nevertheless, he continued to take an interest in various philanthropies. Clarence Day wrote of his charity: "Cochran doesn't enjoy just giving money to carry out other people's ideas. What he likes is working on one of his own. . . Of course everybody who sees him, nearly, very soon thinks of some excellent use for his money. The thought of all those millions of his excites them, and they find it impossible not to make suggestions."

It was characteristic of Cochran to dream up the notion of the Elizabethan Club after spending a few months in California for his health. As an undergraduate at Yale, he had attended the first course–Elizabethan Drama–taught by the legendary Billy Phelps. Phelps remembered Cochran as "shy and reticent," and wrote, "I had no means of knowing whether or not the course had made any impression upon him. Nor did I know anything about him personally, or that he was a millionaire in his own right."

In 1909 or 1910, Cochran wrote to Phelps from England. From interests aroused by studying the Elizabethan drama as an undergraduate, he had begun to collect original editions of plays and poems published during the reign of Queen Elizabeth. Aware that Phelps might be interested, he sent him a list of the books he had acquired.

"When the list reached me," Phelps wrote, "I nearly fell out of my chair. He had an astounding collection, every item a rarity, and the whole worth several hundred thousand dollars–Shakespeare quartos, a copy of the first edition of the Sonnets, or Bacon's Essays, and so on."

In a year, Cochran's plan was fully elaborated. He wished to found at Yale an Elizabethan Club, because the one thing he had most missed as a Yale undergraduate was good conversation. He thought that if there were an undergraduate club at Yale, with a remarkable library as a nucleus, students who loved literature and the arts would be glad to meet there and discuss them informally and naturally, both with their contemporaries and with members of the faculty. He proposed to give his collection, not to the University Library, but to the undergraduates of Yale College who were members of his club. . . .

Through Phelps, Cochran offered Yale much more than his collection of books. He gave $75,000 to buy and refurbish an early nineteenth-century house on College Street and offered $100,000 for the initial endowment.

More information on the history of The Elizabethan Club and Alexander Smith Cochran.

Elizabethan Club at Yale

History
From Stephen Parks, "Old Yale: Origins of the ‘Lizzie'"
Yale Alumni Magazine, December 1986.

The Founder: Alexander Smith Cochran
The Club's founder was a man of considerable interest. Alexander Smith Cochran's family had been in the carpet manufacturing business in Yonkers, New York, for several generations. On leaving Yale, Cochran entered the carpet works as a hand and moved rapidly up to become president five years later. After the death of his uncle, he installed another man as president and turned full-time to his three leisure devotions–yachting, books, and philanthropy.

In 1910, Cochran launched his renowned schooner, the Westward, and sailed from America to England in fourteen days. Throughout that summer he raced the Westward in European waters, from Cowes to Kiel. His record against such famous craft as the Shamrock, the Kaiser's Meteor and the Germania was perfect. In 1914 Cochran built the sloop Vanitie as a trial yacht for the America's Cup races that year. He took the lead in organizing the crew and managing the boat in preliminary races, but the outbreak of war in August interrupted those plans. In January, 1917, Cochran turned his steam yacht Warrior over to the British Navy to be converted into an armed cruiser, and accepted the commission of Commander in the British Royal Naval Reserve to remain in charge of it. At the war's end, he was named Commander of the Order of the British Empire.

In the heyday of the gossip column, Cochran was widely known as America's richest bachelor, with a net worth of more than $50 million. His marriage in 1920 to Ganna Walska, the Polish soprano, made society headlines; the stormy divorce less than two years later made for spicier newspaper reading.

The Gift
In the last fifteen years of his life Cochran suffered from tuberculosis and divided his time between cruising on the Restless and vacationing on an estate he had acquired in Colorado. Nevertheless, he continued to take an interest in various philanthropies. Clarence Day wrote of his charity: "Cochran doesn't enjoy just giving money to carry out other people's ideas. What he likes is working on one of his own. . . Of course everybody who sees him, nearly, very soon thinks of some excellent use for his money. The thought of all those millions of his excites them, and they find it impossible not to make suggestions."

It was characteristic of Cochran to dream up the notion of the Elizabethan Club after spending a few months in California for his health. As an undergraduate at Yale, he had attended the first course–Elizabethan Drama–taught by the legendary Billy Phelps. Phelps remembered Cochran as "shy and reticent," and wrote, "I had no means of knowing whether or not the course had made any impression upon him. Nor did I know anything about him personally, or that he was a millionaire in his own right."

In 1909 or 1910, Cochran wrote to Phelps from England. From interests aroused by studying the Elizabethan drama as an undergraduate, he had begun to collect original editions of plays and poems published during the reign of Queen Elizabeth. Aware that Phelps might be interested, he sent him a list of the books he had acquired.

"When the list reached me," Phelps wrote, "I nearly fell out of my chair. He had an astounding collection, every item a rarity, and the whole worth several hundred thousand dollars–Shakespeare quartos, a copy of the first edition of the Sonnets, or Bacon's Essays, and so on."

In a year, Cochran's plan was fully elaborated. He wished to found at Yale an Elizabethan Club, because the one thing he had most missed as a Yale undergraduate was good conversation. He thought that if there were an undergraduate club at Yale, with a remarkable library as a nucleus, students who loved literature and the arts would be glad to meet there and discuss them informally and naturally, both with their contemporaries and with members of the faculty. He proposed to give his collection, not to the University Library, but to the undergraduates of Yale College who were members of his club. . . .

Through Phelps, Cochran offered Yale much more than his collection of books. He gave $75,000 to buy and refurbish an early nineteenth-century house on College Street and offered $100,000 for the initial endowment.

Other material on the history of The Elizabethan Club and Alexander Smith Cochran

For digital images from Yale University Manuscripts and Archives relating to The Elizabethan Club at Yale University, search for "Elizabethan Club" at http://mssa.library.yale.edu.

For a biographical sketch of the founder of The Elizabethan Club, see "Alexander Smith Cochran" by Richard Selzer in The Yale University Library Gazette, Vol. 73, No. 1-2, October 1998.

For a description of some of the furnishings of The Elizabethan Club house, see "The Elizabethan Club of Yale University" by Marjorie Wynne published by The Elizabethan Club of Yale University, 2006.

Cochran's Club at Yale

BY CAROLINE MCCULLOUGH
Friday, January 13, 2012
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Located in an unassuming glass box in the Memorabilia Room of Sterling Library, "Alexander Smith Cochran and the Founding of the Elizabethan Club" celebrates the centennial anniversary of the founding of the Elizabethan Club in 1911. The focus rests mainly on the man who provided the club's conception and financial support. Fred Robinson, Douglas Tracy Smith Emeritus Professor of English at Yale and curator of the exhibit, explained that he wants a viewer to come away with an appreciation for Alexander Smith Cochran. The exhibit does just that.

Alexander Smith Cochran, we learn, was a member of the Yale class of 1896. As an undergraduate, he took a class on Shakespeare with the popular professor William Lyon Phelps. Phelps recommended that a worthwhile postgraduation pursuit was the collection of rare books. Robinson said that Phelps could assume that most of his class had the financial resources to collect expensive texts. "To get into Yale then, you had to be rich," Robinson said. "Now, you have to be smart."

Cochran was indeed wealthy, having inherited a family fortune. In fact, one of the quirkier parts of the exhibit quotes a 1920 newspaper article that states that Cochran was "the wealthiest and most eligible bachelor in the world."

Taking Phelp's advice to heart, Cochran acquired a mass of now-priceless titles, mainly from the Elizabethan era. These titles – including first editions of most of Shakespeare's plays – are represented in the exhibit by a lengthy list. Robinson observed that Cochran's purchases occurred in a bygone era during which a single collector could acquire a book like the 1604 publication of Hamlet. Nowadays, these books are priceless and rarely sold, found mostly in museums and universities.

Robinson explained that Cochran did not want to "just put these books on his shelf." He wanted to share them. Cochran had found that his undergraduate experience at Yale lacked a space that promoted intellectual literary discussions outside of the classroom. He decided to create that space.

Cochran wrote his old professor, asking for assistance. Phelps, astonished by the titles in Cochran's collection, agreed to collaborate in the founding of the club. The exhibit observes that without Phelps, the Elizabethan Club would not exist.

With Phelps as the contact person, Cochran purchased the house at 459 College St., where the club still resides today, and created an endowment that provides staff to serve tea to members every afternoon of the school year. Most importantly, he donated his collection of rare books.

"This club is about two things," Robinson said, "the books, and the tea. The tea provides the context for the literary conversations. Why are rare books interesting beyond their age? Because the original books are essential for the literary study of English."

Surprisingly, none of the Club's books are included in the exhibit, indicative of one of the interesting aspects of the exhibit: what is missing. Robinson justified the books' absence by arguing that the exhibit is not about "the books, but the man who created the Club." For similar reasons, Robinson also decided not to include a club guestbook signed by Theodore Roosevelt, T.S. Eliot and Robert Frost. Beyond obstacles in displaying the guestbook (only one page with one signature could be shown at a time), Robinson wanted to make sure that the members of the Elizabethan Club would still have regular access to this popular item.

Perhaps the most intriguing aspect of the entire exhibit is the mysterious removal of one photograph from the display case. The picture – which Robinson said was removed without his approval at some point after he organized the exhibit – shows a student pouring tea at one of the Club's afternoon gatherings. Robinson explained that the photo's caption alluded to the fallout from the Club's decision to change the blend of tea it serves – a move which generated controversy within the organization. Robinson said he does not know who removed the photo from the exhibit.

Mysteries aside, what is included in the brief exhibit is just right. The items were obviously selected with great care. Some of the highlights are poignant portraits of Cochran and Phelps and a letter dating from 1942. The letter is the response of the manufacturer of the Club's vault to inquiries regarding the vault's ability to withstand potential German bombs. Fortunately, the vault has yet to prove its strength against such an event, its treasures still safe within.

Alexander Smith Cochran specified that he gave these gifts "not to Yale, but to the students of Yale." Although the club has limited membership, the exhibit shows why any Yale student should appreciate Cochran and his contribution to the University.

The exhibit has been on display since Dec. 3 and will continue until March 2.

New York Times October 22, 1921

MALONE FROM PARIS TO ACT FOR WALSKA

Says Alexander Smith Cochran Cannot "Dispose of Wife the Way He Disposes of Toys"

WILL DECIDE ON HER COURSE

Attorneys for Husband Get Custody of $25,000 in Goods Seized in Her Home Here.

Dudley Field Malone, former Collector of the Port, now a practicing lawyer in Paris, arrived yesterday on the French liner Paris, after an absence of ten months, to look after the affairs in America of his client, Mrs. Alexander Smith Cochran, otherwise Mme. Ganna Walska, formerly of the Chicago Grand Opera Company.

In a statement which he gave to reporters on board the liner Mr. Malone said:

"Alexander Smith Cochran has been joy riding all over this world, buying and selling houses and yachts by whim and caprice. Mrs. Cochran was the widow of Dr. Joseph Fraenkel, one of New York's noted physicians, and if Mr. Cochran thinks that he can dispose of his wife the way he disposes of toys and playthings when tired of them, he is much mistaken.

"The house in New York at 101 East Ninety-fourth Street belongs to Mrs. Cochran and the title is in her name. Mr. Cochran, after his marriage, persuaded her to dispose of all the furniture that she had and to refurnish it to suit her taste, for which he paid and gave to her. This property, I understand, was replevined by his lawyers the other day. His attempt now to seize these things in order to compel his wife to give him a divorce is one of the most despicable things I have ever heard a so-called gentleman do.

"He and his lawyer, Samuel Untermyer, tried the same game in Paris after Mrs. Cochran returned from her vacation at the seashore. Cochran and Mr. Untermeyer tried to bar Mrs. Cochran from her home in Rue de Lubeck, Paris, which he had purchased, furnished and set up for his beautiful wife as her conjugal domicile. But with backing of the French law we smashed into the house and put her into possession of her home, where she now is. Cochran may try to befog the real issue in this case, which is merely the attempt of an arrogant rich man to be free from his wife without proper compensation. But Mrs. Cochran's rights will be fought for and protected by every process known to law, either here or in France.

"He has no grounds whatever for seeking a divorce, and if he had any ground he would not have tried to blackmail his wife into granting him a divorce."

When asked about possible divorce proceedings Mr. Malone said:

"Mme. Cochran has no plans yet. I have come over to look into the whole situation here, and after a conference with my colleagues at my office, Forty-first Street and Madison Avenue, I shall decide what is the best thing to be done, and, in the event of bringing an action, emply the best counsel that can be obtained. The question of the furniture which has been seized by Mr. Cochran on a writ of replevin will remain in obeisance until the matter has progressed further."

Because no claim was made by the singer to the $25,000 worth of furniture and furnishings taken from her home at 101 East Ninety-fourth street last Wednesday under a write of replevin obtained by Guggenheimer, Untermyer & Marshall, the storage warehouse receipt for the goods was delivered to Mr. Cochran's attorneys yesterday by Sheriff Knott.

Mme. Walska was allowed three days by law in which to file a claim for the property, and in case she had done so the Sheriff would have presented the facts to a jury, and ownership would have been determined. If Mme. Walska still desires to establish a claim to the property she must file a Supreme Court action against the Sheriff and her husband. Sheriff Knott is protected by a $50,000 bond given by Mr. Cochran, effective for a year. The property will remain in the Chelsea Storage Warehouse at 112 West 107th Street until Mr. Cochran gives orders for removal elsewhere.

Harold F. McCormick returned yesterday from Europe on the French liner Paris and joined Mrs. McCormick, his son, Harold F. Jr., and his daughter Muriel at the Hotel Plaza. The family later departed for Chicago on the Twentieth Century Limited accompanied by Dr. Hartman the psychoanalyst from Zurich, who arrived with Mrs. McCormick last Tuesday on the liner George Washington.

NOTE: This last paragraph seems "tacked on" to the story of Ganna Walska and Alexander Smith Cochran. However, in 1922, Ganna and Harold F. McCormick marry! Did the reporter know of a shipboard romance and was this his way of letting the public know?

NOTE: Harold F. McCormick's wife was none other than Edith Rockefeller, daughter of John D. Rockefeller, founder of Standard Oil. See entry for Mrs. Eaton and Mrs. Waring.

Ganna Walska

Ganna Walska (born Hanna Puacz on June 26, 1887 – March 2, 1984) was a Polish opera singer and garden enthusiast who created the Lotusland botanical gardens at her mansion in Montecito, California. She was married six times, four times to very wealthy husbands. The lavish promotion of her lackluster opera career by her fourth husband, Harold Fowler McCormick, inspired aspects of the screenplay for Citizen Kane.
Contents [hide]
1 Biography
2 Marriages
3 Lotusland
4 Honors
5 References
6 External links
Biography[edit]

She was born Hanna Puacz on June 26, 1887.
In 1922, after her marriage to Harold F. McCormick, Ganna Walska purchased the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées in Paris. She told the Chicago Tribune that she had invested her own funds, not those of her wealthy husband, and said, "I will never appear in my own theatre until I have gained recognition based solely on my merits as an artist."[1]
Walska pursued a career as an opera singer. The lavish promotion of her opera career by McCormick–despite her apparent renown as a terrible singer–inspired aspects of the screenplay for Orson Welles's Citizen Kane.[2] Roger Ebert, in his DVD commentary on Citizen Kane, suggests that the character of Susan Alexander was based on Walska. McCormick spent thousands of dollars on voice lessons for her and even arranged for Walska to take the lead in a production of Zaza by Ruggero Leoncavallo at the Chicago Opera in 1920. Reportedly, Walska got into an argument with director Pietro Cimini during dress rehearsal and stormed out of the production before she appeared. Contemporaries said Walska had a terrible voice, pleasing only to McCormick.
New York Times headlines of the day read, "Ganna Walska Fails as Butterfly: Voice Deserts Her Again When She Essays Role of Puccini's Heroine" (January 29, 1925), and "Mme. Walska Clings to Ambition to Sing" (July 14, 1927).
"According to her 1943 memoirs, Always Room at the Top, Walska had tried every sort of fashionable mumbo jumbo to conquer her nerves and salvage her voice," reported The New York Times in 1996. "Nothing worked. During a performance of Giordano's Fedora in Havana she veered so persistently off key that the audience pelted her with rotten vegetables. It was an event that Orson Welles remembered when he began concocting the character of the newspaper publisher's second wife for Citizen Kane."[3]
In 1926 Walska purchased the Duchess of Marlborough Fabergé egg that had been offered by Consuelo Vanderbilt at a charity auction. It was later acquired by Malcolm Forbes as the first Easter egg in his Fabergé egg collection.[4]
Ganna Walska died on March 2, 1984 at Lotusland, leaving her garden and her fortune to the Ganna Walska Lotusland Foundation.[5]
Marriages[edit]

Ganna Walska was married six times:
Russian baron, Arcadie d'Eingorn, a Russian officer killed early in World War I. They married in 1904 but the marriage was dissolved two years later. The baron died of TB in 1915.[6][7]
Dr. Joseph Fraenkel, a New York endocrinologist. They were married in 1916, and he died in April of 1920.[6][7]
Multimillionaire sportsman and carpet tycoon Alexander Smith Cochran. They married in September of 1920, and they divorced in 1922.[7][6] He died in 1929.[8]
Industrialist Harold Fowler McCormick. They married August 11, 1922 at the City Hall in Passy in Paris.[6] They divorced in 1931. He died in 1941.[9]
English inventor of a death ray, Harry Grindell Matthews.[10] They married in 1938 and he died in 1941.[11][12]
Theos Bernard, her sixth and last husband. He was a scholar of yoga and Tibetan Buddhism and book-author. They married in 1942 and they divorced 1946. He died in 1947.
Lotusland[edit]

In 1941, with the encouragement of her sixth husband Theos Bernard, she purchased the historic 37-acre (0.15 km2) 'Cuesta Linda' estate in Montecito near Santa Barbara, California, intending to use it as a retreat for Tibetan monks. Because of restrictions on wartime visas, the monks were unable to come to the United States. After her divorce from Bernard in 1946, Walska changed the name of her estate to "Lotusland" (after a famous flower held sacred in Indian and Tibetan religions, the lotus, Nelumbo nucifera) and the lotus growing in several of her garden's ponds. She devoted the rest of her life to designing, redesigning, expanding, and maintaining the estate's renowned innovative and extensive gardens. Her landscape design talent is well regarded for distinctive gardens of exceptional creativity.
Honors[edit]

Gold Cross of Merit from the Polish government in 1931
Légion d'honneur order from the French government in 1934
L'Ordre National des Arts et des Letters from the French government in 1972
References[edit]

^ "Walska Buys Theatre." The New York Times, December 15, 1922
^ Welles, Orson, and Peter Bogdanovich, This is Orson Welles. New York: HarperCollins Publishers 1992 ISBN 0-06-016616-9 page 49
^ Mitchell Owens (August 22, 1996). "Garden of the Slightly Macabre". New York Times. Retrieved 2012-09-04.
^ Faberge - Treasures of Imperial Russia (retrieved January 16, 2012)
^ Ganna Walska Lotusland Foundation
^ a b c d "Walska the Bride of H. F. McCormick. Wedded in Quiet Paris Ceremony, With Mr. and Mrs. Malone the Only Witnesses. Posting Of Banns Waived. Official Says Couple Gave an 'Immense Amount' to Poor. Union Illegal in Illinois". Associated Press in the New York Times. August 12, 1922. Retrieved 2012-09-04. "Harold F. McCormick of Chicago, Chairman of the Executive Committee of the International Harvester Company, and Mrs. Alexander Smith Cochran, known to the music world as Mme. Ganna Walska, were married quietly today in the City Hall of the select Passy district of Paris."
^ a b c "Walska Makes Counter Charge Against Cochran". Chicago Tribune. March 31, 1922. Retrieved 2012-09-04. "...her first husband Arcadie d Eighnhorn [sic], a Russian, who is said to have died in Russia in 1920. Her second husband Dr. Joseph Fraenkel ..."
^ "A. S. Cochran Dies At Saranac Lake. Wealthy Carpet Manufacturer, Philanthropist and Yachtsman. Inherited Vast Fortunes. Democratic Ways and Generosity Made Him Greatly Admired In Native Yonkers. Chief Owner of Vast Carpet Works. Built Yacht to Defend Cup. Joined British Navy in War". New York Times. June 21, 1929. Retrieved 2012-09-04. "Alexander Smith Cochran, carpet manufacturer, philanthropist and yachtsman of New York and Yonkers, died here last night of pulmonary tuberculosis, from which he had been suffering for fifteen years. He was in his fifty-sixth year."
^ "Harold Fowler McCormick, Industrialist. Dies. Chairman of the International Harvester Co., Which His Father, Cyrus, Founded. Noted As Philanthropist. Sponsored Successful Search for Scarlet Fever Antitoxin. A Supporter of Opera". New York Times. October 17, 1941. Retrieved 2012-09-04. "Mrs. McCormick died in 1935. Mr. McCormick's second wife was Mme. Ganna Walska. Their union was solemnized in 1922. Mme. Walska's ambition to sing in grand ..."
^ "Married". Time (magazine). February 7, 1938. Retrieved 2007-07-21. "Ganna Walska d'Eighnhorn Fraenkel Cochran McCormick, 45, Polish-American opera singer, perfumer, feminist, whose four previous husbands had owned fortunes totaling $125,000,000, to Harry Grindell-Matthews, 57, inventor of the 'death ray,' which knocked out a cow 200 yards distant at its first British War Office tests; in London. The bride went on her honeymoon alone, while the investor rushed to his Clydach, Wales laboratory (fenced with electrified wire) to perfect an aerial torpedo."
^ "Scientist Asserts He'll Wed Walska. Grindell-Matthews,'Death Ray' Inventor, Says He Will Marry Polish Opera Singer Soon. They Met 3 Months Ago. Marriage Would Be the Fifth for Mme. Walska, Once Wife of Harold Fowler McCormick". New York Times. August 20, 1937. Retrieved 2012-09-04. "Harry Grindell-Matthews, genial 57-year old 'death ray' inventor, said today that he would marry Ganna Walska, Polish opera singer whose fourth husband was Harold Fowler McCormick, Chicago harvester magnate."
^ "Died". Time (magazine). September 22, 1941. Retrieved 2007-07-21. "Harry Grindell-Matthews, 61, inventor of a highly publicized 'death ray,' fifth husband of Singer Ganna Walska; in his lonely, electrically guarded bungalow laboratory near Swansea, Wales. An electrical researcher, he developed submarine detectors, 'aerial mines,' remote-control devices, sound-film synchronization, in 1911 established wireless communication with a plane in flight."
External links[edit]

Ganna Walska at the Internet Movie Database
Ganna Walska Lotusland, Frommer's Review
Lotusland history
"Chicago's Citizen Kane" (About.com) – Archive copy at the Wayback Machine
About Citizen Kane (Humanities 140, "Approaches to Film," Winona State University) – Archive copy at the Wayback Machine
Kiester, Edwin Jr., "Not your average backyard gardener" (abstract). Smithsonian Magazine, March 1997
McPherson, Sean K., "Enemy of the Average." The New York Times, April 14, 2002
Swartley, Ariel, "A diva who loved high drama." Los Angeles Times, March 10, 2005
Authority control

Ganna Walska Lotusland

www.lotusland.org

Mrs. Stewart's sister-in-law

Alexander Smith & Sons Carpet Company

http://www.hudsonvalleyruins.org/yasinsac/hvarch/smith1.html


"Soon, I saw ahead of me on the right of the road a great red brick building, three storeys high and of immense length and breadth. Other buildings stretched away behind it, with smoking chimneys. The road was black with crowds going in at the gates. The-trolley cars were in their rush-hour service, bringing people to work: the morning flood was running...

I had never been associated with any building so big. It loomed up above the road, like a gigantic ship taking in passengers at dockside. As I drew nearer, I heard the enormous murmur of its engines, and saw a general quickening in the steps of those entering. It was now almost seven o'clock."

~ In the Mill, John Masefield's description
of the Alexander Smith mills ca. 1895.

Alexander Smith & Sons Carpet Company

The Alexander Smith and Sons Carpet Company complex comprises what is perhaps the largest intact mill site in the Hudson Valley. (Once vast mills at Wappingers Falls and Cohoes have lost major buildings over the years; a contemporary factory in Garnerville outside Haverstraw appears to have most of its original buildings.) Located just a short distance from the Hudson River, the mills straddle the Saw Mill (or Nepperhan) River between Saw Mill River Road on the east and Nepperhan Avenue on the west. Although no longer used for milling, the buildings host a variety of business including YOHO artists' studios, an apparel graphics company, an art framing service, an auto parts store, a boxing gym, and a paper products company. Some of the buildings along Saw Mill River Road now serve as storage facilities.

The Alexander Smith company built its first Yonkers mill, which no longer stands, in 1865 at a separate location on Palisade Avenue, nearer the city center (the company relocated from what is now the Bronx). By 1871, Alexander Smith completed the first building along Saw Mill River Road. Soon mills that ran over 500 feet long would grace the new site, which encompassed 19 buildings on 38 acres. Smith was successful in large part due to innovative techniques he developed with inventor Halcyon Skinner. They devised a power loom called the Moquette which produced Axminster carpets that came closest to matching hand-knotted Oriental rugs. Alexander Smith and Sons made both the looms and the rugs produced by the looms. By 1885, the plant consisted of 350 tapestry looms and 250 moquette looms. Daily output was about 26,000 yards of carpet totaling about 8 million yards produced per year by 3,500 workers.

Alexander Smith & Sons Carpet Company

Alexander Smith and Sons continued to be one of the biggest carpet manufactures in the United States right up until the end of World War II. All that was well would not end well however. Newspapers articles blamed the industrial decline on Chinese embargoes and foreign export quotas. The corporate spin stated that the old factories could not adapt to make the new synthetic rugs that appealed to housewives. The labor unions blamed the low production on low demand due to decreasing prosperity. It seems that the corporations were doing alright where they were - they just realized they could maximize their profits by paying workers less if they moved operations elsewhere. Untold thousands of millhands across the northeast lost their jobs in the 1950s as a result of shifting corporate philosophies.

In 1954, workers at the Yonkers plant went on strike, as they did two years prior. This time, the corporate response from Alexander Smith and Sons was to relocate to Greeneville, Mississippi, where the workers were not unionized. More importantly, a state-sponsored industrial development agency enabled the construction of a new mill complex. (Smith and Sons also opened plants in Philadelphia and South Carolina.) The Yonkers plant was shut down, leaving the city without its largest employer. From 1952 to 1954, a total of 5,000 workers lost their jobs. Alexander Smith and Sons itself disappeared in a 1956 merger with Mohawk Carpet - the new firm became known as Mohasco Corporation. (Mohawk Carpet also owned mills in Amsterdam, New York, which was experiencing the same economic troubles Yonkers. The Bigelow-Sanford Company also closed its Amsterdam plant around this time as well.)

Over the following decades, the mill buildings were sold off to a variety of concerns, including a cigarette manufacturer and the Otis Elevator Company, which had its major plant on the Hudson riverfront in Yonkers. Today, several different property owners have a stake in the Alexander Smith buildings. One building of current interest stands along the south side of Axminster Street and is known as the n-Valley Technology Center. The 116,00 square floor building was erected in 1922 and was occupied by Purdue Pharma since 1957. The City of Yonkers acquired the building in 2000 for one dollar and spent somewhere in the vicinity of 14 to 21 million dollars renovating the space. The building was to attract start-up firms which would employ about 300 workers. The plan never materialized, and today a glimpse through the tall first floor windows shows a largely unfinished space. In October 2006, this building was apparently sold to developer Joseph Cotter, whose company National RE/Sources will build at Tarrytown's waterfront as well.

March 7, 1915 New York Times

Mrs. Stewart's Brother, William Francis Cochran

http://query.nytimes.com/mem/archive-free/pdf?res=FA0E12FF3E5F17738DDDAE0894DB405B858DF1D3

Wants to Give Away His Millions
William F. Cochran, Socialist, Who Inherited a Fortune Made in Carpets, Invites Suggestions as to How to Get Rid of Wealth

November 2, 1895 New York Times

http://query.nytimes.com/mem/archive-free/pdf?
res=F00C13F73A5911738DDDAB0894D9415B8585F0D3

St. Andrew's P. E. Church
Mrs. William F Cochran's Memorial Gift at Yonkers

Warren B. Smith

Uncle to Mrs. Stewart

http://query.nytimes.com/mem/archive-free/pdf?
res=F60C13FA345412738DDDAB0894DD405B838CF1D3

New York Times May 2, 1903

WILL OF WARREN B. SMITH DISPOSES OF $40,000,000

Carpet Manufacturer's Nephew, Alexander Cochran, Inherits Bulk of Vast Estate

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y, May 1 – The will of Warren B. Smith, the millionaire carpet manufacturer of Yonkers, who died in Algiers, was filed at noon today in the Surrogate's Court at this place. The estate is estimated to be worth $40,000,000. The will was executed March 5, 1902, and the executors are Eva S. Cochran, a sister; Alexander Cochran, a nephew, and Harold Bond, who was confidential secretary to the testator.

To Mary L. Smith, his stepmother, the testator gives $250,000; to his sister, Eva B. Cochran, $100,000, and to Eben Baldwin, a cousin, $50,000. There are numerous minor legacies to relatives and one of $50,000 to St. John's Hospital, Yonkers.

To his friend Nannie Ledue of 78 West Eighty-fifth Street, New York, is left $50,000; to his valet, Percy E. Collins, $3,000, to his gardener, James Hughes, $2,500; $200 each to all servants in the testator's emply at the time of his death and $200 to Annie Collins.

Ten thousand dollars is also given to each of the following named employees of the Alexander Smith Carpet Company: Richard Eddie, Jr., William C. C. McKim, Henry W. Parton, Eugene C. Clark, and Eugene Timeson.

Five thousand dollars is also given to each of the following employees of the same company: Henry Laragh, August Thomas, Arthur Land, George Stenges, William H. Wolf, W. J. Webb, Reuben Corland, George J. Moshier, Robert Dougherty, and James See.

To Francis Holder, formerly President of the Smith Carpet Company, $100,000; to Harold Brown, formerly Treasurer of the same company, $200,000. To each of his nieces and nephews the testator gives $1,000,000, as follows: William F. Cochran, Gifford Cochran, Annie C. Ewing, Eleanor Cochran Stewart, and Elizabeth Baldwin Cochran. The residue is left to the nephew, Alexander S. Cochran.

Promises of Hope and Gladness by Elinor Cochran Stewart

Mosher Press, 1927

Elinor Cochran Stewart Ex Libris

K. S. I.
Elinor Cochran Stewart Ex Libris
Bookplates
[1915]
United States–Virginia
Pictorial
Special Collections Department, University of Delaware Library / Newark, Delaware 19717-5267
GRA 115
Libraries.; Books.; Furniture.
UD Library: William Augustus Brewer Bookplate Collection
10231
http://www.lib.udel.edu/cgi-bin/purl?gra0115
Use of materials from this collection beyond the exceptions provided for in the Fair Use and Educational Use clauses of the US Copyright Law may violate federal law. Permission to publish is required from the copyright holder. Please contact the Special Collections Department, University of Delaware Library, http://www.lib.udel.edu/cgi-bin/aspspec.cgi
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Prayers of Hope and Gladness by Elinor Cochran Stewart

Prayers of Hope and Gladness by Elinor Cochran Stewart

Gloucester County, Virginia

1914: Mrs. Elinor Cchran Stewart donated 125 books to form the core of a lending library at Gloucester Woman's Club, Long Bridge Ordinary.

1933: A bequest of $10,000 by Mrs. Stewart provided the basis to purchase land and construct the original Gloucester Library on Main Street

The Herald Statesman, Yonkers, N.Y Thursday, 9, 1933

Death of Mr. Ewing Fourth in Four Years in Cochran Family

The passing of Thomas Ewing Jr., president of Smith Carpet Company, marks the fourth time the hand of death has fallen on the Cochran family in less than four years.

Alexander Smith Cochran, grandson of the founder of the mills, chief heir to its millions and active sponsor of the many philanthropies for which the Cochran family was noted, was the first to go. He died June 26, 1929 at Sarnac Lake after an extended illness. Although he had been ill for many months his death came as a great shock to the city. Throngs lined the streets to watch his funeral cortege pass and crowded St. John's Church, Getty Square, to pay final tribute at the services conducted by Bishop James E. Freeman.

His brother, Gifford Cochran, noted sportsman, died suddenly at his New York home 18 months later. On Jan. 29 last his sister Mrs. Elinor Cochran Stewart died in Baltimore after a long illness.

The death of Mrs. Stewart left William F. Cochran of Baltimore, Mrs. Thomas Ewing, Sr. of Yonkers and Mrs. E. C. Bowen of New York City as the only surviving grandchildren of the carpet company's founded.

July 18, 2013 Email from Joan Davis Eckert

July 18, 2013

The daughter of our former President, Mrs. Arthur G. (Christine Warner) Nelson, President of the PGC from 1936 - 1937 and then again 1940 - 1942, passed away June 13, 2013. It is her obituary that finally supplied Mrs. Nelson's first and maiden names.

Jean Nelson Cochran, an active garden club member herself, was in no doubt related to the Cochran family which boasts several members of the PGC:

Cochran, Mrs. Homer P. (Elisabeth Nash) '52
Harlow, Mrs. Edward Dexter (Elsie Cochran Martin) '15
Stewart, Mrs. Percy Hamilton (Elinor DeWitt Cochran) '15

1951 Yale Obituary

1951 Yale Obituary

1951 Yale Obituary

March 2, 1914 Mayor Percy Stewart

February 2013
Blizzard Hits Plainfield on March 2, 1914

On March 2, 1914, New Jersey was hit with one of the worst snow storms in twenty-six years. In Plainfield, telephone and telegraph service was crippled, there was no electric light or power, the city streets were piled deep in snow and both the trolley system and railroad were disabled.

People were forced to light their homes using candles and oil lamps. The Plainfield Daily Press reported that, "unusual precautions were taken by Fire Chief Doane to prevent the spread of any conflagration." Indeed, "the fireman of this city ... kept watchful vigil over lives and property..." throughout the storm. Luckily, only two small fires did occur, but were caught before they could spread.

In this photo taken amidst the swirling snowfall, Chief Thaddeus Doane (far left) stands with Mayor Percy Stewart. Two fire fighters are seated, covered in snow, on the Department's customized Dayton Motorcycle. The second rider provided extra weight for added traction during their patrol that day. The cycle was outfitted with a chemical tank, which used a combination of baking soda and acid to create a stream of water; this would be useful on small fires. Also on board was a regular fire extinguisher, a fire bell, a basket of hose on top, and probably an axe. Note the kerosene latern on the side. Dayton motorcycles are very rare today.

Part of the Historical Photograph Collection, Plainfield Public Library

Monday Afternoon Club Membership

Monday Afternoon Club Membership

Monday Afternoon Club Membership

Monday Afternoon Club Membership

Monday Afternoon Club Membership

Monday Afternoon Club Membership