Plainfield Garden Club

Member: deGraff, Mrs. James Wilde (Carrie Thompson Milliken) '15

1919 Address: 996 Central Avenue, Plainfield

1922 Directory: Not Listed

Home also referenced as "Lone Oak"

James W. DeGraff on the board of Muhlenberg Hospital 1918

deGraff or DeGraff of De Graff?

1915 lists "deGraff"
1919 lists "DeGraff"

Most likely related to Neltje Blanchan De Graff who married Frank Nelson Doubleday

National Cyclopedia reference

Mount Holyoke announcement

marriage of Carrie T. Milliken to Jas. W. DeGraff '90

Milliken, Carrie T., Plainfield, N.J.; m. Jas. W. DeGraff, '90; "Lone Oak," Central Ave., Plainfield, NJ

Mount Holyoke

Neltje Blanchan De Graff

Nellie Blanchan De Graff (October 23, 1865 February 21, 1918) was a United States scientific historian and nature writer who wrote books on gardening and birds using the penname Neltje Blanchan. Her work is known for its synthesis of scientific interest with poetic phrasing. She was born in Chicago to Liverius De Graff and Alice Fair. She was educated at St. John's in New York City and Misses Masters' School in Dobbs Ferry , New York.

She married Frank Nelson Doubleday on June 9, 1886. They had two sons and one daughter: Felix Doubleday (adopted), Nelson Doubleday (1889-1949) and Dorothy Doubleday. Nellie's grandson Nelson Doubleday Jr. purchased the New York Mets in 1986. Some of her papers (1914-1918) are in the Frank N. Doubleday and Nelson Doubleday Collection at the Princeton University Library. There is a Neltje Blanchan Literary Award given by the Wyoming Arts Council, which is given annually to "a writer whose work, in any genre, is inspired by nature."

Bird Neighbors (1897)
Birds That Hunt and Are Hunted
Nature's Garden (1900)
"What the Basket Means to the Indian," a chapter in Mary White's How To Make Baskets (1901)
Wild Flowers: An Aid to Knowledge of our Wild Flowers and their Insect Visitors (1901)
Birds Every Child Should Know (1907)
The American Flower Garden (1909)
Wild Flowers Worth Knowing (adapted by Asa Don Dickenson, 1917, 1922)
Birds: Selected from the Writings of Neltje Blanchan (posthumously, 1930)

Mrs. Doubleday

(1865-1918) American Naturalist and Writer

Writer and wife of publishing tycoon Frank Doubleday, Neltje Doubleday helped to popularize ideas emerging from the new conservation movement of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Doubleday wrote primarily about birds and plants, although she occasionally wrote about American Indians as well. Light on scientific study, her books and numerous magazine articles nonetheless prompted an increased awareness of humankind's relationship to nature in an era in which nature was generally seen as the raw material to be exploited for the benefit of America's growing industrial base.

Born on October 23, 1865, in Chicago, Illinois, Neltje Blanchan De Graff was the daughter of Liverius De Graff, the owner of a men's clothing store, and Alice Fair De Graff. The De Graff family was prosperous enough to send Neltje to private boarding schools in New York State. Sometime in the late 1870s or early 1880s, she attended the Misses Masters' School in Dobbs Ferry, New York, in the Hudson River valley north of New York City. She also attended St. John's school in New York City proper. In 1886, when she was 20, De Graff married Frank Doubleday, an up-and-coming book publishing baron. They had three children, Felix Doty, Nelson, and Dorothy.

Neltje Doubleday's studies seem to have stopped with her graduation from secondary school. This lack of university training was the norm for women at that time in the United States. Most women were discouraged from pursuing higher education, as it was considered a man's domain. The place for women's activities was the home or, if the woman was from a wealthy family, as a volunteer in a charitable cause. Even though Neltje's family in Chicago does not seem to have possessed wealth on the scale of the Carnegies, Rockefellers, or even Frank Doubleday they probably had enough money to send their daughter out into the world in the traditional fashion for their class, as a debutante in New York society. It was undoubtedly at one of these events that De Graff met her future husband.

As noted in personal accounts and memoirs of her friends, Neltje Doubleday was an engaging and personable woman. She possessed charm, energy, and warmth and sought out an area in which to make a name for herself. Learning about magazine and book publishing from her husband, she realized that there was a niche in those businesses for her talents as a writer. In her first book, The Piegan Indians, published in 1889, Doubleday laid out her interests and style. This was a popular work about an American subject, a Plains Indian tribe. She borrowed from the writings of ethnographers and other writers who looked at the Piegans with greater scientific objectivity, yet she herself was not interested in writing an ethnographic study. This was to be Doubleday's only book on American Indians.

In the 1890s, Doubleday, who always wrote under the pen name of Neltje Blanchan, turned to writing about birds and plants of the United States. Her book, Bird Neighbors (1897), was published by her husband's firm of Doubleday, McClure. It discussed bird habitats and seasonal migration, but it did not group the birds by the scientifically accepted system of classification. Instead, it listed them by size and color. Bird Neighbors was a huge commercial hit, selling more than 250,000 copies. Doubleday followed this up with a string of books in the early years of the 20th century about birds and plants: Nature's Garden (1900), about American wildflowers; How to Attract Birds (1902), a book about birds and the plants that draw them; The American Flower Garden (1909), about how to create a lush flower garden in a home with large grounds.

Doubleday, who also did volunteer work for the American Red Cross, died suddenly on February 21, 1918, at the age of 52, during an official Red Cross trip to Canton, China. Her work, although of limited scientific value, helped make the conservation movement a respectable force in American life.

August 26, 1894 New York Times article

Referenced Foster Milliken

Plainfield City of Homes

European Beech at 996 Central Avenue, Plainfield

Or shall I rather the sad verse repeat
Which on the beech's bark I lately writ?
– Virgil(1)

Did you think that carving words in beech bark was the invention of modern vandals? Not so. The smooth bark of beech trees has been used as a writing surface for millennia. Our word book comes from Old English boc (writing tablet), which derives from Old English beece (beech).(2) The most famous beech inscription

D. Boone
Cilled a Bar
On Tree
In Year 1760.

is preserved in a museum in Louisville.(3) The tree on which it was carved fell in 1916 at about 365 years of age. But, please, let the time-honored tradition of beech-carving die. Once the beech's thin bark is breached, the tree can be invaded by fungi that cause bark disease and heart rot. (4)

Plainfield has numerous beautiful beeches of two species, American (Fagus grandifolia) and European (Fagus sylvatica). There is a fine American beech at 975 Glenwood Avenue.

from Gregory Palermo's tree blog

1988 Archives

Contributions for the Polly Heely Memorial Fund

Mrs. Murray Rushmore
Mrs. E. J. Fitxpatrick
Mrs. F. Gregg Burger
Mrs. Philip Nash
Mrs. Frederic Pomeroy
Mrs. Alexander Kroll
Mrs. C. Northrop Pond
Mrs. Theodore Budenbach
Mrs. Homer Cochran
Mrs. Dabney Moon
Mrs. Webster Sandford
Mrs. Alden Loosli
Mrs. Robert Loughlin
Mrs. Robert de Graff
Horse Shoe Road, Mill Neck, NY 11765
Total $430.00

From the Corresponding Secretary File, Jane Craig

996 Central Avenue

Plainfield Library Photo File

G-423 1934 Y Grimstead House at 996 Central Avenue 996 Central Avenue Shingle-style house with cross-gambrel and hip roofs, rounded bay over open porch at right, circular corner porch at left, John Jewett. Van Wyck Brooks

Courier News

DeGraff Carrie T. (Milliken) husband James Wilde 1/27/1940 News
DeGraff Carrie T. (Milliken) husband James Wilde 1/31/1950 News
DeGraff Carrie T. (Milliken) husband James Wilde 7/?/1951 Annotation death
DeGraff James Wilde wife Carrie T. Milliken) 1/27/1940 News
DeGraff James Wilde wife Carrie T. Milliken) 1/31/1950 News
DeGraff James Wilde wife Carrie T. Milliken) 8/16/1956 Obituary

Courier News articles

DeGraff Carrie T. (Milliken) husband James Wilde 1/27/1940 News
DeGraff Carrie T. (Milliken) husband James Wilde 1/31/1950 News
DeGraff Carrie T. (Milliken) husband James Wilde 7/?/1951 Annotation death
DeGraff James Wilde wife Carrie T. Milliken) 1/27/1940 News
DeGraff James Wilde wife Carrie T. Milliken) 1/31/1950 News
DeGraff James Wilde wife Carrie T. Milliken) 8/16/1956 Obituary

New York Times September 4, 1915

Miss Milliken's Wedding

Plans for Her Marriage to Robert T. Houk, Jr., on Sept. 18.

The wedding of Miss Ruth Milliken, daughter of Foster Milliken, of 22 East Forty-seventh Street, to Robert Thurston Houk, Jr., sone of Mr. and Mrs. Robert T. Houk of Dayton, Ohio, will be celebrated at noon on Saturday, Sept. 18, in the chantry of St. Thomas's Church, Fifth Avenue and Fifty-third Street. The Rev. Irving McGrew will officiate, assisted by the Rev. Dr. Ernest M. Stires of the church.

The bride will be attended by Miss Katherine Talbott Houk, sister of the bridegroon, wo will act as maid of honor. The bridesmaids chosen are Miss Marjorie Ladew Williams of this city, Miss Katherine M. Brown of Plainfield, N.J.; Miss Louis Lynch of Towanda, Penn.; Miss Anna M. De Graff of Plainfield, N.J.; Mrs. Philip Schuyler Church of Geneva, N.Y.; and Mrs. Alexander Hammer of Lexington, Mass., sister of the bridegroom.

Mr. Houk will have as best man his cousin Harold Talbott of Dayton, Ohio, and his ushers will include Alexander Hammer, Philip S. Church, Nelson F. Talbott, George Mead, William D. Graves, and Foster Milliken, Jr., brother of the bride.

Following the church ceremony a small reception will be held at the St. Regis.

Neltje DeGraff

Husband: Frank Nelson DOUBLEDAY
Born: at:
Married: at:
Died: at:
Other Spouses:
Wife: Neltje DEGRAFF
Born: at:
Died: at:
Other Spouses:
Name: Dorothy DOUBLEDAY
Born: at:
Married: 19 May 1915 at: Oyster Bay,Long Island,NY
Died: at:
Spouses: Frederick Huntington BABCOCK

Husband: Frederick Huntington BABCOCK
Born: 14 May 1886 at: Providence,RI
Married: 19 May 1915 at: Oyster Bay,Long Island,NY
Died: at:
Father:Albert BABCOCK
Mother:Sarah Perkins JOHNSON
Other Spouses:
Wife: Dorothy DOUBLEDAY
Born: at:
Died: at:
Father:Frank Nelson DOUBLEDAY
Mother:Netje DEGRAFF
Other Spouses:
Name: Dorothy Huntington BABCOCK
Born: at:
Married: at:
Died: at:
Name: Sylvia Neitze BABCOCK
Born: at:
Married: 10 Jun 1949 at: New York City,NY
Died: at:
Spouses: Henry W. TAFT

Possible Plainfield GC relations:

Huntington, Miss Florence '15
Huntington, Mrs. Howard (Agnes Fales Strong) '19
Cox, Mrs. Archibald (Frances Perkins) '25
Perkins, Mrs. Seymour, Jr. (Esther Moody Barlow) '49
Nash, Mrs. Philip Wallace (Helen Babcock) '57
Nelson, Mrs. Arthur G. '32, President 1936 -1937, 1940 - 1942
Cochran, Mrs. Homer P. (Elisabeth Nash) '52
Harlow, Mrs. Edward Dexter (Elsie Cochran Martin) '15
Stewart, Mrs. Percy Hamilton (Elinor DeWitt Cochran) '15

June 3, 1920 New York Times

DE GRAFF - BOMANN – Mr. and Mrs. George A. Boman, 1326 Evergreen Avenue, Plainfield, N.J., announce the engagement of their daughter, Dorcas Marie, to Mr. Robert Fair De Graff, son of Mr. and Mrs. James W. De Graff. The wedding will take place Saturday, June 19, at 4:30 P.M. Owing to illness of Mrs. Bomann only the immediate families will attend.

June 16, 1927 New York Times


The wedding of Miss Dorcas Marie Bowmann, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. George A. Bowmann of Plainfield, N.J., and Robert Fair Degraff, son of Mr. and Mrs. James W. Degraff, also of Plainfield, took place on Monday evening at the hmoe of the bride's parents, the Rev. John J. Moment officiating. The wedding was announced for Saturday next, but it was hastened owing to the critical illness of the bride's mother.

The Story of Ordnance in the World War - ebooksRead

DeGraff, Robert, 996 Central Ave., Plainfield, N. J.

Simon & Schuster

Simon & Schuster, Inc., a division of CBS Corporation, is a publisher founded in New York City in 1924 by Richard L. Simon and M. Lincoln ("Max") Schuster. It is one of the four largest English-language publishers and publishing houses, alongside Random House, Penguin and HarperCollins. It publishes over two thousand titles annually under 35 different imprints.

ExpansionIn 1939, with Robert Fair de Graff, Simon & Schuster founded Pocket Books, America's first paperback publisher.

Modern mass market paperback publishing began in the U.S. in 1939, when Robert Fair de Graff (and his partners Richard Simon plus Max Schuster) published the first ten Pocket Books for twenty-five cents each. They were a huge hit right out of the gate, with Macy's selling almost 700 copies before they even reached the display window.

Since those glory days of paperback publishing, when visionaries like de Graff attempted to bring the best and even the not-so-good books within reach of "the common man," mass market paperbacks have been squeezed by relatively inexpensive, high quality trade paperback editions on the one hand and heavily discounted hardcovers on the other. In recent years, retailers and others have been returning nearly half of all mass market titles to publishers. Not surprisingly, observers have predicted the demise of the format. And yet, in 2006, net publisher sales (after returns) of mass market titles accounted for 13% of the entire trade segment.

Pocket Books

The origins of the company date back to 1939, with the publication of the first paperback books by Robert Fair de Graff. Prior to that time, only hardcover books were available, and most of them were priced at several dollars beyond the means of most people during the Depression. de Graff's paperback books, at a quarter or so each, were affordable. de Graff presented his idea to several publishers, before Simon & Schuster decided it was worth a look. In addition to carefully selecting his titles, de Graff established new channels of distribution, such as drug stores, five and dime stores, and department stores all places that, prior to his efforts, had not sold books. Thus, Pocket Books was formed.

Both Simon & Schuster and Pocket were sold to Gulf+Western (which later became Paramount Pictures) in 1975, and were incorporated into Viacom in 2002.

November 3, 1981 Toledo Blade

Robert de Graff
Founded Pocket Books in 1929
Sold Public on Paperbacks

MILL NECK, N.Y. (AP) – Robert de Graff, who founded Pocket Books with ten 25-cent paperbacks in 1929 and proved that Americans would buy cheap reprints, died Sunday at age 86.

Pocket Books' first offerings ranged from "Bambi" to "Lost Horizon" to a volume of five Shakespearean tragedies. Five of the books sold more than 1 million copies each, convincing publishers that the public was willing to buy paperbacks.

Within 25 years, annual sales at Pocket Books totaled 300 million volumes.

The company's all-time top seller is Dr. Benjamin Spock's "Baby and Child Care," with 28 million copies sold since 1946.

Before founding Pocket Books, Mr. de Graff was head of the Garden City Publishing Co., the reprint division of Doubleday that was founded by his cousin, Frank Nelson Doubleday.

Family tree

Carrie T. Milliken + James Wilde de Graff
son: Robert Fair de Graff

James Wilde de Graff's brother
daughter: Neltje de Graff

Neltje de Graff married Frank Nelson Doubleday, who was cousins with Robert Fair de Graff.

Photo Robert F. De Graff, residence in Mill Neck, Long Island, New York. Sharp view of entrance facade 1955

Mill Neck Long Island De Graff home

October 6, 1996 New York Times Once Doubleday Was a King, Now House Gets a New Look

Published: October 06, 1996
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THE clanks and squeaks of heavy machinery pierced the summer air in Garden City as a significant segment of Long Island history joined the ranks of the down-sized.

The Doubleday book plant, part of the commercial scene for nearly a century, has been trimmed back. Peeled away from the eastern side was a long warehouse called the tin building, next to which steam locomotives once carted away new books and magazines.

A sister building, on Chestnut Street, as well as one behind it, are to be demolished soon. At the core of the structure on the 18-acre crescent-shaped site just off Franklin Avenue, between Sixth and Second Streets, is the original U-shaped building erected by Doubleday, Page & Company in 94 days. Theodore Roosevelt laid the cornerstone for the Country Life Press on Aug. 19, 1910.

The owner of the building, the Rockrose Development Corporation, is remodeling it as part of an office complex called the Country Life Corporate Campus. The interior will be gutted, and the exterior redone.

Only the Doubleday trademark, the dolphin and anchor entwined in stone above the main entrance, remains to bear witness to the ''dynamite and wildcats'' that once roared through the buildings. The phrase was Frank Nelson Doubleday's. He wondered at one time what dynamite and wildcats lived under the hood of a motor car. Christopher Morley, the playwright and wit who lived and wrote in Roslyn, used it in a tribute to Doubleday, saying: ''There are dynamite and wildcats, too, in the prenatal life of a book. It was never less than fairy tale to think of the adventures of words in that long brick building.''

Here were printed the classics of Kipling, O. Henry, Conrad, Twain, H. G. Wells, Arthur Conan Doyle and Lawrence of Arabia, along with countless others.

The dolphin and anchor, the mark of an early Italian printer, Aldus, inventor of italic type, became the symbol of a company that helped move publishing from the literary avocation of rich men into the world of business, becoming known as the General Motors of publishing. Doubleday developed distribution channels that revolutionized the industry, taking books into homes that had known only newspapers and magazines.

The headquarters, sold in 1987, is the last vestige of a 37-acre tract purchased for $600 an acre in 1910. At the southern end of the grounds is a building from the 1940's that has been refurbished. About 80 percent of that building is leased to Doubleday Direct Inc., marketer for the 10 book and music clubs of Bantam, Doubleday, Dell. Those operations are part of Bertelsmann A.G., the West German conglomerate that bought Doubleday in 1986.

The pedigree of the property stretches from an era of flamboyant ingenuity that left a distinctive stamp on the landscape. In Garden City, Alexander Stewart had created his model village. And at the Garden City Hotel, designed by Stanford White, William K. Vanderbilt Jr. established the Vanderbilt Cup Race to encourage automobile racing. Vanderbilt and his friends built the 48-mile Long Island Motor Parkway, including 65 bridges, for $3 million.

Glenn Hammond Curtis helped ignite enthusiasm for flying by winning The Scientific American trophy in his Gold Bug at the Island's first organized airfield, blocks from Doubleday. In fact, the Doubleday cornerstone ceremonies were capped by a trip to the Washington Avenue field to watch the fliers. Doubleday, Page later offered a Tiffany silver trophy for the first amateur to fly over Long Island Sound.

Frank Nelson Doubleday was a part of those times. He published Upton Sinclair's ''The Jungle'' after others had turned it away, and Armour & Company threatened to sue for libel over the expose of the Chicago Stock Yards. Doubleday ordered an investigation and brought the evidence to the attention of President Roosevelt, a move that led to new food and drug laws.

Doubleday played golf with Andrew Carnegie and John D. Rockefeller and sought their business advice. They asked his on literary matters.

He traveled to England each summer to meet new authors and became close friends with his first best-selling author, Kipling, who used Doubleday's initials, F. N. D., to form a nickname, Effendi, Turkish for chief. Effendi became one of the most famous names in publishing, and the Doubleday house in Locust Valley was called Effendi Farm.But, Doubleday said, ''Kipling himself never called me anything but Frank all his life.''

The business that began in 1897 as the Doubleday & McClure Company and became, in 1900, Doubleday, Page & Company, was so successful in Manhattan that it outgrew its first two buildings. Although adjourning to the country was in line with the philosophy of its popular magazine Country Life in America, moving a business 22 miles from the epicenter of commerce was not looked upon as wise. Nor was building a lavish printing and production plant.

''Many people prophesied its failure, but the idea of a failure never crossed my mind,'' Doubleday related in an autobiography written for his family and published in part on the 75th anniversary of the company, in 1972. ''When we moved to Garden City, we took a great risk. But we all had in mind that if we could make the success that we thought we could, we might be of benefit to the whole publishing trade and induce others to follow our example. I was never able to figure out why an attractive factory would not make more money than an unattractive one.''

His was one of the few publishing houses to own and operate a complete printing and binding plant. But the structure in Garden City was more like a Tudor manor house than a factory. The showplace of efficient but elegant design was said to be fashioned after King Henry VIII's Hampton Court palace. It was set on landscaped grounds and gardens that became as celebrated as many of the books.

Henry Hicks, an arborist from the Hicks Nurseries in Westbury, helped gather more than 130 species of evergreens to create a miniature arboretum. John Muir, the naturalist, planted a Douglas spruce in a special authors' garden, and a fellow naturalist, John Burroughs, added his favorite tree, a sugar maple.

In addition to an orchard, the site had a greenhouse and, nearby, a laboratory for Radio Broadcast Magazine, where messages from places like Tahiti were received.

Two miles of walks wound through a collection of herbaceous plants, flowering shrubs and annuals, American flower gardens and 300 varieties of rock and alpine plants. Demonstration gardens supplied the employee cafeteria with fresh vegetables and fruits that a Japanese chef turned into culinary treats. A bookstore was open to the public.

The Country Life Press initially produced 6,500 books a day, in addition to several magazines. By 1945, the total was 115,000 books a day.

It had become a mecca for renowned writers and other celebrities. On one of his many trips Conrad gave a speech that befuddled department heads, his nervous spoken English being in dire contrast to his beautifully written prose.

W. Somerset Maugham, called Willi by the Doubleday children, arrived on one of the 60 electric trains a day that stopped at the new railroad station.

Daphne DuMaurier, Sinclair Lewis, Kenneth Roberts, Booth Tarkington and Edna Ferber, whose ''Show Boat'' was printed there in 1926, were among the many who mounted the pink Tennessee marble stairway, admired a dolphin fountain just inside or strolled in the rose arbor and peony and iris gardens while discussing book contracts.

Gertrude Lawrence came out to charm the sales staff when her autobiography, ''A Star Danced,'' was published. In 1924, the Prince of Wales, later to become the Duke of Windsor, stopped twice in one day, before and after the races at Belmont Park. The Prince had known the late Walter Hines Page, when he was Ambassador to the Court of St. James's and wanted to see where Page had worked.

Morley, home from Oxford as a Rhodes scholar, talked Doubleday into hiring him in 1913 as a publicity agent and first reader of manuscripts. ''I was the baby bumpkin of that particular generation of young fry who were learning the publishing business at Country Life Press,'' he wrote later.

He remained through 1917, when his first book, ''Parnassus on Wheels,'' which he persuaded a company secretary to type for him, was published under the house flag.

Industry figures like Alfred A. Knopf, received early training in the red-brick and white-coped building. Ogden Nash toiled in the promotion department. Robert F. DeGraff, founder of Pocket Books and a Doubleday cousin, began there. Dan Longwell was advertising manager when he conceived the idea for a news and picture weekly, an idea that he sold to Henry Luce as Life magazine. Luce also worked there briefly.

The headquarters cost $267,650 to build. The fireproof blend of reinforced concrete, steel, brick and hundreds of windows was originally 490 feet long, with two wings, each 200 deep. A spacious courtyard was paved in red brick and graced with two pools, 300 feet in diameter and accented by elevated fountains, fed by wells on the property.

Stained-glass windows traced the journey of a book from writer to reader. In the center of the front walkway was embedded a brass plate compass that showed the distances between the Country Life Press and points like Madrid, Iceland, the North Pole and the Strait of Magellan.

Under the front steps, which are now crumbling, Frank Doubleday buried the architect's plans for structural changes with which he disagreed. Without the plans, said to still be there, no changes were made.

The Country Life Press was designed so that all the initial 600 employees were within 40 feet of a window, most of which overlooked the courtyard, fountains and gardens.

The design also appeased wary Garden City residents who had not been enthusiastic about the first manufacturing intrusion into their community.

The gardens became a favorite viewing excursion after Sunday church. Isabelle Scriba, 83, who grew up across the street, remembers them as ''a showplace where you took your guests.''

She also recalls seeing the famous Printers Sun Dial at the southern end of the property, where the path led down from a reflecting pool, modeled after one near Rome. The dial, almost enclosed by tall cedars, covered the first century of printing, from Gutenberg in 1455 to Plantin in 1555. Gutenberg, who used no mark, was represented by his Bible, open at the 19th chapter of the Book of Job that includes the 23d verse: ''Oh that my words were now written! Oh that they were printed in a book!''

Above and at the sides of the Bible were 12-hour spaces bearing the marks of 12 early printers, including Aldus. It was crafted in bronze and brasses by the engraving department of the Country Life Press.

A retired printer, Bill Aldridge, 67, of Westbury, remembers a baseball diamond on the grounds, because he played second base for the company team, when he apprenticed at the plant beginning in 1944.

Earlier, there also had been tennis courts and lawn bowling, but as the plant expanded, parking spaces encroached on recreation and garden areas.

Mr. Aldridge was attending Sewanhaka High School in Floral Park when he went to work in the composition shop. ''It was a great experience, especially for a kid,'' he said. ''They gave us five clean uniforms a week and brought us milk on the job. I think the idea of that was to offset any possibility of lead poisoning. I earned 47 1/2 cents an hour and worked 20 hours a week to start. It helped me buy my first car, a 1935 Chevrolet. I remember what a kick I got when they assigned me a number in the parking lot.''

The press had the most up-to-date equipment. It was arranged so that the paper came off freight cars at the northern end and, all on one level, out the southern end onto other freight cars as finished product.

The exhaust from the freight engines supplied steam heat for the plant. Every machine was electrified, powered by the plant generator. Cleanliness was stressed, and a vacuum cleaner with outlets every 75 feet made it a reality.

''It was the cleanest place I ever worked,'' Mr. Aldridge said. ''They were very efficient. We had a saying, 'Everything on wheels, including the men.' ''

He remembers working on Dwight D. Eisenhower's ''Crusade in Europe'' and running errands through the tunnel under Chestnut Street that connected the northern and southern buildings.

On the northern side was the power plant, which became the compositor shop and the data-processing division. The building now has medical offices, owned by a group of Garden City doctors. On the southern side of the street were the color press and bindery in a building that will soon be torn down.

Mr. Aldridge worked in both buildings through 1950. ''They were way ahead of their time,''he said.''The place I worked after that was 10 years behind Doubleday.''

He recalled meeting Nelson Doubleday Sr. on an errand to obtain approval for authors' corrections. The 6-foot-5-inch son of Frank Doubleday had worked at his father's side for years and took over as president in 1928, a year after a merger with the George H. Doran business had made Doubleday, Doran & Company the largest publishing concern in the English-speaking world.

When Frank Doubleday died in 1934, Nelson Doubleday Sr. became chairman, which he remained until his death in 1949. He resigned as president in 1946, the year the board changed the name to Doubleday & Company.

Nelson Doubleday Jr., now a part owner of the New York Mets, was chairman when the company was sold to Bertlesmann for $475 million.

His father, Nelson Sr., described as a shy and diffident man, was a brilliant merchandiser. As a teen-ager, he set up a mail-order business in a shack behind a saloon in Locust Valley with a $500 loan from his father.

He bought magazines returned to Doubleday, Page and sold them by mail at half price as deferred subscriptions. He then used his list to sell books.

With slogans like, ''What's wrong with this picture?'' he sold more than a million copies of ''The Book of Etiquette'' in one year and easily paid off his loan.

His mail-order company became a subsidiary of Doubleday, Page when he joined the company in 1922.

A year later, he established the Garden City Publishing Company as another subsidiary, to sell hard-cover reprints of best sellers, priced at $1, and printed at the Country Life Press.

All his life Nelson Sr. received a penny-a-copy royalty on sales of Kipling's ''Just So Stories,'' because as a child he had suggested the idea to ''Uncle Rud.''

He acquired half interest in the 20,000-member Literary Guild in a croquet match in 1928 and bought it outright in 1934, moving the operation to Garden City. At his death, the guild had 1.2 million members and was the largest major book club at Doubleday.

''The Doubleday shop,'' Nelson Sr. said, ''is a happy shop.'' It had dances and parties and baseball games. A doctor and dentist were on call, and a registered nurse was on duty. Vitamin capsules were available at the drinking fountains.

In World War II, the plant had canteens that sold a wide variety of food at low prices, much of it from the Doubleday plantation in Yemassee, S.C.

Of Nelson Sr., Ferber wrote: ''He was a genius at devising ways to put books into the hands of the unbookish. He thought that books should not be treated as literature only. He thought they should be food. Not caviar, but bread. He would rather have had 10 million people read a book at 50 cents than one million at $5.''

By 1958 the printing had moved from Garden City to other states. But millions of readers continued to be familiar with the Country Life Press as the home of the 26 book clubs.

In his remembrance, ''Effendi,'' Morley wrote: ''It was hard to leave Country Life Press. One could not work in such a place, well ordered and strong as a ship, gardened like a Tudor mansion, without some underlying sense of the meaning of our trade.''

Doubleday Doran Building

Frank Nelson Doubleday 1916

Frank Nelson Doubleday (January 8, 1862 January 30, 1934), known to friends and family as "Effendi", founded the eponymous Doubleday & McClure Company in 1897, which later operated under other names. Starting work at the age of 14 after his father's business failed, Doubleday began with Charles Scribner's Sons in New York.

His son Nelson Doubleday, son-in-law John Turner Sargent, Sr. and grandson Nelson Doubleday, Jr. all worked in the company and led it through different periods. In 1986, after years of changes in the publishing business, his grandson Nelson Doubleday, Jr. as president sold the Doubleday Company to the German group Bertelsmann.

Frank Doubleday was a native of Brooklyn, New York, the son of a hatter and his wife. Early in life, he became fascinated with the printing business. By the age of ten, he had saved up enough money to buy his own printing press. He earned back the cost by printing advertising and news circulars for local businesses, and from that point never left the business. When Doubleday was 14, his father's business failed. The youth had to leave school and find a full-time job.

[edit] CareerHe went to work at the firm of Charles Scribner's Sons in Manhattan for the salary of $3 a week. Doubleday worked 18 years at Scribner's, eventually rising to become the publisher of Scribner's Magazine and head of Scribner's subscription book department. When his relationship with Scribner's soured, Doubleday left the company to go into partnership with Samuel S. McClure, publisher of McClure's Magazine.

They formed the Doubleday & McClure Co. in March 1897. The following year, Doubleday and McClure accepted a contract to manage the great publishing house of Harper & Brothers, at the instigation of their banker, J. Pierpont Morgan. On taking control, Doubleday dug thoroughly through Harper's books and decided that the company's finances were in a shambles; he convinced McClure and Morgan to call off the deal. (Harper had gone heavily into debt in the Panic of 1893, and the extension of copyright to foreign authors in 1891 put a large dent in Harper's principal business, the cheap domestic reprints of respected foreign authors.)

On December 31, 1899, growing tension between Doubleday and McClure led the two men to dissolve their partnership. The following year, Doubleday invited Walter Hines Page, former editor of The Atlantic Monthly, to join him; the new firm was Doubleday, Page & Co.

In 1921, Doubleday bought a controlling interest in the English publisher William Heinemann, after Heinemann died unexpectedly without leaving an heir. In 1927, Doubleday purchased the publishing house of George H. Doran, and his company became Doubleday, Doran & Co.

Marriage and familyDoubleday first married Neltje De Graff (1865-1918), who published several books on gardens and birds. They adopted a boy Felix Doty, then had a son Nelson and daughter Dorothy together. Nelson Doubleday followed his father into the publishing business and served for years as president of the company, to be followed in 1978 by his own son, Nelson Doubleday, Jr.

After Neltje's death, Doubleday later married Florence Van Wyck.

An anglophile, Frank Doubleday spent many working vacations in England exploring authors and publishers for U.S. editions. His personal friends included James Barrie, Andrew Carnegie, Alfred Harcourt, Edward Mandell House, Rudyard Kipling, T. E. Lawrence, Christopher Morley, Mark Twain. Through a cousin, he met John D. Rockefeller and either edited or ghost-wrote Rockefeller's autobiography.

His nickname "Effendi" was given to him by Rudyard Kipling, who derived it from his initials, F.N.D.

Frank Nelson Doubleday with his wife Nellie

1887 Mount Holyoke College

Carrie T. Milliken, Plainfield, N.J.

Children of Samuel Milliken, Plainfield, N.J.

1. Edward F., b. Mar. 23, 1863, now one of the firm of Milliken Brothers, iron merchants, engineers, and contractors, New York City.

2. Foster, b. Mar. 9, 1965; m. Louisa Ward and has one son, Foster. Mr. Milliken is a member of the firm of Milliken Brothers, New York.

3. Carrie, m. James W. de Graff, and resides in Plainfield, N.J.

from Saco Valley Settlements and Families: Historical, Biographical, Genealogical . . .

Muhlenberg Hospital Annual Report

1905 Mrs. Hettie F. Milliken, Edward F. Milliken, Foster Milliken and Mr. and Mrs. James W. DeGraff for the building of the Isolation Pavilion . . . $4,000.00

Muhlenberg Hospital Annual Report

1905 Mrs. Hettie F. Milliken, Edward F. Milliken, Foster Milliken and Mr. and Mrs. James W. DeGraff for the building of the Isolation Pavilion . . . $4,000.00

1915 Mrs. Hettie F. Milliken, for th erection of a Garage and the purchase of an Auto Ambulance . . . $3,400.00

1917 Mrs. Hettie F. Milliken and Anonymous Donor, toward the installation of an Electric Power Plant . . . $4,000.00

Milliken Brothers Bridge: Higginsville Road Bridge North

This bridge is in a unique setting. It is one of two different historic truss bridges that share an earthen pier in the middle of this wide, swampy section of the Raritan river. The two bridges are thus within sight of each other, yet are two different bridges with different builders. Each is historically significant. This setting with two unique bridges makes for a beautiful arrangement that deserved to be preserved. The Historic Bridge Inventory recognized the significance of this unique situation and listed the two bridges as a single historic resource eligible for the National Register of Historic Places, rather than two separate historical resources. Due to their design differences however, they are presented as separate structures on

This bridge was painted an attractive cream color, which is a nice change from the darker colors that so often are painted on truss bridges which are preserved, such as those many olive green bridges seen in the interior of Hunterdon County, which blend right into the trees making them difficult to photograph.

The bridge has been altered/rehabilitated with added tension bars. However, this work did not weld materials to the original eyebars or connection points. As such, the original bridge material and design was not compromised, and as such these alterations are much less adverse than alterations seen on truss bridges elsewhere in New Jersey. The main area in which original bridge material and design has been removed is several locations on the bridge where rivets were replaced with bolts.

This bridge was built by Milliken Brothers, and this is a rare surviving example of their work. The bridge features an attractive plaque listing the builder. The bridge displays uncommon detail at the vertical member, where the built-up beams are riveted angles with v-lacing. This is a lighter weight version of built-up beam more commonly seen in pony truss vertical members, than in through truss vertical members. On through trusses, back-to-back channels connected by two sets of v-lacing are much more common.

Information and Findings From New Jersey's Historic Bridge Inventory
Discussion of Bridge

Summary: The 7-panel pin-connected half hip Pratt thru truss bridge is not only one of the most complete examples of the popular late-19th century bridge type in the region, but it is a rare example of the New York City fabricator Milliken Bros. that operated from 1891 until 1907 when the business failed. Few of their bridges have been documented. The design itself appears to be undistinguished from the host of other Pratt trusses of the era, but the pristine condition of the bridge is remarkable.

Physical Description: The 7-panel pin-connected half hip Pratt thru truss is supported on ashlar abutments. Composed of standardized rolled sections, the bridge has a built-up box member for the top chord and inclined ends posts while the verticals are toe-out angles joined by lacing. The original built-up floor beams are connected to the verticals by U-shaped hangers while the endmost floor beams are carried on full-length hangers, an arrangement mandated by the half hip panel. The latticed portal brace carries the makers plaque. The only apparent alteration to the original design is the replacement of the original railing with modern beam guard rails. It is not known if the bridge is composed of steel and/or iron members. The bridge is extremely well preserved.

Technological and Historical Significance: The Pratt truss was the most common late-19th century bridge type, but few examples in the region are as complete as the Higginsville Road span. It survives in basically unaltered condition and is thus an important example of 19thcentury technology and construction techniques. The bridge works in tandem with the 1893 Pratt thru truss (18A0605) fabricated by the Wrought Iron Bridge Company of Canton, Ohio. That span is immediately north, and the two share a common large earth-filled abutment. The bridge was designed and fabricated by the Milliken Brothers of Brooklyn, New York (1887-1907). There are few documented examples of their work which increases the historical importance of the Higginsville Road span. Milliken Brothers was established in 1887 by brothers Foster and Edward Milliken as the successor to their father's Brooklyn company, Milliken, Smith & Co., agent for the Phoenix Iron Works. In addition to representing the Phoenix Iron Works, the brothers took on structural iron and steel work for buildings, and in 1893, they dropped their association with the Phoenixville company in order to concentrate on fabricating and erecting their own design. Foster Milliken was a structural engineer trained at Columbia University. The company flourished primarily on its structural steel and building operations with branch offices located all over the world. Because of its phenomenal growth, the brothers moved their operation from Brooklyn to a 175-acre plant complete with an open-hearth steel mill on Staten Island in 1903-06. The expansion proved to costly and ambitious, and the firm failed in 1907. Edward Milliken died in 1906, and Foster went on to work for the construction firm of Charles T. Wills. Milliken Bros. is representative of the many small designers/fabricators who dominated 19th-century bridge construction. They obviously learned the trade serving as representatives for another company, and then went off on their own. The pattern is not unusual. Their corporate history is a significant contributor to the understanding of how early metal truss bridges were designed, marketed, and built.

Boundary Description and Justification: This span and the adjacent span (18A0605) are considered as one 2-span resource that is individually distinguished. The boundary is limited to the superstructure and substructure of the 2-span bridge, although the bucolic character of the setting does enhance the context.

Discussion of Surrounding Area

The one-lane bridge is located in a picturesque rural section on the county line with Hunterdon. It carries a quiet country road over the river. A similar Pratt thru truss bridge over the flood plain is located immediately southwest (18A0605), the two spans share a common earth-filled pier. Few bridges in the county are as nicely sited as this important pair of early trusses. The unspoiled crossroads settlement of Higginsville (Hunterdon County) is just west of the bridges.

Bridge Considered Historic By Survey: Yes

Milliken family

The Pennsylvania magazine of history and biography

Notes & Queries

Letter of Baron Gustavus H. de Rosenthal – In the Penna. Mag., Vol. XVIII, pp. 129 et seq., was printed the "Journal of a Volunteer Expedition to Sandusky, from May 24 to June 13, 1732," by Baron de Rosenthal, contributed by his grandson, Baron George Pilar von Pilchau, St. Petersburg, Russian. Through the courtesy of Edward F. Milliken, Esq., of New York, we print an interesting letter of Baron de Rosenthal, addressed to his friend, Alexander Fullerton, of this city, the great-grandfather of Mr. Milliken. To the day of his death Baron de Rosenthal always expressed attachment for the friends he made in the Continental army and during his residence in America.

Mrs. Hettie F. Milliken, in presenting to her son, Edward F. Milliken, the gift of Baron de Rosenthal, writes, "Mr. Lutgers, disregarded the form and bought a vase with little bells around it. As it was simply an ornament, not in the shape desired by Mr. Rose, and had never been even seen by him, my grandparents had it melted and with the addition of sixty Mexican dollars, put into its present shape" – a coffee-pot

August 21, 2012 Marian Hill, President of Garden Club of America inquires about Neltje

From: "" <>

Subject: Re: Neltje Doubleday

Date: August 20, 2012 9:49:46 AM EDT

To: Mary Kent <>


Dear Mary,

I have solved the mystery. Mrs. Doubleday was a founding member of the North Country Garden Club of Long Island.
Thank you for the help and time you have given in this quest!

I look forward to seeing you in October,

On Aug 18, 2012, at 8:50 PM, wrote:

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,

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: "" <>

Subject: Re: Neltje Doubleday
Date: August 18, 2012 8:50:04 PM EDT
To: Mary Kent <>

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,

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 and Terrace View, George A. Bomann, 1326 Evergreen Avenue

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

Residence and Terrace View, George A. Bomann, 1326 Evergreen Avenue

2012 October/November GCA Bulletin

Robert Calvin Brown

NOTE: Undetermined if Robert C. Brown was related to Mrs. Harold S. Brown '34. However, it seems that Robert C. Brown was more than likely related to Mrs. James Wilde (Carrie T. Milliken) deGraff '15

Robert Calvin Brown lived at 1080 Hillside Avenue

Birth: Mar. 8, 1879
Allegheny County
Pennsylvania, USA
Death: Mar. 26, 1945
New York
New York County
New York, USA

graduated in civil engineering at the University of Pittsburgh
spent many years in bridge and steel building construction.
During his later years he was elected to the nine man Board of Directors of the Empire State Corporation where he served as Vice-President and Treasurer. His office was joint with that of Hon. Alfred E. Smith, President of Empire State Corp. This corporation built the Empire State Building which at the time of its completion in May 1931 was the tallest structure in the world. A few years later the University of Pittsburgh conferred the honorary degree of Doctor of Science on Robert C. Brown because of his accomplishments as "operating head of the Empire State Building, Inc."

The New York Times, Published March 27, 1945
Robert C. Brown
Vice President of Empire State Building Dies at 75
Robert Calvin Brown of 150 East Seventy-third Street, vice president, treasurer, and a director of Empire State, Inc., who had been associated with the Empire State Building since its inception, died yesterday of complications induced by a throat infection contracted a week ago. Born in Alexandra, Pa., March 8, 1870, he was a civil engineering graduate of the University of Pittsburgh, which conferred on him a Doctor of Science degree in 1933.
Mr. Brown was vice president and a director of the Thirty-fourth Street-Midtown Association, and treasurer of the Empire State Club.
He leaves a widow, Ada Smith Brown; a daughter, Elizabeth, who is the wife of Maj. J. Nelson Ramsey of the Quartermasters Corps; a son, Capt. Walter N. Brown of the Army Reserve, seven grand-children, and a great-grandchild.

New York Times, published March 28, 1945
BROWN–Robert Calvin, suddenly, on March 26, 1945, beloved husband of Ada Smith Brown, devoted father of Elizabeth B. Ramsey and Walter N. Brown. Services at A. M. Runyon & Son (Home for Services), 900 Park Ave., Plainfield, N.J., on Thursday, at 3 P.M. Train leaves Liberty St. Central R.R.N.J. 2 P.M. Interment private. Pittsburgh and Seattle papers please copy.
BROWN–Robert Calvin. The Officers and Directors of Empire State, Inc., record with deep regret the death of Robert C. Brown, Vice President and Treasurer of the corporation since its formation. Hugh A Drum, President. John J. Raskob, Vice President. J. Holloway Tarry, Secretary.
BROWN–Robert C. The officers and members of the board of governors of the Empire State Club, Inc., regret the sudden passing of Robert C. Brown, treasurer and member of the board from its inception, and hereby extend to his family their deepest sympathy. Orie R. Kelly, President.
BROWN–Robert Calvin. The Officers and Directors of the Holbrook Microfilming Service, Inc., announce with deep regret the death of Robert C. Brown, Vice President and Director of the Corporation. John J. Raskob, President. J. Holloway Tarry, Secretary.

Family links:
Nathaniel Weede Brown (1842 - 1899)
Rachel Huldah Milliken Brown (1844 - 1926)

Ada May Smith Brown (1878 - 1967)*

*Calculated relationship

Hillside Cemetery
Scotch Plains
Union County
New Jersey, USA
Plot: 24-D-3

Created by: Michael Milliken
Record added: Jul 24, 2009
Find A Grave Memorial# 39835829

1894 Washington Park, North Plainfield

A unique feature of social life in Washington Park, North Plainfield, is the Park Club. In it has been demonstrated the possibility of a mixed club of ladies and gentlemen. The club was organized in March 1892. It at once purchased and moved the picturesque clubhouse which had erected for it on Washington Avenue, bordering on Green Brook. Its first officers were: President-Samuel Townsend; Vice-President-William J. Roome; Treasurer-George P. Dupee; Secretary-William L. Saunders.

The scheme of the club orginated in the minds of a few gentlemen, neighboring residents of the park, led by Foster Milliken and W. J. Roome, and organization was determined upon. The consummation of the work, in the purchase of the land and the erection of a clubhouse was largely due to the untiring energy of Mr. Milliken, which kept alive a flagging interest and compelled success. By an expenditure of $10,000, the club owns an attractive brick and shingled house, having on the main floor, which opens upon the street level, a Gothic-roofed assembly room, card and committee rooms, besides a ladies' dressing room.

On the floor below are capacious billiard and bowling rooms, and, as the land slopes from the street to the brook, this lower floor opens upon the level of the club grounds, and looks out on the tennis courts. The membeship numbers 100, of whom 4 are ladies, but every gentelmen's membership gives full club rights (except vote) to the lady members of his household and his sons, when they are expected to become members in their own right. It is roughly estimated that the membership of 100 means that 300 are entitled to club priviledges.

The ladies freely avail themselves of these privileges, and their constant prescence and participation in the active life of the club make it unique in club history.

The favorite club night is Saturday and in the season, it is not an unusual event to have present seventy-five ladies enjoying the club sports or engaging in social chats. Bowling and pool are their favorite excercises below, while dancing, singing and whist are enjoyed up stairs. Under the House Committee, invitation dances are given at intervals during the season, and under Junior Entertainment Committee monthly informal invitation dances are given for the younger set. Tuesday morning is devoted to the ladies exclusively, and then they gather in large numbers for club sports, gossip and tea.

Washington park is a quiet community of homes. A man's club could in no way live there; the participation of the ladies in the life of the Park Club has made club life possible, and to them the club acknoledges its debt. The club has become the centre of the social life of the community, and has made household entertainmnet less imperative and less burdensome. It extends the acquaintance and association of all, and promotes prompt interest in and recognition of desirable newcomers into the neighborhood. The entire debt of the club is represented by $9.500 of 5 per cent bonds, running twenty years, but payable at any time, at the option of the club. It has no other debt, and maintains itself from its revenues, without deficit. Because of the constant presence of ladies and children, no wines or liquors of any kind are permitted upon any part of the club property.

The present officers are: President - St. St. J. McCutchenl Vice-President - B. A. Hegeman, Jr.; Treasurer - George P. Dupee; Secretary - George D. Hallock. Other Governors are Charles A. Reed, George C. Evans, George C. Worth, B.M. Day, and M. S. Taylor.

August 26, 1894 New York Times Article: Plainfield, City of Homes

1938-1939 Meeting Minutes

1918 Meeting Minutes

May 15, 2013 Old Westbury Gardens

Monday Afternoon Club Membership

Monday Afternoon Club Membership

Detwiller blueprints 996 Central

August 8, 2015

Library offers trove of vintage Plainfield home blueprints for sale

Plainfield homeowners and history buffs are getting a one-of-a-kind opportunity as the Plainfield Public Library prepares to offer upwards of 3,000 blueprint originals from its Detwiller Collection for sale to the public.

The blueprints offered for sale are part of a trove of many thousands recovered from a dumpster at City Hall by the late Plainfield architect and artist Charles Detwiller.

While many of Plainfield's grand homes and mansion are among the blueprints (though fewer than originally, owing to some 'fingering' before strict controls were put in place), the appeal of the collection will be stronger for those who live in or admire the more modest vintage homes from the turn of the 20th century to the World War II era.

These homes include many classic Tudors and other 'cottage' and 'revival' styles, as well as 'foursquares', ranches and Cape Cods and more contemporary stules.

These represent the bulk of Plainfield's building stock from its most expansive period and they were often enough improved or expanded – giving rise to the need for plans showing the original building and the proposed alterations to be filed with the City's inspections department.

It is those blueprints, which have now been cataloged and digitized, that are being offered for sale. In library parlance, they have been de-accessioned, meaning that they no longer need be kept permanently by the Library and are available for dispostion to private parties.

The Library has a portal to the Charles Detwiller Blueprint Collection on its website (see here) and has made a complete list of the blueprints for sale also available online (see here).

The list is alphabetized by street name, and then number. However, I would advise reading the Library's instructions closely so you make the proper notations for your request (see here) – easing the staff's task in finding the item(s) in which you are interested. Paying attention to the suggested time frames needed and numbers of items per request will help you avoid headaches. So, please read and follow the instructions carefully – as carpenters like to say, 'measure twice, cut once'.

The sale will run from September 1 to November 13, 2015 in a two-step process –

You check the offerings to find items that interest you, making careful notations; and

You and the Library work out a pick-up appointment, at which you will be able to view the actual items and make a final decision on your purchase.

Single-page blueprints are priced at $50 each and multiple-page sets at $100. Cash or credit cards are fine, but the Library will not accept personal checks.

Proceeds of the sale will be used to finance the further digitization of the blueprint collection – meaning that we can look forward to another offering of materials at some future point.

The Detwiller Collection is absolutely unique in its size and scope, covering decades of Plainfield history and thousands of buildings throughout the city. Plainfield residents owe Charlie Detwiller a debt of gratitude for his perspicacity that cannot be repaid.

And we owe a debt of gratitude to Library Director Joe Da Rold for the vision that saw in these rescued documents an invaluable resource for the community, and devised means and methods of ensuring these fragile records would be available to Plainfield residents permanently through having them digitized.

Mr. Detwiller is the late husband of PGC Honorary member Cath Detwiller. Mr. Detwiller's Aunt Laura was a long-time member of the PGC and a very talented botanical artist. Read about the Detwiller family here:

Detwiller, Mrs. Charles H. (Catherine or "Cath" Campbell), Jr. '57

Detwiller, Miss Laura Cecelia '29

And Mr. Detwiller's in-laws:

Campbell, Mrs. William Hall (Mabel C. Raper) '28

Davis, Mrs. F. Edgar (Dorothy or "Dottie" Campbell) '60

October 31, 2019 Email on Correction.

Good morning!

I was doing some biographical background on Dorcas Maria De Graff, wife of Robert F De Graff. You have a wedding date of June 16, 1927. The date was actually June 19, 1920 and was reported in the June 20, 1920 New York Herald. I'm sure the 7 was just a typing error. Her mother was gravely ill and they had moved up the wedding date from later in the year, but sadly Marie Bomann passed on the 16th. The newspaper did not show in the announcement that the mother had passed but I did find her obituary in the New York Herald. Must have been a difficult day for Dorcas.

Catherine Cramer
Tucson AZ