Anthony R. Kuser

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Monument on High Point, New Jersey

Anthony R. Kuser (May 12, 1862 - February 8, 1929) was a businessman and philanthropist who built the High Point monument and donated the land that makes up New Jersey's highest point.

Biography[edit]

Early life[edit]

He was born in Newark, New Jersey and moved with his family at age 5 to Trenton, New Jersey.

Career[edit]

In, 1889 he was appointed the personal staff of Governor Leon Abbett where he received a nickname of "Colonel." He would serve in a similar capacity for George T. Werts and John W. Griggs.[1]

In 1909, he financed the Kuser-William Beebe Expedition to study birds in Ceylon, India, Burma, the Malay States, Java, Borneo, China and Japan. In 1910, he purchased the High Point Inn from the estate of Charles St. John and proceeded to remodel it into his personal home although he rarely used it.[2] In 1915, he lent $200,000 to William Fox to establish Fox Film Corporation, later merged into 20th Century Fox.[2] He would remain on the Fox board until his death.

Personal life[edit]

On December 1, 1896, he married Susie Fairfield Dryden, daughter of Senator and Prudential Insurance founder John Fairfield Dryden. They had two children John Dryden Kuser, a New Jersey state senator who was the first husband of Brooke Astor and a younger daughter Cynthia both of whom grew up in this mansion in Bernardsville, New Jersey which still stands.[3]

In 1922, he donated his home at High Point along with 10,500 acres (42 km2) for a state park. In 1927, he selected an architect to design a memorial on the summit which was to be modeled on the Bunker Hill Monument. The monument was still under construction when he died. Kuser's mansion at High Point fell into disrepair and was torn down in 1995.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Col. A.R. Kuser Dies; Jersey Capitalist - New York Times - February 9, 1929
  2. ^ a b http://www.njskylands.com/pkhighpt2.htm
  3. ^ Adroit Thief Drugs Then Robs Kusers - Takes $20,000 in Jewels From Home of Son-in-Law of Late Senator Dryden The New York Times, 2 November 1921