Edgar F. Luckenbach

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Edgar F. Luckenbach
Born Edgar Frederick Luckenbach
January 19, 1868
New York City
Died April 26, 1943
Sands Point, New York
Residence Palm Beach, Florida
Sands Point, New York
Nationality American
Occupation President
Employer Luckenbach Steamship Company
Title Commodore
Spouse(s) Florence Bissell
Susan G. Vickers
Andrea Fenwick
(m. 1919-1937)
Children Lewis Luckenbach
Andrea Luckenbach
Edgar F. Luckenbach, Jr.
Parents Lewis Luckenbach and Mary E. Frey

Edgar Frederick Luckenbach, Sr. ( January 19, 1868 - April 26, 1943 ) was an American shipping magnate who inherited his father's steamship company, which he incorporated in 1913 under the name Luckenbach Steamship Company, Inc. (also known as Luckenbach Lines).

Family[edit]

Luckenbach was born in Kingston, New York. His parents, both born in Germany, were Lewis (Ludwig) Luckenbach (died Aug. 18, 1906) and Mary E. Frey (died Jan. 24, 1926). His family then moved to Brooklyn, where Edgar attended public schools. After graduating from high school, Edgar went to Rondout, New York, to join his father in the shipping business, which had been founded in 1850.[1]

Edgar Luckenbach married three times. His first marriage was to Florence Bissell, of Brooklyn. However, she died a few months after their marriage. His next marriage was to Susan Vickers, which terminated in divorce. Finally, he married Andrea Fenwick in 1919, and they remained married until her death at age 50 in 1937.[2] The family lived at Elm Court, their estate in Sands Point, New York, and usually wintered in Palm Beach, Florida.

Luckenbach had one son with his second wife, named Lewis, and two children with his third wife, named Edgar Frederick Luckenbach, Jr. (May 17, 1925 - August 9, 1974) and Andrea (d. April 1, 1962 at the age of 41[3]). In his later life, Luckenbach had a tumultuous relationship with his daughter. After her marriage to William Dobbs in 1939, a man of whom he did not approve, Luckenbach refused to give her any money for support. Andrea was then forced to withdraw early from her trust fund, which was set up by her grandmother.[4] When just 33 years old, Andrea was shot four times by her estranged 3rd husband Frederick O. Hammer in June 1954 in the paddock of the Delaware Park race course, but survived.[5]

Business[edit]

When Edgar Luckenbach joined his father's company, the business was strictly for towing boats on the Hudson River. It then grew to include salvage and clipper ships, and finally Luckenbach began to acquire steamships. When Lewis Luckenbach died in 1906, his son succeeded him as president and moved the company to 120 Wall Street in Manhattan. At that time, his ships sailed all over the world, engaging in trade.[6]

After the First World War, Luckenbach decided it was in the best interest of the company to focus on domestic trade. He established terminal facilities throughout the United States, including in Brooklyn, Philadelphia, Mobile and Galveston.

Luckenbach was also a strong advocate of Federal control of shipping rates.[7]

The company played a large role in ship operations during both world wars. A claim Edgar Luckenbach liked to make was that his ships shuttled more soldiers between America and Europe than any other steamship company. Four Luckenbach ships were sunk during the First World War, and a fifth was crippled so that it had to be towed back to shore.

During World War II, the Luckenbach Steamship Co. was once again called into action by the military. At the onset of the war, the company had twenty-three ships. Luckenbach ships ferried soldiers between Europe and the United States again throughout the war.[8]

Personal interests[edit]

Luckenbach was very active in club affairs. He was a member of the Atlantic Yacht Club, Sands Point Bath Club, New York Yacht Club, the Turf and Field Club, the United Hunts Club and the Everglades Club of Palm Beach.[9]

In business, he was a member of the Maritime Association of the Port of New York, the Commerce and Industry Association of New York and the New York Produce Exchange. He was elected president of the American Steamship Owners Association in 1927, but refused the post because of his busy business.[10]

He was also an avid horseman. His saddle mare, Lucky Nira, won many horse shows throughout the 1920s and 1930s. His third wife, Andrea, also held many horse shows at their country estate.

Death[edit]

After months of declining health, Edgar F. Luckenbach died at his estate, Elm Court, in Sands Point, New York, on April 26, 1943. He was 75 years old.

A few years after his death, the 104 acres (0.42 km2) Elm Court estate was put up for auction. It consisted of a 22-room main house, a 12-room dwelling, a 4-room cottage, a 7-room house and two 8-room homes. Also on the estate were a six-car and a four-car garage, greenhouses, orchards, a chicken coop and a bathhouse on the beach.[11] The estate later became the campus of Sands Point Country Day School, also known as Sands Point Academy, a school for gifted children, which operated there from 1954 to 1973.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "E. F. LUCKENBACH, SHIPPING MAN, DIES; Head of Steamship Company Founded by His Father and Bearing Family Name TRANSPORTED U.S. TROOPS Four Vessels Lost in the First World War -- Country Served by Ships in Present Conflict.". New York Times. April 27, 1943. Retrieved 2009-02-20. 
  2. ^ "MRS. EDGAR LUCKENBACH; Wife of President of Steamship Line Dies of Pneumonia.". New York Times. January 11, 1937. Retrieved 2009-02-20. 
  3. ^ "Mrs. Luckenbach, 41, A Shipping Heiress". The New York Times. April 3, 1962. 
  4. ^ "LUCKENBACH HEIRESS GETS $2,000 OF TRUST; Girl Who Renounced Wealth to Wed Salesman Cites Needs.". New York Times. July 7, 1939. Retrieved 2009-02-20. 
  5. ^ "HUSBAND WOUNDS HEIRESS AT TRACK; Andrea Luckenbach Hammer Shot by Estranged Spouse in Delaware Park Paddock". The New York Times. June 29, 1954. 
  6. ^ "E. F. LUCKENBACH, SHIPPING MAN, DIES; Head of Steamship Company Founded by His Father and Bearing Family Name TRANSPORTED U.S. TROOPS Four Vessels Lost in the First World War -- Country Served by Ships in Present Conflict.". New York Times. April 27, 1943. Retrieved 2009-02-20. 
  7. ^ "E. F. LUCKENBACH, SHIPPING MAN, DIES; Head of Steamship Company Founded by His Father and Bearing Family Name TRANSPORTED U.S. TROOPS Four Vessels Lost in the First World War -- Country Served by Ships in Present Conflict.". New York Times. April 27, 1943. Retrieved 2009-02-20. 
  8. ^ "E. F. LUCKENBACH, SHIPPING MAN, DIES; Head of Steamship Company Founded by His Father and Bearing Family Name TRANSPORTED U.S. TROOPS Four Vessels Lost in the First World War -- Country Served by Ships in Present Conflict.". New York Times. April 27, 1943. Retrieved 2009-02-20. 
  9. ^ "E. F. LUCKENBACH, SHIPPING MAN, DIES; Head of Steamship Company Founded by His Father and Bearing Family Name TRANSPORTED U.S. TROOPS Four Vessels Lost in the First World War -- Country Served by Ships in Present Conflict.". New York Times. April 27, 1943. Retrieved 2009-02-20. 
  10. ^ "E. F. LUCKENBACH, SHIPPING MAN, DIES; Head of Steamship Company Founded by His Father and Bearing Family Name TRANSPORTED U.S. TROOPS Four Vessels Lost in the First World War -- Country Served by Ships in Present Conflict.". New York Times. April 27, 1943. Retrieved 2009-02-20. 
  11. ^ "LUCKENBACH AUCTION SET; 104-Acre Properties at Sands Point to Be Sold Aug. 9.". New York Times. July 27, 1947. Retrieved 2009-02-20.