Helen Miller Shepard

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"Helen Miller Gould" redirects here. For the schooner, see Helen Miller Gould (schooner).
For her niece, the socialite and philanthropist, see Helen Vivien Gould.
Helen Miller Gould Shepard
Helen Gould.jpg
Born Helen Miller Gould
(1868-06-20)June 20, 1868
Manhattan
Died December 21, 1938(1938-12-21) (aged 70)
Roxbury, New York
Occupation Socialite
Spouse(s) Finlay Johnson Shepard (1867–1942)
Parents Jay Gould
Helen Day Miller (1838–1889)
Relatives George Jay Gould I, brother
Edwin Gould I, brother
Anna Gould, sister
Frank Jay Gould, brother
Helen Miller Gould Shepard in 1915.jpg

Helen Miller Gould Shepard (June 20, 1868 – December 21, 1938) was an American philanthropist born in Manhattan in New York City.[1]

Birth[edit]

Born as Helen Miller Gould she was the first-born daughter of Jay Gould and Helen Day Miller (1838-1889).[1] Her sister Anna Gould was another prominent heiress.[2]

Marriage[edit]

She attended New York University School of Law, and she married Finley Johnson Shepard (1867-1942) on January 22, 1913.[3][4][5]

They adopted three children and had one foster child, Louis Seton. The adopted children were:

  • Finley Jay (named for Finley Johnson Shepard and Jay Gould), a three-year-old abandoned child who was found on the steps of Manhattan's St Patrick's Cathedral in 1914,
  • Olivia Margaret (named for Helen's dear friend Mrs. Russell Sage),
  • Helen Anna (named for Helen and her sister, Anna).

Helen had also cared for her brother Frank Gould's twin daughters, Helen Margaret and Dorothy (b. 1904) by his first wife, Helen Kelly.[6]

American Bible Society[edit]

In 1918 she and Emma Baker Kennedy (c1833-1930) became the first female vice presidents of the American Bible Society.

Philanthropy[edit]

At the commencement of the Spanish-American War, she donated US$100,000 to the United States government in support of the war. She gave an additional US$50,000 toward military hospital supplies and was active in the Women's National War Relief Association,[5] working in a hospital for wounded soldiers. She donated the library building at New York University and began the Hall of Fame. She gave US$10,000 for the engineering school. She gave additional contributions to Rutgers College. Both the YMCA and the YWCA benefited from her contributions, as well as other organizations. She was a member of the board of the Russell Sage Foundation and of the national board of the YWCA.[5]

Golf Course[edit]

She purchased Shepard Hills in Roxbury, New York including Kirkside Lake. The facility originally produced ice for the Roxbury in the winter months and the lake was used for recreation for the community in the summer months. Construction of the 9 hole golf course began around 1916 and upon completion served her estate.[1]

Death[edit]

She died on December 21, 1938 and was buried in the family mausoleum on December 23, 1938.[7][8]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "Shepard Hills Golf Course". Roxbury, New York. Archived from the original on 2006-05-24. Retrieved 2008-07-18. Shepherd Hills was originally part of the estate of Helen Gould Shepard, daughter of railroad magnate Jay Gould, a Roxbury native son. She purchased the property which included Kirkside Lake, the facility that supplied ice for the village in the winter months and recreation for the community in the summer. Construction of the 9 hole facility began around 1916 and upon completion served as an estate golf course which included a stone cottage for the Shepard's summer visitors. Upon the death of Finley Shepard it was deeded to their daughter Helen Anna and remained in the family until 1972 when it was sold to a private developer. At this time the course was leased to the Shephard Hills Golf Association becoming a membership driven organization open to the public. 
  2. ^ "Useful Daughter". Time (magazine). January 2, 1939. Retrieved 2007-06-18. When the late Jay Gould, maker and breaker of railroads, lay dying, his devoted daughter Helen, then 24, was a constant attendant at his bedside. Last week at Roxbury, New York, Jay Gould's birthplace, she died, after a stroke, an extraordinary daughter of an extraordinary father, of an extraordinary family. 
  3. ^ "Helen Against Revolution". Time magazine. January 25, 1932. Retrieved 2008-07-30. It was not until 1913 that she married Railman Finley Johnson Shepard. In the 45 years of her spinsterhood—she was plain, plump, not much concerned with "Society"—she dedicated herself to good works while her brothers and sister went out in the world. She scarcely approved of Sister Anna, who spent much money, married successively Count Boniface ("Boni") de Castellane and the Duc de Talleyrand; or smart Brother Frank Jay twice-divorced, who dabbled (and still does) in French gambling palaces; or her late Brother George Jay, whose second wife (Guinevere Sinclair) bore him three children before he married her in 1921. Helen Gould stayed by her father, who trained her in finance, took her in his confidence before he died of tuberculosis in 1892. 
  4. ^ "Helen Gould Weds. Her Hudson Home a Floral Garden for Her Marriage to Finley J. Shepard.". New York Times. January 23, 1913. Retrieved 2007-06-18. The wedding of Miss Helen Miller Gould and Finley J. Shepard, Eastern representative of the Missouri Pacific Railroad, part of the great railroad system created by Jay Gould, the bride's father, was solemnized yesterday at 12:30 o'clock at Lyndhurst, the magnificent country estate of the bride at Tarrytown-on-the-Hudson. 
  5. ^ a b c Wikisource-logo.svg Rines, George Edwin, ed. (1920). "Shepard, Helen Miller". Encyclopedia Americana. 
  6. ^ Snow, Alice Northrop (1943). The Story of Helen Gould. F. H. Revell. 
  7. ^ "1,500 In Tribute To Mrs. Shepard; Society, Finance And Patriotic And Religious Groups Are Represented At Service Her Charities Win Praise Dr. Sizoo Conducts Funeral. Dr. Samuel M. Zwemer Delivers Eulogy. Dr. Zwemer Gives Eulogy Among Relatives Present.". New York Times. December 24, 1938. Retrieved 2007-06-18. Leaders in society and finance joined with representatives of many patriotic and religious organizations in tribute to Mrs. Finley J. Shepard, philanthropist, at funeral services yesterday at the Collegiate Reformed Church of St. Nicholas, Fifth Avenue and Forty-eighth Street. More than 1,500 persons, 
  8. ^ "Mrs. F. J. Shepard Dies of a Stroke. Former Helen Gould, Famous for Philanthropy, Stricken at Her Summer Home Gave Away Much of Fortune. Mrs. Finley J. Shepard Is Stricken at 70. Philanthropist and Daughter of Jay Gould Got Permission to Marry. Wed at Lyndhurst. Benefactions in War With Spain. Descendant of Pioneers.". New York Times. December 21, 1938. Retrieved 2007-06-18. Mrs. Finley J. Shepard of New York, the former Helen Gould, who was famous for her philanthropies in many fields, died at her Summer home here at 12:15 this morning, after being in a coma for more than 24 hours. She had suffered an apoplectic stroke ten days ago, and had been ill for two months. Her age was 70 years.