Henry F. Dimock

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Henry F. Dimock (March 28, 1842 – April 10, 1911) was a lawyer in New York City who was closely associated with the Whitney family business interests.

Dimock was born in South Coventry, Connecticut, the son of Timothy and Laura F. (Booth) Dimock. The family were descended from Thomas Dimock, who came from England to Dorchester, Massachusetts, in 1637, and later settled in Barnstable, Massachusetts. Henry Dimock was a distant cousin of Ira Dimock (1827-1917), silk manufacturer, and Dr. Susan Dimock (1847-1875), early female physician who perished in the wreck of the SS Schiller in the Scilly Islands.[1]

He was graduated from Yale University in 1863, where he was a member of Skull and Bones,[2] and from Harvard Law School in 1865. In the latter year he commenced the practice of law in New York City.

He married Susan Collins Whitney, whose siblings included Henry Melville Whitney, industrialist; William Collins Whitney, financier and Secretary of the Navy: and Lucy Collins "Lily" Whitney, wife of banker Charles T. Barney. They resided in New York City at 25 60th Street, corner of Madison Avenue, and also had a summer home at Bar Harbor, Maine. Henry and Susan Dimock were the parents of a daughter, Susan M. Dimock, whose marriage to Cary Talcott Hutchinson was solemnized at the Dimock residence on April 30, 1901.[3]

From 1875 until 1881 he was dock commissioner for the Port of New York. In 1875 Governor Samuel J. Tilden appointed Dimock to a committee to devise plans for the improvement of city government in the state. It was in this capacity that he took part in a debate on municipal finance reform in October 1877.[4] In May 1881 he declined reappointment as dock commissioner by Mayor William R. Grace.[5]

Dimock became interested in the Metropolitan Steamship Company, serving as the line's New York agent. He was also a director and a large shareholder, and in 1884 the company honored him by naming its new 2,625-ton steamer H.F. Dimock.

In 1890 Dimock joined William C. Whitney, Charles T. Barney, W.E.D. Stokes, Francis W. Jenks, and others in forming the New York Loan and Improvement Company. He served on the board of directors of this concern, which was responsible for the development of the Washington Heights section of New York City.

While on her customary voyage from New York to Boston when on July 24, 1892, in the Vinyard Sound the H.F. Dimock collided with William K. Vanderbilt's yacht, the Alva, sinking her. Captain Morrison of the Alva filed suit against the H.F. Dimock, but both the United States District Court for Massachusetts and the United States Supreme Court ruled against him.[6]

Dimock joined Henry Melville Whitney in establishing the Dominion Coal Company Ltd. in 1893 and the Dominion Iron and Steel Company Ltd. in 1899 to exploit the mineral resources of the Sydney district of Cape Breton Island. Dimock served on the boards of both companies.

He was also a director of the McCall Ferry Power Company, Boston & Maine Railroad, Knickerbocker Trust Company, and the Metropolitan Steamship Company. Dimock was a member of the Society of Mayflower Descendants and of the University, Manhattan, Metropolitan, Down Town, Barnard, Lawyers, and Democratic clubs of New York City. He was also holder of box 19 at the Metropolitan Opera.[7]

Dimock was elected a director of the Yale Corporation, the governing body of Yale University, in 1899 and reelected in 1905. His name had already been placed in nomination for another term when he suffered a heart attack on March 4, 1911. He suffered a paralytic stroke that affected his right side on April 1. After two days in a coma, he died at his residence on April 10, 1911.[8]

Some five years after his death, the site of his home at Madison Avenue and 60th Street was leased to the Guaranty Trust Company for the construction of a new office building.[9]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Another kinswoman was Heartie Dimock, wife of Chauncey Griggs of Toland, Connecticut. The Griggs' son, Colonel Chauncey W. Griggs (1832-1910), was an early business associate of James J. Hill's. Henry Hunt and F.C. Kaylor, Washington, West of the Cascades, Vol. II, p. 128. Seattle: The S.J. Clarke Publishing Company, 1917.
  2. ^ Millegan, Kris (2003). "The Skeleton Crew". Fleshing Out Skull and Bones: Investigations into America's Most Powerful Secret Society. Walterville, OR: Trine Day. pp. 597–690. ISBN 0-9720207-2-1.  "This list is compiled from material from the Order of Skull and Bones membership books at Sterling Library, Yale University and other public records. The latest books available are the 1971 Living members and the 1973 Deceased Members books. The last year the members were published in the Yale Banner is 1969."
  3. ^ "Hutchinson-Dimock", The New York Times, May 1, 1901.
  4. ^ The New York Times, October 23, 1877.
  5. ^ "Mr. Dimock Makes Reply. A Justification of His Conduct as Dock Commissioner", The New York Times, May 8, 1881.
  6. ^ "The Alva-Dimock Decision. Points Made in It That Are Interesting to Lawyers", The New York Times, January 5, 1893.
  7. ^ Eric Homberger, Mrs. Astor's New York. Money and Social Power in a Gilded Age, pp. 233-234. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2002.
  8. ^ "Henry F. Dimock Dead. Financier and Yale Corporation Director and Former Dock Commissioner", The New York Times, April 11, 1911.
  9. ^ "The Real Estate Field. Guaranty Trust Company Leases Dimock Home on Madison Avenue for New Uptown Branch", The New York Times, August 16, 1916.