Anne Harriman Vanderbilt

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Anne Harriman Vanderbilt
Anne Harriman Sands Rutherfurd, the wife of William Kissam Vanderbilt circa 1915.jpg
Anne, circa 1915
Anne Harriman

(1861-02-17)February 17, 1861
DiedApril 20, 1940(1940-04-20) (aged 79)
New York City, New York, U.S.
Samuel Stevens Sands II
(m. 1884; his death 1889)

Lewis Morris Rutherfurd, Jr.
(m. 1890; his death 1901)

William Kissam Vanderbilt
(m. 1903; his death 1920)
ChildrenGeorge Winthrop Sands
Samuel Stevens Sands III
Barbara Rutherfurd
Margaret Stuyvesant Rutherfurd
Parent(s)Oliver Harriman
Laura Low Harriman
RelativesOliver Harriman, Jr. (brother)
J. Borden Harriman (brother)
Herbert M. Harriman (brother)
E. H. Harriman (cousin)
AwardsLégion d'Honneur

Anne Harriman Sands Rutherfurd Vanderbilt (February 17, 1861 – April 20, 1940) was an American heiress known for her marriages to prominent men[1] and her role in the development of the Sutton Place neighborhood as a fashionable place to live.[2]

Early life[edit]

The William K. Vanderbilt House on Fifth Avenue, New York City. Although originally the house of W.K. Vanderbilt, Alva Erskine Smith maintained ownership of the Petit Chateau after she divorced W.K. Vanderbilt in 1895. She would also keep the Marble House in Newport, and custody of the couples 3 children. Anne Harriman Vanderbilt never resided in 660 5th Avenue.

Anne Harriman was born on February 17, 1861. She was one of eight children born to banker Oliver Harriman (1829–1904) and Laura (née Low) Harriman (1834–1901).[3] Her siblings included Oliver Harriman, Jr. (b. 1862), J. Borden Harriman (b. 1864), and Herbert M. Harriman (b. 1873).[4] Her first cousin, E. H. Harriman, was the father of Governor W. Averell Harriman.[1]

Society life[edit]

In 1903, along with Anne Morgan and Elisabeth Marbury, Anne helped organize the Colony Club, the first women's social club in New York.[5] They engaged Stanford White, then New York's most famous architect, to design the interiors of the Club.[6]

Anne was also known for her philanthropy and for devoting "herself to those less fortunate".[5] She financed the construction of the "open-stair" apartment houses, four large buildings that contained almost 400 apartments on Avenue A (now known as York Avenue) in Manhattan. The buildings were created to house tuberculosis patients. Vanderbilt donated $1,000,000 and the buildings were completed in 1910.[7]

In 1916, she hosted a fundraiser for the war sufferers of Venice.[8]

In 1919, she was made a Knight of the Légion d'Honneur by the French government and in 1932, she received the rank of Officer of the Légion d'Honneur.[1]


1 Sutton Place North

In 1921, she also sold their country home, "Stepping Stones", in Wheatley Hills in Jericho on Long Island for $500,000 to Ormond Gerald Smith.[9] The estate was around 125 acres and had a home commissioned by her late husband and designed by John R. Hill.[9]

In 1921, Anne then purchased the former home of Effingham B. Sutton, at 1 Sutton Place, for $50,000 in the then new neighborhood of Sutton Place, also in Manhattan.[10] Before her move, along with Elizabeth Marbury, Anne Morgan,[11] her sister, Emeline Harriman Olin, second wife of Stephen Henry Olin, the neighborhood was known as a squalid place.[6] Vanderbilt, Marbury, and Morgan each hired Mott B. Schmidt (1889–1977),[12] an American architect best known for his buildings in the American Georgian Classical style,[13] to build, or in Vanderbilt's case, renovate homes in the neighborhood.[14] The society pages of The New York Times scoffed at their relocation and referred to the areas as an "Amazon Enclave."[6]

Mott transformed the home into a thirteen-room townhouse with terraced gardens that overlooked the East River.[15] The cost of the home renovation was approximately $75,000 in 1921.[16] Vanderbilt had Elsie de Wolfe design the interiors.[10] The terrace, done by Renee Prahar, featured two center pillars with ornamental monkeys holding globes of light in their hands.[17] By January 1929, The Times changed their tune and wrote:[2]

Five years ago, when Mrs. William K. Vanderbilt established her residence in Sutton Place overlooking the East River, it was little dreamed that within so short a time such a marked migration from mid-Manhattan to the East River district would occur as is now in full swing. In the unbroken line of new apartments, lining Fifty-seventh Street almost solidly from Second Avenue to Sutton Place, those who doubted the wisdom of Mrs. Vanderbilt's move have found a convincing answer to their conjectures as to the ultimate success of the Sutton Place movement.[2]


First Colony Club House, New York City, NY

She married firstly sportsman Samuel Stevens Sands II (1856–1889),[18] the son of Samuel Stevens Sands (1827-1892), the head of S.S. Sands Co.[19] Before his death from a fall during a hunt at Meadow Brook, she had two sons by Sands:[20]

  • George Winthrop Sands (1885–1908),[21] who was married to Tayo Newton, daughter of Dr. B. Newton of New York, in 1905.[22]
  • Samuel Stevens Sands III (1884–1913), who married Gertrude Sheldon, daughter of George R. Sheldon, in 1910.[23]

Her second marriage was on June 16, 1890 to Lewis Morris Rutherfurd, Jr. (1834–1901), son of the astronomer Lewis Morris Rutherfurd and brother to Winthrop Rutherfurd. Before his death, she had two daughters by Rutherford:

On April 29, 1903, she married her third husband, William Kissam Vanderbilt (1849–1920), in London.[40] Vanderbilt, who had previously been married to Alva Smith and divorced in 1895, was the son of William Henry Vanderbilt and Maria Louisa Kissam. He was the father of Consuelo Vanderbilt, William Kissam Vanderbilt II, and Harold Stirling Vanderbilt.[41] They also remained married until his death. She had no children by Vanderbilt.[33]

Death and burial[edit]

Anne died on April 20, 1940.[1] She was buried inside The Vanderbilt mausoleum at the Moravian Cemetery, designed by Richard Morris Hunt and constructed in 1885–1886, part of the family's private section within the cemetery. Their mausoleum is a replica of a Romanesque church in Arles, France. The landscaped grounds around the Vanderbilt mausoleum were designed by Frederick Law Olmsted. The Vanderbilt section is not open to the public.[42]


  1. ^ a b c d World, Times Wide (21 April 1940). "MRS. VANDERBILT DIES IN HOSPITAL; Widow of W. K. and Daughter of Late Oliver Harriman Noted for War Work and Charities". The New York Times. Retrieved 7 May 2017.
  2. ^ a b c "DE LUXE APARTMENTS REPLACE EAST SIDE TENEMENTS; Big Realty Increases. Prominent Operators. $7,000,000 Watergate Project. Bridge Plaza Improvements. 1928 Construction List". The New York Times. 6 January 1929. Retrieved 21 July 2017.
  3. ^ "DEATH OF OLIVER HARRIMAN.; Prominent in City's Commercial and Social Life for Many Years". The New York Times. 13 March 1904. Retrieved 19 July 2017.
  4. ^ "OLIVER HARRIMAN'S ESTATE $20,000,000; Surrogate Silkman Admits His Will to Probate". The New York Times. 10 April 1904. Retrieved 19 July 2017.
  5. ^ a b Smith, Sarah Harrison (June 11, 2000). "Ladies and Not-So-Gentle Women". The New York Times. Retrieved 21 July 2017.
  6. ^ a b c Wallace, David (2012). Capital of the World: A Portrait of New York City in the Roaring Twenties. Rowman & Littlefield. pp. 207–208. ISBN 9780762768196. Retrieved 21 July 2017.
  7. ^ "Anne Harriman Sands Rutherfurd Vanderbilt 1861-1940". Retrieved 21 July 2017.
  8. ^ "TABLEAUX IN HOME OF MRS. VANDERBILT | Society Women Posing in Venetian Paintings Clear $5,000 for War Sufferers. | THE 'MADONNA ENTHRONED | Depicted by Miss Rutherfurd, Cyril Hatch, and Dudley Morgan -- Nijinski, Carpaccio's Gondolier". The New York Times. 26 April 1916. Retrieved 19 July 2017.
  9. ^ a b "Mrs. W.K. Vanderbilt Sells Country Home, "Stepping Stones," to Ormond G. Smith". The New York Times. 19 January 1921. Retrieved 21 July 2017.
  10. ^ a b "MRS. W.K. VANDERBILT TO LIVE IN AVENUE A; Quitting 5th Av., Buys Home in Sutton Place, at Foot of East 57th Street. JOINS THE NEW COLONY East Side Section to Become a Centre for New York Society Leaders". The New York Times. 9 January 1921. Retrieved 21 July 2017.
  11. ^ "MISS MORGAN JOINS EAST SIDE COLONY; She Is Having House in Exclusive Sutton Place Improved for Her Occupancy. OTHER NOTABLES THERE Mrs. W.K. Vanderbilt Started Movement in Direction of East River a Year Ago". The New York Times. 15 October 1921. Retrieved 21 July 2017.
  12. ^ "SUTTON PLACE BUILDING.; Work Started on Mrs. Vanderbilt's New East Side Home". The New York Times. 27 March 1921. Retrieved 21 July 2017.
  13. ^ "About Mott Schmidt". The Architecture of Mott B. Schmidt. Retrieved September 8, 2012.
  14. ^ Smith, Mark Alan. "About Mott Schmidt: Beginnings and Sutton Place". The Architecture of Mott B. Schmidt. Retrieved September 8, 2012.
  15. ^ Gaines, Steven (2005). The Sky's the Limit: Passion and Property in Manhattan. Little, Brown. ISBN 9780759513884. Retrieved 21 July 2017.
  16. ^ "VANDERBILT PLANS FILED; Cost of Her Sutton Place Residence Estimated at $75,000". The New York Times. 10 March 1921. Retrieved 21 July 2017.
  17. ^ "MONKEYS ADORN TERRACE.; Novel Decoration for Mrs. W.K. Vanderbilt's Sutton Place Home". The New York Times. 9 February 1922. Retrieved 21 July 2017.
  18. ^ "Obituary -- SANDS". The New York Times. 24 March 1889. Retrieved 19 July 2017.
  19. ^ "SAMUEL STEVENS SANDS". The New York Times. 26 July 1892. Retrieved 19 July 2017.
  20. ^ "SANDS HEIRS HAVE $434,476; Ogden Mills and Mrs. W.K. Vanderbilt, Guardians, File Their Reports". The New York Times. 4 May 1916. Retrieved 19 July 2017.
  21. ^ Times, Special Cable To The New York (30 July 1908). "LONDON HEARS OF ACCIDENT.; Reported at First Victim Was W.K. Vanderbilt". The New York Times. Retrieved 19 July 2017.
  22. ^ Times, Special To The New York (19 December 1908). "SANDS ESTATE ONLY $2,000.; Little Left by Son of Mrs. W.K. Vanderbilt, Killed in Auto Wreck". The New York Times. Retrieved 19 July 2017.
  23. ^ Times, Special To The New York (3 July 1913). "S. STEVENS SANDS KILLED UNDER AUTO; Speeding to His Wife, as Was His Brother, Who Met the Same Fate in France". The New York Times. Retrieved 19 July 2017.
  24. ^ "BARBARA RUTHERFURD SUCCUMBS IN FRANCE; Colonial Leaders' Descendant Aided Red Cross in War". The New York Times. 6 August 1939. Retrieved 19 July 2017.
  25. ^ "MISS. RUTHERFURD TO BE MRS. C. HATCH | Mrs. Win. K. Vanderbilt, Sr.'s, Daughter Barbara Is Engaged to Clubman. | ACTIVE IN WAR CHARITIES | Bride to-be Is Granddaughter of the late Mr. and Mrs. Oliver Harriman -- Wedding Soon". The New York Times. 21 April 1916. Retrieved 19 July 2017.
  26. ^ "MISS RUTHERFURD, CYRIL HATCH'S BRIDE; Younger Daughter of Mrs. Wm. K. Vanderbilt, Sr., Married in Fifth Avenue Home. FAMILY ONLY IS PRESENT Stepfather Gives Bride, 21, In Marriage;-Bridegroom Is 38 ;- Honeymoon Trip to Far West". The New York Times. 23 June 1916. Retrieved 19 July 2017.
  27. ^ Social Register, New York. Social Register Association. 1920. p. 314. Retrieved 19 July 2017.
  28. ^ "RUTHERFURD L. HATCH; Member of New York Family of Social Prominence Dies". The New York Times. 14 April 1947. Retrieved 19 July 2017.
  29. ^ Times, Special To The New York (26 September 1920). "MRS. HATCH DIVORCE IN PARIS REPORTED; Daughter of Mrs. W.K. Vanderbilt, Sr., Free, Says FamilyRepresentative". The New York Times. Retrieved 19 July 2017.
  30. ^ "Heaven Sent". An Aesthete's Lament. 28 September 2011. Retrieved 19 July 2017.
  31. ^ "MRS. B. R. HATCH WED OOM DISCIPLE; Daughter of Mrs. Win. K. Vanderbilt Married Winfield J. Nicholls, Artist, Aug. 11 | KEPT MARRIAGE SECRET | Sir Paul and Lady Dukes at Ceremony Before Peace Justice in New City -- Bride Also in Cult". The New York Times. 27 August 1924. Retrieved 19 July 2017.
  32. ^ Times, Special To The New York (25 March 1979). "Suzanne Nicholls Bride of John Thorndike". The New York Times. Retrieved 19 July 2017.
  33. ^ a b "VANDERBILT WILL ESTABLISHES TRUST; Mrs. M.M. Sprague, Daughter, and Grandchildren Are Chief Beneficiaries". The New York Times. 4 May 1940. Retrieved 19 July 2017.
  34. ^ "NICHOLLS PAPERS SERVED; Copies in Annulment Action Left at Homes by Court Order". The New York Times. 26 July 1928. Retrieved 19 July 2017.
  35. ^ "W.J. NICHOLLS SUES FOR DIVORCE IN RENO; Desertion Charged to Daughter of Mrs. W.K. Vanderbilt--Couple Wed at "Love Cult" Colony". The New York Times. 10 September 1930. Retrieved 19 July 2017.
  36. ^ Times, Special To The New York (16 September 1930). "W.J. NICHOLLS GETS DIVORCE AT RENO; Freed From Former Barbara Rutherfurd". The New York Times. Retrieved 19 July 2017.
  37. ^ Aitken, William Benford (1912). Distinguished Families in America, Descended from Wilhelmus Beekman and Jan Thomasse Van Dyke. Knickerbocker Press. Retrieved 7 May 2017.
  38. ^ "MRS. OGDEN L. MILLS WEDS SIR PAUL DUKES; Daughter of Mrs. W.K. Vanderbilt Is Secret Bride of Ex-British War Spy in Russia. COUPLE SAILED LAST FRIDAY Both Had Been Members of Omnipotent Oom's Mystic Colony in Nyack". The New York Times. 18 October 1922. Retrieved 21 July 2017.
  39. ^ "Mrs. M. S. Rutherfurd Wed To F. L. Sprague" (PDF), The New York Times, New York City, 27 November 1939. Margaret was the daughter of Anne Harriman, the second wife of William Kissam Vanderbilt, and her second husband, Lewis Morris Rutherfurd, son of the astronomer Lewis Morris Rutherfurd. After divorcing Dukes, Margaret Rutherfurd successively married Charles Michel Joachim Napoléon, Prince Murat, and Frederick Leybourne Sprague (1907–1993).
  40. ^ "W. K. VANDERBILT'S COMING MARRIAGE; Mrs. Lewis Morris Rutherfurd the Prospective Bride. The Wedding Arranged to Take Place April 29 at the Home of Secretary White of the American Embassy in London". The New York Times. 22 April 1903. Retrieved 19 July 2017.
  41. ^ "W.K. VANDERBILT LEFT $54,530,966; TWO SONS GET BULK; He Gave Daughter $5,000,000, When She Became the Duchess of Marlborough. WIDOW GETS $109,196.47 Estate Pays $1,934,571, the Largest Inheritance Tax in History of Suffolk County. HELD MOSTLY IN SECURITIES Shares in Three Big Railway Sys- tems Totaled Nearly $29,000, -- 000 -- Realty Appraised. W.K. VANDERBILT LEFT $54,530,966". The New York Times. 7 March 1923. Retrieved 21 July 2017.
  42. ^ "About Us". Moravian Cemetery Website. Retrieved 4 October 2013.

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