Charles Millard Pratt

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Charles Millard Pratt circa 1915

Charles Millard Pratt (November 2, 1855 – November 27, 1935) was an American oil industrialist and philanthropist.

Early life[edit]

Pratt was born on November 2, 1855 and raised in Clinton Hill, Brooklyn, the eldest son of Charles Pratt and Lydia Ann Richardson.

He was the elder half-brother to Frederic B. Pratt, George Dupont Pratt, Herbert L. Pratt, John Teele Pratt and Harold I. Pratt.

He graduated from Amherst College in the class of 1879.


Pratt joined Standard Oil in 1879 and was later Company Secretary. He was a trustee of Amherst College and Vassar College. He was president of the board of trustees, Pratt Institute, Brooklyn. He was a director of the Long Island Rail Road, Brooklyn City Railroad, American Express and other corporations.


He died on November 27, 1935 in Glen Cove, New York.[1] His widow died in 1947.[2]

Personal life[edit]

Pratt married Mary Seymour Morris, daughter of Governor of Connecticut Luzon B. Morris on May 8, 1884 and they had five children:[2]

  • Morris Pratt (November 29, 1885 – July 15, 1910)
  • Theodore Pratt (May 21, 1887 – June 1977) married Laura Merrick on June 2, 1910. They had three children, Gwendolyn Pratt (October 27, 1917 – October 31, 1917), Theodore Pratt, Jr.(June 16, 1920 – January 15, 1998), and Merrick Pratt (born June 4, 1922).
  • Margaret Richardson Pratt (July 19, 1889 – January 20, 1919) married Frank J Frost. They had two children, Morris Pratt Frost (November 19, 1916 – July 11, 1990) and Margaret Frost (January 18, 1919 – January 19, 1919)
  • Katherine Eugenia Pratt (May 28, 1891 – April 20, 1981) married Burton Parker Twichell, son of Rev. Joseph Twichell. They had four children, David Cushman Twichell (born April 16, 1918), Margaret Frost Twichell (born August 13, 1919), Harmony Twichell (September 9, 1921 – February 20, 1993), and Charles Pratt Twichell (February 27, 1924 – April 3, 2004).
  • Richardson Pratt (June 16, 1894 – August 16, 1959) married Laura Cecelia Parsons. They had two children, Mary Marselis Pratt (born September 26, 1920) and Richardson Pratt, Jr. (March 25, 1923 – May 1, 2001).

Architectural legacy[edit]

Charles Millard Pratt House, 241 Clinton Ave, Brooklyn

William Tubby designed the Charles Millard Pratt House at 241 Clinton Avenue, Clinton Hill, Brooklyn in 1893. Located in Brooklyn’s Clinton Hill Historic District it is one of the city’s finest examples of Romanesque revival architecture, and is now the home of the Roman Catholic Bishop of Brooklyn.

Pratt's large estate, Seamoor, at Glen Cove, Long Island was designed by the New York firm of Lamb & Rich.[3]

Pratt had a winter home (also known as Charles M. Pratt House) designed by architects Greene and Greene in Nordhoff (Ojai), California from 1908 to 1911.

Pratt was a trustee of Vassar College, his wife's alma mater, from 1896 to 1920. Pratt House, a residence for the Warden, was completed in 1915 by architects York and Sawyer.

Amherst College legacy[edit]

He was the first alumnus to donate a building to Amherst College—the Pratt Gymnasium was erected in 1883, and was reconstructed as the Pratt Museum in 1942. Following further rebuilding, it reopened in August 2007 as the Charles M. Pratt Dormitory, housing 118 freshmen students.

Pratt was also responsible for the enormous Morris Pratt Dormitory on Pratt Quad at Amherst College. This five-story building was designed by Charles Alonzo Rich in 1911, in memory of their son Morris who died at Amherst while an undergraduate student.


  1. ^ "Charles M. Pratt, Financier, Is Dead. Former Standard Oil Officer, 80, Son of Co-Founder of the Company". New York Times. November 27, 1935. Retrieved 2013-12-04. Charles Millard Pratt, a former director and officer of the Standard Oil Company, philanthropist and former president of Pratt Institute, died at 11:40 P.M. ... 
  2. ^ a b "Mrs. Charles M. Pratt". New York Times. October 25, 1947. Retrieved 2013-12-04. Mrs. Mary Seamoor Morris Pratt, widow of Charles Millard Pratt, former president of Pratt Institute ... 
  3. ^ Robert B. MacKay, et al., Long Island Country Houses and Their Architects (W. W. Norton & Company, 1997), 245–46.