Hamilton McKown Twombly

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Hamilton McKown Twombly Sr.
BornAugust 11, 1849
DiedJanuary 11, 1910(1910-01-11) (aged 60)
EducationHarvard University
(m. 1877)
ChildrenAlice Twombly
Florence Adele Twombly
Ruth Twombly
Hamilton McKown Twombly, Jr.

Hamilton McKown Twombly Sr. (August 11, 1849 – January 11, 1910) was an American businessman.[1]

Early life[edit]

Hamilton McKown Twombly Sr. was born on August 11, 1849, in Middlesex County, Massachusetts, and grew up in Boston. His parents were Alexander Hamilton Twombly (1804–1870) and Caroline (née McKown) Twombly (1821–1881). Twombly's siblings included Alexander Stevenson Twombly (1832–1907), Alice W. Twombly Jones (1848–1906), and Almina E. Twombly Sheldon (1851–1875).[2] He attended and graduated from Harvard University in 1871.[1]


Twombly worked as a financial advisor to William Henry Vanderbilt (1821–1885), President of the New York Central Railroad. He sat on the Boards of Directors of the Chicago and Northwestern Railroad, the Delaware, Lackawanna and Western Railroad, the Chesapeake and Ohio Railroad, and the New Jersey Shore Line Railroad. He also sat on the Boards of Trustees of the Guarantee Trust Company and the Mutual Life Insurance Company.[1]

In 1890, Abram Hewitt partnered with Edward Cooper and Hamilton M. Twombly in forming the American Sulphur Company. That company then entered into a 50/50 agreement with Herman Frasch and his partners to form the Union Sulphur Company[3]

Society life[edit]

Florham, Twombly's estate in Florham Park, New Jersey

In 1892, Twombly and his wife were both included in Ward McAllister's "Four Hundred", purported to be an index of New York's best families led by Mrs. Astor, as published in The New York Times.[4] Conveniently, 400 was the number of people that could fit into Mrs. Astor's ballroom.[5]

In spring and fall, Twombly and his wife resided at Florham (a combination of "Florence" and "Hamilton") in Florham Park, New Jersey; it is now "Florham Campus" a building of Fairleigh Dickinson University.[6][7][8] They summered at Vinland Estate in Newport, Rhode Island, and they wintered at 684 Fifth Avenue in Manhattan

He was a member of the Metropolitan Club, the Tuxedo Club, the Union Club of the City of New York, the City Club, the New York Yacht Club, the Transportation Club, Turf and Field and the Somerset Club of Boston.[1]

Personal life[edit]

In 1877, he married Florence Adele Vanderbilt (1854–1952),[9] a daughter of William Henry Vanderbilt and Maria Louisa Kissam.[10] They had four children:[1]

Twombly died on January 11, 1910, in Madison, New Jersey, after an extended illness.[17][18][19] According to his obituary,[1] his death was caused by "cancer and a broken heart" over the death of his son.[20][21] His funeral took place at Saint Thomas Church in New York, with a sermon by David H. Greer (1844–1919), and the banker J. P. Morgan (1837–1913) was one of the pallbearers.[6] He was buried in the Woodlawn Cemetery in The Bronx.[6] He left the majority of his estate to his wife.[22][2]


  1. ^ a b c d e f "H. M'K. TWOMBLY, CAPITALIST, DEAD; Brother-in-Law of W. K. Vanderbilt Never Recovered from Shock of His Son's Death. DIRECTOR OF MANY ROADS His Death Occurred at Florham Park, His Beautiful Estate and Model Farm, Near Morristown, N. J." The New York Times. January 12, 1910. Retrieved 24 August 2017.
  2. ^ a b "H. McK. TWOMBLY'S WILL.; Mrs. Florence Twombly Gets Prac- tically All the Estate -- Is Soje Executrix". The New York Times. 19 January 1910. Retrieved 24 August 2017.
  3. ^ Haynes, Williams (1959). Brimstone, The Stone That Burns. Princeton: D. Van Norstrand Company, Inc. pp. 32–39, 60.
  5. ^ Keister, Lisa A. (2005). Getting Rich: America's New Rich and How They Got That Way. Cambridge University Press. p. 36. ISBN 9780521536677. Retrieved 20 October 2017.
  6. ^ a b c "H. McK. TWOMBLY'S FUNERAL.; J.P. Morgan a Palibearer at Services in St. Thomas's Episcopal Church". The New York Times. 16 January 1910. Retrieved 24 August 2017.
  7. ^ Southern Methodist University: Robert Yarnall Richie Photograph Collection: Florence Vanderbilt and Hamilton McKown Twombly's Florham estate, Madison, NJ
  8. ^ "Farleigh Dickinson University: Florham Campus: History of the Estate". Archived from the original on 2015-01-02. Retrieved 2013-09-02.
  9. ^ Times, Special To The New York (13 April 1952). "MRS. TWOMBLY DIES IN HOME HERE AT 941; Daughter of W. H. Vanderbilt Was .Last Surviving Grandchild of Commodore Vanderbilt". The New York Times. Retrieved 24 August 2017.
  10. ^ Hughes, Tyler (2 July 2012). "The Gilded Age Era: Florence Twombly Mansion New York City". The Gilded Age Era. Retrieved 24 August 2017.
  11. ^ "DIED. Twombly". The New York Times. 1896. Retrieved 19 September 2017.
  12. ^ "FUNERAL OF ALICE TWOMBLY; Many Dances and Entertainments Given Up on Account of Her Death". The New York Times. January 3, 1896. Retrieved 19 September 2017.
  13. ^ "Mrs. William A.M. Burden Dies; Donor to Church and Schools". The New York Times. 19 November 1969. Retrieved 20 September 2017.
  14. ^ "W.A.M. BURDEN DIES OF STRANGE MALADY; Chronic Recurrent Fever the Only Name Physicians Can Give It -- No Remedy. AN ATHLETE AT HARVARD Married Miss Twombly, Granddaughter of the Late W.H. Vanderbilt, in 1904". The New York Times. 3 February 1909. Retrieved 19 September 2017.
  15. ^ "WORLD OF FASHION AT THE TWOMBLY WEDDING; William A.M. Burden Marries H. McK. Twombly's Daughter. FIFTH AVENUE IS CROWDED Ceremony at St. Thomas's Church -- Mr. and Mrs. Burden Will Go to the Far East on Honeymoon". The New York Times. 13 April 1904. Retrieved 19 September 2017.
  16. ^ Times, Special To The New York (2 September 1954). "MISS RUTH TWOMBLY SUCCUMBS IN PARIS". The New York Times. Retrieved 24 August 2017.
  17. ^ "HAMILTON McK. TWOMBLY ILL.; Said to be Suffering from Kidney Trouble and a Nervous Breakdown". The New York Times. 3 December 1909. Retrieved 24 August 2017.
  18. ^ Times, Special To The New York (5 December 1909). "H. McK. Twombly to Remain in Country". The New York Times. Retrieved 24 August 2017.
  19. ^ "H. McKay Twombly Still Alive". The New York Times. 26 December 1909. Retrieved 24 August 2017.
  20. ^ "H. McK. Twombly Dying. Might Not Live Till Daybreak, It Was Said at His Home Last Night". New York Times. December 25, 1909.
  21. ^ "Twombly," Palisades Interstate Park Commission, Nov 2009
  22. ^ Times, Special To The New York (12 July 1910). "$45,000 TRANSFER TAX PAID.; $35,000 Comes from H. McK. Twombly and $10,000 from L.H. Cadman Estates". The New York Times. Retrieved 24 August 2017.

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