James A. Burden II

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James A. Burden II
James Abercrombie Burden, Jr.

January 16, 1871
DiedJune 1, 1932(1932-06-01) (aged 61)
ResidenceJames A. Burden House
EducationHarvard College
Harvard Law School
EmployerBurden Iron Works
Florence Adele Sloane
(m. 1895; his death 1932)
RelativesArthur Scott Burden (brother)
Henry Burden (grandfather)
William Fletcher Burden (uncle)
Richard Irvin (grandfather)

James Abercrombie Burden, Jr. (January 16, 1871 in Troy, New York – June 1, 1932 in Syosset, New York) was an American industrialist from New York.

Early life[edit]

James Abercrombie Burden, Jr. was born on January 16, 1871 in Troy, New York. His father was James Abercrombie Burden Sr. (1833–1906)[1] and his mother was Mary Proudfit (née Irvin).[2][3] His younger brother, Arthur Scott Burden (1879–1921), was the first husband of Cynthia Roche,[4] the daughter of James Roche, 3rd Baron Fermoy, an Irish peer and MP, and Frances Ellen Work, his American wife. Her brother was Maurice Roche, 4th Baron Fermoy, the maternal grandfather of Diana, Princess of Wales.[5][6]

His maternal grandfather was merchant Richard Irvin and his paternal grandfather, Henry Burden (1791–1871), a native of Scotland, became manager in 1822 of Troy Iron and Nail Works reorganized later as the "Henry Burden and Sons" foundry in Troy. His grandfather assumed full ownership in 1848, which was passed along to his sons, and in 1881 was reorganized as Burden Iron Works.[7][8]


Burden attended and graduated from Harvard College in 1893. Following his graduation, he studied for a year at Harvard Law School before going to work at the family company in 1894 and assuming the presidency in 1906 upon his father's death.[2]

Burden inherited a share of the Burden Iron Works from his uncle, William Fletcher Burden (1830–1867), who died at the age of 38.[9] Burden Iron Works became the largest horseshoe and nail‐producing concern in the world.[10] In 1910, then Democratic candidate, and eventually, New York Governor, John A. Dix spoke in Troy about the burden of overtaxation. Dix was then hosted for dinner by James, a Republican who had recently announced his intention to support the Democratic nominee.[11]

In 1921, as a result of two horse fall injuries his brother, Arthur, sustained which caused him to be placed under constant care from late 1913, Burden filed a petition while his sister-in-law, Cynthia Roche's, was away in London, requesting that Arthur Burden be declared incompetent.[12] His brother died from pneumonia shortly thereafter in June 1921.[4]

At the time of his death in 1932, he was president of Burden Iron Works.[2] In 1940, after his death, the company was purchased by Republic Steel.[7]

Society life[edit]

As a wedding gift for Burden and his bride, his father-in-law commissioned Warren & Wetmore to design and build a residence at 7 East 91st Street on Carnegie Hill in New York City.[13][14] Burden was a trustee of the Woodside Presbyterian Church and was a member of the Knickerbocker Club, Metropolitan Club, Racquet and Tennis Club, India House of New York City and Meadowbrook Club of Long Island.[2]

Personal life[edit]

On June 6, 1895, Burden married Florence Adele Sloane, who was the eldest daughter of William D. Sloane (the head of W. & J. Sloane) and Emily Thorn Vanderbilt, a granddaughter of Cornelius Vanderbilt.[15] The couple were wed by the Reverend William Grosvenor at Trinity Episcopal Church in Lenox, Massachusetts.[15] Together, they were the parents of three children:

  • James Abercrombie Burden III (1897–1979),[16] who married Elizabeth Leahe.[10]
  • William Douglas Burden (1899–1978),[17] a founder of Marineland in Florida who married three times. The first was to Catherine C. White in 1924.[18] His first and second marriages both ended in divorce.[19] He married for the third and final time to Jeanne Wells Wight (1922–1995).[19]
  • Florence Irvin "Sheila" Burden (1902–1990), who married Blake Leigh Lawrence (1898–1986), a descendant of the Chanler, Winthrop, and Astor families, in 1929.[20][21]

In 1931, he was injured in a fall.[22] Burden died on June 1, 1932, of an embolism as a consequence of his fall a year earlier.[2] His widow married Richard M. Tobin in Paris, France on July 6, 1936. In 1938, the contents of the James A. Burden House were auctioned by Parke-Bernet.[13][14]


His granddaughter, Adele Burden Lawrence (1931–1991), married Louis Stanton Auchincloss (1917–2010) in 1957.[23]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "JAMES A. BURDEN'S WILL.; Bequests Made to Widow, Sons, and Business Associates". The New York Times. 19 October 1906. Retrieved 19 September 2017.
  2. ^ a b c d e "James A. Burden Dead In Syosset". New York Times. June 2, 1932. Retrieved 2015-08-04. President of Iron Company Bearing the Family Name Victim of Embolism. Sequel To An Accident. Prominent In New York Society Prince of Wales Entertained at Woodside, His Estate
  3. ^ Reynolds, Cuyler (1911). Hudson-Mohawk Genealogical and Family Memoirs: A Record of Achievements of the People of the Hudson and Mohawk Valleys in New York State, Included Within the Present Counties of Albany, Rensselaer, Washington, Saratoga, Montgomery, Fulton, Schenectady, Columbia and Greene. Lewis Historical Publishing Company. Retrieved 19 September 2017.
  4. ^ a b "A. S. Burden Dies in White Plains | Victim of Pneumonia, He Passes Away in Hospital After a Brief Illness. He was 42 Years Old. Twice Injured by Falls From His Horse. Husband of Cynthia Roche". The New York Times. 16 June 1921. Retrieved 28 August 2009. Arthur Scott Burden, brother of James A. Burden, President of the Burden Iron Works of Troy and husband of the former Cynthia Roche, died yesterday of pneumonia at a branch of the New York Hospital in White Plains. ...
  5. ^ "MRS. GUY CARY, DIES; NEWPORT FIGURE, 82". The New York Times. 19 December 1966. Retrieved 14 June 2017.
  6. ^ "Deaths | CARY -- Cynthia Burke Roche". The New York Times. 20 December 1966. Retrieved 14 June 2017.
  7. ^ a b "Burden Iron Works". www.albanyinstitute.org. Albany Institute of History and Art. Retrieved 19 September 2017.
  8. ^ "THE BURDEN IRON COMPANY.; PROCEEDINGS IN THE SUIT TO HAVE A RECEIVER APPOINTED". The New York Times. 1885. Retrieved 19 September 2017.
  9. ^ William F. Burden, Born in Troy, Rensselaer County, N.Y., March 14, 1830. Died at Troy, N.Y., December 7, 1867. 1867. p. 7. Retrieved 19 September 2017.
  10. ^ a b "James A. Burden Is Dead at 81. Roller-Bearing Concern Ex-Head". New York Times. May 8, 1979. Retrieved 2015-08-04. James A. Burden, a former president of the Orange Roller Bearing Company, died Saturday at his home in Locust Valley, L.I., after a long illness. He was 81 years old
  11. ^ "DIX SPEAKS AT TROY ON OVERTAXATION; Declares That the People Must Be Relieved of the Burdens Created by Republicans". The New York Times. 5 November 1910. Retrieved 19 September 2017.
  12. ^ "Asks Burden Committee; Brother in Application Calls Relative Incompetent". The New York Times. 3 May 1921. p. 2. Retrieved 12 September 2009.
  13. ^ a b "Burden Furnishings Sold". New York Times. April 21, 1938. Retrieved 2015-08-04.
  14. ^ a b "Burden Furnishings Sold. Auction Yields Total of $31,591. Old Tapestry Brings $5,000". New York Times. April 22, 1938. Retrieved 2015-08-04.
  15. ^ a b "A Love Match. An American Heiress is Content to Dwell in Her Native Land With an American Male. A Wedding Which Has Cost an Expenditure of a Round Million. A Vanderbilt Gathering". The Wichita Beacon. 6 June 1895. p. 1. Retrieved August 4, 2015 – via Newspapers.com. open access
  16. ^ Christopher Gray (July 10, 1994). "The Burden Mansion. The Soot's Coming Off, but a Blemish Will Remain". New York Times. Retrieved 2015-08-04.
  17. ^ "WILLIAM D. BURDEN RENTS APARTMENT; Naturalist Engages the Last Vacant Space in House at 20 East 80th St". The New York Times. 2 November 1939. Retrieved 19 September 2017.
  18. ^ "MISS WHITE WEDS WILLIAM D. BURDEN; Daughter of Ernest Ingersoll White Married by Bishop Coadjutor Oldham in Albany". The New York Times. 29 July 1924. Retrieved 19 September 2017.
  19. ^ a b Campbell, Barbara (16 November 1978). "WILLIAM D. BURDEN, NATURALIST, IS DEAD". The New York Times. Retrieved 19 September 2017.
  20. ^ "MISS SHIELA BURDEN ENGAGED TO MARRY; Kin of Commodore Vanderbilt to Wed Blake L. Lawrence Late This Autumn". The New York Times. 10 October 1929. Retrieved 19 September 2017.
  21. ^ "SHIELA BURDEN WED TO B.L. LAWRENCE; Bride a Descendant of the Late Commodore Cornelius Vanderbilt. 200 ATTEND THE RECEPTION Ceremony in Quaint Little St. John's Church at Cold Spring Harbor, L.I." The New York Times. 27 October 1929. Retrieved 19 September 2017.
  22. ^ "James A. Burden Injured in Fall". New York Times. March 19, 1931. Retrieved 2015-08-04. James A. Burden, whose country estate, Woodside, is near this village, is confined to his bed ...
  23. ^ "ADELE LAWRENCE WED IN VERMONT; Bride of Louis Auchinoloss, a Virginia Law Alumnus, in Shelburne Church". The New York Times. September 8, 1957. Retrieved 14 October 2016.

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