John Shaffer Phipps

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John Shaffer Phipps
John Shaffer Phipps circa 1915.jpg
Phipps circa 1915
Born (1874-08-11)August 11, 1874
Allegheny, Pennsylvania,
United States
Died April 27, 1958(1958-04-27) (aged 83)
Palm Beach, Florida,
United States
Residence New York City
Old Westbury, New York
Palm Beach, Florida
Education Yale University
Occupation Financier, lawyer, polo player, real estate developer
Board member of Hanover Bank, U.S. Steel Corp., W. R. Grace & Co.
Spouse(s) Margarita Celia Grace
(m. 1903; her death 1957)
Children John H. H. Phipps
Michael Grace Phipps
Hubert Beaumont Phipps
Margaret Phipps Boegner
Parent(s) Henry Phipps
Anne Childs Shaffer
Children of John Shaffer Phipps

John Shaffer Phipps (August 11, 1874 – May 12, 1958) was an American lawyer and businessman who was an heir to the Phipps family fortune and a shareholder of his father-in-law's Grace Shipping Lines. He was a director of the Hanover Bank, U.S. Steel Corp. and W. R. Grace & Co.

Early life[edit]

John Shaffer Phipps, who was known as "Jay", was born on August 11, 1874 in Allegheny, Pennsylvania to Henry Phipps (1839–1930)[1] and Anne Childs Shaffer (1850–1934).[2][3]

His father was the son of English born parents who emigrated to Philadelphia in the early part of the 19th century before settling in Pittsburgh in 1845.[4][5] His father became an entrepreneur known for his business relationship with Andrew Carnegie and involvement with the Carnegie Steel Company.[5]

His siblings were Amy Phipps (1872–1959), who married Frederick Edward Guest (1875–1937), Helen Margaret Phipps (1876–1934), who married Bradley Martin,[6] Henry Carnegie Phipps (1879–1953), who married Gladys Livingston Mills (1883–1970),[7] and Howard Phipps (1881–1981), who married Harriet Dyer Price.[8]


John Phipps amassed almost 2,500 acres (10 km2) of rolling Virginia farm lands in The Plains, Virginia including Brenton, an 1889 stone manor house. He was a polo player and Thoroughbred racehorse owner, and the property assembled from 1928 onwards would be the site of his Rockburn Stud farm. Upon his death it passed to his son Hubert.

Phipps purchased an old 160-acre (0.65 km2) Quaker farm on Long Island where he built a large mansion with magnificent gardens that,[9] following his death, became a non-profit organization that today is known as Westbury House & Gardens and is open to the public.

In the 1920s he purchased several large properties in West Palm Beach, Florida including one that was once used as a pineapple plantation.[10] He subdivided the property and turned it into the three largest subdivisions containing luxury residential homes in what is now the El Cid Historic District.[11] John Phipps built a home for himself he called "Casa Bendita." A large oceanfront mansion in Palm Beach, Florida, it was designed in 1921 by architect Addison Mizner. Today, the property is occupied by his granddaughter, Susan Phipps Cochran, and her husband.[12]

Personal life[edit]

On November 4, 1903 he married Margarita Celia Grace (1876-1957) at Battle Abbey in Battle, East Sussex, England.[13] She was the daughter of Michael P. Grace and niece of William Russell Grace, Irish immigrants who became very successful in business, founding the Grace Shipping Line. They spent their honeymoon, traveling via automobile, in India.[14] John and Margarita had four children:

He died on April 27, 1958 in Palm Beach, Florida.[20]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Henry Phipps Dead. Pioneer In Steel. Former Partner Of Carnegie, Who Amassed $100,000,000, Succumbs At 90. Gave $7,000,000 To Charity. Began Career As Messenger Boy. Divided Much Of Estate Among Three Sons In 1912. Gave More Than $7,000,000 To Charity. An Office Boy With Carnegie. Built Fifth Avenue Mansion. Financed Model Tenements". New York Times. September 23, 1930. Retrieved 2010-03-29. Henry Phipps, capitalist and philanthropist, who rose from office boy to master of a $100,000,000 fortune, died yesterday at his estate, Bonnie Brink, in the Lakeville section of Great Neck, L.I., at the age of 90. On Saturday he would have been 91 years old. Mr. Phipps had retired ... 
  2. ^ "MRS. HENRY PHIPPS BURIED Service Held at Westbury for Widow of Philanthropist". The New York Times. October 27, 1934. Retrieved 4 September 2016. 
  3. ^ Times, Special To The New York (27 October 1934). "MRS. HENRY PHIPPS BURIED; Service Held at Westbury for Widow of Philanthropist". The New York Times. Retrieved 19 June 2017. 
  4. ^ "Phipps". The Pittsburgh Press. July 24, 1987. Retrieved 4 September 2016. 
  5. ^ a b Train, John (June 8, 1986). "REJUVENATING OLD MONEY". The New York Times. Retrieved 4 September 2016. 
  6. ^ "MARTIN-PHIPPS WEDDING. Daughter of Henry Phipps Married to Bradley Martin, Jr". The New York Times. November 3, 1904. Retrieved 4 September 2016. 
  7. ^ "GLADYS MILLS WEDS HENRY C. PHIPPS Special Train Carries New York Guests to Staatsburg for Brilliant Ceremony GIFTS VALUED AT $2,000,000 Bride's Father-in-Law Presents Her with House in East 85th Street — Viilagers Entertained". The New York Times. December 8, 1907. Retrieved 4 September 2016. 
  8. ^ "MISS PRICE BRIDE OF HOWARD PHIPPS | Ceremony at Her Parents' Park Avenue Home Performed by Rev. Dr. Karl Reiland. | NO BRIDAL ATTENDANTS | Marriage Unites Prominent Families—Mr. Phipps Is Son of Late Noted Philanthropist". The New York Times. October 23, 1931. Retrieved 4 September 2016. 
  9. ^ Times, Special To The New York (27 May 1912). "Mr. and Mrs. J.S. Phipps Give a Tea". The New York Times. Retrieved 19 June 2017. 
  10. ^ Phipps, Henry (22 March 1909). "OPPOSED BY HENRY PHIPPS.; He Telegraphs from Palm Beach His Protest Against the Scheme". The New York Times. Retrieved 19 June 2017. 
  11. ^ Times, Special To The New York (12 February 1928). "PALM BEACH SOCIETY DILLMANS' GUESTS; 200 Entertained With Musicale at Playa Rienta--Fritz Kreisler Is the Artist. PARTY FOR MRS. GOWEN Visitor From Philadelphia Honor Guest of Mrs. Stotesbury at a Bridge-Luncheon. Others in the Company. Mrs. Stotesbury Hostess. Dinner Given by the Carstairs,". The New York Times. Retrieved 19 June 2017. 
  12. ^ "John Cochran Weds Miss Susan Phipps". The New York Times. 31 December 1960. Retrieved 19 June 2017. 
  13. ^ "Phipps--Grace.; Mendels--Wright. Hirsch-Dittenhoefer. Wright--Finck". The New York Times. November 5, 1903. 
  14. ^ "A Honeymoon in The Indian Jungle; Astonishingly Up-to-Date and Adventurous Wedding Trip of John S. Phipps and His Bride, Miss Margarita Grace". The New York Times. 20 March 1904. Retrieved 19 June 2017. 
  15. ^ "John H.H. Phipps, 77, Active Conservationist". The New York Times. 21 April 1982. Retrieved 19 June 2017. 
  16. ^ Times, Special To The New York (17 August 1969). "Hubert B. Phipps Dies at 63; Virginia Publisher and Editor". The New York Times. Retrieved 19 June 2017. 
  17. ^ Hevesi, Dennis (19 September 2006). "Margaret Phipps Boegner, 99, Who Founded Old Westbury Gardens, Is Dead". The New York Times. Retrieved 19 June 2017. 
  18. ^ "Miss Peggie Phipps Engaged To Marry. Her Betrothal To J. Gordon Douglas Jr. Is Announced By Her Parents. Members Of Old Families. She Is A Granddaughter Of The Late M. P. Grace and Of Henry Phipps, Carnegie's Partner". New York Times. August 28, 1930. Retrieved 2010-03-29. Mr. and Mrs. John S. Phipps of this city, Palm Beach, Fla., and Westbury House, Westbury, L.I., have announced the engagement of their only daughter, Miss Peggie Phipps, to J. Gordon Douglas Jr., son of J. Gordon Douglas of this city and Mrs. Grafton Winthrop Minot of New York and Newport, R.I. 
  19. ^ Times, Special To The New York (15 March 1973). "MICHAEL G. PHIPPS, POLO STAR, WAS 63". The New York Times. Retrieved 19 June 2017. 
  20. ^ "Died". Time magazine. May 12, 1958. Retrieved 2009-02-20. John Shaffer Phipps, 83, financier, lawyer, polo player and father of polo players, lavish traveler (he once hired a private, nine-car train—three for ponies, three for people, three for baggage—for a trip to Florida, also took more than 100 trunks on a European voyage), owner of race horses (Parnassus, Level Lea); in Palm Beach, Fla. Son of Andrew Carnegie's partner Henry Phipps, and uncle of Pologician Winston Guest, John Phipps was a director of U.S. Steel Corp., W. R. Grace & Co., the Hanover Bank. 

Further reading[edit]