Richard Mortimer

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Richard Mortimer
Born(1852-04-24)April 24, 1852
New York City, U.S.
DiedMarch 16, 1918(1918-03-16) (aged 65)
Resting placeSt. Mary's-in-Tuxedo Episcopal Church Cemetery, Tuxedo Park, New York, U.S.
Eleanor Jay Chapman
(m. 1886)
RelativesJohn Jay Mortimer (grandson)

Richard Mortimer (April 24, 1852 – March 15, 1918)[1] was an American real estate investor and society leader during the Gilded Age.

Early life[edit]

Mortimer was born in New York City on April 24, 1852. He was the son of William Yates Mortimer (1824–1891) of New York and Anna Elizabeth (née Thorpe) Mortimer (1829–1905) of Albany. His siblings Minnie and Wilfred Mortimer died young.[2] His younger brother, Stanley Yates Mortimer[3] was married to Elizabeth Livingston Hall,[a] the second daughter of Valentine Hall Jr.[5] a banker and merchant. His paternal grandparents were Richard Mortimer and Harriett Cordelia Thompson;[6] Richard Mortimer was born in Cleckheaton, Yorkshire and emigrated to America in 1816, eventually becoming a wealthy merchant.[7] William Yates Mortimer was named after his uncle William Yates, a woollen manufacturer.[8] Richard's maternal grandfather was Aaron Thorpe of Albany, New York.[6]


The Mortimer Building, built by Mortimer's father in 1885.

Richard received an education in Germany before returning to New York in 1872 at the age of 20 to assist in management of the Mortimer family estate, which included the Mortimer Building on Broadway. In 1882 Richard inherited a large fortune upon the death of his grandfather Richard Mortimer.[9] An additional Mortimer Building was commissioned in 1884 by Richard's father W.Y. Mortimer and completed in 1885,[8] which building was acquired by the New York Stock Exchange for $745,000 in December 1918.[10] The Mortimer family's real estate holdings were extensive, and rivalled in size the estates owned by such prominent New York families as the Astors and Goelets.[8]

Society life[edit]

Mortemar, the Mortimers home in Tuxedo Park, c. 1905.

In 1892, Mortimer and his wife Eleanor were included in Ward McAllister's "Four Hundred", purported to be an index of New York's best families, published in The New York Times.[11][12] Conveniently, 400 was the number of people that could fit into Mrs. Astor's ballroom.[13][14] Mortimer, a member of the Tuxedo Club, Metropolitan Club, Knickerbocker Club, Union Club, City Club, Racquet Club, Coaching Club, Riding Club and Westminster Kennel Club, wore a cravat that covered his throat with "a diamond stickpin so big that his friends called him "Flashlight Dick."[15] Along with the Lorillards, the Mortimers were one of the founding families of Tuxedo Park, New York.[16][17] Their home in Tuxedo was known as Mortemar,[18] a "turreted four-story mansion."[19] Mortemar was designed by Richard Howland Hunt of Hunt & Hunt. Construction began in the 1890s and continued for 10 years.[20]

Personal life[edit]

Richard Mortimer married Eleanor Jay Chapman (1864–1929) on April 26, 1886, who was the daughter of Henry Grafton Chapman Jr. (son of abolitionist Maria Weston Chapman), president of the New York Stock Exchange.[21] and Eleanor (née Jay) Chapman (daughter of John Jay, the U.S. Minister to Austria-Hungary under Grant). She was a descendant of John Jay, first Chief Justice of the United States.[22] His uncle was John Jay Chapman (husband to Elizabeth Astor Winthrop Chanler),[23][24] Together, they had a townhouse at 382 Fifth Avenue and had the following children.[15]

  • Mary Eleanor Mortimer (1887–1958), who married Maxime Hubert Furlaud (1877–1973).
  • Richard Mortimer Jr. (1888–1918),[25] a Harvard graduate who died in a plane crash in France.[26]
  • Stanley Grafton Mortimer (1889–1947),[27] a stockbroker who married Katherine Hunt Tilford (1890–1970), daughter of Henry M. Tilford, in 1911.[18][28]
  • Wilfreda Mortimer (1892–1968),[29] who married John Morris Livingston Rutherfurd (1888–1971),[30] a descendant of U.S. Senator John Rutherfurd and signer of the Declaration of Independence Lewis Morris, in 1911.[31][32] They divorced in Paris in 1923 and she married Charles Frederick Frothingham Jr. (1888–1963), a son of Charles F. Frothingham, in November 1924.[33][34]

Mortimer died on March 15, 1918, in Palm Beach, Florida, where he had gone for his health.[1] He was buried at St. Mary's-in-Tuxedo Church Cemetery in Tuxedo Park, New York. His entire estate was left to his widow, Eleanor,[35] who died at her home, 555 Park Avenue, after several months illness, in December 1929.[22]


Through his daughter Mary, he was the grandfather of Richard Mortimer Furlaud (1923–2018),[19] the president and C.E.O. of Squibb Beech-Nut (which became Bristol-Myers Squibb);[36] and Maxime Jay Furlaud (1925–1999).[36]

Through his son Stanley, he was the grandfather of Stanley G. Mortimer Jr. (1913–1999),[37] who was married to Babe Paley,[38] and then Kathleen Harriman;[39][40] Henry Tilford Mortimer (1916–1993),[41] Richard Mortimer,[27] Eve Mortimer (1918–2007),[42] who married Clarence Pell, Jr.,[43] and later Lewis Cass Ledyard III;[44] Katharine Mortimer (1923–2003), who married three times (including to Francis Xavier Shields, their grandchild was actress Brooke Shields);[45] and John Jay Mortimer (1935–2013), a prominent financier.[46]

Through his daughter Wilfreda, he was the grandfather of John Mortimer Rutherfurd (1913–1966); Jay Rutherfurd (1916–2005);[47] and Nathaniel Frothingham (1927–2001).[48]


  1. ^ Elizabeth's sister, Anna Rebecca Hall (mother of First Lady, Eleanor Roosevelt), was married to Elliott Bulloch Roosevelt, the son of Theodore Roosevelt Sr. and brother of U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt.[4]
  1. ^ a b "RICHARD MORTIMER" (PDF). The New York Times. March 16, 1918. Retrieved 18 October 2018.
  2. ^ "WILLIAM YATES MORTIMER" (PDF). The New York Times. December 5, 1891. Retrieved 18 October 2018.
  3. ^ "STANLEY MORTIMER DEAD AT AGE OF 79; Former Polo Player, Huntsman and Artist Belonged to an Old New York Family. STUDIED PAINTING IN PARIS He Was a Founder of the Meadow Brook Club and Was Noted as a Skillful and Fearless Rider" (PDF). The New York Times. March 25, 1932. Retrieved 18 October 2018.
  4. ^ Reynolds, Cuyler (1914). Genealogical and Family History of Southern New York and the Hudson River Valley: A Record of the Achievements of Her People in the Making of a Commonwealth and the Building of a Nation. Lewis Historical Publishing Company. p. 1332. Retrieved 14 June 2018.
  5. ^ "Mrs. Stanley Mortimer (1863-1944)". New-York Historical Society. Retrieved 14 June 2018.
  6. ^ a b Hall, Henry (1895). America's Successful Men of Affairs: The City of New York. New York Tribune. p. 456. Retrieved 18 October 2018.
  7. ^ "RICHARD MORTIMER" (PDF). The New York Times. May 31, 1882. Retrieved 18 October 2018.
  8. ^ a b c "MORTIMER FAMILY REALTY. How Wise Investments a Century Ago Made Decedents Wealthy" (PDF). The New York Times. November 24, 1918. Retrieved 18 October 2018.
  9. ^ "RICHARD MORTIMER'S MILLIONS" (PDF). The New York Times. June 6, 1882. Retrieved 18 October 2018.
  10. ^ "Exchange Buys Mortimer Building" (PDF). The New York Times. December 12, 1918. Retrieved 18 October 2018.
  12. ^ Patterson, Jerry E. (2000). The First Four Hundred: Mrs. Astor's New York in the Gilded Age. Random House. p. 218. ISBN 9780847822089. Retrieved 2 March 2018.
  13. ^ 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.
  14. ^ Birmingham, Stephen (2015). Life at the Dakota: New York's Most Unusual Address. Open Road Media. p. 18. ISBN 9781504026314. Retrieved 2 March 2018.
  15. ^ a b Pell, Eve (2009). We Used to Own the Bronx: Memoirs of a Former Debutante. SUNY Press. pp. 17–18. ISBN 9781438425146. Retrieved 18 October 2018.
  16. ^ Conant, Jennet (2013). Tuxedo Park: A Wall Street Tycoon and the Secret Palace of Science That Changed the Course of World War II. Simon and Schuster. p. 59. ISBN 9781476767291. Retrieved 12 October 2017.
  17. ^ Social Register, New York. Social Register Association. 1920. p. 498. Retrieved 18 October 2018.
  18. ^ a b "Miss Katharine Tilford to Wed" (PDF). The New York Times. September 27, 1910. Retrieved 18 October 2018.
  19. ^ a b Hagerty, James R. (21 September 2018). "Squibb CEO Furlaud Was Spurred by a Depression-Era Drop in Status". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 18 October 2018.
  20. ^ L., Zach (May 12, 2012). "'Mortemar'". Retrieved 18 October 2018.
  21. ^ "Obituary -- Henry G. Chapman". The New York Times. 17 March 1883. Retrieved 12 October 2017.
  22. ^ a b "MRS. RICHARD MORTIMER.; Former Eleanor Jay Chapman Dies After a Long Illness" (PDF). The New York Times. December 10, 1929. Retrieved 18 October 2018.
  23. ^ Howe, Mark Antony De Wolfe (1937). John Jay Chapman and His Letters ... Houghton Mifflin. pp. 334, 485. Retrieved 18 October 2018.
  24. ^ "JOHN J. CHAPMAN, AUTHOR, POET, DIES; New Yorker Succumbs to Long Illness at Age of 71 in Poughkeepsie Hospital | ABANDONED LAW TO WRITE | Was Central Figure in Several Controversies Funeral in This City Next Wednesday". The New York Times. 5 November 1933. Retrieved 12 October 2017.
  25. ^ "RICHARD MORTIMER KILLED. Family at Tuxedo Gets News of Aviator's Death in France" (PDF). The New York Times. May 28, 1918. Retrieved 18 October 2018.
  26. ^ Howe, Mark Antony De Wolfe (1922). Memoirs of the Harvard Dead in the War Against Germany. Harvard University Press. pp. 76–81. Retrieved 18 October 2018.
  27. ^ a b Staff (April 6, 1947). "S.G. MORTIMER DIES". The New York Times. Retrieved 12 October 2017.
  28. ^ "Deaths BLAINE, KATHARINE MORTIMER". The New York Times. April 17, 2003. Retrieved 12 October 2017.
  29. ^ "MRS. C. F. FROTHINGHAM". Daily News. 3 August 1968. p. 35. Retrieved 20 February 2019.
  30. ^ "John Rutherfurd, 80, Ex-Racing Figure". The Palm Beach Post. 1 April 1971. p. 48. Retrieved 20 February 2019.
  31. ^ "Rutherford-Mortimer Wedding In June" (PDF). The New York Times. January 19, 1911. Retrieved 18 October 2018.
  32. ^ "MISS MORTIMER A TUXEDO BRIDE | Daughter of Richard Mortimer Married to John M. Rutherford at "Mortemar"" (PDF). The New York Times. May 21, 1911. Retrieved 18 October 2018.
  33. ^ "MRS. RUTHERFURD GETS LICENSE TO MARRY | Former Wife of John M. L. Rutherfurd to Wed Charles F. Frothingham on Nov. 5" (PDF). The New York Times. October 31, 1924. Retrieved 18 October 2018.
  34. ^ "MRS. RUTHERFURD WED IN CITY CHAPEL; Former Wife of John M. L. Rutherfurd Marries Charles F. Frothingham, Broker. CITY CLERK OFFICIATES Relatives of Union Club Member and His Bride Witness the Ceremony--Other Nuptials" (PDF). The New York Times. November 6, 1924. Retrieved 18 October 2018.
  35. ^ "Richard Mortimer's Will Filed" (PDF). The New York Times. May 1, 1918. Retrieved 18 October 2018.
  36. ^ a b "Richard M. Furlaud, 95". The East Hampton Star. September 13, 2018. Retrieved 18 October 2018.
  37. ^ "Paid Notice: Deaths MORTIMER, STANLEY G." The New York Times. 13 August 1999. Retrieved 12 October 2017.
  38. ^ Nemy, Enid (July 7, 1978). "Barbara Cushing Paley Dies at 63; Style Pace-Setter in Three Decades; Symbol of Taste". The New York Times. Retrieved 12 October 2017. Barbara Cushing Paley, the wife of William S. Paley, the chairman of the board of the Columbia Broadcasting System, died of cancer at their apartment in New York City yesterday after a long illness. She was 63 years old.
  39. ^ Nemy, Enid (14 August 1999). "Stanley G. Mortimer Jr., 86, Sportsman and Ad Executive". The New York Times. Retrieved 12 October 2017.
  40. ^ Fox, Margalit (February 19, 2011). "Kathleen Mortimer, Rich and Adventurous, Dies at 93". The New York Times. Retrieved 12 October 2017.
  41. ^ Staff (September 8, 1993). "Henry T. Mortimer; Stockbroker, 77". The New York Times. Retrieved 12 October 2017.
  42. ^ "Eve Mortimer Ledyard of West Grove". 10 October 2007. Retrieved 12 October 2017.
  43. ^ Morgan, Spencer (18 December 2006). "The Mortimer Family". Observer. Retrieved 12 October 2017.
  44. ^ Wallace, Andrew (December 5, 1990). "Lewis C. Ledyard 3d, A Lawyer Who Turned To Art, Horse Breeding". The Philadelphia Inquirer. Retrieved 12 October 2017.
  45. ^ "Deaths BLAINE, KATHARINE MORTIMER". The New York Times. 12 October 2017. Retrieved 15 March 2016.
  46. ^ Theodoracopulos, Taki (9 November 2013). "Taki: RIP John Jay, my brave friend who refused to take part in vulture capitalism". The Spectator. Retrieved 12 October 2017.
  47. ^ "Diplomat, journalist Jay Rutherfurd dies". Palm Beach Daily News. 16 December 2005. p. 2. Retrieved 20 February 2019.
  48. ^ "N. Frothingham, ad executive; at 73". The Boston Globe. 21 March 2001. p. 27. Retrieved 20 February 2019.

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