Robert Morrison Olyphant

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Robert Morrison Olyphant
Robert Morrison Olyphant.png
Born(1824-09-09)September 9, 1824
DiedMay 3, 1918(1918-05-03) (aged 93)
Spouse(s)Anna Vernon
Parent(s)David Olyphant
Ann Archer McKenzie

Robert Morrison Olyphant (September 9, 1824 – May 3, 1918) was an American businessman active in New York City and China in the late 19th century. He served as president of the Delaware and Hudson Railroad for 20 years.[1]

Life and career[edit]

Olyphant was born on September 9, 1824 in Manhattan, New York City to David Olyphant and Ann Archer (McKenzie) Olyphant.[2] After graduating from Columbia University he entered his father's firm, Olyphant & Co., in 1842.[3] Olyphant was named for the Scottish missionary Robert Morrison, who was a friend of his father from Canton (now Guangzhou), China.[2]

Olyphant was in China between 1844–1845 and later, from 1858, reorganized Olyphant and Co. in Canton. He retired from the China trade in 1873.[3] On his return from China, he was appointed to the Board of Managers of the Delaware and Hudson Canal Company (later the Delaware and Hudson Railroad) and subsequently served as the company's Assistant President and Vice President followed by a twenty-year stint as President.[2]

He died on May 3, 1918 at his home at 160 West Fifty-ninth Street in Manhattan, New York City.[1]

Olyphant is the great-great-grandfather of actor Timothy Olyphant.


  1. ^ a b "Robert M. Olyphant Dies At 93 Years. Ex-President of Delaware & Hudson Railroad Was the Oldest Alumnus of Columbia" (PDF). New York Times. May 4, 1918. Retrieved 2016-01-22.
  2. ^ a b c "Scots and Scots Descendant in America Part V - Biographies Robert Morrison Olyphant and Doctor David Olyphant". Retrieved May 20, 2014.
  3. ^ a b Shavit 1990, p. 373.