Walter Christie

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Christie circa 1900
For the auto pioneer see J. Walter Christie

Walter Cornelius Christie (November 16, 1863 – June 2, 1941) was the founder of Bergenfield, New Jersey where he served as mayor in 1897. He was elected to the board of chosen freeholders for Bergen County, New Jersey in 1900.[1][2] He was known as the "Town Father" of Bergenfield.[1]


He was born on November 16, 1863 to Ann and Cornelius Roelf Christie, in what was to become Bergenfield, New Jersey, near the South Schraalenburgh Church.[1][2]

He married Maria Van Wagoner (1862-1951) on December 16, 1885. He served for eight consecutive years as the Collector of Taxes for Palisades, New Jersey starting in 1886. Bergenfield, New Jersey was founded on June 25, 1894 from land that was formerly in Palisades, New Jersey that was purchased by himself and William O. Allison. He became the first councilman and the first school board president. He served as the second Mayor of Bergenfield, New Jersey, starting in 1897.[2][3] On March 15, 1900 he was elected to the board of chosen freeholders for Bergen County, New Jersey. In 1907 he established the free public library. In 1910 he founded the Bergenfield Building and Loan Association and in 1919 the National Bank and Trust Company.[2] He was a director of the Palisades Trust company until he resigned in 1940, because of his position as Chairman of the Board of the Bergenfield National Bank.[4]

He died on June 2, 1941 in Haworth, New Jersey, he was 77 years old.[1] He was buried at the South Schraalenburgh Church cemetery.


  1. ^ a b c d "Walter Christie, A Jersey Banker. Founder of Bergenfield Was Chairman of National Bank There. Dies in Haworth. Served As Mayor In 1897. One-Time Head of School Board and First Councilman. Established Library". New York Times. June 3, 1941. Retrieved 2014-07-31. 
  2. ^ a b c d Cornelius Burnham Harvey (1900). "Walter Christie". Genealogical History of Hudson and Bergen Counties, New Jersey. 
  3. ^ Michael J. Birkner (1994). A Country Place No More: The Transformation of Bergenfield, New Jersey, 1894-1994. Fairleigh Dickinson University Press. 
  4. ^ "Shift in Englewood Bank". The New York Times. December 7, 1940. p. 24. Retrieved 7 April 2016.