William Bayard Cutting

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William Bayard Cutting
Born(1850-01-12)January 12, 1850
New York City, U.S.[1]
DiedMarch 1, 1912(1912-03-01) (aged 62)
EducationColumbia College, 1869, 1871[1]
OccupationAttorney, financier, real estate developer, sugar beet refiner
Olivia Peyton Murray
(m. 1877; his death 1912)
ChildrenWilliam Bayard Cutting
Justine Bayard Cutting
Bronson Murray Cutting
Olivia Murray Cutting
Parent(s)Fulton Cutting
Elise Justine Bayard
RelativesRobert Fulton Cutting (brother)
Robert Cutting (grandfather)
Robert Bayard (grandfather)
Francis B. Cutting (uncle)

William Bayard Cutting (January 12, 1850 – March 1, 1912),[1] a member of New York's merchant aristocracy, was an attorney, financier, real estate developer, sugar beet refiner and philanthropist. Cutting and his brother Fulton started the sugar beet industry in the United States in 1888. He was a builder of railroads, operated the ferries of New York City, and developed part of the south Brooklyn waterfront, Red Hook.

Early life[edit]

Cutting was born in New York City on January 12, 1850. He was the son of Fulton Cutting (1816–1875) and Elise Justine Bayard (1823–1852). He was the brother of Robert Fulton Cutting (1852–1934), a financier.[2]

His paternal grandparents were William Cutting (1773–1820) and Gertrude Livingston (1778–1864),[3] the sister of Henry Walter Livingston, a U.S. Representative from New York, and the daughter of Walter Livingston, the 1st Speaker of the New York State Assembly.[2] He was the nephew of Francis Brockholst Cutting,[2] also a U.S. Representative from New York.[4] His maternal grandfather, Robert Bayard, was Robert Fulton's partner. Cutting and Fulton were brothers-in-law who had married Livingston sisters. Cutting ancestors included members from the Bayard, Schuyler and Van Cortlandt families of colonial New York.[5]

Cutting attended, studied law and graduated from Columbia College.[1]


Cutting, a lawyer, assisted his grandfather, Robert Bayard, in the management of his railroad company. In addition, W. Bayard Cutting continued to operate the ferry system of New York City and the city of Brooklyn.[1]

In 1895, Cutting and his brother laid out a golf course at Westbrook, known to be the first private golf course in the United States.[6]

Society life[edit]

Cutting was a member of the famous Jekyll Island Club (a.k.a. The Millionaires Club) on Jekyll Island, Georgia. He was also a founding member of the good government organization, the City Club of New York.[1] Cutting also was one of the founders of the New York Metropolitan Opera.[7]

His Long Island estate along the west bank of the Connetquot River, purchased from George L. Lorillard in 1884, and the country house called "Westbrook" which he built there, are now the Bayard Cutting Arboretum,[8][9] in Great River, New York.

Personal life[edit]

On April 26, 1877, he married Olivia Peyton Murray (1855–1949), the daughter of Bronson Murray of Murray Hill, New York. They had four children:

Cutting died of acute indigestion while on a train coming back from El Paso, Texas.[1]


Through his eldest son, he was the grandfather of Iris Origo (1902–1988), the Marchesa Origo, the author of many books.[14]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g "W.B. CUTTING DIES ON TRAIN". The New York Times. 2 Mar 1912. p. 1. Retrieved February 18, 2013.
  2. ^ a b c Bergen, Tunis Garret (1915). Genealogies of the State of New York: A Record of the Achievements of Her People in the Making of a Commonwealth and the Founding of a Nation. Lewis Historical Publishing Company. Retrieved 28 July 2017.
  3. ^ Livingston, Edwin Brockholst (1901). The Livingstons of Livingston manor; being the history of that branch of the Scottish house of Callendar which settled in the English province of New York during the reign of Charles the Second; and also including an account of Robert Livingston of Albany, "The nephew," a settler in the same province and his principal descendants. New York: The Knickerbocker Press. Retrieved 28 July 2017.
  4. ^ "CUTTING, Francis Brockholst - Biographical Information". bioguide.congress.gov. Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved 28 July 2017.
  5. ^ Columbia University Quarterly Volume 14, 1912, Page 286
  6. ^ Lynn Beebe Weaver (September 1973). "National Register of Historic Places Registration: Bayard Cutting Estate". New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation. Retrieved 2010-02-20. See also: "Accompanying six photos".
  7. ^ Combe, Pierre. Justine Ward and Solesmes. 1987, page 416.
  8. ^ Wealthy New York Businessmen Tid-bits, The History Box
  9. ^ “Centre Island Revisited”, A History of the Gardens of the Ambassador's Residence, British Embassy, Washington, May 2, 2014.
  10. ^ The Peerage.com
  11. ^ Cutting, Bronson Murray, Biographical Directory of the United States Congress
  12. ^ Lowitt, Richard. Bronson M. Cutting: Progressive Politician (University of New Mexico Press, 1992).
  14. ^ "MISS CUTTING ENGAGED.; Daughter of Late W. Bayard Cutting to Wed the Marchese Orljjo". The New York Times. 7 October 1923. Retrieved 2 November 2017.

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