William Bradley Isham

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William Bradley Isham
Born(1829-04-27)April 27, 1829
DiedJune 9, 1919(1919-06-09) (aged 90)
New York City, New York, U.S.
Known fornamesake of Isham Park
Julia A. Burhans
(m. 1852; her death 1907)
Children6, including Charles, Samuel
Parent(s)Charles Isham
Flora Bradley Isham

William Bradley Isham (April 29, 1827 – March 23, 1909) was an American merchant and banker.

Early life[edit]

Isham was born in Malden-on-Hudson in Ulster County, New York on April 29, 1827. He was the son of Charles Isham (1784–1856), who was born in Colchester, Connecticut, and Flora (née Bradley) Isham (1797–1845), who was born in Hartford, Connecticut.[1] Among his siblings was sister Flora Eliza Isham and brother Samuel Isham.[2]

His paternal grandparents were Mary (née Adams) Isham and Samuel Isham, a son of John Isham II. His maternal grandparents were Polly (née Hyde) Bradley and Judge William Bradley of Hartford, Connecticut.[1] Through his father,[a] he was a distant cousin of Pierpoint Isham, a Justice of the Vermont Supreme Court, and his son, Edward Swift Isham, a lawyer and member of the Illinois House of Representatives.[1]


Along with his brother, Charles, Isham was a leather merchant.[3] They began their business in Malden and, in 1849, he moved to New York City where Isham formed a partnership with George Palen and Isaac H. Bailey. He later owned downtown factories and warehouses on Gold and Cliff Streets.[4]

He later became vice-president of the Union Bank and of the Bank of the Metropolis, and was president of the Bond and Mortgage Guarantee Company.[4] Isham retired in 1890 and sent "the only Manhattan-grown wheat to the Columbia Exposition and to the Chicago World's Fair in 1893."[3] [5]

Isham was a benefactor of the Mount Washington Presbyterian Church and served as a trustee of the Dyckman Library. He was a patron of the American Museum of Natural History, a member of the Down Town Association, the New-York Historical Society, the Chicago Historical Society, the Metropolitan Club, the Riding Club, the Jekyll Island Club,[3] the National Academy of Design, the New England Club, the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the New York Botanical Garden.[6]

Real estate[edit]

In 1862, he rented the former house and estate of the late Dr. Floyd T. Ferris, in uptown Manhattan, as a summer residence. The two-story house, located in the neighborhood now known as Inwood, had been built in the 1850s and was part of the Dyckman tract.[7] Isham purchased the 24 acres (9.7 ha) estate two years later in 1864. The house was situated at the highest point on the property and afforded the Ishams expansive views of the Hudson and Harlem Rivers and the Spuyten Duyvil Creek.[2]

After his death, his daughter Julia Isham Taylor donated 6 acres (2.4 ha) of the estate in 1911 to the City of New York for the creation of Isham Park, named in his honor.[8] Isham's sister, Flora, followed suit and donated more in March 1912. After his son Samuel's death in 1914, the City was bequeathed an additional 24 lots. In October and December 1917, his daughter Julia bought and donated more adjoining land to the City for the park which eventually was restored to the approximate boundaries of the Isham estate,[9] with extra land forming the new Inwood Hill Park.[2]

Personal life[edit]

On June 9, 1852, Isham was married to Julia Burhans (1827–1907), the daughter of Rebecca (née Wickes) Burhans and Col. Benjamin Peck Burnhans of Warrensburg, New York.[10] Together, William and Julia were the parents of:[1]

Isham died at the age of 81, at his home at 5 East 61st Street in Manhattan, on March 23, 1909.[6][7]


Through his son Charles, he was the grandfather of Abraham Lincoln "Linc" Isham (1892–1971),[32] who married Leahalma Correa (1892–1960), the daughter of Spaniard, Carlos Correa and Englishwoman, Mary Gooding, in August 1919.[33] They did not have any children together and Linc was among the last living direct descendants of President Lincoln.[34]

Through his daughter Flora,[31] he was the grandfather of William Bradley Isham Collins, Julia Helena Collins (1905–1987), and Minturn Post Collins Jr., also a real estate investor.[35]


  1. ^ William Bradley Isham's paternal grandfather, Samuel Isham (1752–1827), was the brother of Dr. Ezra Isham (1773–1835), both sons of John Isham II (1721–1802), who was born at Barnstable, Massachusetts and moved to Colchester, Connecticut. Dr. Ezra Isham was the father of Judge Pierpoint Isham (1802–1872) and grandfather of Edward Swift Isham (1836–1902), the law partner of Robert Todd Lincoln.[1]
  2. ^ Edith Buckingham was the daughter of Komaki Tsunoda of Japan and Marian (née Tonkin) Tsunoda of England.[31]
  1. ^ a b c d e American Ancestry: Embracing lineages from the whole of the United States. 1888-1898. Ed. by Frank Munsell. J. Munsell's Sons. 1888. pp. 28–29. Retrieved 30 April 2019.
  2. ^ a b c "Isham Park Inwood, Manhattan, New York, NY". tclf.org. The Cultural Landscape Foundation. Retrieved 1 May 2019.
  3. ^ a b c Hutto, Richard Jay (2006). Their Gilded Cage: The Jekyll Island Club Members. Indigo Custom Publishing. pp. 85–86. ISBN 9780977091225. Retrieved 1 May 2019.
  4. ^ a b "History of Inwood's Ishham Park" My Inwood
  5. ^ Thompson, Cole; Rice, Don (2019). Lost Inwood. Arcadia Publishing. p. 23. ISBN 9781467102780. Retrieved 1 May 2019.
  6. ^ a b "WILLIAM B. ISHAM". New-York Tribune. 24 Mar 1909. p. 7. Retrieved 30 April 2019.
  7. ^ a b "LATEST DEALINGS IN REALTY FIELD; William B. Isham's Residence on East Sixty-first Street Sold by Executors of Estate" (PDF). The New York Times. 3 March 1912. Retrieved 30 April 2019.
  8. ^ Hass, Eric (17 January 1971). "To the Rescue … of a Tree" (PDF). The New York Times. Retrieved 1 May 2019.
  9. ^ "ADDS NEW PLOT TO ISHAM PARK; Julia Isham Taylor Conveys Tract Valued at $90,000 to the City. FIFTH GIFT OF LAND Board of Estimate Expected Today to Act Formally on the Conveyance" (PDF). The New York Times. 6 December 1917. Retrieved 1 May 2019.
  10. ^ "ISHAM". New York Tribune. October 14, 1907. Retrieved 1 May 2019.
  11. ^ "Charles Isham Dies at 66" (PDF). The New York Times. June 10, 1919. Retrieved 30 April 2019.
  12. ^ "MRS. ISHAM DIES; WAS LINCOLN'S KIN; Granddaughter of President a Daughter of Robert Todd Lincoln, Ex-War Secretary OWNED FAMOUS PORTRAIT Emancipator's Likeness Now to Hang in White House if a Position Suitable Is Found" (PDF). The New York Times. 22 November 1938. Retrieved 30 April 2019.
  13. ^ "Miss Lincoln's Wedding.; Married to Charles B. Isham in Brompton Parish Church" (PDF). The New York Times. 3 September 1891. Retrieved 30 April 2019.
  14. ^ Ulm, A. H. (1 August 1926). "MALE LINE OF LINCOLNS IS ENDED; Robert Todd Was the Only One of the Martyr President's Children Who Attained Mature Years MALE LINE OF LINCOLNS ENDS WITH DEATH OF ROBERT TODD" (PDF). The New York Times. Retrieved 30 April 2019.
  15. ^ "Miss Lincoln's Marriage" (PDF). The New York Times. 29 August 1891. Retrieved 30 April 2019.
  16. ^ Nowlan Ph.D, Robert A. (2016). The American Presidents From Polk to Hayes: What They Did, What They Said & What Was Said About Them. Outskirts Press. pp. 298–299. ISBN 9781478765721. Retrieved 30 April 2019.
  17. ^ "ARTIST DIES ON GOLF LINKS.; Samuel Isham Bursts an Artery at Maidstone Club -- His Career" (PDF). The New York Times. 13 June 1914. Retrieved 30 April 2019.
  18. ^ a b "WILLIAM B. ISHAM, OLD NEW YORKER, DIES; Retired Leather Merchant Was Classmate of the Late President Wilson at Princeton" (PDF). The New York Times. 2 April 1929. Retrieved 30 April 2019.
  19. ^ "Mrs. Hannah Collins Isham, Of Prominent Quaker Family". The Brooklyn Daily Eagle. July 31, 1948. p. 5. Retrieved 1 May 2019.
  20. ^ Princeton Alumni Weekly. Princeton Alumni Weekly. 1909. p. 504. Retrieved 1 May 2019.
  21. ^ Collins, John (1893). Reminiscences of Isaac and Rachael (Budd) Collins: With an Account of Some of Their Descendants : Together with a Genealogy of the Collins Family and Also a History of a Reunion Held at Philadelphia, May 9, 1892. Lippincott. p. 119. Retrieved 1 May 2019.
  22. ^ Miller, Tom (1 October 2011). "The Lyman Bloomingdale House -- 21 East 63rd Street". Daytonian in Manhattan. Retrieved 1 May 2019.
  23. ^ "MRS. H.O. TAYLOR, CITY'S BENEFACTOR; Wife of Historian and Donor of Isham Park in Upper Manhattan Dies at 73 SHE AIDED MANY CAUSES Gave Prints to Metropolitan Museum--Had Been Generous to Harvard University" (PDF). The New York Times. 7 March 1939. Retrieved 1 May 2019.
  24. ^ "WILL OF MRS. TAYLOR AIDS TWO COLLEGES; Harvard and Smith Get Residue After $100,000 Bequests" (PDF). The New York Times. 12 March 1939. Retrieved 1 May 2019.
  25. ^ "Harvard Given $642,000 in Will of Julia Taylor". The Boston Globe. May 31, 1940. p. 11. Retrieved 1 May 2019.
  26. ^ "MRS. COLLINS SET UP TRUST FOR HUSBAND; Estate Will Go to Three Children on His Death -- C.M. Parker Property to Relatives" (PDF). The New York Times. 7 October 1934. Retrieved 1 May 2019.
  27. ^ "Minturn Collins Succumbs After Long Illness". The Palm Beach Post. 29 Mar 1957. p. 6. Retrieved 1 May 2019.
  28. ^ Thomas, Allen Clapp (1900). Biographical Catalogue of the Matriculates of Haverford College: Together with Lists of the Members of the College Faculty and the Managers, Officers and Recipients of Honorary Degrees, 1833-1900. Alumni Association. p. 210. Retrieved 1 May 2019.
  29. ^ "DR. BLAKE SELLS ESTATE.; Disposes of Bar Harbor Residence to Minturn Post Collins" (PDF). The New York Times. 14 September 1927. Retrieved 1 May 2019.
  30. ^ "BRIDEGROOM 72, BRIDE 23; Edith Buckingham Wed to Minturn Post Collins Here" (PDF). The New York Times. 22 January 1943. Retrieved 1 May 2019.
  31. ^ a b Randolph, Nancy (January 22, 1943). "Society Hepcat, 72, Weds Eurasian, 23". New York Daily News. Retrieved 1 May 2019.
  32. ^ "Lincoln Isham Dead at 79; Great‐Grandson of Lincoln" (PDF). The New York Times. 3 September 1971. Retrieved 30 April 2019.
  33. ^ "LINCOLN ISHAM MARRIED; His Wedding to Miss Leaholma Carrea Last Saturday Just Told" (PDF). The New York Times. 3 September 1919. Retrieved 30 April 2019.
  34. ^ Winkler, H. Donald (2004). Lincoln's Ladies: The Women in the Life of the Sixteenth President. Cumberland House Publishing. p. 215. ISBN 9781581824254. Retrieved 30 April 2019.
  35. ^ "Carol Minturn Collins Engaged To Livingston Ludlow Biddle 4th". The New York Times. 25 March 1973. Retrieved 1 May 2019.

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