William L. Harkness

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William L. Harkness
WIlliam L. Harkness.png
William L. Harkness
Born August 8, 1858
Bellevue, Ohio
United States
Died May 10, 1919 (age 60)
New Hyde Park, New York
Resting place Woodlawn Cemetery
Residence New York City, Glen Cove, New York
Education Yale University (Class of 1881)
Occupation Business investor, Standard Oil Heir
Spouse(s) Edith Hale
Children Louise H., William Hale Harkness
Parent(s) Daniel M. Harkness and Isabella Harkness

William Lamon Harkness (August 8, 1858 - May 10, 1919) was an American businessman. He was born in Bellevue, Ohio, the son of Daniel M. Harkness (who was the half-brother of both Henry Flagler and Stephen V. Harkness both founders of Standard Oil) and his wife Isabella Harkness. Upon his father Daniel's death in 1896, he inherited a large share in Standard Oil, a company in which his father had been an early shareholder. He is the also a cousin of noted philanthropist Edward Harkness who also benefitted from his father's involvement with Standard Oil.[1]

Will attended Bellevue Public Schools in Bellevue, Ohio and The Brooks Military School in Cleveland. In 1881, Harkness graduated from Yale University.

In 1896, he moved from Cleveland, Ohio to a home at 12 East 53rd Street in New York City. He also owned a country home, Dosoris, at Glen Cove on Long Island. A yachtsman and sportsman, he was a member of The Union Club of Cleveland, the New York Yacht Club, the Seawanhaka Corinthian Yacht Club and Piping Rock Club.[2]

WIlliam L. Harkness died in New York City in 1919 and was buried in the Woodlawn Cemetery in The Bronx, New York. He left an estate of $53,439,437 which would be approximately $740 Million in today's dollars, of which $37,272,254 was stock in Standard Oil. He left half of his estate including his houses at 12 West 53rd in New York and Dosoris at Glen Cove, NY to his wife Edith Hale Harkness. The remaining half was divided between his daughter Louise Hale Harkness and his son William Hale Harkness.[3]

William L Harkness house 12 East 53rd St., New York, NY
WIlliam L. Harkness Estate in Glen Cove, NY known as The Wings and then Dosoris.


Shortly before his death, Harkness donated $400,000 to Yale University. The William L. Harkness Hall at Yale University was completed in 1927 as the gift of Mr. W.L. Harkness, B.A. 1881, and his family. It is a Collegiate Gothic building of Aquia sandstone with Ohio sandstone trim and contains offices and lecture & recitation rooms for the French, German, and Music departments. William Adams Delano was the architect.


  1. ^ Western Reserve Historical Society Publication, Issue 102, pg 26
  2. ^ Western Reserve Historical Society Publication, Issue 102, pg 26
  3. ^ New York Times (june 28, 1922) | http://query.nytimes.com/mem/archive-free/pdf?res=F00B1EF939551A738DDDA10A94DE405B828EF1D3