Historical records matching Bvt. Brig. Gen. John Jacob Astor III
About Bvt. Brig. Gen. John Jacob Astor III
John Jacob Astor III (June 10, 1822 – February 22, 1890) was the elder son of William Backhouse Astor, Sr. and the wealthiest member of the Astor family in his generation. He was the founder of the English branch of the Astor family, which persists to this day.
Astor studied at Columbia College and Göttingen, following which he went to Harvard Law School. During the American Civil War he served as a volunteer aide-de-camp to General George B. McClellan. For his services during the Peninsular Campaign he was brevetted brigadier general of U.S. Volunteers.
As a businessman, he dabbled in railroad investment, but was forced to yield control of the original New York Central Railroad line (from Albany to Buffalo) to Cornelius Vanderbilt. His principal business interest was of course the vast Astor Estate real estate holdings in New York City, which he managed profitably and parsimoniously.
In 1846, he married Charlotte Augusta Gibbes (c. 1825-1887) of South Carolina and in 1859 he built a home at 350 Fifth Avenue, which is today the street address of the Empire State Building. Later, he added an imposing vacation home, Beaulieu, in Newport, Rhode Island.
John Jacob Astor III had little inclination to do much in the way of charitable works beyond continuing gifts made by his ancestors to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Trinity Church, and the Astor Library. However, his deeply religious wife had quite a different attitude. Charlotte Astor supported the newly formed Children's Aid Society and sat on the board of the Women's Hospital of New York, an institution that to her dismay refused to accept cancer patients. Deciding to do something about it, she persuaded her husband to donate the money to erect the New York Cancer Hospital's first wing, the "Astor Pavilion."
Aristocratic by inclination, he increasingly visited London in his later years, and his only child, William Waldorf Astor, would move there permanently with his family in 1891.
John Jacob Astor III died on February 22, 1890 and was interred in the Trinity Church Cemetery in Manhattan, New York.
John Jacob Astor III married 1846 Charlotte Augusta Gibbs (1822 - 1887). They had one son only:
William Waldorf Astor, created Viscount Astor in 1917 (1848-1919), American ambassador in Italy 1882-1885, built the Waldorf Hotel, New York, in 1893, bought Cliveden-on-Thames from the Duke of Westminster, m.1878 Mary Dahlgren Paul (1858-1894) . There were 5 children from this marriage:
1. Waldorf Astor, 2nd Viscount Astor (1879-1952), m.1906 Nancy Witcher Langhorne (1879-1964), m.1st 1897 (div 1903) (5 children)
2. Pauline Astor (1880-1972), m.1904 Sir Herbert Henry Spender-Clay (1875-1937) (3 children)
3. John Rudolph Astor (1881-1881) (no issue)
4. Gwendolyn Enid Astor (1884-1902) (no issue)
5. John Jacob Astor, 1st Baron Astor of Hever in 1956 (1886-1971), m.1916 Lady Violet Mary Elliot [of the earls of Minto] (1889-1965) (3 sons)
Bvt. Brig. Gen. John Jacob Astor III's Timeline
June 10, 1822
New York, New York, NY, USA
March 31, 1848
New York, NY, USA
February 22, 1890
New York, New York, NY, USA