Edward Townsend Stotesbury

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Edward Townsend Stotesbury

Also Known As: "Ned Stotesbury"
Birthdate: (89)
Birthplace: Philadelphia, Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania, United States
Death: May 16, 1938 (89)
Wyndmoor, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, United States
Place of Burial: Philadelphia, Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of Thomas Pritchett Stotesbury; Thomas P. Stotesbury and Martha Stotesbury
Husband of Lucretia Bishop Stotesbury; Frances Berman Stotesbury and Lucretia Bishop Stotesbury
Father of Helen Lewis Stotesbury; Edith Lewis Hutchinson and Frances Butcher Mitchell
Brother of Charles C. Stotesbury

Managed by: Private User
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About Edward Townsend Stotesbury

Stotesbury got his start working for Drexel & Co., the well-known Philadelphia banking house founded and directed by Anthony Joseph Drexel. He was always punctual, never absent. He kept meticulous records of every penny he spent. When Drexel went into partnership with J.P. Morgan, Stotesbury received a lucrative post. In 1882, he was made a partner. Years later he often told the simple story of his success: "Keep your mouth shut and your ears open."

One of the significant services which he performed in the course of his business career was assisting in the floating of the International Chinese Loan of 1909. He was also a director of the Reading Railroad, the Lehigh Valley Railroad, the Philadelphia Fidelity Bank, the Girard Trust Company, the Cambria Iron Company, Pennsylvania Steel Company, Latrobe Steel Company, Penn Mutual Life Insurance Company, Keystone Watch Company, and the Jesup and Moore Paper Company.

In 1927, Stotesbury's fortune was estimated at $100 million. At the time of his death in 1938, it was down to an estimated $4 million. The Stock Market did crash in the years of the decline of his fortune. But in the last five years of his life, while the Great Depression raged, the banker withdrew $55 million out of his account at J.P. Morgan (a rate of withdrawal of more than $10,000,000 a year).

Stotesbury died at eighty-nine on May 21, 1938 and was buried in The Woodlands Cemetery in Philadelphia.

[edit] LegacyEvery year since 1927, the Stotesbury Cup Regatta has been held on the Schuylkill River in Philadelphia. It is one of the oldest and largest high school rowing regattas in the United States. Stotesbury himself was a member and one-time president of the Bachelors Barge Club, one of the rowing clubs in Philadelphia.

Stotesbury, West Virginia, a coal mining town in Raleigh County, was named for Stotesbury. The town was the former home of eight-term U.S. Senator Robert C. Byrd.

Edward and Eva Stotesbury are characters in the Stephen Sondheim musical Road Show (2008).

[edit] ReferencesBiography of Edward T. Stotesbury Article about Stotesbury in 2000 William Manchester, American Caesar: Douglas MacArthur 1880-1964, Little, Brown & Company (1978) ^ The townhouses, at the NE corner of 20th & Walnut Sts., were designed by architect Frank Furness for client Thomas McKean and his son in 1869.[1] ^ Postcard of Wingwood House


Edward Townsend "Ned" Stotesbury was a prominent investment banker, a partner in Philadelphia's Drexel & Co. and its New York affiliate J. P. Morgan & Co. for over fifty-five years. He was involved in the financing of many railroads. Stotesbury, West Virginia, a coal mining town in Raleigh County, is named for him, as well as his equestrian estate, the Stotesbury Club House. Several of the palatial estates he built with his second wife have been demolished in the years since his death.

Stotesbury was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania of Quaker parentage, and attended Union Business College (now Peirce College). His first wife was Frances Berman Butcher. Their first daughter, Helen Lewis Stotesbury (August 21, 1874 – September 9, 1874), died an infant. They had another daughter in 1877 and Frances died giving birth to a third on November 7, 1881 at the age of 31.

Stotesbury got his start working for Drexel & Co., the well-known Philadelphia banking house founded by Francis Martin Drexel and later directed by his son Anthony Joseph Drexel. He was always punctual, never absent. He kept meticulous records of every penny he spent. When Drexel went into partnership with J.P. Morgan, Stotesbury received a lucrative post. In 1882, he was made a partner. Years later he often told the simple story of his success: "Keep your mouth shut and your ears open."

One of the significant services which he performed in the course of his business career was assisting in the floating of the International Chinese Loan of 1909. He was a director of the Reading Railroad, the Lehigh Valley Railroad, the Philadelphia Fidelity Bank, the Girard Trust Company, the Cambria Iron Company, Pennsylvania Steel Company, Latrobe Steel Company, Penn Mutual Life Insurance Company, Keystone Watch Company, and the Jessup and Moore Paper Company. He also served as the President of Philadelphia's Art Jury and Fairmount Park Art Association (now the Association for Public Art).

On January 18, 1912, after having been a widower for thirty-some years, Stotesbury married widow Eva Roberts Cromwell, becoming the stepfather of Oliver Eaton Cromwell, James H. R. Cromwell, and Louise Cromwell Brooks. James worked at Drexel and Company after his World War I service.

The couple's first project together was redecorating his Philadelphia townhouses at 1923-25 Walnut Street. They went on to build three palatial estates:

Whitemarsh Hall outside Philadelphia by architect Horace Trumbauer (1916–21, demolished 1980) El Mirasol in Palm Beach, Florida by architect Addison Mizner (1919, demolished 1950s) Wingwood House in Bar Harbor, Maine by architectural firm Magaziner, Eberhard & Harris (1927, demolished 1953) In 1927, Stotesbury's fortune was estimated at $100 million ($1.4 billion today). While he withdrew $55 million from his J.P. Morgan account during the Great Depression, the stock market crash and the depression further drained the value of his fortune, leaving him with an estimated $4 million ($100 million today) at the time of his death in 1938.

Stotesbury died at eighty-nine on May 21, 1938 in Wyndmoor, Pennsylvania and was buried in The Woodlands Cemetery in Philadelphia.

Every year since 1927, the Stotesbury Cup Regatta has been held on the Schuylkill River in Philadelphia. It is one of the oldest and largest high school rowing regattas in the United States. Stotesbury was a member and one-time president of the Bachelors Barge Club, one of the rowing clubs in Philadelphia.

The Stotesbury Club House, a building on Stotesbury's equestrian farm in Wyndmoor, Pennsylvania, was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1985.

Edward and Eva Stotesbury are characters in the Stephen Sondheim musical Road Show (2008).

The land on which Whitemarsh Hall was built was developed into a town house complex named after Stotesbury.

Stotesbury's second daughter, Edith Lewis Stotesbury (April 3, 1877 – 1935), married Sydney Emlen Hutchinson on December 25, 1903. His third daughter, Frances Butcher Stotesbury (November 7, 1881 – October 14, 1950), married John Kearsley Mitchell on January 5, 1909.

On February 14, 1922, his stepdaughter, Henrietta Louise Cromwell, a divorcee with two children, married General Douglas MacArthur. They divorced in 1929.

His stepson, James H.R. Cromwell became a devoted New Dealer. One day in 1936, when Cromwell was then married to Doris Duke, Stotesbury told him, "It’s a good thing you married the richest girl in the world because you will get very little from me. I made my fortune and I am going to squander it myself; not your friend Roosevelt."

Financier. Born into a middle-class Quaker family he attended Philadelphia's Friends' Central School. Starting as a clerk at Drexel, Morgan and Company at 17, he became a full partner and close colleague of J.P. Morgan. Morgan called him the man who knew "more about the banking business than any man in America." The simplicity of Quakerism contrasted with his fantastic mansions in Pennsylvania, Florida, and Maine. White Marsh Hall, Stotesbury's home from 1921 until his death, was called the "Versailles of America." It cost over $8 million to build, and furnish. White Marsh had 147 rooms and 45 bathrooms. It was complete with a movie theater, a barber shop, a billiards room, and nine elevators. Filled with tapestries, porcelain, Oriental rugs, paintings, and sculpture, it was a textbook example of the America's Gilded Age and its "conspicuous consumption." White Marsh with its staff of 70, was only used six months of the year. Stotesbury spent three months of the year in Palm Beach at El Mirasol. Another three months were spent at Wingwood in Maine. Guests at White Marsh Hall included Henry Ford, Will Rogers, and Olympic gold medalist and fellow Philadelphian John B. Kelly, Sr. Stotesbury was a social member of the Bachelors' Barge Club on Boathouse Row. The Stotesbury Cup Regatta, the oldest and largest high school regatta in the United States, is still held along Philadelphia's Boathouse Row.

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Edward Townsend Stotesbury's Timeline

1849
February 26, 1849
Philadelphia, Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania, United States
1874
August 21, 1874
Age 25
1877
April 3, 1877
Age 28
1881
November 7, 1881
Age 32
Philadelphia, Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania, United States
1938
May 16, 1938
Age 89
Wyndmoor, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, United States
????
Philadelphia, Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania, United States