Col. John Batterson Stetson, Jr.

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Col. John Batterson Stetson, Jr.

Birthdate:
Birthplace: Philadelphia, Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania, United States
Death: November 15, 1952 (68)
at his home, Elkins Park, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, United States
Place of Burial: Arlington, Arlington County, Virginia, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of John Batterson Stetson, Sr.; Sarah Elizabeth Stetson and Sarah Elizabeth Shindler
Husband of Anne Stetson and Ruby Florence Stetson
Father of Captain Stuart Carlisle Stetson; Major John Batterson Stetson, III; Thomazine Widdowson and Jane Burton Cartledge / Cruise
Brother of Benjamin Stetson; George Henry Stetson and George Henry Stetson

Managed by: Thomas Robert Luce, Sr.
Last Updated:

About Col. John Batterson Stetson, Jr.

From the 1900 federal census, John B. Stetson, Jr. lived in Cheltenham Township, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, with his father, mother and brother. the family at the time consisted of:

  • Head John B Stetson 70
  • Wife Elizabeth Stetson 42
  • Son John B Stetson, Jr 15
  • Son Henry Stetson 13

On 5 August 1908, John B. Stetson, Jr., a resident of Ashbourne, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, filed a passport application for himself and his wife, Ruby F. Stetson, at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The two people covered by the application were:

  • John B. Stetson, Jr.
  • Ruby F. Stetson

From the 1910 federal census, John B. Stetson, Jr. lived in Cheltenham, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, with his wife and sons. The family at the time consisted of:

  • Head John B Stetson, Jr 25
  • Wife Ruby F Stetson 24
  • Son John B Stetson, 3rd 2
  • Son Stuart C Stetson 1

From the 1920 federal census, John B. Stetson, II lived in Cheltenham, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, with his wife and siblings. The family at the time consisted of:

  • Head John B J Stetson 35
  • Wife Ruby F Stetson 35
  • Son John B Stetson, III 12
  • Son Stuart C Stetson 11
  • Daughter Thomazine Stetson 9
  • Daughter Jane B Stetson 7

From the 1930 federal census, John B. Stetson, III lived in Cheltenham, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, with his wife and children. The family at the time consisted of:

  • Head John B Stetson 45
  • Wife Ruby F Stetson 44
  • Son Stuart C Stetson 21
  • Son John B Stetson, 3rd 21
  • Daughter Thomazine Stetson 19
  • Daughter Jane B Stetson 17

From the 1940 federal census, John B. Stetson, Jr. lived in Cheltenham, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, with wife. The family at the time consisted of:

  • Head John B Jr. Stetson 56
  • Wife Ruby F Stetson 55

John Batterson Stetson, Jr. was a Diplomat, Businessman, Philanthropist. The son of famed western hat maker John Batterson Stetson, Sr., the younger Stetson graduated from Harvard in 1906 and worked at his father's hat company. The Stetson fortune enabled him to pursue his interests in several other fields, including aviation and South American archeology and ethnology. During World War I he was among the first Americans to volunteer, serving as an instructor at the military aviation school in Tours, France with the rank of Captain, and remaining on active duty until 1920. On 3 July 1925, he was appointed Ambassador to Poland, where he served until 29 August 1929. As Ambassador, Stetson consistently advocated for the Polish position during disputes over territory on its border with Germany. Upon returning to the United States he became a partner in a newly formed stock brokerage. Stetson resided in Pennsylvania and Florida, and his interest in Florida history led to his involvement in an effort to gather thousands of Spanish documents related to the early history of Florida, copies of which are now part of the University of Florida Archives.

The following comes from the American Antiquarian Society:

John B. Stetson was born in Philadelphia on October 14, 1884, a son of John B., the hat manufacturer, and Sarah Elizabeth (Shindler) Stetson. He attended the William Penn Charter School and entered Harvard with the Class of 1906, but because of illness contracted in June, 1903, went to the Southwest where he spent a year among the Indians of Arizona and New Mexico. When he had recovered his health, he returned to Harvard where he took his B.A. in 1907. Immediately after graduation he took his father's place as a director of the John B. Stetson Company, and for several years traveled in its behalf in Europe and North Africa. He also established several smaller businesses as diverse as a cotton bleachery and a manufactory of safety razors. For fifteen years he had a business interest in the Anderson Galleries.

In 1916 Mr. Stetson took up fiying and became a member of the first class of civilians trained by the government in the Fall of that year at Mineóla. He was commissioned a first lieutenant as which he saw service in France, chiefly in ground instruction. In 1920 he was discharged with the rank of Captain. In the same year he published a two-volume translation of Pero de Magalhaes' Histories of Brazil. As chairman of the Committee on Publication of the Florida State Historical Society he visited this library and enlisted the aid of Clarence S. Brigham and George Parker Winship. As a result of this contact he was elected to the American Antiquarian Society in October, 1923. At the time he wrote: "I am acquainted with no other Society the object of whose works is more in harmony with my own tastes than yours, and I am looking forward to taking part in the duties and privileges of membership." Actually, that was almost his last contact with The Society.

In 1925 he began six years of service as minister to Poland, and during his rare visits to America was usually in Florida, where he succeeded his father as president of the Board of Trustees of John B. Stetson University. Later he became a trustee of Bucknell University and curator of Portugese literature at Harvard. The Florida State Historical Society was one of his chief interests, and for it he financed the systematic photostating of documents in the Archivo General de Indias.

Mr. Stetson bought a seat on the New York Stock Exchange in 1930 and with Daniel S. Blackman formed the brokerage firm of Stetson and Blackman. Three years later the Governing Committee of the Exchange expelled him for a misstatement in answering a questionnaire and for refusing to give the Committee information which it requested. A Federal receiver was appointed for the firm, but Mr. Stetson personally bought up all of the claims against it.

The sale of his collection of rare books at the American Art Association - Anderson Galleries was one of the highlights of the season of 1935, and brought over $97,000. In 1942, after the death of his second son. Captain Stuart C. Stetson, in a flying accident on a training field, he enlisted in the Marine Corps, serving as a major in the recruiting service. Soon thereafter he lost also his other son. Major John B. Stetson, III. In 1943 he was transferred to the army with rank of colonel and sent to Iran as fiscal advisor to the commanding general. Later he became director of the fiscal department of the Persian Gulf Command, handling the lend-lease and later the liquidation of the American property, including railroads, of the region.

Colonel Stetson died at his home in Elkins Park on November 15, 1952, survived by his widow, the former Ruby F. Carlisle, of Wakefield, Massachusetts, and by two daughters, Mrs. N. W. Widowson and Mrs. J. J. Cruise. His library was sold by Parke-Bernet in February and April, 1953.

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Col. John Batterson Stetson, Jr.'s Timeline

1884
October 13, 1884
Philadelphia, Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania, United States
1908
1908
Age 23
Elkins Park, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, United States
1909
March 28, 1909
Age 24
Philadelphia, Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania, United States
1910
December 29, 1910
Age 26
Elkins Park, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, United States
1913
1913
Age 28
Elkins Park, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, United States
1952
November 15, 1952
Age 68
Elkins Park, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, United States
November 1952
Age 68
Arlington, Arlington County, Virginia, United States