|Harry Harkness Flagler
|Harry Flagler was the only son of Henry Flagler. He was born in
Cleveland, Ohio on December 2, 1870. His problems with his father
began when Henry married his mother's nurse: Ida Alica Shrouds.
In 1886 he entered on the New York scene as a member of the
Larchmont Yacht Club. Another new member of the club was Henry
Harry was on the boat Oneida when his sister died (along with Frederic
Hart Benedict). He was also present at the groundbreaking and
dedication of Memorial Presbyterian Church.
He was a member of the class of 1894 at Columbia College and was a
member of the Psi Upsilon Fraternity. At the end of his third year at
college he left to work in the hotel system. He would receive receive an A.
B. degree from Columbia in 1897.
He also became engaged to Annie Louise Lamont. They were married on
April 25, 1894 at the Madison Avenue Baptist Church by Rev. Dr. Henry
M. Sanders. The bride's brother, Lansing Lamont, was the best man. She
was the daughter of Charles A. Lamont who left a fortune of several
million dollars to his wife (Anna M Pesetz) and two daughters. She'll be
noted in St. Augustine as "a thoroughly charming lady of exquisite
manners and address and consequently sought after on all and every
occasion of social gatherings." She will share her husband's interest in
music an serve on the Board of Managers of the Music School
Settlement. and she was director of the Symphany Society of New York.
She was a member of the Woman's Cosmopolitan Club. She died in 1939.
He was a member of the board of directors for his father's Jacksonville,
St. Augustine and Indian River Railway. He spent one year in St.
Augustine managing the hotels. He was appointed to be in control of the
Ponce de Leon, the Alcazar and the Cordova in 1894. It is unclear if
Osborn Seavey quits because of Harry or Harry is simply the beneficiary
of Seavey quiting. Harry ends his managership in a blow-up with his
father and will never see him again alive. After his graduation from
Columbia in 1897 he toured Europe.
He did make it to his father's side before Henry's death but Henry was not
conscience. He was left 5,000 more shares of Standard Oil stock in the
In 1910 Harry Flagler became a founding member of The Walpole
Society. The Walpole Society was dedicated to the appreciation and
scholarship of American Arts. Books by its members rank among the most
important and long-lasting works in the fields of American decorative arts
In 1903 he became the secretary of the Permanent Fund Orchestra which
planned the development of the Philharmonic Society. He served as
President of the Symphony Society of New York and its orchestra from
1914 to 1928. When he merged with the Philharmonic he became
president of the new group.
In 1921 he was also a member of The American Administration Committee
of the Fontainebleau School of Music, an outgrowth of General
Pershing's school for army bandmasters at Chaumont, France. In 1921 he
received an honorary Doctor of Music from New York University.
In 1929 he received a letter from Henri Petain thanking him for a $500
contribution toward the American Verdun Memorial. He also thanked him
for welcoming the Bishop of Verdun during a U.S. trip. He still received
correspondence from John D. Rockfeller and on July 15 got a message
about how Rockfeller was dreaming he was with Harry's father on his
In May of 1931 The George Edward Woodberry Poetry Room was
opened at Harvard University at Widener Library. This room honored the
poet George Woodberry who was a professor at Columbia and Harvard.
His poetry was publicshed in The Atlantic Monthly and The Nation. As a
friend of Flagler through their talks and correspondence they conceived
an idea of a un-library-like room where students and faculty might find on
tables and shelves the poetry of their own century. With a second grant
from Flagler in 1949 the room (designed by Alvar Aalto) was moved to
better quarters in the Lamont Library. With the room Harvard officially
recognized modern poetry.
In 1934 he became ill and resigned as president of the
Philharmonic-Symphony Society of New York. He also resigned from his
position as chairman of the pension fund and member of the executive
committee. The Board quicky adopted a resolution that stated: "the
resignation of Mr. Flagler from the presidency of the
Philharmonic-Symphony Society has been received by the board with a
deep sense of the loss thereby sustained, not only by the society, but by
music lovers of orchestral music throughout the nation. .... For more than
a quarter of a century Mr. Flagler has devoted his life and his fortune to
the higher interests of the art of music and to the welfare of New York
musicians. As president for many years of the New York Symphony
Society and afterward of the combined New York Symphony and
Philharmonic Symphony organizations, Mr. Flagler has a record of
modest and disinterested service unequalled in the musical annals of the
In 1934 he contributed to the Georgia Warm Springs Foundation. He
supported FDR for president in 1936 and received a letter from Eleanor
Roosevelt thanking he and his wife for their support.
His life is spent on the New York art scene including becoming President
of the Symphony Society, Trustee of Brick Presbyterian Church, Trustee
of Roosevelt Hospital and Vassa Brothers Hospital; President of Millbrook
Free Library; Director of the Fifth Avenue Bank of New York, Trustee of
the Institute of Musical Arts and chairman of the New York Philharmonic
Society (and President of the Philharmonic-Symphony). He endowed the
Symphony Society by underwriting its deficits up to $100,000 a year. He
gave money to the Symphony Orchestra to make the first American
orchestra tour of Europe.
At his death on June 30, 1952 his estate is left to his three daughters.
Each daughter received 20,000 shares of Standard Oil (valued in 1952
at $1,600,000 for each daughter). The daughters were Mrs. Melbert B.
Carey, Jr., of New York, Mrs. Flagler Harris of Philadelphia, and Mrs.
Jean Flagler Matthews, of Rye, N. Y. (she would later buy and restore
Whitehall the Palm Beach home of Henry Flagler. $25,000 each was
given to his four grandchildren: Anne Lamont Harris, John Andrews Harris
4th, Henry Flagler Harris and George Gregory Matthews.
The will provided $10,000 each to the First Presbyterian Church and
Roosevelt Hospital, in New York City and $5,000 to Lyall Memorial
Federated Church, at Millbrook, N. Y. He also gave matching dollars of
up to $100,000 for Millbrook School for Boys and land was given to
Millbrook Free Library .
Harry Flagler St. Augustine Record Obit
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