|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.
Flagler Gets Aunt's Estate. (The Sun, October 25, 1917)
Valued at $2,000,000 -- Will Pay Nearly $250,000 Taxes.
Harry Harkness Flagler, a nephew, will receive parctically the entire
estate of Ann Caroline Flagler, a sister of the late Henry M. Flagler, who
died January 24, 1917, according to the provisions of the will. The
appraisal of the estate was sent from the office of the Deputy State
Comptroller to the Transfer Tax Office yesterday.
The two chief provisions in the will read: "To my faithful maid, Mary
Garden, $1,000," and "all the remainder to my nephew, Harry Harkness
Flagler." The total estate is nearly $2,000,000 consisting chiefly of stocks
and bonds, with small cash and personal assets.
Swann Attacks Harry H. Flagler (The Sun, September 24, 1918)
Says Latter Made $50 Profit by Selling Opera Tickets to Speculator.
Harry Harkness Flagler sold his Friday night subscription seats at the
Metropolitan Opera House last season to speculators for $50 above the
box office price, so District Attorney Swann asserted yesterday. He
backed his assertion by producing a letter from Mr. flagler to Jacob S.
Jacobs, a ticket dealer in the Hotel Normandie, acknowledging receipt of
Jacob's check for that amount.
There was no reason why Mr. Flagler should not sell his seats of course,
but Mr. Swann remarked that it was hard work to break up the ticket
brokerage abuse when men of such wealth and standing were ready to
profit by the dealers' activities. Many other wealthy persons have been
doing the same thing. the District Attorney said. Mr. Swann was also
vexed at the United Cigar Stores. They have been renting space to
agencies. Mr. Swann says the responsible heads of the corporation have
promised him they will oust these subtenants. It is impossible to conict a
speculator unless he makes a sale on the street.
The case of a sailor who paid $2.50 for a 50 cent Hippodrome seat
angered the prosecutor. Most of the agents are young enough to e
amenable to the State's anti-loafing law, he siad.
Edward Ziegler, administrative secretary of the Metropolitan, in charge of
ticket sales, said last night:
"I do not know anything about Mr. Flagler's seats. As to the practice of
selling subscription seats to speculators I know it is done, but usually for
a good reason. For instance, a subscrier may wish to go South for part of
the winter. The tickets belong to the subscrier. He can do what he wants
to with them.
"Usually we deliver the seats for the whole season at its beginning. But if
they are ordered kept in the office to be called for we deliver them without
question to any person showing proper authorization. The Metropolitan
itself has no dealings with speculators."
European Spring Tour (The Sun and the New York Herald, February
22, 1920) It is the desire of Harry Harkness Flagler, president of the New
York Symphony Society, to make the European spring tour of the New
York Symphony Orchestra to France, Italy, Belgium, Holland and England
a real demonstration of American musical activities. With this end in view
Walter Damroach has invited two of the most prominent American born
artists to accompany the orchestra as soloists--Albert Spalding, violinist,
and John Powell, composer-pianist. These two musicians will alternate as
soloists during the entire European tour. Mr. Spalding will play violin
concertos by Beethoven, Mozart, Saint-Saens and Back, and one of Mr.
Powell's selections will be his own negro fantasy for piano with orchestra,
based on some of the folk songs of the American negro, in which
European music loves are especially interested.
Aid for Rheims Music School (New York Herald, February 28, 1920)
The entire proceeds of a concert in Carnegie Hall on the night of March
20 by the New York Symphony Orchestra will be turned over to the
Society of American Friends of Musicians in France to be used in the
rehabilitation of the Rheims Music School. Jascha Heifets will be the
In informing Mrs. George M. Tuttle, chairman of the executive committee
of the American Friends of Musicians in France, that the New York
Symphony Orchestra had decided thus to help extend the work of the
important phase of reconstruction work in France established by Mr.
Walter Damroach, Mr. Harry Harkness Flagler wrote:
"My hope is that not only will a substanctial amount be added to your fund
on this occasion, but that other organizations may interest themselves in
like manner, so that a really adequate sum shall be quickly collected for
this most important work."
Recently Mrs. Tuttle received a letter from Mr. F. Hansen, director of the
Municipal Music School of Rheims, informing her that as the result of the
financial assistance rendered by the American Friends of Musicians in
France the Municipal Music School there had been able to open several
courses with more than sixty pupils. Continuing, the director wrote:
"There are difficulties without number which pile up and which could
discourage the best will in the world. The young inhabitants of Rheims
eager to study music confront them with a certain courage and frank
manliness. I speak of these young children who traverse up to three or
four kilometres to take part in the instrumental and solfege courses and
who are obliged in order to get home at 7 o'clock in the evening to walk in
the midst of ruins, over burned walls, in the mud, in the snow and in
streets where light is lacking totally."
The society decided to concentrate all efforts upon the rebuilding and
reorganizing of the School of Music of Rheims.
Among those who have taken boxes for the concert to be given tonight in
the Hippodome by John McCormack and Miss Mary Garden for the
benefit of the New York county organization of the American Legion, are
Mmes. Otto H. Kahn, T. Douglas Robinson, William B. Osgood Field. W.
de Lancey Kountze, Harry Payne Whitney, Forsyth Wilckes, Michael
Gavin, Nicholas F. Brady, Harry Harkness Flagler, John T. Pratt, William
A. Burden, Ambrose Monell and Lewis Wadsworth.
Symphony Society's Big Gift to France (The Sun and New York
Herald, May 3, 1920)
50,000 Francs to Aid Rheims School of Music.
Blair Fairchild, the American composer and chairman of the Paris
committee of the American Friends of Musicians of France, announced
today the gift of 50,000 francs by the Symphony society of New York,
whose orchestra arrives this week for an extended tour of European cities.
The fund will be devoted to the restoration of the Rhelms School of
Music, which was totally destroyed by the Germans during the war, and
supplements gifts totalling a half million francs raised by Walter Damroach
and Harry Flagler, president of the Symphony Society for Needy French
City Ready to Welcome Symphone To-morrow (New York Tribune,
July 1, 1920)
Police Boat Patrol Will Take Committee Down Bay to Meet the Returning
City Chamberlain Philip Berolsheimer, who has, at the direction of Mayor
Hylan, formed a committee of welcome to receive the New York
Symphony Orchestra returning from European travels tomorrow on the
steamship Olympic, announced yesterday that arrangements for the
reception had been completed.
Grover A. Whalen, Commissioner of Plant and Structures, has placed at
the disposal of the committee, of which Harry Harkness Flagler is
honorary chairman, the police boat Patrol, on board of which the
committee, members of the Symphony Society, high city officials and
families and friends of the arriving musicians will leave Pier A at the
Battery at 8 a.m., accompanied by Edwin Franco Goldman and his band.
Friends of the returning musicians can obtain passes for the trip by
applying to the Symphony Society, Room 1202, Aeolian Hall.
When the Olypic docks at Pier 60, foot of Twentieth Street, the Patrol will
land the Mayor's committee of welcome and take the New York
Symphony Orchestra to City Hall to be received by the Mayor, where a
public reception will be held.
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.
Harry Harkness Flagler Suggests Drastic Measures Should
Hampering Restrictions Hostil to Artistic Ideals Prevail (New York
Tribune, May 8, 1921)
At the annual meeting of the Smyphony Society of New York, held at the
residence of the president, Harry Harkness Flagler, 32 Park Avenue, the
following committee of executive directors was elected: Paul D. Cravath,
Walter Damrosch, Harry Harkness Flagler, William S. Hawk, Edwin T.
Rice, Henry Seligman, Henry W. Taft, Felix Warburg and Richard
Welling. The officers for the ensuing year will be: President Harry
Harkness Flagler; vice-presidents, Paul D.. Cravath and Henry Seligman;
secretary, Richard Welling; treasurer, Edwin T. Rice. Reports dealing
with the last season were presented and matters connected with the
coming year discussed, especially the orchestral situation in New York
created by the attitude of the local musical union. On this point the
president, Mr. Flagler, spoke in detail as follows:
"The musical season which has just ended has been rather a turbulent
one in the orchestral field, owing to several unusual causes, the chief of
which was the attempt of the musical union to break the perfectly valid
contracts which the Sympony Society had signed with its players, and
which had been approved by the union at the time of signing, in order that
the weekly rate of payment for the orchestra might be increased and at
the same time the hours given to rehearsals decreased, except at a
Victory for Symphony Society
"The Symphony society, while voluntairly advancing the scale of the
minimum weekly salary so as to equal that in force in the Philharmonic
and National Symphony orchestras, and conceding the point of a smaller
number of concerts per week both in New York and on tour, and
furthermore advancing the rate of board money paid on tour, held its men
to the terms of their contracts in regard to the length of rehearsals, and on
this point achieved a signal victory in the face of the greatest opposition.
The union finally recognized the correctness of our position and advised
its men that their contracts were binding and must be lived up to. This
result was not achieved without many anxious and harassing weeks and
even months on the part of our conductor and executive committee; but
aside from maintaining the technical rights of our position, the end desired
by the union involved such a lessening of artistic ideals that we felt we
must put forth every particle of strength and energy to withstand such
demands. The result was that the New York Symphony Orchestra
continued to give the usual number of hours each week to rehearsals,
while other orchestras, not protected by a renewal clause in their
contracts similar to ours, were obliged to forego this privilege or else to
pay for it at a rate out of all proportion to the services rendered.
Two Courses Open
"The vents of the winter have had a far-reaching effect on the local
musical union, and what the outcome will be it is impossible to say at this
moment. If the counsel of the better element in the union prevails,
harmony can again be restored and a scale for symphony orchestras be
established which shall be just to the player and at the same time allow
those who support artistic enterprises of this nature to carry out their
ideals without the many hampering restrictions which more and more in
recent years the union has sought to impose. If the worst elements
prevail, I see but two courses open to us; one, to give up the maintenance
of symphony orchestras, the output both in money and in strength not
being worth what can be achieved under the harassing conditions now
imposed by the union; the other, then founding of non-union orchestras in
which the welfare of the men would be safeguarded by long contracts
enabling them to have a feeling of security in the profession which they
have chosed as their lifework. I have hearty sympathy with the idea of the
proper safeguarding of the musician's interest though the musical unions,
but the continued attempt by hampering restriction and purely commercial
methods to destroy artistic projects which have been built us so carefully
for many years must result in action along one of the lines I have located.
U. S. sues 36 Rich Persons for Income Tax (New York Tribune,
October 18, 1921)
Harry M. Flagler, Goelet and Harry Payne Whitney Among Defendants in
Actions Started Here
Thirty-two suits to recover $59,452, with a penalty of 5 percent and
interest at 1 per cent from June 30, 1916, were brought by the United
States government in the Federal District Court here yesterday. The
money is alleged to be due on 1915 income taxes. Among the defendants
are Harry M. Flagler, Robert W. Goelet and Harry Payne Whitney.
According to Assistant United States District Attorney Richard S. Holmes,
who has charge of the prosecution, each suit is identical to that filed
against John D. Rockefeller, in which Judge Learned Hand, in the
Federal District Court, recently awarded the government a verdict for
$292,768. This case has been appealed and is now pending before the
The point at issue is the taxability of the difference between the par and
market values of the shares of the Illinois Pipe Line Company and the
Prarie Pipe Line Company, which were formed in 1915 to take over the
pipe lines of the Ohio Oil Company and the Prairie Oil and Gas
Company,k respectively, after the Supreme Court had ruled that unless
these holdings were segregated the companies would be considered as
common carriers and subject to the Interstate Commerce Commision.
Shares in the new concerns were issued to the stockholders of the old in
proportion to their holdings. These shares had a par value of $100 each,
but sold at almost half again that amount. The government contends that
this difference cannot be considered non-taxable as a stock divident.
Nearly a hundred similar suits are expected to be brought in the near
future. The defendants named yesterday, with the amounts claimed by
the government in each case, are:
Harry M. Flagler, $5,485; Robert W. Goelet, $868; Harry Payne Whitnes,
$6,769; Ann C. Flagler, $1,968; George G. Heye, $1,337; Frank R.
Abbey, $2,669; W. S. Guernee, $782; Marie E. Hyde, $305; Samuel G.
Bayne, $665; Robert S. Brewster, $7,986; Edith C. MacCracken, $501;
Charles C. Burke, $2,709; George F. Hewitt, $435; Josephine M.
Chamberlain, $2,460; Clinton W. Bird, $1,664; Fred B. Jennings $444; Ida
A. Flagler, $7,561; Grace Dwight Gibb, $324; John R. Hall, $450; Ogden
Mills, $1,138; James Amm, $3,340; Fannie C. Vail, $1,243; Evelyn S.
Griswold, $363; J. Dunbar Wright, $353; Charles H. Ditson, $579; Clifford
V. Brokaw, $4,293; Park M. Woolley, $381; Harley T. Proctor, $626;
James G. Newcomb, $329; John R. Paxton, $455; Chandler Robbins,
$443; Annie L. Hoe, $550.
Next Week's Music (The Evening World, October 22, 1921)
Louis Gruenberg, whose $1,000 prize composition, "The Hill of Dreams,"
won in the Harry Harkness Flagler contest last year, will be played by the
New York Symphony Orchestra tomorrow, is an American and lives right
here in New York. His musical education was acquired chiefly in Vienna,
where he studied both piano and composition under Busoni, and in berlin,
where he was a pupil in composition of Friedrich Koca. In 1919 his
"Scene de Ballet" for piano won second prize in a competition held by the
musical journal Signale.
Permanent Body Formed to Raise Caruso Memorial (The Evening
World, December 1, 1921) Committee of 100 Named and Plans for
$1,000,000 Foundation Discussed.
The movement to establish a $1,000,000 foundation as a memorial to
Enrico Caruso and a tribute to his art was definitely launched yesterday
by the Caruso American Memorial Foundation at a meeting in the
Bankers' Club. Dr. Antonio Stella, Chairman of the Provisional Committee,
presided, and a permanent national committee of nearly 100 members
was formed; thirteen of these are women and twenty are from States
other than New York.
Paul D. Cravath was elected President of the Permanent National
Committee; Otto H. Kahn, Chairman of the the Board of Directors of the
Metropolitan Opera Company, First vice President; Dr. Antonio Stella,
Second Vice President; Harry Harkness Flagler, Third Vice President;
Felix M. Warburg, Treasurer; and Mrs. Helen Hartley Jenkins, Secretary.
Play (The New York World, February 27, 1922)
If you like to see artists at play you would have been regaled by a visit to
the Hotel Ambassador last evening, when the members of the New York
Symphony tendered a dinner to Harry Harkness Flagler, President of the
society, and to Mrs. Flagler. The 250 guests were overcome by the
parody that Georges Barrere, first flutist of the orchestra, arranged for a
little orchestra, on a Haydn symphony. It is siad the Barrere jazz touch
made a new thing of the symphony. Kochanski, the violinist, with his
imitations of a Sunday morning service that included the ringing of the
bell, the bark of the dog, the organ playing, the choir singing, the priest
sermonizing and George Engels countying up the house, would "go big"
on any concert stage. Lucien Schmit, first'cellist of the orchestra, showed
how easy it is to "rag" music on a classic 'cello. There were the customary
speeches, but they didn't hurt the entertainment any.
Laura Spelman Memorial Fund Gives Y.W.C.A. Budget $25,000
(New York Tribune, November 30, 1922)
The largest gift of the Young Women's Christian Association's budget
week campaign was $25,000, received yesterday from the Laura
Spelman Memorial Fund.
Mrs. Cleveland E. Dodge announced also for the West Side branch the
receipt of $2,500, given anonymously by a member of the board, and
$1,000 from M. Friedman, of B. Altman & Co. Mrs. Arthur Curtis James
gave $5,000, and a member of the firm of J. P. Morgan contributions from
William J. Matheson, Harry Harkness Flagler, Mrs.. John Sherman Hoyt,
John Sloane and Mrs. James A. Hearn.
American Verdun Memorial
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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