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 Mary Madeline <I>Bonfils</I> Stanton

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Mary Madeline Bonfils Stanton

  • Birth 30 Apr 1883
  • Death 11 Mar 1962
  • Burial Denver, Denver County, Colorado, USA
  • Memorial ID 12596890

Philanthropist, eccentric. May Stanton was the daughter of Belle and Frederick Bonfils, owner of The Denver Post, and heiress to the Denver Post fortune. From early childhood, she displayed an interest in jewels and began to assemble a famous collection. This collection included a diamond necklace studded with twelve emeralds weighing 107 carats, the Liberator Diamond and the legendary Idol's Eye. The Idol's Eye is a 70.20 carat blue-white Golconda diamond, that was set as the pendant to a diamond necklace containing 41 round brilliants totaling about 22.50 carats, plus another 45 baguettes weighing about 12 carats. She was said to have worn the Idol's Eye to breakfast every morning. She lived in the Belmar Mansion, it was an exact replica of Marie Antoinette's Petite Trianon Palace in France. The entryway was built of the finest Carrara marble. Belmar was filled with treasures from around the world, collected on extensive travels. It is said that she slept in a bed once belonging to Marie Antoinette, and owned a piano once played by Chopin. The mansion and grounds were replete with paintings and reproductions of statues by the greatest artists of Europe. She later purchased adjoining properties, and the estate eventually totaled 750 acres. Having been divorced from her husband, Clyde Berryman, since 1947, May married long-time friend, Charles Stanton in 1956. After her death at Belmar, the mansion was donated to the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Denver, who later demolished the property when they could not find proper use for it. She was a supporter of numerous philanthropic causes in her native state of Colorado. At her death, her husband Charles established the Bonfils-Stanton Foundation, to help distribute part of her $13,000,000 estate among various charities. The Foundation still supports Colorado nonprofit organizations in the areas of Arts and Culture, Community Service, and Science and Medicine.


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  • Created by: Eric Crow
  • Added: 
  • Find A Grave Memorial 12596890
  • Michael Dunne
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Mary Madeline Bonfils Stanton (30 Apr 1883–11 Mar 1962), Find A Grave Memorial no. 12596890, citing Fairmount Cemetery, Denver, Denver County, Colorado, USA ; Maintained by Eric Crow (contributor 46623671) .