Therese Marie “Tay” <I>Hohoff</I> Torrey

Therese Marie “Tay” Hohoff Torrey

Death 5 Jan 1974 (aged 75)
Manhattan, New York County (Manhattan), New York, USA
Burial Unknown
Memorial ID 149245693 · View Source
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Editor, author, literary agent, arts patron.

Biographical articles and various books give her name as Therese Marie Hohoff, Therese Marie von Hohoff, and Therese Marie von Hohoff-Hallock, and Therese Marie Hallock (Burling Books, p.904).
The Social Security Death Index gives her legal name as Theresa Torrey. Census records also say Theresa.

She was the daughter of Ernest Albrecht Hohoff (Jr.) and Ann(a) Walter (Hallock) Hohoff; granddaughter of Ernest A. von Hohoff, Sr. and Carrie (Pierce) von Hohoff, Thomas Burling Hallock and Sarah (Walter) Hallock. Ernest Albrecht Hohoff, Jr. legally "changed his name in court from Hohoff to Hallock," his wife's maiden name, so some references show his name as Hallock while others hyphenate his name Hohoff-Hallock. (Hinshaw, vol. III, p. 169.)

Her mother's aunt Mary Ann Hallock Foote (1847–1938) was a noted author and illustrator.

Tay Hohoff Torrey was the editor at Lippincott Publishers who advised novice writer Harper Lee to rewrite her novel GO SET A WATCHMAN making the heroine 20 years younger, setting the time of the story in her childhood, which evolved into the Pulitzer Prize-winning TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD. Harper Lee was reported to have said that she felt comfortable with Tay Torrey and her husband Arthur since both Torreys had a number of Alabama relatives and Alabama connections.

Tay Hohoff's uncle, Thomas Burling Hallock, Jr. had married Rebecca Sayre, a member of a socially prominent and politically powerful Sayre family of Montgomery, Alabama. Rebecca Sayre was born in Montgomery in 1877, but later lived in New York and New Jersey. According to some genealogical researchers, she was an aunt of Zelda Sayre Fitzgerald (1900–1948) (Mrs. F. Scott Fitzgerald), whose father was Justice Anthony Dickerson Sayre of the Alabama Supreme Court. Aunt Rebecca Sayre Hallock would then have to be one of the five daughters of Montgomery POST editor Daniel Sayre and Musidore Morgan Sayre, and a niece of U.S. Senator John Tyler Morgan if she were Zelda Fitzgerald's aunt. Cousin is more likely, a daughter of Zelda's uncle Daniel M. or uncle Calvin W. Other researchers suggest she was the daughter or granddaughter of Daniel Sayre's older brother. William Sayre took his 12-year-old brother Daniel from New Jersey to Alabama in 1819 and lived in Montgomery for some years before moving to Mobile where he became the mayor. In 1861 the former home of William and Daniel Sayre at 644 Washington Street in Montgomery served as the first White House of the Confederacy and official residence of Jefferson Davis during his first months in office as President of the Confederate States of America. Today it is a history museum.
(ref., Hallock Genealogy (1928) by Lucius H. Hallock, page 604; The Burling Books: Ancestors and Descendants of Edward and Grace Burling by Jane Thompson Stahr, p. 962, gives the name Rebecca I. Sayre; Encyclopedia of American Quaker Genealogy, by William Wade Hinshaw et al, vol. III, p.169. History of Alabama and Dictionary of Alabama Biography, by Thomas M. Owen, Vol.4, p.1508, refers to Daniel Sayre's "five daughters who died in childhood" and also refers to William Sayre's daughter "Rebecca Frances, d. in childhood.")

Therese Marie Hohoff married her first husband in 1919: Lewis Edgar Welsh was an architect and artist born 21 Nov 1888 in Hawley, Pennsylvania, the son of John Spears Welsh and Lena Schlager. He was a direct descendant of Maj. Gen. John Hammond (1643-1707), the Howards, Dorseys, and Warfields, among the Founding Families of Annapolis, Maryland, and he also was a fourth cousin of Mrs. Wallis Simpson, the duchess of Windsor.
Therese and Lewis Welsh divorced (1926-29) after the births of their two children, Ann Torrey Welsh (1922-1980) and John Hallock Welsh (1924- ).

In 1931 Therese Marie Hohoff Welsh married Arthur Haviland Torrey. Numerous articles state: "They had two children," referring to the Welsh children who lived with their divorced single father in Fairfield, Connecticut in 1930 and in Bridgeport, Connecticut in 1940. Ann Torrey Welsh married in New York June 15, 1951 to Dr. Grady Harrison Nunn (1918-2012), of Birmingham, Alabama, at which time the wedding announcement mentioned her father Lewis Welsh but not her mother and stepfather. It also did not include the bride's middle name, Torrey. But Ann Torrey Welsh Nunn later named her only child for her mother: Therese von Hohoff Nunn.

Tay Torrey's second husband Arthur H. Torrey was a grandson of Arthur C. Torrey, a descendant of John Alden and Priscilla Mullins who landed at Plymouth Rock aboard the Mayflower. Arthur C. Torrey's second cousin Elizabeth Henshaw "Daisy" Torrey Pillans was the wife of the mayor of Mobile, a legislator who helped write the 1901 State Constitution, while another second cousin in Mobile was Mary Montague Henshaw Toulmin. Mrs. Toulmin was also a third cousin of Wallis Simpson, the duchess of Windsor (Lewis E. Welsh's 4th cousin), and wife of Federal Judge Harry T. Toulmin whose grandfather and namesake was Alabama's first federal judge.

Publishers Weekly, Volume 205 (1974), Part 1, page 53: "Therese von Hohoff Torrey, author and editor known professionally as Tay Hohoff, died on January 5 at her home in New York. She was 75 years old. In 1931 she married Arthur H. Torrey, with whom she opened the office, in New York, of Torrey Hohoff, Press Representatives. Also during the '30s she worked as a book editor, first at Cosmopolitan Book Corporation, then at Bobbs-Merrill. In 1942, Mrs. Torrey joined the editorial staff of J.B. Lippincott Company, in its New York office, and remained there until her retirement as a vice-president in 1973.
“At Lippincott she edited the books of several authors, including Zelda Popkin, Eugenia Price and Lane Kauffmann. She was also the editor of ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ by Harper Lee, which won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction in 1961...."

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  • Created by: Ray Isbell
  • Added: 14 Jul 2015
  • Find a Grave Memorial 149245693
  • Find a Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Therese Marie “Tay” Hohoff Torrey (3 Jul 1898–5 Jan 1974), Find a Grave Memorial no. 149245693, ; Maintained by Ray Isbell (contributor 47188697) Unknown.