Anna Livingston-Reade <I>Street</I> Morton

Anna Livingston-Reade Street Morton

Poughkeepsie, Dutchess County, New York, USA
Death 14 Aug 1918 (aged 72)
Rhinecliff, Dutchess County, New York, USA
Burial Rhinebeck, Dutchess County, New York, USA
Memorial ID 22313005 · View Source
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Second Lady of the United States (1889-1893)
First Lady of New York(1895-1897)
She was a descendant of Robert Livingston, 1st Lord of Livingston Manor. She was born in Poughkeepsie, NY on May 18, 1846 to William and Susan Street. William I. Street was a lawyer. He was also the brother of the poet, Alfred B. Street. Her mother, Susan Kearney, was a cousin of General Phil Kearney. Anna was a pupil in Madame Richards' select school in New York City. She married the Hon. Levi Parsons Morton(1824-1920) in New York City in 1873. She became his second wife. He became U.S. Vice President under Benjamin Harrison(1889-1893)and Governor of New York(1895-1897). She was a most happy wife and mother to five daughters who all became very accomplished young woman. In person she was considered the most attractive woman that ever graced Washington D.C. She was domestic in her tastes and took deep interest in the education of her children. She was fond of reading and a highly cultivated French scholar. Observation and travel refined her tastes in art and literature. While her husband was U.S. Vice President they resided on Scott Circle, Washington, DC. Their home dispensed a cordial hospitality during the social season. The house was perfect in all its appointments and was always thronged with visitors on reception days. Her taste in dress was very simple as to style and cut, but rich in harmony throughout. During the winter, she held the finest receptions to meet the President & Mrs. Harrison, and guests which included notable officials and distinguished citizens of the nations capital. During her life, she enjoyed unusal social advantages and had traveled abroad. Anna Livingston Street Morton had gained a reputation as a wise woman and great hostess, especially after the illness and death of First Lady Caroline Harrison from TB.
However, the hot weather would cause her to collapse. In May, 1889 she journeyed first to Paris, then went on to Carlsbad and St. Moritz to take in the waters. Their teenage daughter, Edith accompanied her. Anna's frayed nerves were not a temporary condition. In 1892, she summered at Bar Harbor so as to be near Dr. S. Mitchell, a forceful doctor who specialized in curing fashionable women of nervous complaints. His patients were required to lie prone in a darkened room and be fed by nurses; no stimulation, no sitting up, no reading, no writing or sewing was permitted until they showed improvement. These long periods when she was off seeking cures perhaps is the reason her children prepared the great welcome home fantasies each time she returned to their home estate "Ellerslie" in Rhinebeck, New York on the Hudson. They would stream banners across the driveway, wreaths and garland decorated the verandahs, and one of them played "Home, Sweet Home" on the piano inside the flower- filled mansion.
In her home were many works of art and choice souvenirs, one being a life size portrait of her in a crimson dress by Bonnat. Her personal greatness was in her kindness of heart and gentle manner to all that crossed her threshold.
They had one son who died in infancy (1877-1878) in England and five eligible daughters:
Edith Livingston born in Newport, RI (6/20/1874) married William Corcoran Eustis of Washington in 1900(they would have five children).
Alice Morton born in New York (3/23/1879) married Winthrop Rutherfurd in 1902 and had six children (after Alice died in 1917 of appendicitis, Winthrop married Lucy Mercer, who had been Eleanor Roosevelt's social secretary in 1914 and became Franklin Delano Roosevelt's lifetime intimate friend).
Helen Stuyvesant Morton born in Newport, RI (8/2/1876) had a brief marriage in 1901 to a titled Frenchman "Boson duc de Talleyrand(1867-1952)"which gave her the title of "the Duchesse de Valencay." This marriage was dissolved, it appears, because of his womanizing. In 1903 she underwent an operation for appendicitis in Paris. She returned to the family and took back her maiden name.
Mary Morton born in New York (6/11/1881), the youngest daughter never wed. She launched Holiday Farm, the family's first philanthropic effort. Its purpose was to give tenement children recently released from New York City hospitals a chance to recuperate in a friendly, fresh air setting.
The second act of philanthropy was the Morton Memorial Library and Cummunity Center given in honor of their daughter, Lena Kearney Morton born in Newport RI (5/20/1875), who died in Paris in 1905 after an appendicitis operation. Few gifts have fulfilled their mission so completely as the $50,000 Levi P. Morton gave to build it and the $80,000 with which he endowed to it. Another memorial to their daughter, Lena Kearney Morton(1875-1905) was the money given to build the "Great Organ" of the Cathedral of St John the Devine, New York, New York. In 1905, the then governor of NY, Levi Parsons Morton and his wife donated a sum of $600,00 to cover the costs of the organ ($50,000), the choir ($450,000), and the altar ($100,000). They also had a son Lewis Parsons Morton born in London England (9/21/1877) and died there (1/10/1878).
Anna Livingston Street Morton never completely strong, died at "Ellerslie" their summer home in Rhinebeck, NY on August 14, 1918 after suffering from heart disease. She was 72 years old. She was eulogized and missed. It was, however, Levi P. Morton's death two years later - on the evening of May 16, 1920, his 96th birthday-that was a terrible shock to the hamlet in Rhinebeck, NY. He had celebrated that day with a party for all of Rhinebeck's children, just as he had always done.
He was interred in the Rhinebeck Cemetery, Rhinbeck, NY next to his beloved wife, Anna, and his daughter, Lena. Much later Mary and Helen would join them there.

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Gravesite Details cause of death- heart disease

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  • Created by: Mary Renaud
  • Added: 19 Oct 2007
  • Find a Grave Memorial 22313005
  • Find a Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Anna Livingston-Reade Street Morton (18 May 1846–14 Aug 1918), Find a Grave Memorial no. 22313005, citing Rhinebeck Cemetery, Rhinebeck, Dutchess County, New York, USA ; Maintained by Mary Renaud (contributor 46897503) .