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 Margaret <I>Woodbury</I> Strong

Margaret Woodbury Strong

Rochester, Monroe County, New York, USA
Death 16 Jul 1969 (aged 72)
Rochester, Monroe County, New York, USA
Burial Rochester, Monroe County, New York, USA
Plot Section C, Lot 109 (Mausoleum)
Memorial ID 2892 · View Source
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Philanthropist. Born the only surviving child of John and Alice Motley Woodbury in Rochester, New York. As soon as she was old enough, she joined her parents in their world travels including a six month sojourn to Japan in 1905, and visits to China, Egypt, France, and the kingdom of Hawaii between 1907 and 1908. The family collected character dolls at every stop, as well as porcelain, carvings, and other art. Until the age of nine, Margaret was taught by private tutor, after which she was enrolled in the Columbia Preparatory for Girls where she was consistently on the honor role. She married Homer Strong, over twenty years her senior, in September of 1920, they would have one child. She threw herself into the social life of Rochester as well as hobbies such as gardening, competitive flower arranging, golf, bowling, archery, billiards, bridge, and collecting. She inherited a half million dollar trust in 1933 with her mother's passing and another million and a half with the passing of her father in 1937. Her ever-increasing interest was collecting dolls, doll houses, and toys, particularly after the loss of her only daughter in 1946 and her husband in 1958. As she continued to collect at a rapid pace; art, postcards, children's books, bookplates, buttons, paperweights, doorknobs, and toys, Mrs. Strong found her possessions outgrowing her home. Adding gallery wings and outbuildings, she converted her estate into a "Museum of Fascination." The grounds contained a little town of dollhouses. By 1969 her doll collection included more than 22,000 specimens and was one of the world's largest. In 1968 she obtained a state charter for the establishment of a museum. More than 300,000 items had to be prepared for display, but before the task was complete, Mrs. Strong passed unexpectedly in her sleep at the age of 72. The museum was a chief beneficiary of an estate of some $100,000,000. The Margaret Woodbury Strong Museum on Manhattan Square, Rochester began construction in 1973, and was not finished until 1982. The Strong National Museum of Play is today recognized as one of the nation's top museums for children, and home of the world's largest collection of toys, dolls, games and other items that celebrate play.

Bio by: Iola




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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Added: 6 May 1998
  • Find A Grave Memorial 2892
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Margaret Woodbury Strong (20 Mar 1897–16 Jul 1969), Find A Grave Memorial no. 2892, citing Mount Hope Cemetery, Rochester, Monroe County, New York, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .