William Colford Schermerhorn

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William Colford Schermerhorn

New York, USA
Death 1 Jan 1903 (aged 81)
Brooklyn, Kings County (Brooklyn), New York, USA
Burial Brooklyn, Kings County (Brooklyn), New York, USA
Memorial ID 46159237 · View Source
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WILLIAM COLFORD, son of Peter Schermerhorn and Sarah Jones; b. June 22, 1821; d. Jan. 1, 1903; bur. in Greenwood Cemetery, Brooklyn, N. Y.; m. Sept. 24, 1845, in Trinity Church, ANNE E. H. COTTENET; b. Aug. 18, 1825; d. Feb. 14, 1907; dau. of Francis Cottenet and Fannie Caroline Laight


Fanny, b. July 21, 1846, in Paris, France; m. Jan. 7, 1869, Samuel W. Bridgham.

Sarah, b. March, 11, 1850; d. July 30, 1903, at Bar Harbor, Me.

Annie Cottenet, b. Mar. 28, 1857; m. Dec. 12, 1878, John Innes Kane; h d. Feb. 1, 1913; son of De Lancey Kane and Louisa Langdon.

*"William Colford Schermerhorn was educated in the private schools of New York City, and was graduated from Columbia College with honor in 1840. He studied for the Bar and was admitted in 1842. In 1860 Columbia conferred on him the degree of A. M. His life was one of continual public service as a patron of literature, arts and letters. He was a member of the American Museum of Natural History and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, as well as the American Fine Arts and Geographical Societies and the scientific Alliance.

He was made Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Columbia University in 1893, and in the Spring of 1895, with President Low and others, was intensely interested in the project to remove the institution from its old site on 49th St. to its present location on Morningside Heights. On May 6th of that year, at a meeting of the Trustees, President Low announced that he would furnish funds to erect a million dollar building for a University Library, and William C. Schermerhorn followed it up with a gift of $300,000 for another college building, to be used for such purpose as should seem wise. At the same meeting, F. Augustus Schermerhorn, his nephew, offered to the University the almost priceless Townsend Library of National, State and individual War Records and a fund of $4000 for their maintenance.

The Schermerhorn building at the left of the Columbia Library, on the Amsterdam Ave. side, as one faces that structure, became with its mate, the Havemeyer Building, one of the original groups of buildings on the new site. It is devoted to general science, with museums, laboratories, lecture rooms, and seminaries for botany, geology and physics, as well as the D'Acosta department of biology and some of the mechanical and astronomical departments.

Up to 1860, William C. Schermerhorn made his home in the old Schermerhorn residence on Lafayette Pl., and Fourth St., and in that year he built the residence No. 49 West 23rd St., where he lived at the time of his death. Like his father he was a prominent member of the Grace Protestant Episcopal Church and for a number of years previous to his death was senior warden. Besides the organizations already mentioned he was a member of the City Club, Metropolitan Club, Knickerbocker Club, Whist Club and the Columbia Alumni Association. He was also a Trustee of the N. Y. Life Insurance and Trust Co.

Mrs. Anne E. H. C. Schermerhorn, wife of William C., was also a member of a well known New York family. Her father came from France and her mother was a daughter of General Laight. In her youth, Mrs. Schermerhorn was famed for her beauty, and after her marriage occupied a leading position in New York Society. The residence on 23rd St. was one of the handsomest in the city, and the picture gallery and music rooms were constantly thrown open to Mrs. Sehermerhorn's friends. She was the first of New York people to give private musicales in her home.

As Mrs. Schermerhorn grew older, she even still retained the popularity she had won as a girl. Both she and her husband insisted on living in their old home, even after it had become almost entirely surrounded by business buildings. Even after her husband's death she declined to move elsewhere, and until a few years ago, the building was still occupied by members of the family."
*Schenectady Digital History Archives

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  • Created by: dsking
  • Added: 30 Dec 2009
  • Find A Grave Memorial 46159237
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for William Colford Schermerhorn (22 Jun 1821–1 Jan 1903), Find A Grave Memorial no. 46159237, citing Green-Wood Cemetery, Brooklyn, Kings County (Brooklyn), New York, USA ; Maintained by dsking (contributor 46568972) .