John Wheeler Leavitt

Washington, Litchfield County, Connecticut, USA
Death 16 Apr 1870 (aged 79)
Manhattan, New York County (Manhattan), New York, USA
Burial Manhattan, New York County (Manhattan), New York, USA
Plot Vault 39
Memorial ID 64015823 · View Source
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Prominent NYC businessman. He was the son of Samuel Leavitt and Lydia Wheeler Leavitt, and in 1820 he married Cecilia Kent. He founded J. W. & R. Leavitt Company and was one of the most prominent businessmen of his age until financial reverses caused the bankruptcy of the firm. Working with his brother Rufus, the pair bought and sold nearly everything, including real estate in Illinois and Georgia. Leavitt served as one of the founders of Mutual Life Insurance Company. Leavitt also served as director of several early New York City banking firms, including Bank of America. In 1836 and 1837, Leavitt served as a Director of the New York and Erie Railroad. Leavitt had become a fixture on the Manhattan economic scene with his presence on numerous committees. Leavitt's fortunes began to take a bad turn in 1855 when his daughter Cecilia died due to complications giving birth to her daughter the future famous artist Cecilia Beaux. Baby Cecilia and her older sister were sent to live with their Leavitt grandparents, as their father was so broken by his wife's death that he returned to his family in France. Leavitt's business had collapsed and the family was living in austere conditions. His wife Cecilia played an important role in their granddaughters' lives and was crucial to Cecilia's development as an artist. When John died in 1870 he was buried at the 2nd Avenue New York Marble Cemetery where he had bought a vault decades before when his financial fortunes were much higher.

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  • Created by: Paul S.
  • Added: 10 Jan 2011
  • Find A Grave Memorial 64015823
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for John Wheeler Leavitt (3 Jul 1790–16 Apr 1870), Find A Grave Memorial no. 64015823, citing New York Marble Cemetery, Manhattan, New York County (Manhattan), New York, USA ; Maintained by Paul S. (contributor 18204635) .