Claude M. Gruener and Rick Wagner: Sterling and Bloss; "Guide to Locations and Parties"

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John W. Sterling and James O. Bloss: Guide to Locations and Parties":

Prepared at the Behest of The Historical Pictorial Group

Edited by Rick Wagner

Sterling, John William: Lawyer; Director; Trustee; Executor; Owner, 912 Fifth Avenue; Founding/senior Partner, Shearman & Sterling

Bloss, James Orville: Cotton Broker; Banker; Sterling Co-Executor & Trustee

Alphabetical List

Adams, Helen C.: Descendant of John Adams, 2nd President of the US; Actress; Sterling’s Pvt. Secretary; Beneficiary of, $50,000 Trust Fund; Office Holder at, then resident of, The Osborn

Bailey, (or Baily) Mr .: Sterling’s declamation coach; Professor at Yale

Bard, Charles: New York roommate of Sterling’s early in the time while Sterling lived in Bard’s father or uncle, James Bard’s boarding house.

Beck, James M.: Partner, Shearman & Sterling; former US Asst Attorney General

Boyden, Henry Paine: Yale classmate of Sterling’s, become Editor of Cincinnati Gazette.

Bridgeport Hospital: Recipient, $7,500 Sterling bequest

Bunnell, Mrs. Rufus: (ne: Catherine “Kate” “Kitty” Sterling) Sister, John W Sterling; Recipient, $250,000 & real estate; Co-Executor

Bunnell Children: Recipients, $160,000 Sterling bequest

Chace, Grace Bloss: Sister, James O. Bloss; Recipient, Bloss bequest of insurance proceeds, one-third residue of estate, marble mantle, and some personal jewelry

Church, George H.: Bloss’ Partner, 1891 to Bloss retirement,1898, J. O. Bloss & Co. brokerage firm; (Hired by Sterling in 1894) Trustee of various estates; Sterling Executor & Trustee; Successor to Sterling on all wills and trusts to which Sterling was appointed.

Conklin, Clinton “Clint”: College roommate of Sterling’s during the majority of their time at Yale; Married after school and became Lawyer in Springfield, Illinois.

Cortelyou, George B.: Former secretary to President William McKinley; Credited with developing White House protocol; Under Roosevelt: Secretary of Commerce and Labor, US Postmaster General, and Secretary of the Treasury; Partner in Sterling and Shearman;. President, Consolidated Gas Co (later to become part of ConEd); Honorary pallbearer, Sterling’s funeral; Member, Sterling Trust Advisory Board

Cortelyou, Peter Rouse: Yale classmate of Sterling’s; Assumed to be related to George Cortelyou; received M.D. from Bellevue Medical School in 1867; Married, had two children; and moved to Marietta, Georgia.

Daly, Harriet Elizabeth: Sister, James O Bloss; recipient, Bloss bequest of $10,000

Daly, Merwin Taylor: Nephew, James O Bloss; Recipient, Bloss bequest of personal effects, jewelry and one-third residue of estate

Daly, Dr. Warren Cox: Nephew, James O Bloss; Recipient, Bloss bequest of personal effects, jewelry and one-third residue of estate.

Fisk, James: Financial buccaneer; Scandalous philanderer; Cotton smuggler during the Civil War; Controlled Erie Railroad along with Jay Gould, both Sterling clients.

Garver, John A.: Sterling friend & law partner; Yale graduate; Yale Secretary; inherited S&S Law Firm & $10,000 Bequest; Author, Yale Tribute book to Sterling; Sterling’s successor to Trusteeship and Committees of Consolidated Gas Co. (Later to merge with Edison Electric to become ConEd)

Gibsons, Charlie & Ed: Twin classmates of Sterling’s at Yale Charles became a doctor; Edmund became a broker.

Gould, Howard: Son, Jay Gould; owner during this timeperiod of north lot between Thorne townhouse and 73rd Street on Fifth Avenue

Gould, Jay: Infamous “Robber Baron;” Railroad magnate; Sterling client

Gwathmey, Archie B.: Bloss’ Partner, 1881-1891, Gwathmey & Bloss Brokerage Firm

Hewitt, Tom: Yale classmate of Sterling’s

Hill, James J.: Railroad magnate; father, James N; friend of Samuel Thorne; owner of yacht on which Thorne died on annual fishing trip

Hill, James K.: Lawyer, in whose offices, at 44 Wall Street, Sterling had clerked

Hill, James N.: Executor/friend, James Bloss; Yale 1884; Recipient, Bloss bequest of $6,500; son of James J Hill, railroad magnate

Holden, Danny: Yale classmate and cousin of Sterling’s; frequently in poor health; became a lawyer.

Inches, John Chester: Bloss’ Partner, 1875-1881, Bloss & Inches Brokerage Firm

Leavenworth, Mrs.: Sterling’s landlady, freshman year at Yale; Sometimes referred to in Sterling’s journals as “Mrs. L.”

Lyman, David Brainerd: Yale classmate of Sterling’s; Became lawyer in Chicago

McKim, Mead & White: Famous society architects; designers of the Sterling and Osborn mausoleums; various Fifth Avenue buildings and mansions

Millionaire’s Row: Term used to describe the area of 5th Avenue facing Central Park from 59th Street to approximately 110th Street. Mostly known for being the site of a short-lived series of mansions and residences of the wealthy; constructed at great expense; lasting less than 80 years and seldom occupied by more than one generation; and finally, demolished to be superceded by apartment houses.

Mitchell, James “Jimmy”: Childhood friend and Yale classmate, of Sterling’s

Lord Mount Stephen: Sterling client; Friend and host at the time of Sterling’s death onboard his yacht during annual fishing trip.

National City Bank of New York: James A Stillman, President; Sterling client and friend.

Osborn, Charles J.: Stock Broker, Sterling client; Sterling was Estate Executor

Osborn, Miriam A.: Wife, C.J. Osborn; Founder, The Osborn; Surreptitiously left Sterling $100,000, which he used as seed money, along with his own donations, to develop The Osborn.

The Osborn: Current-day name of the Miriam A. Osborn Memorial Home; In addition to funds left by Mrs. Osborn, recipient of $1 Million Sterling Bequest / $500,000 Bonds etc.

Paine, Horace Daniel: Yale classmate of Sterling’s, teaching in his own hometown in Rhode Island when he died in 1867, shortly after graduating,

Parke, Julius: Yale classmate of Sterling’s; studied chemistry, became doctor, died in South Carolina four years after graduation.

Palmer, Nicholas: Sterling friend; Thorne associate; Neighbor at 922 Fifth

Palmer, Stephen S.: Advisor to Sterling Trustees

Plant, William: Cousin of Sterling’s; In the northern Navy during the Civil War.

Presbyterian Hospital of New York: Recipient, $7,500 Bequest

Pratt, Howard: Yale classmate of Sterling’s; in frequent poor health since childhood; died of Tuberculosis shortly after graduation.

Price, Bruce: Architect, 912-914 Fifth Avenue; Sterling Homestead in Stratford; Chateau Frontenac Hotel (et. al);

Pugsley “Pugs” Issac: Yale classmate of Sterling; roommate of Sterling’s while teaching in New York City; eventually became lawyer, Toledo, Ohio

Roberts, Mr. & Mrs.: Family friends of the Sterling, Proprietors of Mrs. Robert’s (school for young ladies)

Rochester, NY: Birthplace and family gravesite of James O. Bloss

Rockefeller, James Stillman: Namesake and grandson, James A Stillman

Rockefeller, John D.: Founder Standard Oil; Sterling client; Stillman associate

Rockefeller, John Sterling: Namesake, John Sterling; grandson, James A Stillman

Rockefeller, Percy A.: Sterling Trustee, Pallbearer, and Stillman’s nephew / son-in-law

Rockefeller, William G.: Brother-in-law, James A. Stillman; brother, John D.

Rockefeller, Jr., William G.: Husband/cousin, James A Stillman’s daughter

Russell Trust (a.k.a. Yale “Skull and Bones Society”): Recipient, $10,000 Sterling Bequest

Satterthwaite “Sat” Thomas: Yale classmate of Sterling’s; entered Harvard medical school and received his MD from the College of Physicians and Surgeons, New York City and became a surgeon.

Sedgwick, Mr.: Favorite teacher/mentor of Sterling’s in Stratford.

Shearman & Sterling: New York law firm founded in 1873 by John W. Sterling and Thomas Shearman; antecedent firm to D.D. Field & Dudley Field; and Field & Shearman. The firm of Shearman and Sterling LLC exists today as a world-wide legal conglomerate.

Shearman, Thomas G.: Early “activist” Lawyer, Partner, Fields & Shearman; Friend and professional mentor of Sterling’s; Co-founder, Shearman & Sterling Law Firm

Standard Oil Co.: Sterling client

Stratford, Conn.: Birthplace, John W Sterling; Seat of Sterling Family; Recipient, $50,000 bequest

Lord Strathcona: Sterling client; friend; railroad builder

Sterling, Cordelia: Sister, John W. Sterling; Recipient, $250,000 bequest; Trustee, $50,000 charitable bequest

Stillman, Charles: Father, James A Stillman; Founder, Brownsville Texas; Partner, Woodward & Stillman (Bloss’ one-time employer)

Stillman, James A.: Junior then full Partner, Woodward & Stillman; President, National City Bank of New York; Friend/neighbor/client, John Sterling; Friend/neighbor, Samuel Thorne; Friend/neighbor, James Bloss; Rockefeller in-law; Owner, “Stillman Lots” between Sterling townhouse and 72nd Street at Fifth Avenue.

Stillman, Jr., James: Son, James A Stillman; Trustee, honorary pallbearer, John Sterling; Successor/president/chair, National City Bank

Thorne, Samuel: Friend/neighbor/associate, Nicholas Palmer, Charles and James A. Stillman, John Sterling; Owner, 914 Fifth Avenue

Vanderlip, Frank A.: Author, 1935 Saturday Evening Post: Sterling Memoir: James A Stillman’s successor at National City Bank; (later resigned to be succeeded in the post by James Stillman Jr.)

Williams, Edward (E.M.): Yale classmate of Sterling’s; Became minister.

Wurts, Albert Smith: Yale classmate of Sterling’sl despite poor health, became a lawyer and shortly thereafter became too ill to practice. Several operations left him progressively weaker and he died three years after graduating.

Wynkoop, Gerardus: Yale classmate of Sterling’s left Yale in his sophomore year. Studied medicine in the College of Physicians and Surgeons, New York City where he received his M.D. Married with one son, as of 1867. Yale University Sterling’s Alma Mater / Recipient, $15 Million Bequest


All bequests and Executorships refer to Sterling Will or Bloss Will as noted.

All dollar amounts of Sterling bequests are shown in 1918 dollars, unadjusted for inflation. For adjusted amounts, see Exhibit 8.

An advisory board to the will trustees was created consisting of James Stillman, Samuel Thorne, and Stephen S. Palmer, all of who predeceased Sterling.

In a codicil to the will executed in 1913, Sterling, appointed James A Stillman, Percy A. Rockefeller, Samuel McRoberts and George B. Cortelyou to be members of this board. Sterling also substituted upon his death George Church as Trustee under all wills and trust agreements which still were still active at that time. (See Sterling Obituary, New York Times 7/18/1918 included herein).

See also:

Claude M. Gruener and Rick Wagner: Research on Sterling and Bloss, MAIN PAGE

Sections of the Gruener-Wagner Research Report

Claude M. Gruener and Rick Wagner: Section One, Sterling and Bloss: The Early Years

Claude M. Gruener and Rick Wagner: Section Two Sterling and Bloss: The Working Years

Claude M. Gruener and Rick Wagner: Section Three, Sterling and Bloss: Fifth Avenue Years

Claude M. Gruener and Rick Wagner: Section Four, Sterling and Bloss: The After Years, Part 1

Claude M. Gruener and Rick Wagner: Section Four, Sterling and Bloss: The After Years, Part 2

Claude M. Gruener and Rick Wagner: Section Four, Sterling and Bloss: The After Years, Part 3

Claude M. Gruener and Rick Wagner: Section Four, Sterling and Bloss: The After Years, Part 4

Claude M. Gruener and Rick Wagner: Section Four, Sterling and Bloss: The After Years, Part 5

Guides to the Gruener-Wagner Research

Claude M. Gruener and Rick Wagner: Sterling and Bloss; "Time Line and Index"

In addition see:

John William Sterling and James Orville Bloss

Original entry on the lives of Sterling and Bloss by Jonathan Ned Katz.

James Orville Bloss: September 30, 1847-December 15, 1918

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