Westchester’s Gilded Age Who’s Who

A rundown on some of Westchester’s other notable players during the Gilded Age: who they are, what they did, and their impact on the County, then—and now.


General Howard Carroll 
Inspector general for all New York troops during the Spanish-American War; reporter for the New York Times. Lived at Carrollcliffe, which he built in Tarrytown and which is now a hotel known as Castle on the Hudson.
  James Boorman Colgate
Financier; home in Yonkers was close to John Bond Trevor’s Glenview, but has since been torn down. Was also a founder of the New York Gold Exchange.
  James Jennings McComb
Cotton magnate who patented the “arrow tie,” an iron buckle designed for more efficient baling; built and lived in Estherwood, the mansion that still exists on the campus of The Masters School in Dobbs Ferry. It was named after his second wife, Esther Wood
Charles Osborn 
Financier and associate of Jay Gould; lived in the Charles J. Osborn House in Mamaroneck, now used by the Mamaroneck Beach and Yacht Club. His widow, Miriam, endowed the founding of the eponymous retirement community, the Miriam Osborn Memorial Home Association (now The Osborn) in Rye upon her death in 1891.
Whitelaw Reid 
Owner and editor of the New York Tribune; Republican candidate for vice president in the 1892 election. (He and presidential candidate Benjamin Harrison lost to Grover Cleveland and Adlai Stevenson). Lived in Ophir Hall in Purchase, which is now part of the campus of Manhattanville College. He was also the second Westchesterite Tribune editor to run in a presidential election: The first was Chappaqua resident Horace Greeley, who ran for president and also lost in 1872.
John D. Rockefeller 
Founder of Standard Oil; built and lived in Kykuit in Pocantico Hills. Was so obsessed with golf that he had groundskeepers clear snow from his personal course in the dead of winter.
  Joseph Stiner
Tea merchant; lived in the Armour-Stiner House (aka the Octagon House) in Irvington. It still stands as a private residence today, and was the main setting for the 1981 horror movie The Nesting.
Samuel J. Tilden 
The 25th Governor of New York and Democratic candidate for president in 1876; lived in Greystone manor in Yonkers, parts of which have become Untermyer Park. After Tilden became the second candidate to win the popular vote but fail to attain a clear majority in the Electoral College, an informal compromise delivered the presidency to rival Rutherford B. Hayes in return for the withdrawal of troops from the former Confederacy and the effective end of Reconstruction.
  John Bond Trevor
Financier; lived in Glenview in Yonkers, which is now part of the permanent exhibit of the Hudson River Museum.

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