Louise Whitfield Carnegie
March 7, 1857
|Died||June 24, 1946 (aged 89)|
|Resting place||Sleepy Hollow Cemetery|
(m. 1887; died 1919)
|Children||Margaret Carnegie Miller|
Louise Whitfield Carnegie (March 7, 1857 – June 24, 1946) was the wife of philanthropist Andrew Carnegie.
Louise Whitfield was born on March 7, 1857 in the Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan, New York City. Her parents—John D. Whitfield (died 1878), a prosperous New York City textile merchant, and Fannie Davis—descended from families who emigrated from England in the 1600s.
On April 22, 1887, Louise (now 30) married Carnegie (51) at her family's home in New York City in a private ceremony officiated by a pastor from the Church of the Divine Paternity, a Universalist church to which the Whitfields belonged. As wedding gifts from her husband, Louise received a home (formerly owned by Collis Potter Huntington) at 5 West 51st Street and an annual income of approximately $20,000. Louise signed a prenuptial agreement, renouncing any claims to Andrew’s fortune. In return, Andrew gave her stocks and bonds that amounted to an independent annual income of US$20,000 (equivalent to $576,074 in 2020).
Ten years later, in 1897, Louise gave birth to the couple's only child, Margaret Carnegie. Louise and her daughter were members of the Brick Presbyterian Church and later the Church of the Divine Paternity (now the Fourth Universalist Society in the City of New York) for whom she and her husband funded their organ.
Louise was an influential member of the board of The Carnegie Corporation until her death. She advised Andrew Carnegie as they jointly helped the creation of over 2,500 libraries between 1883 and 1929.
After Andrew's death in 1919, Louise continued making charitable contributions to organizations including American Red Cross, the Y.W.C.A., the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, numerous World War II relief funds, and $100,000 to the Union Theological Seminary. She spent her summers at Skibo Castle.
- "Louise and Andrew Carnegie: A Partnership". www.carnegiehall.org. Retrieved 2021-05-12.
- David Nasaw, Andrew Carnegie, (Penguin, 2007) p. 296 ISBN 0-14-311244-9, ISBN 978-0-14-311244-0
- MR. CARNEGIE'S WEDDING.; STARTING FOR EUROPE WITH HIS BRIDE, MISS LOUISE WHITFIELD., published April 23, 1997, in the New York Times;
- BAGPIPE TUNES AT CARNEGIE WEDDING, in the New York Times, Nov. 29, 1918
- "Fourth Universalist Society of New York. Records, 1839-2001". Div.hds.harvard.edu. Retrieved 29 May 2018.
- Hendrick, Burton Jesse, and Daniel Henderson. 1950. Louise Whitfield Carnegie; The Life of Mrs. Andrew Carnegie. New York: Hastings House.
- Krass, Peter. 2002. Carnegie. New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons.
- Nasaw, David. 2006. Andrew Carnegie. New York: Penguin Press.
- "Mr. Carnegie's Wedding" The New York Times, April 23, 1887.
- "Mrs. Carnegie Dies; Steel Man's Widow", The New York Times, June 25, 1946.
- "Rites in Home for Mrs. Carnegie", The New York Times, June 28, 1946.