William Woodward Sr.
|President of Hanover National Bank|
|Preceded by||James T. Woodward|
|Succeeded by||George W. Davison|
|Born||April 7, 1876|
New York City
|Died||September 25, 1953 (aged 77)|
New York City
Elsie Ogden Cryder
|Children||Edith Woodward Bancroft|
Ethel Woodward deCroisset
Elizabeth Woodward Cushing
Sarah Woodward Sewall
William Woodward Jr.
Sarah Abagail Rodman
|Alma mater||Harvard University|
Harvard Law School
|Known for||Owner of Belair Mansion and Belair Stud|
Woodward was born in New York City on April 7, 1876. He was a son of Sarah Abagail (née Rodman) Woodward (1840–1913) and William Woodward Jr. (1836–1889), who came from a prominent and wealthy Maryland family that dated back to colonial times. The family made their fortune in selling textiles to the Confederate government, and his father was the founder of the New York Cotton Exchange.
He was educated at the Cutler School in New York before preparing at Groton. He attended Harvard University, graduating in 1898, followed by Harvard Law School, where he graduated in 1901. In 1901, he was admitted to the bar.
For the next two years Woodward lived in London where he served as secretary to the United States Ambassador to Britain, Joseph Hodges Choate. There, he joined with other members of the political and economic elite including King Edward VII, at fashionable events including thoroughbred horse races, the favorite pastime of English royalty and nobility.
Upon his return to New York in 1903, Woodward was made vice president of Hanover National Bank in New York City by his uncle, James T. Woodward, who was then president of the bank. Woodward's grandfather had helped James purchase a large portion of the bank years earlier before his death, which the younger Woodward inherited, therefore owning a controlling interest in the bank.
Following his uncle's death, William Woodward Sr. became president of the bank in 1910, serving in that capacity until a 1929 merger with the Central Union Trust Company when he was appointed chairman of the new corporate entity called Central Hanover Bank & Trust, and Central's president, George W. Davison, became president of the new entity. Woodward served as chairman of the board from 1929 until his retirement in 1933.
Belair and thoroughbred racing
Woodward also inherited the historic Belair Mansion and 2,500 acre Stud in Collington, Maryland. Belair is a very historic estate where Colonial Governor of Maryland Samuel Ogle had brought the first Thoroughbred horses imported to America from England in 1747. His uncle James had acquired it in 1898 for an undisclosed sum of money. Upon inheriting the property, Woodward built the Belair Stud into one of the dominant breeding and thoroughbred horse racing operations in the United States during the 1930s, 40s, and 50s.
In 1925, Woodward joined Arthur B. Hancock, Marshall Field III and Robert A. Fairbairn to import the stallion Sir Gallahad III into the United States to stand at Claiborne Farm. Sir Gallahad III would become a four-time leading sire in North America and would sire 60 stakes winners, including nine for Woodward. Sir Gallahad III's most famous offspring was Triple Crown winner Gallant Fox, who would in turn sire Triple Crown winner Omaha, both bred and raced by Woodward.
Horses bred by Belair won every major stakes race in the U.S. as well as The Oaks, St. Leger Stakes, 1,000 Guineas, and other important races in Britain. Woodward's accomplishments in horse racing led to him making the August 7, 1939 cover of Time magazine.
Woodward was elected to the United States Jockey Club in 1917 and served as its chairman from 1930 until 1950. One of the main efforts he pursued was the repeal of the Jersey Act, a regulation of the British Thoroughbred stud book that prevented most American-bred Thoroughbreds from being registered in the United Kingdom as purebred Thoroughbreds.
In 1950, Woodward was elected an honorary member of the British Jockey Club.
In 1903, Woodward met Elsie Ogden Cryder (1882–1981) at Saratoga, New York, a daughter of tea importer Duncan Cryder and Elizabeth Callender (née Ogden) Cryder and one of the "famous Cryder triplets". They were married at Grace Church in New York on October 24, 1904. Elsie's younger sister Edith was the wife of Frederick Lothrop Ames Jr. and her aunt, the former Mary Hone Ogden, was the wife of Charles Francis Adams Jr. (the grandson of president John Quincy Adams). Together, they were the parents of one son and four daughters, including:
- Edith Woodward (1905–1971), who married Thomas Moore Bancroft in 1929.
- Elizabeth Ogden Woodward (1907–1986), who married Robert Livingston Stevens (1907–1972) in 1928. They divorced in 1935, and she married John Teele Pratt Jr., a son of John Teele Pratt, in 1935. After his death in 1969, she married Squaw Valley Ski Resort founder Alexander Cochrane Cushing in 1971.
- Sarah Woodward (1910–1991), who married Charles Arthur Moore III (1909–1989) in 1936. They divorced and she married Marshall Christopher Sewall (1908–1983) in 1949.
- Ethel Woodward (b. 1914), who married Philippe de Croisset (1912–1965), a son of French playwright Francis de Croisset, in 1941. His nephew was Count Philippe de Montebello and his sister was Marie-Laure, Vicomtesse de Noailles. After having two sons, Ethel and Philippe divorced and he married Jacqueline de la Chaume (after his death in 1965, Jacqueline became the third wife of actor Yul Brynner).
- William Woodward Jr. (1920–1955), who married Ann Crowell in 1943. In 1955 Ann shot and killed William, reportedly thinking him a burglar. She later committed suicide in 1975, after Truman Capote published a story that "depicted her as a murderous vamp."
In 1908, they lived at 11 West 51st Street in New York City and had a summer home in Mount Kisco, New York. Around 1910, they purchased The Cloisters on Ochre Point in Newport, Rhode Island, the former estate of Catherine Lorillard Kernochan, which had been designed by architect J.D. Johnston around 1885. The Woodwards hired New York architects Delano & Aldrich to complete a major renovation, which was completed by 1914. The home was torn down in 1950 and the site was divided into smaller parcels for contemporary homes. The family also relocated from their 51st Street residence to 9 East 86th Street, which Woodward had purchased for $200,000 from William E. Iselin in 1916 and, again, hired architects Delano & Aldrich to design and build him a residence.
Woodward died on September 25, 1953, aged 77, at his home in Manhattan. After a funeral at St. James Episcopal Church in Manhattan, he was buried at Woodlawn Cemetery, Bronx. He left the estate to his son, William Woodward Jr., whose untimely death two years later in 1955 saw the end of Belair Stud. His widow, considered "one of the last grandes dames of New York society", died in her apartment at The Waldorf Towers, where she had lived since 1956, in 1981.
Today the Belair Stable Museum in Bowie, Maryland, highlights the work of William Woodward Sr. and others connected to the Belair Stud. The Woodward Stakes, a Grade I event now run at Saratoga, is named in his honor.
- Baltz, Shirley Vlasak (2005). Belair From the Beginning. Bowie, Maryland: City of Bowie Museums. pp. 118–128.
- Warfield, Joshua Dorsey (July 1905). The Founders of Anne Arundel And Howard Counties, Maryland. Baltimore, Maryland: Kohn & Pollock. pp. 123–125. ISBN 0-8063-7971-5.
- Bowen, Edward L. (2003). Legacies of the Turf: A Century of Great Thoroughbred Breeders. Eclipse Press. pp. 73–76. ISBN 1-58150-102-1.
- Heckman, Lucy (2004). Damascus: Thoroughbred Legends. Eclipse Press. p. 11. ISBN 1-58150-111-0.
- "James T. Woodward, The Banker, Is Dead" (PDF). The New York Times. April 11, 1910. p. 1.
- "W. WOODWARD, 77, TURF LEADER; Breeder and Owner's Entries Won 3 Kentucky Derbies in-:: 30's--2 Took Triple Crown". The New York Times. 27 September 1953. Retrieved 23 June 2020.
- "$722,000,000 MERGER OF BANKS EXPECTED; Central Union Trust Co. and Hanover National Reported in Negotiations. DAVISON DENIES ANY DEAL But Says He is No Prophet-- Wall St. Hears Terms Are 3 for 1 Exchange of Stock. SHARES SOARED RECENTLY Securities of Both Old Powers in Street Have Appreciated Greatly Since Stock Dividends. Remarkable Rise in Hanover Stock. Central Long a Wall Street Power". The New York Times. 1929-03-16. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2018-05-01.
- Baltz, Shirley Vlasak (1984). A Chronicle of Belair. Bowie, Maryland: Bowie Heritage Committee. pp. 14–19. LCCN 85165028.
- Baltz, Shirley Vlasak (1984). A Chronicle of Belair. Bowie, Maryland: Bowie Heritage Committee. pp. 70–73. LCCN 85165028.
- "Woodward, Hancock to Racing Hall of Fame". bloodhorse.com. Retrieved 12 August 2016.
- Sparkman, John P. (2009-09-30). "Errors that need to be righted". Thoroughbred Times. Retrieved 23 February 2009.
- "Elsie C. Woodward, Philanthropist, dies at 98". New York Times. July 14, 1981. Retrieved 30 August 2016.
- "A Day's Weddings: Woodward Cryder". The New York Times. October 25, 1904. p. 9.
- "Edith Woodward Bancroft Dies; Damascus Owned by Her Stable". The New York Times. 5 November 1971. Retrieved 23 June 2020.
- "THRONG AT WEDDING OF MISS WOODWARD; New York Girl Married to Thomas M. Bancroft in St. Thomas's Chantry. FATHER ESCORTS THE BRIDE Beautiful Floral Decorations and a Full Choral Service--Reception at Woodward Home". The New York Times. 13 June 1929. Retrieved 23 June 2020.
- "Thomas Bancroft Sr". The New York Times. 25 February 1970. Retrieved 23 June 2020.
- Times, Special To The New York (17 July 1972). "Robert Stevens, 65, Dies; A Financier and Investor". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 23 January 2018. Retrieved 20 June 2017.
- "MISS E. WOODWARD WEDS R.L. STEVENS; Large Gathering of Society at the Ceremony in St. Thomas's Church. REV. DR. BROOKS OFFICIATES Elaborate Floral Decorations and Full Choral Service—Reception at Bride's Home". The New York Times. 3 February 1928. Archived from the original on 10 October 2017. Retrieved 20 June 2017.
- Times, Special To The New York (14 August 1935). "R.L. STEVENS DIVORCED.; Mrs. Elizabeth O.W. Stevens Gets Reno Decree, Charging Cruelty". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 10 October 2017. Retrieved 20 June 2017.
- Times, Special To The New York (5 September 1935). "J. T. PRATT JR. WEDS MRS. E. W. STEVENS; Cemony Performed at Home of Bride's Parent, the William Woodwards, in Wheatley Hills". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 10 October 2017. Retrieved 20 June 2017.
- "John T. Pratt Jr., 65, Is Dead; Institute Trustee and Bank A icle". The New York Times. 21 June 1969. Archived from the original on 17 October 2017. Retrieved 20 June 2017.
- Martin, Douglas (22 August 2006). "Alexander Cushing, 92, Dies; Turned Squaw Valley Into World-Class Skiing Destination". The New York Times. Retrieved 23 June 2020.
- "Sarah Woodward, Daughter of Turf Leader, Is Betrothed to Charles Arthur Moore 3d". The New York Times. 14 May 1936. Retrieved 23 June 2020.
- "Miss Sarah Woodward Is Wed at Newport In Parents' Home to Charles A. Moore 3d". The New York Times. 24 July 1936. Retrieved 23 June 2020.
- "MARSHALL SEWALL WED MRS. MOORE; Former Navy Officer Marries the Daughter of the William Woodwards in Their Home". The New York Times. 12 October 1949. Retrieved 23 June 2020.
- "DE CROISSET DIES; FRENCH PUBLISHER; War Hero, 53, Had Headed French Agency in N.Y." The New York Times. 24 March 1965. Retrieved 23 June 2020.
- "DE CROISSET, NOTED AS A PLAYWRIGHT; Belgian Who Won Series of Successes in Paris Dies in Neuilly at Age of 60 HIS PLAYS PRODUCED HERE Ran Away From Home to Avoid Army Career--Honored for Valor in World War". The New York Times. 9 November 1937. Retrieved 23 June 2020.
- "Ethel Woodward, Daughter of Turfman, Becomes the Bride of Philippe de Croisset". The New York Times. 9 April 1941. Retrieved 23 June 2020.
- "Son to Philippe de Croissets". The New York Times. 31 January 1942. Retrieved 23 June 2020.
- "Son to Philippe de Croissets". The New York Times. 29 September 1943. Retrieved 23 June 2020.
- "Yul Brynner Remarries". The New York Times. 26 September 1971. Retrieved 23 June 2020.
- "MISS ANN CROELL FIANCEE OF ENSIGN; Ex-Student at Rockford Will Be Wed to William Woodward Jr., Son of the Sportsman". The New York Times. 7 March 1943. Retrieved 23 June 2020.
- Spiegel, Irving (12 October 1975). "Ann Woodward, Cleared in '55 Of Slaying Her Husband, Dead". The New York Times. Retrieved 23 June 2020.
- Yardley, Jim (8 May 1999). "Heir to a Fortune, and to Tragedy; Suicide Ends the Life of a Wealthy, and Haunted, Man". The New York Times. Retrieved 23 June 2020.
- Bigart, Homer (10 November 1955). "WOODWARD LEFT TRUSTS TO 2 SONS; Widow Gets $2,500 in Cash and Lifetime Income From One-Third of Estate". The New York Times. Retrieved 23 June 2020.
- "1876-1885 | Newport Mansions". www.newportmansions.org. Preservation Society of Newport County. Retrieved 23 June 2020.
- Miller, Tom (10 March 2015). "The Wm. Woodward Mansion -- No. 9 East 86th Street". Daytonian in Manhattan. Retrieved 23 June 2020.
- Keil, Braden (30 March 2001). "THE TOWN CLUB GOES ON THE BLOCK FOR $27M". New York Post. Retrieved 23 June 2020.
- "NOTABLES ATTEND WOODWARD 'RITES; Funeral Service Is Held Here in St. James for Owner and Breeder of Race Horses". The New York Times. 30 September 1953. Retrieved 23 June 2020.
- "Ten Things You Should Know: Woodward Stakes". breederscup.com. Retrieved 12 August 2016.
- A brief biography of William Woodward at the U.K. National Horseracing Museum
- The Baltimore Museum of Art. Annual 1 The Museum: Its First Half Century(Baltimore, Maryland: The Baltimore Museum of Art, 1966), 58.
- William Woodward Sr. at Find a Grave