Children of James Jewett Stillman
and Sarah Elizabeth Rumrill

daughter of Alexander Rumrill and Mary Alvord

James Jewett Stillman

James Jewett Stillman was elected President of First National City Bank(Citibank), New York, NY for 1891-1909 and served as chairman (1909–1918)
James Jewett Stillman was listed in Who's Who in America
James Jewett Stillman was one of the wealthiest men in the USA and was very generous - giving a hospital to Harvard University and establishing many scholarships in both the USA and in France
James Jewett Stillman donated considerable money to the French War Widows and Orphans in 1917

STILLMAN, JAMES (1850-1918). James Stillman, son of Elizabeth Pamela (Goodrich) and Charles Stillman,qv was born on June 9, 1850, at Brownsville, Texas. He took over his father's financial and mercantile empire in New York, Texas, and Mexico in 1872 and turned it into the controlling interest in the National City Bank in New York and the most powerful force in the development of the Rio Grande valley. He greatly expanded the interests in Texas that he inherited from his father. His Texas holdings included the bonds of sixteen banks; control of land-development companies in the lower Rio Grande valley,qv Corpus Christi, and Kerrville; an interest in the Swenson Ranch; and, with the other three members of the "Big Four"- W. H. Harriman, Jacob Henry Schiff,qv and William Rockefeller-control of most Texas railroads. The Big Four served as directors under his chairmanship on the board, put together by Stillman, of the National City Bank. They controlled the Texas and Pacific, the Southern Pacific, the International-Great Northern, the Union Pacific Southern, the St. Louis, Brownsville and Mexico, and the Mexican National, which ran from Corpus Christi to Mexico City and from the St. Louis, Brownsville and Mexico terminus on the border at Brownsville to the Mexican capital.

In 1876 Stillman supported the successful Revolution of Tuxtepec, conducted by Mexican general Porfirio Díaz from Brownsville, which resulted in the overthrow of the Mexican government. Díaz's partisans called themselves the "railroaders." During the fighting Stillman purchased 100 percent of the riparian rights to the Rio Grande at Brownsville and up the river for an indeterminate distance. He sold two-thirds interest in those rights to the Mexican National Railroad in the 1890s. In 1880 Stillman, his employee Thomas Carson, who was the mayor of Brownsville, James Belden, and other Brownsville men received the concession from the Mexican president for the railroad to be built from Matamoros to Monterrey, where Stillman and Belden had large investments. During the twentieth century Stillman's enormous properties along the border were developed and sold by the American Rio Grande Land and Irrigation Company of Mercedes, a confidential subsidiary of the National City Bank. Although Stillman's interests became global and he held more than 20 percent of the stock in the world's largest bank, he retained his father's $200,000 share in George W. Brackenridge'sqv San Antonio National Bank throughout his life. He used that and his father's long ties with Brackenridge to develop property in West Texas and Mexico. His heirs expressed surprise when Brackenridge's will returned the $200,000 to them; they had apparently lost track of it. Stillman's two daughters married sons of his lifelong close friend William Rockefeller, the chairman of the board of the Standard Oil Company. Stillman died on March 15, 1918, in New York City.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: John K. Winkler, The First Billion: The Stillmans and the National City Bank (New York: Vanguard, 1934).

John Mason Hart
The Handbook of Texas Online 2002

Forbes Magazine Early American Rich List

Sarah Elizabeth "Elsie" Stillman
Born: 7 Mar 1872
Place: New York, NY
Died: 17 May 1935
Place: Greenwich, CT
Married: William Goodsell Rockefeller
Born: 21 May 1870
Place: New York, NY
Died: 30 Nov 1922
Date Married: 21 Nov 1895 in New York City

business loans

James Alexander Stillman
Born: 18 Aug 1873
Place: New York, NY
Died: 12 Jan 1944
Place: New York, NY
Married: Anne Urquhart Potter
Born: 14 Nov 1879
Place: New York, NY
Date Married: 3 Jun 1901 - divorced 1930

Isabel Goodrich Stillman
Born: 29 Apr 1876
Place: New York, NY
Died: 22 Aug 1935
Place: Greenwich, CT
Married: Percy Avery Rockefeller
Born: 27 Feb 1878
Place: New York, NY
Died: 25 Sep 1934
Date Married: 23 Apr 1901

Charles Chauncey Stillman
Born: 29 Sep 1877
Place: Irvington-on-Hudson, NY
Died: 16 Aug 1926
Place: at sea on SS Aquitiana
Married: Mary Wight
Born: 27 Nov 1870
Place: Windsor, ME
Died: 24 Sep 1925
Date Married: 15 Oct 1903

Ernest Goodrich Stillman, Doctor of Medicine (MD)
Born: 14 Jul 1884
Place: Newport, RI
Died: 16 Dec 1949
Place: New York, NY
Married: Mildred Margaret Whitney
Born: 19 Aug 1890
Place: San Francisco, CA
Died: 21 Aug 1950
Place: Cornwall-on-Hudson, NY
Date Married: 7 Jun 1911

Honorary Deputy Chief
Ernest G. Stillman, M.D.
1884 - 1949
Ernest Goodrich Stillman was born into wealth. He was the son of James Jewett Stillman who built railroad and banking empires (e.g., First National City Bank of New York, later "Citibank") and was one of the richest men in the United States. The younger Stillman attended Harvard as an undergraduate (Class of 1908) and received his Doctor of Medicine degree from the College of Physicians and Surgeons at Columbia University (Class of 1913). He was a respected researcher in the field of pulmonology at the Rockefeller Institute. (His sisters Sarah and Isabel both married Rockefellers.) During World War I, he served in the Army Medical Corps.

Dr. Stillman was a contemporary and friend of many of the prominent buffs of the FDNY. He was appointed an honorary Battalion Chief in 1925 to work as a Medical Officer with Dr. Archer. He was promoted to Deputy Chief in 1938. Dr. Stillman chose to share his fortune generously for the benefit of the FDNY and its members. In 1937 he anonymously donated the Memorial Wall in Headquarters, which still stands today after several expansions. He endowed two medals of valor. He also served as Chief of the volunteer fire department at his summer residence in Cornwall-on-Hudson, New York, where he founded Cornwall Hospital in 1923.

His involvement with the Department was not limited to monetary contributions. A brilliant man, he invented a flashlight specifically designed for firefighters that was utilized by the FDNY. Given his research in pulmonology, it is not surprising that he had an interest in the impact of smoke on firefighting so, in addition to development of his own smoke ejection device that he donated to the Department, in 1937 he underwrote the construction of a new smoke ejector apparatus for the FDNY. But perhaps his most enduring contribution was the result of another one of his passions…photography. It is said that Dr. Stillman showed up at many fires with his medical bag in one hand and a motion picture camera in the other. The images he captured record many of the most historic personalities, equipment and fires in New York City during the 1920's and 1930's. They are considered to be the largest collection of fire-related films in the world. His son John originally donated the films to the Prelinger Archives which has since been transferred to the Library of Congress. Copies of the films are now widely accessible. Dr. Stillman donated some of his fire memorabilia to the Storm King Fire Engine Company in Cornwall where it is on display in their headquarters. The bulk of his collection was handed down to his son Timothy who, like his father, was an avid fire buff. Timothy, a member of the Fire Bell Club of New York, displayed these items along with his own additions at his "Cannon Square Fire Museum" in Stonington, Connecticut, eventually bequeathing it all to the Connecticut Firemen's Historical Society.

After Dr. Stillman passed away at his home in Manhattan on December 16, 1949, his ashes where scattered at Black Rock Forest, a 3,800-acre tract of land in Cornwall, New York, (one of many owned by his family,) that he donated to his alma mater, Harvard University. In 1992 a plaque to his memory was unveiled at the Forest. His impact on the FDNY will forever endure.

Created by: Gary Urbanowicz
Record added: Feb 19, 2013
Find A Grave Memorial# 105472832

Information and data have been received from Gary Urbanowicz May 2013