Once upon a time,
, already a legend in American society, was also a real American small town -- indeed even a family town, where everyone knew his neighbor. While the town was always famous for its celebrity guests and occasional residents and their accompanying notoriety, one family has had a predominant presence in throughout the last century; and that is the Munns. Palm Beach
Through the Munns, some of the most prominent families in
and elsewhere are related to each other. Amorys, Pulitzers, Boardmans, Armours, Vanderbilts, Wannamakers, Biddles, Drexels, Spreckels and van Rensselaers are only some of the many which are all intertwined on the Munn vast and glamorous family tree. Palm Beach
Exploring those branches and separating them into a coherent piece is a formidable task and
Palm Beach historian Augustus C. Mayhew has done just that with a treasure trove of archival photographs of the families’ life in . It doesn’t matter if, when you get to the end of this story, you still haven’t figured out how who’s related to whom. Most importantly the history reflects a time in American life when families dominated communities, gave them their flavor and their atmosphere. Palm Beach
The Munns and their exponents were practitioners of the Good Life on a scale that seems incomparable today not because of their fortunes, but because of their relationship to this cornucopia of wives, husbands, brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, cousins, cousins and more cousins.
House of Munn: The
Story Palm Beach
By Augustus C. Mayhew
L. to r.: Peter Pulitzer, Patsy Pulitzer, Charles Amory, Jr., Grace Amory, Gladys Munn Pulitzer, Reginald Boardman, Dennie Boardman, Carrie Louise Munn Boardman, Fernanda ('Nonie') Wanamaker Munn, Gurnee Munn, Jr., Gurnee Munn, Sr., Frances Munn, Mary Munn, Charles Munn, Jr., Pauline Munn, Charles A. Munn, Sr. ('Mr. Palm Beach'), Noel Spenser Munn (sitting center). Not pictured: Ector Munn.
Patsy Pulitzer Preston, pictured second from left, next to her little brother, Peter Pulitzer, "remembers the day when we were all lined up in our white shoes."
"My mother, Gladys Munn, was the most loving, most caring person in the world, who died of TB in 1938, two years after the photo. My father's last years with my mother were spent traveling around the world trying to find a cure that did not exist. Because of the contagion and beliefs of the time, we were unable to be in the same room with her. Imagine, never being able to see the person you love the most," she expressed.
The photograph of the Charles Munn family appears to be the cast from the 1942 film, The Palm Beach Story, with Claudette Colbert, Joel McCrea, and Mary Astor, but actually, it may be the real
story, the one that includes a genuine Mary Astor. Palm Beach
Today's Social Register does not list the Charles Munn name but the family's Grands, Greats, and Great-Greats are from one of
's most exclusive clubs — the island's most formidable social conglomerate — the family. Palm Beach
A Munn family séance would fill a hall greater than Mrs. Astor's fabled ballroom with the world's most-recognized bold-faced names: Amory, Armour, Astor, Baker, Bessborough, Biddle, Boardman, Bostwick, Dow, Drexel, Gurnee, Orr, Pulitzer, Ryan, Spreckels, Vanderbilt, Van Rensselaer, Wanamaker, and
, and others. Waterbury
In The Beginning
Alexander Ector Orr, an established silk-stocking New Yorker, helped his nephew, Charles Munn, newly arrived from
; establish Munn, Orr & Company, a business concern engaged in wholesale provisionals and slaughterhouses. Ireland
Alexander Ector Orr
A prominent New York financier and merchant, who during the Age of Monopoly served on the boards of twenty-nine corporations, Alexander Orr headed the New York Produce Exchange (1887-1888) and was president of the New York Chamber of Commerce (1894). Orr's marriage to Juliet Dows, the daughter of the nation's largest grain dealer, greatly enhanced his power and prominence. After the infamous corruption scandal of 1905, he became president of the Equitable Insurance Company. Best known for arranging the financing and construction of
's subway system, his estate was valued at more than $10 million in 1914. Charles Munn named two of his children after his proverbial rich uncle, Charles Alexander and Ector Orr Munn. New York
When Munn, Orr & Co. sought to expand into the Midwest market, Charles Munn went to
to represent the family's interest. The trip was providential, as Munn experienced a serendipitous encounter, resulting in a windfall far greater than anything he might reap from a business venture. Chicago
In Chicago, Munn met and married Carrie Louise Gurnee Armour, the widow of Joseph Armour, president of Armour & Co., the world's largest meatpacking and food processing concern, whose mantra was 'We feed the world.' Armour wed Carrie Louise, following the accidental death of his first wife, Amelia Gurnee, Carrie Louise's sister. Armour's second marriage was short-lived. According to published reports, He reportedly died from an accidental fall in 1880, leaving his widow, Carrie Louise, as sole heir and co-executor of his more than $3 million estate as well as his share in the Armour & Co partnership. Childless from both marriages, Armour set aside $100,000 for the construction of a mission and school, named in honor of his first wife, Amelia.
Walter S. Gurnee
Carrie Louise was a Gurnee, prominent land barons who made their fortune in tannery and railroads. Walter S. Gurnee, Carrie Louise's uncle, was mayor of
Chicago (1851-1853) and known as The Father of the North Shore, with holdings that comprise today's Winnetka and . Highland Park , is named for him. Whether Carrie Louise returned the wedding presents before she bonded with Munn may never be known but the Munn-Gurnee civil union served as the foundation for an immense social dynasty that would reach into the 21st century. Gurnee, IL
Rather than live in Victorian lace-curtained
Chicago, considering the ambience in the aftermath of The Great Chicago of 1871 and the Haymarket Riot a decade later, Charles, Carrie Louise, and their first child, Charles Alexander, moved to the more refined sophisticated air of They lived the life of top hats, walking sticks and fur coats, attended by butlers and maids as they packed and unpacked steamer trunks for ocean crossings and Grand Tours. They lived in a brick mansion at Washington, D.C. 14th St. and Massachusetts Avenue, where their neighbor was John Wanamaker, Postmaster General (1889-1892), whose granddaughters, Fernanda and Marie Louise, decades later, married two of the Munn's sons.
Following the birth of their other children, Gurnee, Carrie Louise, Ector and Gladys, and, in their search of a healthy clime during the winter months, the Munns discovered
St. Augustine, the of the South. They stayed at one of the Carrere and Hastings-designed hotel resorts that catered their every whim. Later, the Munns were among the first arrivals at The Breakers, Flagler's new oceanfront hotel, where an orchestra and mule-driven trolley car greeted guests as they arrived in private railroad cars. Newport
The Munn children with their friends. The Breakers,
, c. 1895. The hotel and the pier can be seen in the distance. The Breakers beach served as the winter colony's bath and tennis club until The Bath and Tennis Club was built in 1927. Steamships departed from the pier for Palm Beach Havana, Nassau and . Key West
During the next century as fate and folly diminished the fortunes and standing of some Palm Beachers, the Munn family's confluence of kinship and class generated a social stature as tightly knotted as the
We Are Gathered Here Today To Join?
A wedding planner may suffice for some families, but for the Munns, marriages require the expertise of a forensic genealogist or a Ptolemaic scholar. Money counted within the Munn's social set but no one counted marriages.
In 1903 Charles Munn died, six years before his son, Charles Munn, Jr.'s, la belle époque marriage to Mary Astor Paul became an international social event. The new Mrs. Munn was blue chip
Philadelphia — Drexel, Biddle, van Rensselaer, and Astor.
Anthony J. Drexel
Charles Alexander Munn
.' Palm Beach
"Queen of Palm Beach"
Marjorie Merriweather Post, exchanges whispers with "Mr. Palm Beach",
Charles Munn, at the Red Cross Ball, Palm Beach
Charles Munn, a Harvard graduate, was a founder of the Everglades Club, Seminole and Gulf Stream Golf Club. He was a member of le beau monde, Café Society and Jet Set for more than six decades. Considered by many as 'The Last Gentleman,' Munn believed in hard work and civility. He was a perennial nominee to the International Best Dressed list. He is credited with popularizing the blue blazer (Captain's jacket), ascot and flannel trousers, as the official uniform of the social set. He kept a portrait of Queen Elizabeth II in the living room of his
house and a Rousseau painting of Moliere's characters in the dining room. In one of his last interviews, he recalled the Christmas that Flo Ziegfield gave his sister-in-law, Marie Louise Wanamaker Munn, and neighbor, a full orchestra for one week. 'I will never forget,' Munn said. 'We danced every night, there was nothing like it.' Palm Beach
Mary Astor Paul Munn was the daughter of James William Paul, Jr. (1851-1908) and
Drexel (1858- 1901), the daughter of Anthony J. Drexel (1826-1893), the financier known as 'the man who made Wall Street.' Frances
Mary Astor Paul Munn
Anthony J. Drexel was the founder of the banking firm Drexel & Co. She was named for an aunt, Mary Paul Astor, who in 1878 joined fortunes with William Waldorf Astor, better known as Baron Astor of
. The Drexel family archives are at Hever Castle . Mary Astor Paul was the first Mrs. Charles Munn, Sr. and mother of their four children: Charles, Jr., Drexel University and Carrie Louise. Following her divorce from Charles Munn, she moved to Mary, Frances where she married Jacques Allez, a renowned WW I French flying ace. For her work with the French Resistance during WW II, when she used the code name, 'Pauline,' to honor her deceased daughter, she was awarded the Chevalier of the Legion of Honor by the French government and the Medal of Freedom by the Paris . She died in United States in 1950. A family cousin, Katherine Drexel, was recently canonized Saint Katharine by the Catholic Church. Paris
Pauline Munn Doyle
Tragic adversities tempered the family's triumphs. The family matriarch, Carrie Louise Gurnee Armour Munn (1862-1922) died in an automobile accident when her car crashed into a tree, near the family's summer home in
Manchester by-the-Sea, She was buried at Mass. Graceland Cemetery, . Charles and Mary Munn's daughter, Pauline, died in Chicago at the age of 30 from complications following a foot infection. Paris
In 1927 Pauline Munn made her debut at the Ritz-Carlton in
Paris, as well as parties in New York, Philadelphia and . In Palm Beach the Munns gave an intimate dinner for 500 where their daughter wore a 'white robe de style with a belt of red roses hanging around her waist.' She married an American and lived in Paris . She was interred in the same Paris cemetery where her mother would be buried beside her twenty years later. In her father's will, he bequeathed $20,000 to the Paris American Hospital in , to endow a room in memory of his daughter. Paris
Woodcrest was the estate of James W. Paul, Jr. and Frances Biddle Drexel, Mary Astor Munn's parents. Her mother died before the house was completed. Charles and Mary Munn lived at Woodcrest after her father died in 1908 until 1925, when they sold the property for $1 million to Dr. Joseph Dorrance, the inventor of condensed soup and the president of
's Soup. It was the highest price paid at the time for a private house in Campbell . Set on more than 200 acres and designed in the Elizabethan half-timber style, today Woodcrest is part of the Pennsylvania campus. Cabrini University
Charles and Mary Paul Munn built Amado on a three-acre oceanfront parcel purchased from John S, Phipps, whose family estate, Casa Bendita, adjoined the property to the south.
In 1927 Munn headed a committee of homeowners who built
North County Road to the west and removed North Ocean Boulevard from in front of their oceanfront homes. While the Munns lived in , they would often lease Amado for the winter season. When Flo Ziegfield and his wife, Billie Burke, stayed at Amado, they brought along their daughter's pet lions. Paris
The family's guest register at Amado recorded the names of some of the 20th-century's most distinguished international diplomats, aristocrats and socialites. At one event, the women, including Rose Kennedy, left their lipstick impressions along with their autograph.
Despite revisionist history, Joseph and Rose Kennedy, and their children, were an active part of
social life for several decades and among the Munn's inner circle. The Kennedy family lived north of the Munns at La Guerida, an oceanfront Mizner-designed house they purchased in 1933 from Rodman Wanamaker's family. Palm Beach
The guest register from Amado
'We would drive along
Ocean Boulevard, shoot quail, and then eat them,' said Munn, describing life in the jungle of in a 1960s interview. 'Back then, all we had was The Breakers commissary. We knew everyone, all our family and friends. It was just us.' Palm Beach
Following his divorce in the 1930's, Charles Munn spent the next two decades dining and dancing among the black-tie international social circuit. Then, in 1953, he exchanged vows with Dorothy Spreckels DuPuy McCarthy, the
sugar heiress, with whom he enjoyed an extended companionship. San Francisco
Dolly O'Brien, Charles Munn, and Joanne Ortiz-Patino,
Dorothy Rohnert Spreckels DuPuy McCarthy Munn (1913-2000) was the daughter of Adolf Spreckels, the
California sugar king, and Alma Spreckels, the patron saint of San Francisco's . An avid bridge player and Francophile, her first husband's family owned the newspaper, Petit Parisien, Her mother, immortalized in the 1990 biography, Big Alma, befriended Auguste Rodin, amassing the largest collection of Rodin sculptures outside of Palace of Legion of Honor . The Munn's apartment, at 22 rue Barbet de Jouy, overlooked the Paris . During the 1960s their passion for Rodin Museum Paris waned as they spent more time in the south of . She thought tall buildings were ruining France Paris, saying in a 1960 interview, ' is awash with ugliness.' Gallery #5 at the Paris is named for her. She endowed the Dorothy Spreckels Performing Arts Center in Palace of Legion of Honor . Today, Danielle Steele, the novelist, owns the Sonoma County, CA Beaux-Arts Spreckels Mansion on Washington Street in . Charles and Dorothy Munn are still together; they share a niche at the Columbarium, Episcopal Church of Bethesda-by-the-Sea in San Francisco . Palm Beach
Mr. and Mrs. Charles Munn,
Dorothy Spreckels Munn
Charles A. Munn & Dorothy Spreckels Munn:
Last Will & Testaments
Will watch is one of
's most engaging indoor sports. Following their wedding in 1953, the Munns entered into an ante-nuptial agreement and both wills acknowledged this previous agreement Palm Beach
In his December 1973 will, Charles Munn bequeathed Dorothy the
Palm Beach house, Amado, the Paris apartment and two Rolls Royces, one in San Francisco and the other, garaged in . His nephew, and executor, Reginald Boardman, Jr., received his Palm Beach Rolls. Munn named thirty family members, employees, and friends, as beneficiaries, leaving each a specific amount with eight of them given lifetime monthly incomes from an established trust. He left a portrait of his mother, Carrie Louise Gurnee Munn, painted by Theobald Chartran (1847-1907), a noted Paris painter, to his two sisters, Mary and Frances. His remaining shares in AmTote were equally divided between, his brother, Ector, his nephew, Reginald Boardman, and his secretary, Norma Ballou. Additionally, Ballou received a substantial cash gift and a lifetime income. Unfortunately, she died a year after Munn's death. French Academy
Dorothy Spreckels, at 14 with her pet bulldog
Munn niche. Columbarium, Episcopal Church of
Bethesda by-the-Sea, Palm Beach
When Dorothy Munn left Amado, the Munn family house valued at $14 million, to her stepchildren, Mary and Frances, veteran
will watchers noted a refreshing civility. In addition, according to her American will signed in 1998, and valued at her death in 2000 at $99 million, she bequeathed the residual of her estate, after the provisions in a 1991 Trust for family members and friends, to be equally divided among the following ten charities: The Versailles Foundation, Inc. (also recipient in her French Will), The Lord's Place, Hospice of Palm Beach, The American Lung Association, Norton Museum of Art, Episcopal Church of Bethesda by-the-Sea, Planned Parenthood, Children's Home Society of Florida, Bascom-Palmer Eye Institute (Miami), and the Rehabilitation Center for Children and Adults (Palm Beach). In 2001 The Florida Bar reprimanded her estate attorney when they discovered he changed the wording of her will after she died. The attorney recused himself when it was learned that he accepted a $2 million gift from her the year before her death. Palm Beach
Dorothy Spreckels Munn donated her private collection of several hundred event photographs and small format family casual snapshots from
Paris, London, Palm Beach, New York, and to the Historical Society of Palm Beach County. Top, L. to R: Charles Munn having dinner with his grand daughter, Pauline Baker Pitt, Monte Carlo, 1964; Frances Munn Baker with poodle; Charles and Dorothy Munn, Cap D'Antibes, 1965; Duke of Windsor and Dorothy Munn; Munn family, Poinciana Plaza, Palm Beach; Tony Pulitzer, Dorothy Spreckels, Charles Munn, Cannes. Dorothy Spreckels Munn, center, Reginald Boardman; Dorothy Munn readies for an evening at the San Francisco Opera. Charles and Dorothy Munn, San Francisco Worth Avenue, Palm Beach.
Betrothed And Begat
While all weddings call for something blue, for the Munns it meant the Blue Book. In keeping with the tradition of their time, the Social Register was most often the best wedding planner.
Gladys Munn's marriage to Charles Minot Amory, a Beacon Hill Brahmin, resulted in two children, Charles Minot Amory, Jr. and Grace Amory Ryan.
Following their divorce in 1924, Charles Amory hooked up with Margaret 'Bromo-Seltzer,' Emerson Smith Hollins McKim Vanderbilt Baker, perhaps the most married woman of her time. The new Mrs. Amory's marriage to Alfred Gwynne Vanderbilt ended suddenly in 1915 when he drowned aboard the
. The widow Vanderbilt was left with two children, an immense fortune and some of the largest private homes in the country, including Sagamore and seven Lusitania plantations called Arcadia Plantation. South Carolina
Patsy Pulitzer Preston
Grace Amory, a noted champion golfer, married Allan A. Ryan. Their house on
Wells Road in was situated west of the Herb Pulitzer property, later owned by the Azqueta family. Ryan was the son of Thomas Fortune Ryan, known popularly as, 'the richest man in the South' and #14 on Forbes magazine's first list of the richest people in 1918. Palm Beach
After she and Amory parted, Gladys wed Herbert 'Tony' Pulitzer, 1896 -1957.
Their marriage produced two children, Patsy and Peter. Herbert Pulitzer, the youngest of Joseph Pulitzer's sons, published The New York World. His
oceanfront home was on Palm Beach Wells Road, to the south of El Mirasol and the Phipps properties.
Patsy Preston remembers that she and her brother Peter 'lived in the generation when children were not seen or heard.' She married Lewis T. Preston, president, chairman and CEO of J.P. Morgan Chase, and later, president of the World Bank, 1991-1994. The World Bank Conference Center auditorium is named for him. Also, in his honor, Patsy Preston established a foundation, Preston Education Fund for Girls, now part of the Global Fund for Women. She lives in
in a building designed by J. E. R. Carpenter. New York City
Peter Pulitzer, once known as, Herbert 'Peter' Pulitzer, lives in South Florida and
. His elopement with Lillian 'Lilly' McKim, and his subsequent marriage and break up from Roxanne Renckens of Colorado , turned this otherwise old shoe into a media sensation. Lilly was the daughter of Lillian Bostwick McKim Phipps (1906-1987), best known as Mrs. Ogden Phipps, and the great-granddaughter of Jabez Bostwick, treasurer of the Standard Oil Trust and a partner of John D. Rockefeller and Henry Flagler. While much is made of her marrying a Pulitzer, actually, it was Peter Pulitzer who married well. Lilly Pulitzer became a fashion icon for her colorful Palm Beach-inspired designs called 'Lillys'. Peter and Lilly have three children: Liza, Lillian Munn, and a son, Peter McKim Pulitzer. From his second marriage, he has twin sons, MacLean and Zachary Pulitzer, who work in the family's citrus concern, Pulitzer Groves. In addition, he has two children from his current marriage. Cassadaga, NY
Charles Amory, Jr. married Chesbrough Lewis (c. 1913-2005), a well-known and photographed social figure in
New York, Southampton, and . Their son, C. Minot Amory, III, lives in Palm Beach with his wife, Victoria. Following his second divorce, Amory, Jr., banded with Julia Aspuru, the former Mrs. Enrique Rousseau; his half-brother, Peter Pulitzer's ex-wife, Lilly, married Enrique Rousseau. Julia Amory lives in Palm Beach . West Palm Beach
Carrie Louise Munn's marriage to Reginald Boardman, a Beacon Hill Bostonian, ended in a publicized divorce and two children, T. Dennie and Reginald, Jr. Carrie Louise would later wed Lawrence Waterbury, a
Dennie and Reginald Boardman, Jr.
Dennie Boardman wed Vivian Dixon, granddaughter of Isidor Strauss, owner of R. H. Macy's, who with his wife, Ida, drowned aboard the ill-fated HMS Titanic. Following her split from Dennie, Vivian Boardman became the third Mrs. Rodman Lewis Wanamaker (1899-1976), whose cousins, Marie-Louise and Fernanda, married Munn brothers, Gurnee and Ector, her ex-husband's uncles. Dennie and Vivian's son, D. Dixon Boardman, Optima hedge fund founder, paired up in Hapsburg fashion. He wed Pauline Baker, his second cousin. In 2001 Dixon Boardman exchanged rings with Princess Arriana Theresa Maria Hohenlohe-Langenburg at her family's Marbella Club. Before marrying Prince Alfonso (1924- 2003), Princess Arriana's mother, the English actress,
Jackie Lane, later known as Jocelyn Lane, appeared in Playboy (September, 1966) and the film Tickle Me (1965) with Elvis Presley. The Dixon Boardmans live in . Palm Beach
All In The Family
The Wanamaker Trust
When Lewis Rodman Wanamaker (1863-1928) died, he left a will and codicils establishing an estimated $120 million trust for his three children and their descendants: Fernanda Wanamaker deHeeren (Munn), John Wanamaker, Jr., and Marie Louise Wanamaker Munn (
). For half a century, the trust consisted in part of the stock in the John Wanamaker department store. In 1978, Carter, Hawley, Hale, Inc. offered the trust $40 million for the stock. After protracted negotiations, Carter, Hawley purchased the stock for $60 million. Kent
Lewis Rodman Wanamaker
According to the Wanamaker Trust, upon the death of the Wanamaker children, their children were to split one-half of their parent's shares. The other half share would be accumulated to fund various charities. Although the will did not expressly provide that Wanamaker's great- grandchildren would succeed to their parents' interests in the trust, a court later ruled that the failure to include such specific language was an oversight and that their interest should be divided equally between them.
Ector and Gurnee Munn's union with Lewis Rodman Wanamaker's daughters, Fernanda and Marie Louise, rekindled the affinity for family values begun decades before, when their mother and aunt, Carrie Louise and Amelia Gurnee, were doubly Armoured.
Ector Munn's marriage was childless, and following his divorce from Fernanda Wanamaker, he wed Virginia Abbott. A confirmed vegan, who lived to the age of 102, Ector was a founder of Planned Parenthood in
. For many years he was involved in the family business, AmTote. Later he headed Canada Dry's Palm Beach County division before retiring. Following their split, his wife, Fernanda, married George Kent. US
In 1940 Mrs. Ector (Fernanda) Munn and Mrs. Harrison (Mona) Williams, her sister's neighbor in Palm Beach, chaired the American branch of Le Colis de Trianon-Versailles, a French charity that aided servicemen during the war. With the Duchess of Windsor, they organized an exhibition, Paris Openings, to raise money for the charity. Held at the Wanamaker Auditorium in
, the exhibit displayed evening dresses worn by their friends. Each dress was termed a "hallowed memory," having been worn on a 'Great Occasion.' A complete display of this extraordinary exhibition can be seen at Paris Openings, Timeline of Art History. New York New York: The of Art. Metropolitan Museum
Born in Washington and a Harvard graduate, Gurnee Munn was named for his mother's family, the Gurnees of Chicago. Louwana, the Munn-Wanamaker home, became an epicenter for the international set during the 1920s and 1930s. Harrison Williams, often termed the richest man in the world, and his wife, the fabled, Mona Williams, lived next-door to the Munns in
. Gurnee held various positions in the family firm, American Totalisator (AmTote). For many years, he was a partner in a real estate firm in Palm Beach , Munn, Hull & Boardman. His will bequeathed his seat on the New York Stock Exchange to his brother, Ector. Gurnee and Marie Louise had two children, Gurnee II (1917-1978) and Fernanda Wanamaker Munn (1920-1989). His daughter, Fernanda married Francis Kellogg in 1942. Following her father's death, Fernanda Kellogg, sold Louwana to her half-brother, Arturo de Heeren and his wife, Aimee. She moved to The Lodge, a house built along Palm Beach North County Road on the Louwana property. Fernanda Kellogg established the Louwana Foundation, to protect wildlife habitats in Kenya and East Africa.
Gurnee Munn, Jr. (1918 -1978) and his wife, Suzanne, aboard their sailboat on
Lake Worth, 1970.
Gurnee Munn's sudden death in 1978 sparked a contentious court battle over his will between his children from a former marriage and his second wife. The court upheld the will, and his children, Marie Louise, Bridget, and Gurnee III, took their family share of the Wanamaker Trust, leaving Munn's widow with a more than $1 million award. During better times, Munn designed and built his own 100-foot sailing yacht in
and sailed around the world. Scotland
Gurnee Munn, Jr., 1925
A Fernanda Who's Who
In 1886 Lewis Rodman Wanamaker married Fernanda Antonio deHenry. They named their daughter Fernanda Wanamaker. Fernanda's son, from her marriage to Arturo deHeeren, Rodman deHeeren, named his daughter, Christina Fernanda DeHeeren. Fernanda's sister, Marie Louise, named her daughter, Fernanda 'Nonnie' Wanamaker Munn. She married Francis Kellogg and named her daughter, Fernanda Munn Kellogg. Fernanda Kellogg named her daughter from her first husband, Fernanda Gilligan. Fernanda Pauline Wanamaker, daughter of John Wanamaker and Pauline Disston, wed Francis Wetherill. Their daughter, Fernanda Wanamaker Wetherill became Mrs. Jamie Niven, and their daughter was named Fernanda Wanamaker Niven.
Mary Munn (Countess Bessborough), Fernanda Wanamaker Munn, Fernanda Wanamaker Wetherill
Seated, Frances Drexel Munn Baker
Mary and Frances are the children of Charles and Mary Astor Paul Munn. Mary Munn married Frederick Edward Posonby, Viscount Duncannon and the 10th Earl of Bessborough. She became Countess Bessborough. A still-life painter and active historic preservationist, she lives on
Rittenhouse Square, Philadelphia, after living many years in the UK and . Her daughter is Lady Charlotte Petsopoulos, who has lived in Paris for many years. Both mother and daughter are supporters of Task Brasil, a UK-based organization that supports the welfare of the street children of London . Frances Munn Baker has lived in Brazil Palm Beach, New York, and . Her first husband, George F. Baker, Jr., was scion of the First National City Bank banking family, the forerunner of CitiBank. In 1918 George F. Baker was #4 on the Forbes list of the wealthiest people in the world. His estimated wealth of $150 million in today's dollars would equal $1.64 billion. Frances Baker's children are Anthony, Pauline, Kane, and Lavinia. Later, she married Peter Bezencenet and lived in Grasse, France for many years. She now lives in France . In December 2005 her son, George F. III, died in an airplane crash off the coast of Palm Beach Nantucket. The Baker family has supported Harvard University for many generations, beginning with George Baker, III's great-grandfather, whose donation of $5 million in 1924 made possible the construction of the campus and the Baker Library. The George F, Baker house, at 93rd and Park Avenue, was designed by Harvard Business School and Aldrich. The Baker House is a part of Classical American Homes Preservation Trust. Delano
Mary Munn Posonby, Countess Bessborough, and her sister, Frances Drexel Munn Baker
The Family Business
Charles Munn, Jr., the oldest brother, believed in hard work as much as he did the art of living well. He and his brothers always worked together in all their business ventures.
In 1926 Munn went to
and founded the Greyhound Racing Association. Within a year, there were forty greyhound racetracks. Charles Munn returned to the England with the patent rights to the ubiquitous mechanical rabbits found at racetracks. US
From there, the Munn brothers, along with inventor Henry Straus, developed and patented the automatic betting board for racetracks. Charles and Gurnee Munn formed the American Totalisator Co., known today as AmTote. Charles Munn was the first president and Gurnee the vice-president.
The company introduced an electronic wagering board at Pimlico in 1930, and then, at
in 1931. AmTote's automation revolutionized the racing world. Within a few seasons, every racetrack was equipped with an AmTote system. In addition, the company was among the earliest investors in UNIVAC, the world's first computer. Eventually, Remington Rand bought and developed UNIVAC. Hialeah Park
Munn groomed his son, Charles, Jr., to head AmTote. However, following his son's tragic ordeal with Lou Gehrig's disease and death in 1957, Munn sold AmTote, reportedly in excess of $4 million.
The Next Generation
Chris Kellogg (right) with his late father, Francis Kellogg (c. 1917-2006).
Today's members of the Munn clan are probably no longer found soaking at Marienbad, shooting grouse in
, or dancing on ocean liners. Nevertheless, they can still be found on the social runways between Scotland Worth Avenue and Park Avenue, red carpet events and the . Whether on Page Six, social columns, or in the front lines of social issues, the Munns retain the family's sense of free-spiritedness that first characterized it. Amazon Rain Forest
Unlike a distant Munn cousin, Cleveland Amory (1917-1998), who forty years asked Who Killed Society? in his best-selling book of the same name, the Munn family are not trapped by tradition, eclipsed by the shadow and weight of name, or constrained by the values and regimen of the vanishing Old Guard.
'Welcome to Munnsville,' Chris Kellogg remembers the phrase as one of his mother's, Fernanda Wanamaker Munn Kellogg, favorite greetings.
Today Kellogg and his family live at 'The Lodge,' the house his grandfather, Gurnee Munn, built decade ago along the western edge of Louwana.
Left: George Baker IV and his uncle, Anthony Baker
Right: Pauline Baker Boardman Pitt and her daughter, Serena Boardman.
George F. Baker IV is a flight instructor and an air transport pilot in
. In 2005 he married Anne Kettle. A New York Dartmouth graduate, he is a trustee of . In 2005 his father, George Baker, III, died in an airplane crash. Anthony Baker lives in ReadNext Bronx Charter School New York and . A Harvard graduate, he is involved with the Baker Foundation. His sister, Pauline Pitt, heads Pauline Boardman, Ltd, a notable interior design firm in Palm Beach New York and . Her marriage to William Pitt ended upon his premature death. Her daughters, Samantha and Serena Boardman, have become familiar boldfaced names in Palm Beach New York and . Samantha Boardman is a psychiatrist in Palm Beach . New York
Liza Pulitzer's grandmother was Gladys Munn; her great uncles and aunts were Charles, Gurnee, Ector, Mary, and Frances Munn. Her recent third trip down the aisle was an unfortunate misstep, marrying the already-married Phillip Roome, a
travel advisor. Liza lives in New York and is a Realtor at Martha A. Gottfried Real Estate. Her sister lives in West Palm Beach Palm Beach and her brother in . California
In 1986, Liza's sister, Lillian Munn Pulitzer, married Rodman Wanamaker Leas. Their vows once again linked two families whose lineage was first joined more than eighty years ago. Her great aunts by marriage were Fernanda and Marie Louise Wanamaker Munn, whose brother, John Wanamaker II, was Rodman Leas' maternal grandfather. Four years after their separation in 1995, Lillian Leas became Mrs. Kevin Michael McCluskey.
Gladys Munn's grandson, C. Minot Amory, III, lives in
Palm Beach with his wife de a Maza Amory, and children. He is a financial advisor. Their midtown home was the 2005 recipient of the Robert I. Ballinger Award, the Town's most prized historic preservation designation. Mrs. Amory is a noted writer and columnist, victoriaamory.com. She is the daughter of Count and Countess de la Maza. Victoria
Yesterday & Today:
The Munn Houses
Amado, 2006. During the past five years Amado has sold twice and been under re-construction. Despite historical designation, the house was permitted a 180-degree extreme makeover — the house's original rear, west, elevation is now its entrance façade; the original east, oceanfront, is now the rear elevation; the original side formal entrance has been removed along with the central staircase.
Built in 1920, Louwana, the Gurnee and Marie Louise Wanamaker Munn house, is located next door to his brother, Charles Munn's villa, Amado. Highlighted by a legendary Mizner courtyard staircase, Louwana is in its original museum condition Louwana is one of the last remaining Mizner-designed houses in
. Palm Beach
In 1994 Time magazine named Charles A. Munn, III, the grandson of Charles and Mary Astor Paul Munn, one of the 100 most influential young leaders in the world. Munn founded, and is now chairman, of the board of Tropical Nature, a nonprofit foundation that conserves tropical rain forests through model ecotourism projects in
Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Brazil, the Dominican Republic, and . Gabon
Charles Alexander Munn, III
B.A. Princeton 1977, M.Sc. Oxford 1979, Ph.D. Princeton 1984
In addition, during two decades of fieldwork in
South America, Munn earned recognition as the world's leading authority on wild macaws.
The Discovery Channel, PBS, TBS, BBC, NPR, TIME, Newsweek, GEO, and The New York Times have featured Munn's work. In 2002 Conde Nast Traveler chose
, a site designed by Munn, as the number one wildlife lodge in the Amazon basin. Munn has established eco-conservancies in Manu Wildlife Center Bolivia, Peru and Brazil that have preserved millions of acres: Tropical Nature, Manu Wildlife Center, Peru, and Napo Wildlife Center - EcoEcuador in . Yasuni National Park
'My father and sister died when I was real young. My sister, Mary Munn, was only three when a milk truck killed her. My mother, Loretta, remarried after my father died and lives in
,' Charles Munn, III, said. Baltimore
'I have never been to a race track, not a horse track or a greyhound track,' he expressed. 'I suppose the former is harmless enough, but the latter involves too much cruelty that I could not countenance supporting it in any way.'
'And yes, there is a Charles Alexander Munn, IV. He's a high school senior and I don't know yet what direction he'll be heading,' said Munn.
Charlie Munn III's great-grandparents, Charles and Carrie Louise, first visited
more than 120 years ago. Alligator Joe wrestled crocodiles on Palm Beach Worth Avenue. And before the contagion of ficus hedges swept the island, Palm Beachers imported the world's most exotic specimens, transforming the island into a tropical Garden of Eden. Visitors marveled at the island's magnificent trees. was a jungle, much like the one he lives in today. Palm Beach
Munn's down-to-earth life appears distant from his predecessors at Seaside Cottage and paradoxical compared with his great- grandfather Anthony J. Drexel, or his namesake, his grandfather, 'Mr. Palm Beach.' Yet, they each have an innovative spirit shared by pioneers in their field. And, this same divergence may be what separates society's leaders from the crowd. The leaders inherit a legacy, and then, make a name for themselves.
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