|Name||Mary Stevens Hammond Memorial Home|
Mary Stevens Hammond Memorial Home, 1036 Park Avenue, Hoboken, N.J. Purpose: The care of children from broken homes. Founded 1916 by husband Ogden Hammond after her death on the Lusitania in 1915. Presented to the United Aid Society as a memorial to Hammond, closed circa 1970s? (still open as of 1969, but end date not established.)
Two articles below.
[Biography and family history of Mary Stevens Hammond as found on internet, July 2010: http://www.rmslusitania.info/pages/saloon_class/hammond_mps.html (website re Lustania.)]
Mrs. Ogden Haggerty Hammond (Mary Picton Stevens), Saloon Class Passenger
Saloon Class Passenger
Mary Hammond and one of her daughters, Millicent. Image courtesy Amy Schapiro (Hugh Fenwick Collection).
Born Mary Picton Stevens
16 May 1885
Hoboken, New Jersey, USA
Died 7 May 1915 (age 29)
Age on Lusitania 29
Ticket number 46099
Cabin number D 20 and bath
Traveling companion(s) Ogden Hammond (husband)
Residence - Bernardsville, New Jersey, USA - New York, New York, USA
Spouse(s) Ogden Haggerty Hammond (1907 - 1915, her death)
Mary Hammond, 29, was the wife of Ogden Hammond, and together they lived in Bernardsville, New Jersey, USA, and New York City. She sailed on Lusitania to help the Red Cross set up hospitals in war-torn France. Her husband Ogden survived the sinking, she did not. Mary was also the mother of New Jersey Congresswoman Millicent Fenwick.
2.Marriage to Ogden Hammond
4.Family after her death
Mary Hammond, née Stevens, was born 16 May 1885 to John Stevens and Mary Marshall McGuire in Hoboken, New Jersey, United States. The Stevens family from which Mary was decended were English settlers who had settled before the Revolutionary War, hob-nobbed with George Washington and Thomas Jefferson, founded the city of Hoboken, pioneered steam travel by boat and by train, and Mary's grandfather, Edwin Augustus Stevens, founded the Stevens Institute of Technology. Much of Mary's childhood was spent at the family estate of Castle Point, which was razed in 1959 by the Stevens Institute of Technology to make way for a modern structure.
When Mary was ten, John bled to death during an operation to remove a goiter. Her mother died nine years later, leaving the teenage Mary Stevens a millionaire. Mary was educated at Bryn Mawr in 1905-1906.
Marriage to Ogden Hammond
Ogden Hammond, Mary's future husband, was introduced to her by one of Ogden's Yale friends while in Bernardsville, New Jersey. Mary and Ogden would marry on 8 April 1907 when she was a few weeks short of her twenty-second birthday, and when he was thirty-eight.
For the first year of their marriage, the two lived in Ogden's hometown of Superior, Wisconsin. Then they moved east where Ogden purchased a house on 30 East 70th Street in New York City, Manhattan to be exact, and an estate in Bernardsville. The Hammonds procured their forty-seven room, New Jersey "summer cottage" from a Mr. Ellsworth, who had bought the estate from Mary's Uncle Edwin Augustus Stevens, Jr., who had built the house in the late 1880's. Ogden added a swimming pool and a five-room wing, and in 1908 the Hammonds moved in just in time for the arrival of their first child, Mary. A second daughter, Millicent Vernon, was born on 25 February 1910. A son, Ogden Jr., was born to them in 1912 in New York City.
Among their prized possessions was a Packard, as automobiles were novelties in those days. Ogden and Mary would often go on Sunday drives together.
As her husband entered local politics, Ogden and Mary Hammond became well-known in the social and political circuits. They were known to be friendly and genuinely concerned for the people. Mary was a member of the Colony Club. Ogden, running as a Republican, was elected to a one-year term in the New Jersey assembly in 1915.
Also in 1915, Mary Hammond was eager to aid victims of the ongoing war in Europe and help the Red Cross establish a hospital in France. Although rumors persisted for weeks up to the time before the Lusitania's final departure from New York, Mary would not be dissuaded from her mission. Whereas other passengers such as Alfred Vanderbilt and Charles Frohman received anonymous warnings, Mary received one that was much more personal. Mary's Aunt Elsie was a friend of German Ambassador to the United States, Count Johann von Bernstorff. Days prior to the Lusitania's departure, von Bernstorff had stressed to Aunt Elsie, "Do not let anyone you know get on the Lusitania."
Elsie did not ask why and did not want to know. All that she knew was that von Bernstorff meant business, and with all speed Elsie made for Bernardsville to warn Mary and Ogden. Mary laughed at Elsie's pleads and said, "I'm sailing on the Lusitania."
After all, the Lusitania was supposed to be the fastest and safest ship afloat.
That night Ogden and his brother John stayed up trying to dissuade Mary from her mission, but Mary remained obstinate. Her mind was made up and no one was going to change it for her. Giving up, John then asked Mary, "Do you have a will?"
"No I haven't." Mary answered, "Why don't you draw one up for me aboard the Lusitania before she sails and I'll sign it."
One wonders why Mary, who had lost her parents as a child, did not think of the possiblity that her own children could lose her in the face of the German submarine threats. Nevertheless, unable to dissuade her wife from making the crossing, Ogden too, booked passage on the Lusitania, unwilling to leave her wife unattended. Their cabin would be D-20, one of the few with a private bathroom.
On the morning of the Lusitania's sailing, 1 May 1915, the newspapers ran a warning strategically placed by Count von Bernstorff amongst the travel advertisements. John came to see Mary and Ogden off, but his cause was not for celebrating. He was there to seek Mary's signature for the will he had drawn up for her. In the will, Mary created a trust for her children and their future children, set up with money from the Stevens estate and the Hoboken Land and Improvement Company.
Mary and Ogden were in the saloon class lounge of the Lusitania when the torpedo hit. To Ogden, the vibration "felt like a blow from a great hammer striking the ship. It seemed to be well forward on the starboard side." Going out on deck to see what had happened, Staff Captain Anderson reassured Ogden that nothing was the matter and that he should go back to the lounge.
Another jolt followed shortly afterward and the ship immediately listed to starboard. Ogden wanted to go back down to their cabin to fetch lifebelts as those on deck were already gone, but Mary pleaded with Ogden not to leave her. The two joined Marguerite, Lady Allan for a while before continuing to along the deck without lifejackets. A young man then passed them saying that Upper Deck "D" was already flooded in "a rush of water."
The Hammonds then went to seek a place as high above the water as possible. Near the aft end of the superstructure on the port side where Ogden and Mary were, a lifeboat (#20?) was being loaded and a petty officer told Mary to get in. Mary refused to be parted from her husband, but when it became apparent that there was still room in the lifeboat, both Mary and Ogden stepped in. The boat was about half filled with about 35 people.
As the boat was being lowered, a man at the bow davit let a rope slip as the the man at the stern was still paying out slowly. The lifeboat dropped bow first and was going perpendicular, and Ogden, at the bow, grabbed the rope to halt the lifeboat's descent. Instead of stopping the lifeboat, however, the rope tore the skin off Ogden's hands and all in the boat, including Mary, were thrown sixty feet into the sea. Mary was never seen again.
Mary's death notice was in The New York Times, Wednesday, 26 May 1915, page 13, indicating she died at sea. Ogden would later present to the United Aid Society the Mary Stevens Hammond Home for the homeless and needy children of Hoboken.
In 1925, the Mixed Claims Commission awarded Ogden $17 970 as a Lusitania survivor. The children Mary, Millicent, and Ogden Jr. were awarded $5000 each for the death of their mother. Another $31,143 was allocated to Mary's estate, which was already valued at more than one million dollars. The trust in Mary's will included income and principal, the latter owned by Mary's yet-unborn grandchildren so the funds would be transferable without taxes later in life. Half of the income generated by the principle went to Ogden, the other half to be equally divided amongst Mary, Millicent, and Ogden Jr. when the became twenty-one. Ogden successfully petitioned the court to use some of the income to cover the cost of child care; the remaining funds were reinvested.
Family after her death
Ogden remarried in 1917 to Margaret "Daisy" McClure Howland. Ogden then served as United States Ambassador to Spain, bringing the Hammond children with him, from 1925 to 1929. Ogden died on 29 October 1956.
Mary's eldest daughter Mary, nicknamed "Ma," married Italian count Guerino Roberti on 8 August 1931. They lived in Rome. "Ma" died of cancer in 1958.
Ogden Hammond, Jr., was educated at St. Paul's School in Concord, New Hampshire. He died during Millicent's first term as New Jersey Congresswoman.
The second child Millicent lived a long and eventful life. She married Hugh Fenwick, a man who had divorced his wife for her, on 11 June 1932. This action disgusted her stepmother Daisy, a devout Catholic, and Millicent was thrown out of the house. The marriage did not last long and Hugh and Millicent Fenwick divorced in 1945. Despite never having finished her formal education, Millicent also wrote for Vogue and became ambassador to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization. Millicent became involved in the Civil Rights movement in the 1960's and became greatly involved in local and state politics in New Jersey. In 1975 Millicent Fenwick was elected to Congress at the age of 64, what the media described as a "geriatric triumph." Millicent was known for her outspoken and colorful character and although she ran for Senate she was not successful in that bid. Millicent died on 16 September 1992.
Christine Connolly, Yale University Archives
Maureen Fenwick Quinn
Hickey, Des and Gus Smith. Seven Days to Disaster. G. P. Putnam's and Sons, 1981.
Preston, Diana. Lusitania: An Epic Tragedy. Berkeley Books, 2002.
Schapiro, Amy. Millicent Fenwick: Her Way. Rutgers University Press, 2003.
Twenty-five year record, Class of Ninety-Three, Sheffield Scientific School, Yale University.
[Article as published in The Hoboken Reporter, July 24, 2010 and on the website]
Out of a Hoboken Orphanage
Five sisters reunite in hometown after 40 years
by Caren Matzner
07.24.10 - 11:04 pm
For a few years before the Mary Stevens Hammond Home for Children on Park Avenue in Hoboken closed for good in 1964 [see text at top re closing dates], two of the children staying there, Denise Chemidlin and usually one of her four sisters, would get up each morning and walk the 12 blocks southeast to what is now Carlo's Bakery on Washington Street. Employees of the bakery, at the time called Schoening's [sic], would fill the girls' metal baskets with leftover bread from the day before. The girls would return to Hammond so they and the other children there could eat breakfast.
When the home ran out of funding and closed, Chemidlin and her sisters were placed back in their one-bedroom Hoboken apartment with an alcoholic mother who worked in a bar, Chemidlin said last week. Instead of carrying bread, Chemidlin and another sister would help carry their mother up the stairs each night after work.
"When you're in the situation, you don't feel sorry for yourself." - Denise Chemidlin
It was three years later that Chemidlin's mother passed away and the sisters got scattered - some into foster homes, others into children's shelters. Some kept in touch by letter and phone, but others moved across the country, got married, and started new lives.
Forty years later, all five sisters, ranging in age from 55 to 65, reunited in Hoboken last weekend to share their similarities and differences, talk about memories, cry, and laugh.
Chemidlin said last week that she and her sisters were born in various local towns - two sisters in Jersey City, one in North Bergen - before their parents brought them to Hoboken. Their home life was difficult, she said, as her parents were both alcoholics.
Some time in the early 1960s - she doesn't know exactly when - state workers took all five of them out of their home.
"In the newspaper, there was a picture of all five of us being taken out of the house, and the quote was that our father had brought 100 chickens home to raise chickens in a one-bedroom apartment," Chemidlin remembered.
They were placed into the Mary Stevens Hammond Home, created at 1036 Park Ave. in 1916 by a wealthy benefactor.
"It was a safe place to be," Chemidlin said, although she added that her sisters have different memories.
"To me it was great," she said. "My sister tells me she remembers being stuck in a broom closet and being punished. I'm 58. When you're a child in that situation, you forget things."
She said that she also doesn't remember much about her home life before that, although her sisters remember being beaten and abused.
Chemidlin said that at school, none of the kids commented on the fact that she lived in the Hammond home. "Hoboken was different than it is now," she said. "It was poor. Not ghetto, but lower class."
However, the sisters' time at the Hammond home did not last very long.
Didn't tell them their father died
"While we were there, our father died," Chemidlin said last week. "We never left to go to the funeral or anything. They never told us he died. We do know that in 1964 the home closed. Being that there was no place else for us to go, they gave us to our mother. But by this time, my oldest sister was 15. You leave the Hammond home when you're 13. She was in a girls' home in Elizabeth. The four of us were left. We went to live on Willow Avenue in Hoboken. My mother died three years later. By then my oldest sister was married."
The state decided to place the other girls with their oldest sister and her husband, which was difficult.
"She did try, but it wasn't a proper environment for a 20-year-old couple to raise 13-year-old kids," Chemidlin said. "We all went to different foster homes. We tried to stay in touch."
The sisters kept tabs on each other through letters and phone calls. Today, three of them live in North Jersey, although not in Hudson County, and the other two live out West.
Recently, the oldest sister, Joyce Brewer, decided to come from Nebraska to visit New Jersey. That's when the sisters decided that everyone should get together in Hoboken for the first time in 40 years.
On Tuesday morning, they ate breakfast at Hoboken's newly built W Hotel, where a relative works. Then they headed north to the Hammond Home.
While two of the sisters quietly took photos, Chemidlin remarked, "It looks the same." The three-story structure is now a residence, but it has the same flat roof that Chemidlin remembers sitting on and "playing with bottle caps."
Chemidlin said that the reunion was uplifting and sometimes "weird."
"I personally think of my younger sister as the baby still," she said. "She's married with three children and she's 55 years old. It's good to see how we all - and I use the word loosely - survived, and our similarities. The best thing is going down memory lane. We all have different memories. We've had laughs and cries."
But Chemidlin reported later in the week that she gradually had learned of some darker moments in her family's past that she had forgotten. She said she was "lucky" because she doesn't remember the abuse her sisters spoke of, either at the hands of their father or in the Hammond home.
"I thought the reason my sister was moved to the home in Elizabeth was because she turned 15," Chemidlin said. "It wasn't because she turned 15. It was because when our father died, she heard about it from a friend at school. She went to [a woman who worked at the Hammond home] and said, 'Why didn't you tell us our father died?' The woman said, 'It's none of your business.' My sister slapped her. So they put her in the home."
But Chemidlin also remembered that each Christmas, Frank Sinatra and Phil Rizzuto would host a party for the kids living in the Hammond home.
Made them stronger
Looking back on her experiences, Chemidlin said they made her stronger.
"If I tell the people about it, they say, 'Oh my God, I feel sorry for you," she said. "When you're in the situation, you don't feel sorry for yourself. I feel I survived great odds. I was married and have three contributing members of society. My kids didn't end up in a bad way."
She added, "I still have emotional feelings about it. I'm tough, and I'm still tough on [my mother] that she gave up on us. She had a second chance. I'll be darned if my kids ever saw a drop of alcohol in our house. I think I turned out to be a better mother because of it. My sister said, 'Oh, she couldn't help herself; you have to put yourself in that position.' Me, my main thing was to raise my kids and do everything that wasn't done for me."
Caren Matzner can be reached at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.[end]
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Digital image of a holographic letter signed to Ken Schultz (of Hoboken) from Harriet C. Ferguson, Jan. 26, 1957, on the letterhead of The Mary Stevens Hammond Memorial Home, 1036 Park Ave., Hoboken. Single letterhead leaf, written one side only. Letter thanks Schultz for inviting the 'Hammond' family to see "Hansel & Gretel". Original item was found on the verso of leaf 41 of a 1949 scrapbook album of Ken Schultz of Hoboken.
Welcome to Hoboken. "Know Your City." Board of Education, Hoboken, N.J. [1969.] pp. [i-vi], 1-27 plus two inserted maps (following pages 5 and 27) plus cover. 8-1/2" x 11" high leaves printed one side. Text in English (foreword mentions a Spanish language version was to be issued.) Tiffs media archive. PDF on file. Text is in notes. A curriculum development project created as a guide for new pupil students. Purpose was to ease the transition of these students with information on the history of Hoboken, current data about the city, schools and school resources including policies. Also ten pages on community services: Hoboken Board of Education Police Athletic League Boy Scouts of