Cornwall Borough resident Bruce Chadbourne moved to Cornwall Manor a few years ago after his retirement, drawn by the history of the mine and the Cornwall Iron Furnace. He has taken to writing a few historical articles, which he’s kindly shared with LebTown for our readers to enjoy in a semi-regular series titled, “Who knew?” We hope you enjoy.
Last week, we continued the series “Anne of Cornwall,” the story of a great woman who has remained in the shadow of her famous brother Robert H. Coleman for far too long. Part 1 of this story established her incredible ancestry and in Part 2, we relived many anecdotes of Anne’s childhood and teen years up to the time of her marriage to Archie Rogers. Read Part 2 here.
The marriage of Anne Caroline Coleman and Archibald Rogers was the merger of two great fortunes.
On his death at Crumwold Hall in Hyde Park on May 9, 1928 Archie left most of his $2,826,000 estate to his widow, adding to her personal fortune from the Cornwall iron industry, which far exceeded that at the time of their marriage in 1880.
A week after their wedding the Times had reported “There is on file in the Lebanon Court House a remarkable document drawn up by one of the foremost lawyers of the State. The document is the transfer of real estate and iron interests of Miss Annie C. Coleman of Cornwall just prior to her marriage with Archibald Rogers in New York the other day. Miss Coleman conveys all her property, jewelry, cash in hand, horses, carriages, furniture, etc. to her brother Robert Coleman of Cornwall to be held by him, he agreeing to pay certain amounts as the annual income of the estate. Due provision is made for the distribution of the property in the event of the death of the lady and there being heirs born of marriage. The document is duly signed by Mr. Rogers who promises never to do anything to interfere with the above arrangements.”
Robert H. Coleman had arranged the pre-nuptials for their marriage, as Anne’s income from the Coleman wealth amounted to about $1,000 a day. Prior to her marriage Robert had been managing her assets on her behalf. Samuel Small of York, PA who had been trustee and counselor to Robert and Anne as they came of age, had encouraged this provision to protect her estate.
Robert would continue to participate in her financial affairs in the following years. In 1889 he, with Archie undertook to lease the Emmaus Furnace near Allentown as her trustee, enabling Anne to keep her finger in the family’s iron business. Records into the 1890’s refer to it as the “Crumwold Furnace.”
The grand life of Anne C. Rogers
Anne’s passion for dance continued throughout her adult years. Two-steps and waltzes were the rage of the day. The Crumwold Acres estate was well known for its New Year’s Eve parties with as many as 100 guests attending in the mansion’s spacious ballroom, which measured 50 x 60 feet long. Families represented at these parties included the Astors, Huntingtons, Chanlers, Roosevelts and Delanos.
It is safe to say that Anne’s life of luxury far exceeded that of her brother Robert H. Coleman. He had achieved greatness and was well known in Lebanon and Cornwall for his generous hospitality. Although it had been cut short by his financial failure, he would continue to live comfortably for decades with his wife and children at his “Coleman Cottage” in Saranac Lake, New York.
In her adulthood Anne grew further in stature and sophistication as shown in the following photos. Beginning at age 23, she and Archie parented eight children: Archibald (1881), Edmund Pendleton (1882), Robert Coleman (1883), William Coleman (1885), Rae Habersham (1887), Ellen Habersham (1889), Herman Livingston (1891), and Anne Pendleton (1894).
The dining room of Rogers’ 74-room mansion would host as many as 60 persons for dinner. A worker in the household recalled about 22 maids sitting down for a meal in the servants’ dining room. About two dozen male attendants took their meals in another room.
Along with the grand social life in Hyde Park, Anne shared the philanthropic kindness that had been the passion of her mother. S. Ellen Coleman had supported churches, helped to found Good Samaritan Hospital (along with another Coleman, Mrs. Horace Brock) and a children’s home in Jonestown.
For a time, a plaque in a room at Vassar Brothers’ Hospital in Poughkeepsie stated “Given in Memory of Two Infants by Archibald and Anne Rogers.” A representative of Vassar Brothers recently confirmed to the author that Anne Rogers was a benefactor of the hospital (1929 annual report).
She also kept her ties to Cornwall and Lebanon. Property maps showed she had retained inherited property in parts of Colebrook and Cornwall, selling them in 1919.
In 1902 she and her brother donated a mosaic marble tablet to St. Lukes Episcopal Church of Lebanon as a memorial to their parents William and S. Ellen Coleman. The tablet remains today as one element among many that adorn the great, historic sanctuary. For several years later in life she corresponded with the rector of the church, stating in one letter “My brother Robert Coleman and I built the church in memory of our father. My mother Mrs. Wm. Coleman gave the font and was much interested in the parish.” Her mother had also founded the Episcopal Church Home for children in Jonestown, where the beloved pastor from her childhood Rev. Alfred Abel had returned to the region to serve. Anne continued to support the institution in the memory of her mother, up to the 1930’s, but lamented that due to economic conditions she no longer had sufficient money to meet all financial obligations of the home.
In her will she designated $1,000 each to both St. Lukes and to the Church Home.
Stay tuned for Part 4 next week!
Acknowledgement: Dr. Terry Heisey, Principal Organist and Director of Music, St Luke’s Episcopal Church, Lebanon, for assistance with details of the Coleman mosaic plaque and the Jonestown Children’s Home.
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