Eliza Osgood Vanderbilt Webb

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Eliza Osgood Vanderbilt Webb
Eliza Osgood Vanderbilt Webb.jpg
Eliza Osgood Vanderbilt

(1860-09-20)September 20, 1860
DiedJuly 10, 1936(1936-07-10) (aged 75)
Other namesLila Vanderbilt Webb
Education Miss Porter's School
(m. 1881;died 1926)
ChildrenFrederica Vanderbilt Webb
James Watson Webb, Sr.
William Seward Webb, Jr.
Vanderbilt Webb
Parent(s) William Henry Vanderbilt
Maria Kissam Vanderbilt
Family Vanderbilt

Eliza Osgood Vanderbilt Webb (September 20, 1860 – July 10, 1936) was an American heiress. [1] [2]


Early life

Eliza Osgood Vanderbilt was born on September 20, 1860 in Staten Island. She was the youngest daughter and seventh child of William Henry Vanderbilt (1821–1885) and Maria Louisa Kissam Vanderbilt. [1] Her elder siblings were Cornelius Vanderbilt II, Margaret Louisa Vanderbilt Shepard, William Kissam Vanderbilt, Frederick William Vanderbilt, Florence Adele Vanderbilt Twombly, and Emily Thorn Vanderbilt. Her younger brother was George Washington Vanderbilt II, builder of the Biltmore Estate. [2]

Her maternal grandparents were Rev. Samuel Kissam and the former Margaret Hamilton Adams. Her grandfather was business magnate Cornelius Vanderbilt, owner of the New York Central Railroad. [2]

Eliza attended Miss Porter's School in Farmington, Connecticut. [1]

Personal life

The Webb's New York residence at 680 Fifth Avenue. 5th avenue - 54th NY 1885 Albert Levy.jpg
The Webb's New York residence at 680 Fifth Avenue.

On December 20, 1881, Vanderbilt married Dr. William Seward Webb (1851–1926) at St. Bartholomew's Episcopal Church in New York City. William was a physician and railroad executive who later became a member of the Vermont House of Representatives and was a founder, and president, of the Sons of the American Revolution. He was the son of James Watson Webb, a newspaper publisher (of the New York Courier and Enquirer ) who served as U.S. Ambassador to Brazil, and his second wife, Laura Virginia (née Cram) Webb. Among his siblings was elder half-brother Civil War General Alexander S. Webb, and younger brother H. Walter Webb, also a railroad executive. [3] Together, Eliza and William were the parents of four children: [4]

She enjoyed playing golf, contract bridge, gardening, traveling and reading. [1] She was one of the first female members of the Everglades Club in Palm Beach, Florida. [2]

Vanderbilt died on July 10, 1936 at her home in Shelburne, Vermont. [10] After a funeral at Trinity Church in Shelburne, she was buried alongside her late husband at Woodlawn Cemetery in the Bronx. [11]


With her US$10 million inheritance, Vanderbilt bought and developed Shelburne Farms in Shelburne, Vermont in 1899. [1] [12] She planned meals, hired servants, hosted guests, and took care of the interior decorating and garden design. [1] She entertained at Shelburne Farms until her death in 1936. [1] During his 1909 visit to Shelburne Farms, President William Howard Taft said her husband was absent because he was drunk. [2]

In April 1923, Vanderbilt built a house on Dunbar Road in Palm Beach, Florida. [2] Later, she built another house in Gulf Stream, Florida. [2]

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  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Shelburn Farms, Who's who
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Vanderbilt rehab a study in family memories, Chicago Tribune , May 01, 2005
  3. "DR. W. SEWARD WEBB DEAD IN VERMONT; Retired New York Capitalist Succumbs at Shelburne in His 76th Year. ONCE A RAILROAD BUILDER Husband of Former Eliza Osgood Vanderbilt Early Forsook Medicine for Finance" (PDF). The New York Times . 30 October 1926. Retrieved 19 May 2018.
  4. Robert W. Ganger, Lila Vanderbilt Webb's Miradero: window on an era (2005).
  5. "Ralph Pulitzer, 60, Dies In Hospital. Eldest Son of the Founder of The New York World Has Operation on May 1. Funeral Here Tomorrow. Ex-Publisher, Big-Game Hunter and Poet Ran Papers After Father's Death" (PDF). The New York Times. June 15, 1939. Retrieved July 21, 2016.
  6. "J. Watson Webb, Sportsman, Dies. Ex-Polo Star Named in '34 to All-Time U. S. Team. Insurance Executive Here". The New York Times. March 5, 1960. Retrieved 2011-04-07. Chairman of Webb Lynch, Inc., general insurance brokers at 99 John.....
  7. "Mrs. J. Watson Webb, 72, Dead; Co-Founder of Vermont Museum; Started Shelburne Institution With Husband in 1947. Aided Red Cross in 2 Wars". The New York Times. November 20, 1960. Retrieved 2010-10-09. Mrs. Electra Havemeyer Webb of 740 Park Avenue, New York, and Shelburne, widow of J. Watson Webb, an insurance executive and international polo player, died today in Mary Fletcher Hospital.
  8. "W. SEWARD WEBB, A REALTY MAN, 68 One of Founders of Webb & Knapp Dies—Sold Out to Zeckendorf Interests" (PDF). The New York Times. January 21, 1956. Retrieved 13 September 2019.
  9. "ELDEST MISS GAYNOR WEDS IN DELAWARE; Takes a Train to Wilmington and Becomes the Bride of W. Seward Webb, Jr" (PDF). The New York Times. 20 May 1911. Retrieved 13 September 2019.
  10. "MRS. SEWARD WEBB DEAD IN VERMONT; Daughter of W. H. Vanderbilt and Widow of Physician and Railroad Financier" (PDF). The New York Times. 11 July 1936. Retrieved 13 September 2019.
  11. "Deaths" (PDF). The New York Times. July 14, 1936. Retrieved 13 September 2019.
  12. Marialisa Carlta, GILDED-AGE SPLENDOR: A MANSION'S NEW LIFE, The New York Times, June 04, 1987