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August Belmont's Funeral 1890

 An Impressive Tribute Paid to the Dead Banker
 
  The funeral services of August Belmont called a notable gathering of people to the church of the Ascension, at Fifth avenue and Tenth street, yesterday morning. It taxed the seating capacity of the spacious edifice and included statesmen and financiers, men eminent in the professions and in affairs, and a collection of personal friends whose names are familiar in the social world. Many who reached the church at the hour for the service to begin were unable to make their way within, and until the services were over the walk in front was filled with those who had come to pay the last tribute to the dead banker.

It was an impressive sight when the vast gathering rose as the solemn strains of the processional march heralded the approach of the mourners. The morning sun striking full upon the grand painting of the Ascension at the head of the church suffused the altar with a soft glow and threw into relief the velvet-covered coffin as it was placed at the charicel. A deep border of palms upon the coffin framed an inner border of calla lilies and wreaths of violets and pansies, hiding almost completely the coffin's broad top, but revealing a plate of silver which bore Mr. Belmont's name and the dates of his birth and death.

The Rev. Winchester Donald and the Rev. Miles Hudson Gates led the procession to the altar. Following them were the pall bearers, Henry Parrish and J. Pierpont Morgan, Grover Cleveland and David B. Hill, D.D. Withers and A.C. Munson, Edwin A. Post and John Hunter, William jay and James V. Buck, Sidney Webster and Manton Marbie. Mrs. Belmont entered leaning upon the arm of her son Perry. The others of the family were August Belmont, Jr., and wife, Oliver H.P. Belmont, and August Belmont third.

The immediate friends of the family who arrived at the church in a body and were part of the procession tot he altar were Admiral C. R.P. Rodgers, Gen. Alexander Perry, Commander Frederick Rodgers and wife, Lieut. Commander Minor R.S. Mackenzie, Lieut, C.R.P. Rodgers and wife, John Holme and Mrs. Charles King, John Holme, Jr., and wife, Charles Lewis and wife, Louis Neilson, Oscar Merrill and Mrs. Merrill, Belmont Tiffany, Walter Luttgen, E.O. Matthiessen, Allan Cole, Edward Morgan and Mrs. Morgan, and Edward Morgan, Jr., and Mrs. Morgan.

The ritual service had proceeded so far that by the time all were seated the processional strains seemed softly to transpose themselves into the hymn "Nearer, My God, to Thee," which as sung by the choir from an upper gallery seemed to descend upon the assemblage with hallowing purity. The anthem "I heard a voice from heaven" followed the lesson, sung with sweet effect. After the committal there floated from the organ in tones barely stirring the profound hush of the edifice the opening chords of "Home, Sweet Home," and as the pall bearers stepped into their places the choir sang to this air "I would not live always." The effect of distance in the singing was beautifully maintained, the voices of the choristers falling upon the retiring mourners faintly as if they came from afar. The hymn and the air to which it was sung were selected by the family.

A long line of carriages followed the hearse to the Grand Central Station, where a special train was waiting, with the private car of John Hoey for the family, to carry the funeral party to Newport. Final services were held there in the chapel erected by Mr.. Belmont as a memorial to his daughter, Julia Ellis Belmont.

The gathering at the church and among those who attended the body to the train included John Hoey, Col. Richard Auchmuty, John B. Ireland, Walter H. Lewis, Hamilton Fish, Vice President Levi P. Morton, Major George W. McLean, Ex-Minister Edward J. Phelps, Gen. Sickles, Oswald Ottendorfer, Pierre Lorillard, Ward McAllister, William K. Vanderbilt, John H. Starin, ex-Judge Daly, De Lancey A. Kane, Joseph J. O'Donohue, Dr. Fordyce Barker, John Henry Keene, Jr., ex-Judge William H. Arnoux, Mayor Grant, Controller Myers, District Attorney Fellows, Orland B. Potter, Clarence A. Seward, Jesse Seligman, Baron von Hoffmann, Brockholst Cutting, and W.K. Lothrop.


 
 
 
Website: The History Box.com
Article Name: August Belmont's Funeral 1890
Researcher/Transcriber: Miriam Medina

Source:

New York Times November 30, 1890 p. 9 (1 page)
Time & Date Stamp:  

 

   
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