Home
 

Other members of the Stokes family
Anson Phelps Stokes
(1838-1913), born in New York City, was a merchant, banker, publicist, and multimillionaire. He was the first child of James Boulter and Caroline (Phelps) Stokes. His grandfather was the London merchant Thomas Stokes, one of the thirteen founders of the London Missionary Society and later an active supporter of the American Bible Society, the American Tract Society and the American peace Society.

A man of pronounced piety and a promoter of benevolent enterprises, Anson Phelps Stokes was also the grandson of Anson Greene Phelps. The Phelps family was known for business ability, religious civic, and philanthropic interests.

As a boy Anson Phelps Stokes entered the employ of the family business Phelps, Dodge & Company, a mercantile establishment founded by his grandfather Anson Phelps. In 1861, he became a partner and also a member of the firm of Phelps, James & Company, Liverpool. In 1879, he organized he organized the firm of Phelps, Stokes & Company, bankers.

On October 17, 1865, Anson Phelps Stokes married Helen Louisa, daughter of Isaac Newton Phelps. The two were cousins.

 

New York Sun, August 13, 1899
A. P. Stokes Badly Hurt

His Left Leg Amputated After a Riding Accident
PITTSFIELD, Mass., Aug. 12 – Anson Phelps Stokes of New York, who has a summer home near Stockbridge, called “Shadowbrook,” met with a serious accident this morning. About 10 o’clock Mr. Stokes and one of his daughters were riding about the estate, and Mr. Stokes’ horse, a young animal, took fright and ran down one of the avenues and out of sight of Miss Stokes.

When Miss Stokes rounded the bend in the road she found her father lying unconscious on the side of the road. He had been thrown with great force against a tree. Miss Stokes at once got help and Mr. Stokes was taken to his home. Dr. F. J. Paddock of Pittsfield, Dr. Charles McBurney of New York and Dr. William Armstrong of Brooklyn and Lenox were summoned.

A bone in Mr. Stokes’ left leg was crushed and the leg was amputated this afternoon. Mr. Stokes suffered greatly from the shock, and at one time it was thought he was dying. He rallied, however, and is resting under the influence of opiates tonight.

Mr. Stokes is 60 years old. He is the father of eleven children. He has, besides the great estate in Lenox, a shooting box in the Adirondacks and a place in Scotland.

Mrs. Stokes arrived in Lenox from Europe on Thursday, and the family were to go to the Adirondacks on Monday.

Mr. Stokes is the eldest son of James Stokes and Caroline Phelps. He was born in this city [New York, that is, not Pittsfield]. He was at one time a partner in Phelps, Dodge & Co., and later joined the banking firm of Phelps, Stokes & Co.

He married Helen L. Phelps. He is a member of the Tuxedo, Metropolitan, Knickerbocker, Union League, City, Lawyers, Reform, New York Yacht, Seawanaka, Corinthien Yacht, Riding, City and Church clubs, the Century Association, the National Academy of Design and the Society of Colonial Wars.

 

New York Evening Telegram, April 11, 1903
Anson P. Stokes Invents Battery

Millionaire Philanthropist Secures Patent
on Formidable War Machine for Coast Defense

A formidable war machine for coast defense has been invented and patented by Anson Phelps Stokes, millionnaire and philanthropist, who is a member of twelve of the leading clubs of the city. It is a floating battery of giant strength, and of a model that is entirely new in naval architecture as applied to war vessels.

Mr. Stokes, who inherited an immense fortune from his father, the late James Stokes, was a very active man until two years ago, when he met with an accident in consequence of which his right leg was amputated. In his enforced leisure Mr. Stokes turned his attention to the problem of naval coast defense, and the monster which he has just patented is the result of his researches and experiments.

Mr. Stokes claims for his invention that it is practically impregnable. “Numerous attempts have been made to produce such a battery,” he says in the specifications attached to the letters patent, “but these batteries all possessed certain disadvantages, which, among other objects, it is the purpose of my invention to overcome.”

The new battery is curcular, and in shape is like an apple, having a spherical hull and superstructure, with the water line about the middle. Mr. Stokes claims that this gives greater strength and safety and greater capacity for the same weight of construction.

The battery is to bre built of steel and is designed to carry two guns of immense calibre. If desired, however, the battery may carry but one great gun. Mr. Stokes also claims for his battery that it is economical in construction and maintenance and of great power in offensive operations.

If desired, small guns may be mounted on the officer’s deck. The center of gravity for the large guns will be approximated at the center of gravity of the battery. The framework of the vessel itself holds rigidly in place the guns of the large cliabre, the muzzles of which may be lifted by counterpoises of lead. The whole vessel will tilt with the guns when the counterpoises are run aft.

Floating batteries which resemble the Stokes invention have been built in Russia. The Popoff, the second of these, was not a success. The Novgorod, the first built, is still in service.

Mr. Stokes is a brother of the Misses Stokes, who recently offered their property in Madison Square to the city at a reduced price if the city would agree to build a public building on the site. His son, the Rev. Anson Phelps Stokes Jr., is not secretary of the Yale Corporation. He was ordained by Bishop Potter two years ago. Another son, J. G. Phelps Stokes, devotes his time to philanthropic work in the College Settlement of the east side.

Mr. Stokes lives at No. 229 Madison Avenue, next door to the residence of the late Mrs. William E. Dodge, his aunt, whose house was bought by J. Pierpont Morgan this week.

 

The Anson Stokes battery – which resembled a monster battleship – was a dinosaur almost from the time it was announced. Submarine and airplanes would soon come into play, two weapons that could circumvent the battery or destroy it.

New York Evening Telegram, August 2, 1913
Stokes Estate of $750,000
Goes to His Family

Dividing an estate of between $500,000 and $750,000, the late Anson Pheps Stokes, financier and philanthropist, in his will made public today, bequeaths $8,000 to each of his thirteen grandchildren, and makes the suggestion in each instance that $3,000 of this be set aside to uphold Christianity. He divides the residuary estate among his nine children and his wife equally.

As it is generally believed Mr. Stokes was recently possessed of several million dollars, it is thought he had given to philanthropy and to his descendants largely in his latter years.

Mr. Stokes made a specific bequest of his real estate in Newport, R.I., and in Franklin County, N.Y., to his widow, Mrs. Helen L. Phelps Stokes, of No. 230 Madison Avenue.

To his eldest son, Isaac N. Phelps Stokes, the decedent gave the large portrait of his father James Stokes, given by his sisters and now in Brick House, Noroton, Conn. He also gave to his eldedt son books and other personal effects, to be handed down in the male line of the family according to seniority of birth. Mr. Stokes directed that these keepsakes not be sold, but the picture may, in the descretion of the owner, be given nto the New York Historical Society, the Metropolitan Museum of Art or any institution with similar purposes.

The children of Mr. Stokes are as follows:

Isaac N. Phelps Stokes of No. 118 East Twenty-second Street.

J. G. Phelps of New Haven, Conn.

Anson Phelps Stokes Jr. of New Haven.

Harold M. Phelps Stokes of 230 Madison Avenue.

Mrs. Sarah Hackett of No. 230 Madison Avenue.

Miss Helen Phelps Stokes of No. 230 Madison Avenue.

Mrs. Ethel Phelps Stokes Hoyt of Rowayton, Conn.

Mrs. Caroline Hunter of Noroton Heights, Conn.

Mrs. Mildred P. Stokes Hooker of No. 175 East Seventy-first Street.

Each of these nine children receives a one-tenth interest in the residuary estate. The other one-tenth interest goes to the widow.

Mr. Stokes’ grandchildren are the following:

Helen Ironside Phelps Stokes, the adopted daughter of Isaac N. Phelps Stokes of No. 118 East Twenty-second Street.

Anson P. Stokes 3d, Isaac N. Phelps Stokes 2d, and Olivia Eggleston Phelps Stokes, all of New Haven, Conn.

Anson Phelps Stokes Hoyt, Helen P. Hoyt, Ethel S. Hoyt and Graham Hoyt, all of Rowayton, Conn.

Robert Hunter Jr., Phelps Stokes Hunter and Helen Louisa Hunter, all of Noroton Heights, Conn.

Randolph Spaford Hooker and Mildred Phelps Hooker of No. 175 East Seventy-first Street.

 

The way I interpreted the second parargraph of the story is that the estate of Anson Phelps Stokes was much smaller than people expected.

Home Contact information