Owner Biography

John Insley Blair

J. Insley Blair was a banker from Tuxedo Park N.Y.. He was the son of John Insley Blair (1802-1899), once ranked as the 52nd wealthiest person ever. The elder Blair was postmaster of Gravel Hill N.J. from 1825-1851. He was president of 16 railroad companies, and was the largest owner of rail mileage in the world. Upon his death in 1899, Blair left his direct heirs $70 million. In similar fashion to Hetty Green, Blair was famously tight-fisted.

After his death his heirs joined formal New York society. A great-granddaughter of the older Blair became Mrs. H.O. Havemeyer, Jr.

His home was a monument to the era of opulence, and was designed by Carriere & Hastings for him in the early 1920's. The same architectural firm also designed the home of railroad magnate, Edward H. Harriman, in Arden, N.Y.

The younger Blair (the collector) donated funds in 1920 for a new hospital and high school in Tuxedo Park. In 1956 the Blair house was donated by the heirs of the estate to the Tuxedo Park School.

Positions Owned

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