Historic Pelham

Presenting the rich history of Pelham, NY in Westchester County: current historical research, descriptions of how to research Pelham history online and genealogy discussions of Pelham families.

Friday, April 29, 2005

Mr. and Mrs. William Bradley Randall And Their Pelham Home Known as The Hermitage

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William Bradley Randall and his wife lived for many years in a home they called The Hermitage located at 1385 Park Lane on a large plot of land that extended from Park Lane through to today's Beech Tree Lane in the estate section of Pelham Manor. After Ther Hermitage was razed in the mid-20th century, the Randalls' land was subdivided and a number of homes were built on the site that now stand between Park Lane and Beech Tree Lane near Pelham's border with Pelham Bay Park in the Bronx.

Photograph of The Hermitage, Courtesy of The Office of The Historian of the Town of Pelham

William Bradley Randall

William B. Randall was born in South Lee, Massachusetts in 1859. He was a son of Abel Bradley Randall (an executive of the New York, New Haven & Hartford Railroad Company), and Ann Eliza Ormsby Randall.

He was educated at Prospect School in Bridgeport, Connecticut and, according to one biographer, "began his financial career as trust officer of the Knickerbocker Trust Company, 1894-1908". French, Alvah P., ed., History of Westchester County New York, Vol. III, p. 119a (NY, NY & Chicago, IL: Lewis Historical Publishing Co. 1925).

In 1888, William Randall married Evelyn Smith. Evelyn Smith Randall was the daughter of Addison P. Smith and Phoebe Smith. The couple had two children including Bradley Randall, born in 1890 and Phoebe Randall born in 1895. Phoebe later married Mr. Vernon Radcliffe. Id.

Randall eventually became President of the Security Transfer and Registrar Company and was a notable businessman with a wide variety of interests. According to his biography published in Alvah P. French's History of Westchester County New York published in 1925:

"Mr. Randall's career has brought him into intimate contact with a number of large business concerns of every kind, in which he holds leading positions. He is a director of the Coal and Iron National Bank; the Mount Vernon Trust Company; Winyah Park Realty Company; vice-president and director of the Southern States Lumber Company; the Fairfax Realty Company; the Suburban Land Improvement Company; director of the Puritan Mortgage Corporation, Metropolitan Realty Corporation; Pelham Leasing Corporation; Electro Coach Corporation; Electro Bus Corporation, and the Pioche & Pacific Railroad." Id.

William B. Randall was involved in public service. From 1882 until 1888 he served as a private in the 7th Regiment of the New York National Guard. He also served as President (i.e., Mayor) of the Village of Pelham Manor, 1902-1903. He also was a member and director of the Chamber of Commerce of Westchester County and held memberships in the following clubs: National Arts, St. Maurice, Pelham Country Club, Wykagyl Country Club, New York Athletic Club and the Railroad Club. Id.

Evelyn Smith Randall

Put simply, Evelyn Smith Randall (1860-1955) was a cultural force in Pelham Manor for many decades. She was instrumental in the early organization of the Manor Club and participated in the drama, art music and literature sections of the Club. She is credited as the author of the first constitution of the Manor Club and also served as its first secretary-treasurer and historian. She served on the Club's Board of Directors for 25 years.

Evelyn Smith Randall in 1955 at the Age of 94
Photograph Courtesy of The Office of The Historian of The Town of Pelham

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