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.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Clifford and Martha Weihman of Pelham (Part I of II)

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There is a quiet little park that sits along the Esplanade immediately behind Huguenot Memorial Church located at 901 Pelhamdale Avenue. The park is named the Martha Emmons Weihman Memorial Park. It is named after the wife of Clifford T. Weihman, a long-time resident of Pelham. Today's Blog posting will provide information about Clifford and Martha Weihman of Pelham.

Clifford Tobias Weihman was a founder of the Smith-Weihman Company, Inc., a vegetable oil importer located in New York City. See Clifford T. Weihman, N.Y. Times, Jun. 17, 1983, p. D17. For many years Smith-Weihman Company had offices at 15 Moore Street in New York City. Clifford T. Weihman was a son of Herman Weihman of Philadelphia. See Wed in All Angels' Church -- Clifford T. Weihman Marries Miss Martha Emmons, N.Y. Times, Nov. 9, 1919, p. 12.

Mr. Weihman's first wife was the former Martha Emmons, a daughter of Francis Robbins Emmons and the former Eliza Ridabock. She was a graduate of Barnard College, had a Columbia University degree and was a member of the D.A.R. She and her husband lived in Pelham for twenty years before her death on August 14, 1940 and had a son named Clifford Emmons Weihman. See Mrs. Clifford T. Weihman, N.Y. Times, Aug. 15, 1940, p. 25.

Mr. Weihman's son, Clifford Emmons Weihman, was an alumnus of St. Paul's School, Concord, N. H. and received an A. B. degree from Harvard College and an M. S. degree from the Harvard Graduate School of Engineering. He served four years in the Army Air Forces as an aircraft maintenance engineering officer and, early in his career, was an aeronautical engineer with the Glenn L. Martin Company in Baltimore. He married Miss Elaine Virginia Julian of Pelham Manor. She graduated magna cum laude from Bryn Mawr College and served for two terms as president of The Junior League of Pelham. She also was a member of the Manor Club and the Bryn Mawr Club of Westchester. Her father, Michael J. Julian, served as President of the Better Vision Institute of New York. See Elaine V. Julian Becomes Fiancee, N.Y. Times, Jan. 20, 1957, p. 80.

Clifford T. Weihman and Martha Emmons were married on November 8, 1919. The couple was married at All Angel's Church by the Rev. Dr. S. De Lancey Townsend. According to the wedding announcement, the "wedding was a small one and the bride dispensed with her wedding attendants she had selected owing to the death of an aunt." See Wed in All Angels' Church -- Clifford T. Weihman Marries Miss Martha Emmons, N.Y. Times, Nov. 9, 1919, p. 12. The couple lived for a short time at the Apthorp, 390 West End Avenue, New York City where Martha's mother lived at the time. Id.

Upon her death, Martha Emmons Weihman left a life interest in her estate worth more than $20,000 to her husband with the remainder interest bequeathed to the couple's son, Clifford Emmons Weihman. See Wills For Probate, N.Y. Times, Aug. 28, 1940, p. 36. It appears that Martha was buried in The Greenwood Cemetery in Brooklyn, although that is not quite clear. See id. It appears that much of the estate left by Martha Emmons was earlier bequeathed to her by her mother, Eliza R. Emmons, who died on October 31, 1931. According to a notice published in The New York Times, Eliza R. Emmons left "gross assets, $31,221; net. $22,681 to Martha Emmons Weihman, daughter." See Estates Appraised, N.Y. Times, May 2, 1933, p. 36.

During many years together, Clifford and Martha Weihman lived in a wonderful home located at 401 Monterey Avenue in Pelham Heights. The home was designed by noted architect Charles Lewis Bowman. It appears that papers relating to the design of the home for Clifford T. Weihman exist in Collection No. 3807 of the Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections of the Cornell University Library (the "Charles Lewis Bowman Photographs and Drawings, 1917-1962).

Clifford T. Weihman was a wealthy and successful businessman who remarried twice after his marriage to Martha Emmons. In addition to administering his vegetable import business, he served as a director of the First National Bank of Mount Vernon. See Mount Vernon, N.Y., N.Y. Times, Jan. 11, 1951, p. 48. He also served as an officer of the New York Produce Exchange. See N.Y. Produce Exchange Chooses New President, N.Y. Times, Jun. 3, 1953, p. 51 ("Clifford T. Weihman of Smith-Weihman Company, Inc., was elected vice president"). He also served, for a period of time, as a member of the board of managers of the New York Produce Exchange. See Re-Elected as President Of Produce Exchange, N.Y. Times, Jun. 4, 1946, p. 45 ("Thomas J. Stevenson and Clifford T. Weihman were elected to the board of managers for two-year terms."). Mr. Weihman at one time served as president of the Oil Trades Association of New York. See Miss Marjorie Burns Wed to C. T. Weihman -- Church of the Transfiguration Scene of Their Marriage, N.Y. Times, Jun. 23, 1942, p. 24.

Clifford Weihman was a member of the Union League Club, the Boulder Brook Club, the New York Athletic Club and the Pelham Country Club. Id. Mr. Weihman served as president of the Mount Vernon Hospital and became a noted wine expert during his life, serving as "the Grand Senechal du Confrerie des Chevaliers du Tastevin, international gourmet society." See Elaine V. Julian Becomes Fiancee, N.Y. Times, Jan. 20, 1957, p. 80.

About two years after his first wife's death, Clifford T. Weihman married Miss Marjorie Burns, daughter of Mrs. William Francis Burns of Brooklyn and the late Mr. Burns. Id. According to the wedding announcement, the couple lived thereafter at 401 Monterey Avenue in Pelham. Marjorie Burns Weihman attended Ladycliff-on-the-Hudson and Hunter College. Id. Her father was killed during World War I in the Meuse-Argonne battle. Id.


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