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, April 11, 2006

April 20, 1875 Marriage Certificate of Robert C. Black and Mary Grace Witherbee Black

Perhaps no two people influenced the development of the area that became the Village of Pelham Manor in the 19th Century than Robert C. Black and his wife, Mary Grace Witherbee Black. The supremely wealthy couple combined the fortunes of two families. Robert Black was a partner in the internationally-renowned jewelry firm Black Starr & Frost. Mary Grace Witherbee Black was the daughter of Silas H. Witherbee who owned, among other things, large land holdings and interests in iron mines and foundries.

The pair moved to Pelham Manor in the mid-1870s shortly after they were married on April 20, 1875. Robert Black became a founding member of the Pelham Manor Protective Club that served as a virtual municipal government before the Village of Pelham Manor was incorporated. Mary Black managed local land holdings and was known as a "tough as nails businesswoman" for her time. She built and leased homes as she worked to develop portions of the area that was the subject of the failed development efforts of the Pelham Manor & Huguenot Heights Assocation.

Today's Historic Pelham Blog Posting provides an image of the couple's original marriage certificate contained in the collections of The Office of The Historian of The Town of Pelham. The simple certificate is handwritten on a folded sheet of notepaper. Beneath the image of the certificate that appears immediately below, I have transcribed the text of the certificate to facilitate searching.

"This is to certify, that on the 20th of April 1875, at the Brick Church, 5th Ave. and 37th st. New York. Mr. Robert C. Black and Miss Mary Grace Witherbee were Lawfully joined in marriage by me -

Lewis Francis
Pastor of Reformed Ch.
Green Point, Brooklyn

April 20th 1875"

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At 1:28 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mister Bell,

I am a college student trying to find out some information regarding Witherbee Black. While searching, I came across your website. I wanted to know about the Black family (according to another site Witherbee is the son of Mary and Robert C.) I was wondering if you could tell me whether or not Witherbee had any children as I cannot find any info about this. The information will help me out a lot. Thank you.
Email: mikey_midds@yahoo.com


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