Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Brief Biography of Pelhamite John Routh Ogden, Sr. Whose Family Used Oakshade as a Summer Residence

There once stood along Shore Road in the Town of Pelham a beautiful mansion known as "Oakshade."  Built in about 1846 by James Augustus Suydam, an architect, lawyer, and Hudson River School artist, on land that Suydam and his sister purchased from Robert Bartow and his wife, Maria R. Bartow, Oakshade was a grand mansion built in the "Italian villa style" that commanded a lovely view of Pelham Neck and Long Island Sound.  The mansion later became the home of Dr. Richard Lewis Morris, a grandson of General Lewis Morris of Morrisania, one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence.  After the death of Dr. Morris, the home became the clubhouse of the Country Club of Pelham until the club departed for a new site on Throgg's Neck in 1889. During at least a portion of the 1890s, John Routh Ogden, Sr. and his family members including a son, John Routh Ogden, Jr., used Oakshade as their "country residence" principally during summers.  

Oakshade eventually was altered and leased by New York City (owner of the mansion after creation of Pelham Bay Park) to serve as a roadhouse known as the Pell Tree Inn then, later, Shanley's Pell Tree Inn and, even later, as the California Ramblers Inn. Near the end of its life, the mansion became the Hollywood Gardens until it was destroyed by fire on October 15, 1932.

Members of the Ogden family owned and leased a number of homes in the Town of Pelham very near the estate known as Hawkswood, built by Levin R. Marshall including one on the easterly island of the Twin Islands and another at Pelham Bridge on the easterly island of the Twin Islands and another at Pelham Bridge on the Pelham side of Pelham Bay.  One of Levin R. Marshall's daughters, Josephine E. Marshall (a daughter by his second wife), married John Routh Ogden, Sr. -- the father of John Routh Ogden, Jr.  It appears that the entire Ogden family including the families of John Routh Ogden, Sr. and John Routh Ogden, Jr. used Oakshade as a summer residence during at least the late 1890s.

To read more about the Ogden Family and the mansion known as Oakshade, see, e.g.:

Mon., Mar. 03, 2014:  The Suydam Estate known as “Oakshade” on Shore Road in the Town of Pelham, built by James Augustus Suydam.

Mon., Apr. 11, 2016:  A Hasty Wedding at the Oakshade Mansion Near Bartow-on-the-Sound in 1898 Sheds Light on the History of the Mansion.

Mon., Feb. 10, 2014:  Hawkswood, Also Known as the Marshall Mansion, Colonial Hotel and Colonial Inn, Once Stood in Pelham Near City Island.

John Routh Ogden, Sr. was born in Natchez, Mississippi on January 8, 1837.  He was a son of Elias Ogden, M.D. and Ann M. (Routh) Lane, a widow when she married Elias Ogden.  He married Josephine E. Marshall, a daughter of Levin R. Marshall and Sarah Elliot Marshall.  The couple had four daughters and a son:  John Routh Ogden, Jr., Charlotte Surget Ogden (b. Jan. 12, 1868; married Edward N. Dickerson); Sara Devereaux Ogden (b. Nov. 26, 1872); Mary Marshall Ogden (b. Sep. 2, 1874); and Josephine Ella Ogden (b. Oct. 28, 1880).  

John Routh Ogden, Sr. resided in Natchez, Mississippi until all but the youngest of his children were born, when he removed north and settled at Bartow-on-the-Sound in the Town of Pelham, New York.  He was a banker in New York City, being a member of the firm of Morehead & Ogden, 48 Exchange Place.

His son, John Routh Ogden, Jr., was born in Natchez, Mississippi on February 26, 1866.  The son married Adelaide (Wattson) Porter, a daughter of Thomas Brown Wattson and a widow of Horace Marshall Porter (who, in turn, was a son of General Horace Porter who was a one time Ambassador to France).  

Today's Historic Pelham article transcribes a brief biography of John Routh Ogden, Sr., a rather fascinating man and Confederate veteran of the American Civil War.  The biography, which appears immediately below (followed by a citation and link to its source) should be considered carefully as it includes quite a number of errors.  

1920s Postcard View of "Shanley's Pell Tree Inn," Once the
Mansion Known as Oakshade with Modifications to Serve as
a Roadhouse Inn, Restaurant, and Speakeasy.  NOTE:  Click
on Image to Enlarge. 

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John R. Ogden, one of Westchester county's honored and highly respected citizens, occupies the beautiful home on Pelham road [today's Shore Road], known as Oak Shade.  It is located in a most lovely and picturesque spot overlooking Long Island sound, and is surrounded by tall elms, their majestic branches affording a most pleasant and agreeable shade during the summer months.  The house was built in 1808 [sic; built about 1846] by a Mr. Lugdam [sic; built by James Augustus Suydam], and thus for almost a century [sic] it has looked forth upon the surrounding district and the wonderful changes which have occurred in that long period.

Its present owner [sic; likely leased], John R. Ogden, is a native of Mississippi, his birth having occurred in Natchez-on-the-Hill, January 8, 1837, his parents being Dr. Charles [sic; Elias] and Ann S. (Routh) Ogden.  The paternal grandfather, Nathan Ogden, was a native of New Jersey and belonged to an old and prominent English family.  The father was born in Morristown, New Jersey, where he was reared to manhood, and then went to Natchez, Mississippi, where he successfully engaged in the practice of medicine for several years, securing a large patronage which brought to him excellent financial returns.  As a citizen he was also held in high esteem and became widely and favorably known throughout his section of the state.  He married Miss Ann S. Routh, a daughter of John Routh, a prominent citizen and extensive cotton-planter.  Dr. Ogden died in Natchez, in 1848, but his wife, long surviving him, passed away in 1873.

John R. Ogden spent the days of his boyhood and youth in his native city and acquired his preliminary education in a private school there, after which he went to Scotland and entered the University of Edinburg, in which institution he pursued his studies for six years.  Thus, by superior educational advantages, he was well fitted for the practical and responsible duties of life.  Returning to the sunny south, Mr. Ogden located upon his plantation and turned his attention to planting cotton, employing five hundred slaves in the care of his extensive crops.  He continued to successfully engage in that business until 1860, but at the outbreak of the civil war he entered the Confederate army, being true to his loved southland and the institution amid which he was reared.  He was commissioned a captain on General W. W. Loring's staff, and served in that capacity until hostilities ceased in 1865, being a most brave and fearless officer and manifesting marked loyalty to the cause he espoused.  He was always found at his post of duty, faithfully following the flag under which he enlisted, and was thus true to his honest convictions.  

At the close of the war Mr. Ogden returned to his southern home and resumed the management of his cotton plantation, his time being thus occupied until 1877, when with his family he came north and took up his abode in Westchester county, New York, at Oak Shade, which has since been his place of residence.  He still, however, conducts his large cotton plantation which is not far from the city of Vicksburg, Mississippi, and is now under the immediate supervision of his manager.  This yields to him an excellent income, and is a very valuable realty interest.

In 1863 was celebrated the marriage of Mr. Ogden and Miss Josephine Marshall, of Natchez, a daughter of Colonel L. R. Marshall, who was a distant relative of Chief Justice John Marshall.  To Mr. and Mrs. Ogden have been born five children, one son and four daughters, namely:  John R., who is engaged in business in New York city; Charlotte S., wife of Edward N. Dickerson, a prominent attorney of New York city; Sarah D., Mary M. and Josephine E., all at home.  The family is one of prominence in the community, holding an enviable position in social circles.  Mr. Ogden's genial, pleasant manner has made him quite popular among his acquaintances in Westchester county, where he is also recognized as a valued and public-spirited citizen, who takes an active interest in the general progress and lends his support and cooperation to every movement for the public good."

Source:  Biographical History of Westchester County, New York -- Illustrated, Vol. I, pp. 68-69 (Chicago, IL:  The Lewis Publishing Company, 1899).

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