Alfred Wagstaff Jr.

  (Redirected from Alfred Wagstaff)

Alfred Wagstaff Jr. (March 21, 1844 – October 2, 1921) was an American lawyer and politician from New York. He was president of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals from 1906 until his death in 1921.[1]

Alfred Wagstaff
Alfred Wagstaff (1844-1921).jpg
President of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals
In office
Preceded byJohn Peter Haines
Member of the New York State Senate from the 5th District
In office
January 1, 1877 – December 31, 1879
Preceded byJames W. Booth
Succeeded byEdward Hogan
Member of the New York State Assembly
In office
January 1, 1874 – December 31, 1874
Preceded byGeorge W. Clarke
Succeeded byFrederick W. Seward
In office
January 1, 1867 – December 31, 1867
Preceded byJames H. Tuthill
Richard A. Udall
Succeeded byJames M. Halsey
Personal details
Born(1844-03-21)March 21, 1844
New York City
DiedNovember 2, 1921(1921-11-02) (aged 77)
Babylon, New York
Political partyRepublican
Liberal Republican
Mary A. Barnard
(m. 1880)
RelationsSam Wagstaff (grandson)
Henry A. DuBois (cousin)
ParentsAlfred Wagstaff Sr.
Sarah Platt DuBois Wagstaff
EducationColumbia Law School (1866)

Early lifeEdit

Wagstaff was born on March 21, 1844, at 27 Waverly Place in New York City.[2] He was the son of Sarah Platt (née DuBois) Wagstaff (1813–1897)[3] and Dr. Alfred Wagstaff Sr. (c. 1803–1878), a physician in New York City,[4] who "was the largest landowner on Long Island until the Vanderbilts."[5]

His paternal grandfather was David Wagstaff, an English immigrant who made a fortune as a notable merchant.[5] His maternal grandparents were Cornelius DuBois and Sarah Platt (née Ogden) DuBois.[2] Through his maternal grandmother, he was descended from Robert Ogden, a lawyer who worked in New Jersey and New York, and served as quartermaster during the Revolutionary War.[3] Among his extended DuBois family was cousins, Eugene Floyd DuBois and Dr. Henry Augustus DuBois (grandson of Peter Augustus Jay),[6] and uncle Cornelius DuBois, who married Mary Ann Delafield DuBois (a niece of Richard Delafield and cousin of Dr. Francis Delafield).[7]


In 1863, then only 19 years old, he was commissioned as a colonel of the 16th Reg. of the New York National Guard. Wagstaff served during the New York Draft Riots in Brooklyn. In 1864, his regiment was transferred to the Union Army and stationed at Staten Island. In November 1864, he was commissioned a first lieutenant of the 91st New York Veteran Volunteers, and was detailed to the staff of Gen. William Walton Morris.[8]

In February 1865, he was promoted to major, served as Chief of Staff of General Samuel W. Crawford with the Army of the Potomac until the end of the war, and was brevetted as a lieutenant colonel.[8]

Legal and political careerEdit

After graduating LL.B. from Columbia Law School in 1866, Wagstaff was admitted to the bar, practiced in New York City, and resided in West Islip. He joined the New York City Bar Association.[8] He became a member of the law firm of Gardiner, Ward & Wagstaff, which later was known as North, Ward & Wagstaff.[9]

From 1867 to 1869, he was Colonel and A.D.C. on the staff of Reuben Fenton, the Governor of New York.[9]

In 1867, he was elected as a Republican member of the New York State Assembly, representing Suffolk County, serving in the 90th New York State Legislature. He was a delegate to the 1868 Republican National Convention. In 1872, he joined the Liberal Republican Party, and supported Horace Greeley for President.[10]

Afterwards Wagstaff became a Democratic and in 1874, was again elected a member of the State Assembly, however, this time he represented the 7th district, New York Co., serving in the 97th New York State Legislature.[10] From January 1, 1877, to December 31, 1879, he was a member of the New York State Senate, representing the 5th District, sitting in the 100th, 101st and 102nd New York State Legislatures.[8]

From 1896 until his death, he was the Clerk of the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court, First Judicial Department.

From 1906 until his death, he served as the president of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.[1][11] In 1920, he began his two term service as the 48th President of the Saint Nicholas Society of the City of New York, a charitable organization in New York City of men who are descended from early inhabitants of the State of New York.[12] Wagstaff also served as Fourth Vice-President in 1914, Third Vice-President in 1915, Second Vice-President from 1916 to 1917, First Vice-President from 1918 to 1919.[9]

Personal lifeEdit

On March 30, 1880, he married Mary Anderson Barnard (1860–1938). Mary was the daughter of Fannie (née Anderson) Barnard and George Gardner Barnard, the former Recorder of New York City.[13] Together, they were the parents of five children, including:[8]

  • Alfred Wagstaff III (1881–1930),[14] who married Blanche LeRoy Shoemaker (1886–1967), sister of Henry W. Shoemaker, in 1907. They divorced and she remarried to Donald Carr.[15]
  • David Wagstaff (1882–1951),[16] a Harvard graduate who was a member of Dominick & Dominick and who married Isabelle Tilford (1887–1956), daughter of Henry Morgan Tilford.[17]
  • Samuel Jones Wagstaff (1885–1975),[18] who married Pauline Leroy French (1886–1964), daughter of Amos Tuck French,[19] in 1908.[20][21] They divorced in 1920,[22] and in December 1920, he married Polish émigré Olga May (née Piorkowska) Thomas and in March 1921, she married Donald Oliver MacRae.[23] They also divorced,[24] and in 1933 he married to Cornelia Scranton (1896–1976), a daughter of Walter Scranton (president of the Lackawanna Steel Company) and niece of William Walker Scranton.[25]
  • George Barnard Wagstaff (b. 1886), who married Mary Cutting Cumnock, sister of Arthur Cumnock in 1914.[26] They divorced and he remarried to Dorothy Frothingham.[27] They also divorced and he remarried to Lilian Hyde Feitner (widow of Quentin Field Feitner) in 1940.[28] He later married Dorothy Frothingham
  • Margaret Barnard Wagstaff, who married Harold Edgar Logan. She later married Arthur Perkins.[29]

Wagstaff died on October 2, 1921, at his home, "Tahlulah", in Babylon, New York, at age 77 from "a combination of ailments due to his age".[1]


Through his son Samuel, he was the grandfather of Samuel Jones Wagstaff Jr. (1921–1987),[30] a prominent art curator and collector who was in a fifteen-year relationship with photographer Robert Mapplethorpe.[24]


  1. ^ a b c "Col. Wagstaff Dies After Long Illness" (PDF). The New York Times. October 3, 1921. Retrieved 2012-10-25. Colonel Alfred Wagstaff, since 1906 President of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, and for two generations a prominent figure in the life of the city...
  2. ^ a b The Saint Nicholas Society of the City of New York: history, customs, record of events, constitution, certain genealogies, and other matters of interest. v. 1-. Saint Nicholas Society of the City of New York. 1916. p. 57. Retrieved 18 April 2019.
  3. ^ a b "DuBois-Ogden-McIlvaine family papers 1786-1983". William L. Clements Library at the University of Michigan. Retrieved 18 April 2019.
  4. ^ "Dr. Alfred Wagstaff" (PDF). The New York Times. April 28, 1878. Retrieved 2012-10-25. Dr. Alfred Wagstaff died on Friday last at his residence at Islip, Long Island, in the seventy fifth of his age, Dr. Wagstaff was born in this state, and was for many years ...
  5. ^ a b Antonio, Michele (11 July 2010). "The History of West Islip: Part III". West Islip, NY Patch. Retrieved 18 April 2019.
  6. ^ Bergen, Tunis Garret (1915). Genealogies of the State of New York: A Record of the Achievements of Her People in the Making of a Commonwealth and the Founding of a Nation. Lewis Historical Publishing Company. p. 768. Retrieved 14 July 2017.
  7. ^ The New York Genealogical and Biographical Record. New York Genealogical and Biographical Society. 1880. p. 170. Retrieved 14 July 2017.
  8. ^ a b c d e Samuel R. Harlow and H. H. Boone (1867). "Alfred Wagstaff Jr.". Life Sketches of the State Officers, Senators, and Members of the Assembly of the State of New York in 1867. Alfred Wagstaff Jr. was born in the city of New York, March 21st, 1844; he now resides at West Islip, Suffolk county, New York. He is of English and French extraction. ...
  9. ^ a b c Saint Nicholas Society of the City of New York: Organized February 28, 1835, Incorporated April 17, 1841 ... Saint Nicholas Society of the City of New York. 1923. pp. 15, 124, 147, 170–174, 180, 185. Retrieved 18 April 2019.
  10. ^ a b Life Sketches of Government Officers and Members of the Legislature of the State of New York in 1874 by W. H. McElroy and Alexander McBride (pg. 316f)
  11. ^ "S.P.C.A President Appeals to Mayor. Col. Wagstaff Thinks He Should Continue as Head of the Society". The New York Times. March 17, 1911. Retrieved 2012-10-29. Disturbed over a demand in the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals for his resignation as President, Col. Alfred Wagstaff went yesterday to lay his case before Mayor Gaynor. Col. Wagstaff did not see the Mayor, who was busy, but he talked for some time with the Mayor's legal adviser, Attorney Crowell.
  12. ^ Youngs, Florence Evelyn Pratt; Saint Nicholas Society of the City of New York (1914). Portraits of the Presidents of The Society, 1835-1914. New York, NY: Order of the Society. Retrieved 12 April 2019.
  13. ^ "Ex-JudgeBarnard Dead – Peaceful Ending of a Troubled Career – His Conduct As a Lawyer and As a Judge – The Notable Suits Which He Tried – His Injunction Against the Ring" (PDF). The New York Times. April 28, 1879. Retrieved 18 April 2019.
  14. ^ "Alfred Wagstaff Dead – Son of Late Colonel Was Well Known in Social Life of New York" (PDF). The New York Times. 11 December 1930. Retrieved 18 April 2019.
  15. ^ "Mrs. B.S. Wagstaff Weds Donald Carr – Her New Poem" (PDF). The New York Times. 31 July 1921. Retrieved 18 April 2019.
  16. ^ "David Wagstaff, Judge of Dogs, 68 – Ex-Official for Westminster Kennel Club Dies – Curator of Sporting Books at Yale" (PDF). The New York Times. June 8, 1951. Retrieved 18 February 2019.
  17. ^ "Mrs. Wagstaff, A Sports Woman – President of Tuxedo Horse Show and Kennel Club Dies – Raised Chow Chows" (PDF). The New York Times. June 19, 1956. Retrieved 18 February 2019.
  18. ^ "Deaths | Wagstaff—Samuel J." The New York Times. 18 January 1975. Retrieved 18 April 2019.
  19. ^ "Amos Tuck French, Divorcee, Marries – New York Banker Weds Miss Martha C. Beeckman – Engagement Unannounced – First Wife Was Miss Leroy – Divorce Followed Elopement of a Daughter with Chauffeur – Bride Sister of Gov.-elect Beeckman" (PDF). The New York Times. 25 November 1914. Retrieved 29 March 2019.
  20. ^ "Wagstaff-French Wedding on May 5". The New York Times. 14 March 1908. Retrieved 18 April 2019.
  21. ^ "Miss French Wed Samuel J. Wagstaff – Swarm of Society Folks at the Marriage of Mrs. Vanderbiit's Niece in Newport – Pretty Church Ceremony – Bridal Couple Receive at Harbourvlew Under Wedding Bell of Pink Roses – The Presents and Guests" (PDF). The New York Times. 6 May 1908. Retrieved 18 April 2019.
  22. ^ "Newport Pairs Divorced – Sorchan, Wagstaff and Colford Decrees Granted by Superior Court" (PDF). The New York Times. 9 June 1920. Retrieved 18 April 2019.
  23. ^ "Mrs. P.F. Wagstaff Weds D.O. Mac Rae – Divorced Wife of Samuel J. Wagstaff and Young Banker Give Society a Surprise – Get License, Wed At Once – Former "Polly" French of Family of Divorcees Wrote "Man the Obsolete" Before First Marriage" (PDF). The New York Times. 11 March 1921. Retrieved 18 April 2019.
  24. ^ a b Gefter, Philip (2014). Wagstaff: Before and After Mapplethorpe: A Biography. W. W. Norton & Company. p. 29. ISBN 9781631490156. Retrieved 18 April 2019.
  25. ^ "Mrs. S. S. Swift Wed to S. J. Wagstaff – Ceremony Takes Place at Elkton, Md. – Reception Held at Bride's Long Island Home" (PDF). The New York Times. 9 August 1933. Retrieved 18 April 2019.
  26. ^ "Throng at Wedding of Miss Cumnock – Daughter of Mr. and Mrs. A. J. Cumnock Bride of George B. Wagstaff in St. George's" (PDF). The New York Times. 5 June 1914. Retrieved 18 April 2019.
  27. ^ Berns, David (26 June 1946). "Louis Ripley to Wed Dorothy Wagstaff" (PDF). The New York Times. Retrieved 18 April 2019.
  28. ^ "Mrs. L.H. Feitner Wed To George B. Wagstaff; Ceremony Performed at Home of W.S. Webbs, Palm Beach" (PDF). The New York Times. 24 March 1940. Retrieved 18 April 2019.
  29. ^ "Arthur Perkins" (PDF). The New York Times. 17 May 1932. Retrieved 18 April 2019.
  30. ^ "Sam Wagstaff, 65, A Curator And Photography Collector". The New York Times. January 16, 1987. Retrieved 2011-08-31.

External linksEdit

New York State Assembly
Preceded by
James H. Tuthill (1st D.);
Richard A. Udall (2nd D.)
New York State Assembly
Suffolk County

Succeeded by
James M. Halsey
Preceded by
George W. Clarke
New York State Assembly
New York County, 7th District

Succeeded by
Frederick W. Seward
New York State Senate
Preceded by
James W. Booth
New York State Senate
5th District

Succeeded by
Edward Hogan