Arthur I. Appleton

Arthur Ivar Appleton (October 14, 1915 – January 15, 2008) was a businessman from the Northbrook area of Chicago. He lived part of the year in Chicago and split time between his Indian Creek estate near Miami Beach, Florida, and his thoroughbred farm, Bridlewood Farm in Ocala, Florida. He was one of the leading thoroughbred horse breeders and owners in the United States. He made his fortune in the family's electrical supply business, Appleton Electric Company, founded by his father, Albert Ivar Appleton, in Chicago in 1903.

Early life and educationEdit

Appleton was born in Chicago on October 14, 1915, the son of the founder of the Appleton Electric Company, Swedish industrialist Albert I. Appleton, and Lillian W. Appleton.[1][2] Appleton loved art and antiques from an early age. His mother was a concert pianist, singer and collector of fine art, who instilled in Arthur and his sister, Edith-Marie, her love of beautiful things. Appleton entered Dartmouth College at age 16, receiving his degree from the Amos Tuck School of Business Administration and Finance in 1936.[2] Appleton served in the Navy during World War II, achieving the rank of Lieutenant.[1][2] Appleton married actress Martha O'Driscoll in 1947.[1] The Appletons lived in the Northbrook area, and they had another home in Indian Creek Village, Florida.[1][3]


Appleton joined the family business, which manufactured electrical products used in chemical and steel plants as well as indoor and outdoor lighting equipment. In 1947, Appleton became president and chairman of Appleton Electric Company.[1] He contributed many inventions to the electronics field, acquiring more than 160 patents. Upon his retirement in 1982, the business was sold to Emerson Electric.[1] He was also involved in real estate development in California and the oil business in Oklahoma.[1] He appeared on the Forbes 400 list one time, in 1984, with a net worth of $200 million.[4]

Horse breeding and racingEdit

Appleton was interested in thoroughbred horse racing in Chicago and later in Florida; he served on the board of Gulfstream Park in Hallandale Beach.[1] In the 1970s, he started accumulating the land that became Bridlewood Farm in Ocala, Florida.[1] The farm bred over 90 stakes winners.[1] Notable horses he bred include Southern Image and David Junior. The farm also trained 2004 Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes winner Smarty Jones. Bridlewood was sold to media mogul John C. Malone in 2013.[5]

Appleton Museum of ArtEdit

Appleton, his wife, and his sister started the Appleton Museum of Art in 1987.[1] It was Ocala's first art museum.[6]


Appleton died at home on January 15, 2008, at the age of 92.[6]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Jensen, Trevor (January 18, 2008). "Arthur I. Appleton: 1915 - 2008". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved March 30, 2014.
  2. ^ a b c "Death Notice: Arthur Ivar Appleton". Chicago Tribune. January 18, 2008. Retrieved March 30, 2014.
  3. ^ Yunez, Luisa (November 7, 1998). "M. Appleton, 76, Ex-actress". Sun-Sentinel. Retrieved March 30, 2014.
  4. ^ Bernstein, Peter W.; Annalyn Swan, eds. (2007). All the Money in the World: How the Forbes 400 Make–And Spend–Their Fortunes. Vintage Books. p. 331.
  5. ^ "Media Mogul John C. Malone Buys Bridlewood Farm". Paulick Report. August 1, 2013. Retrieved March 30, 2014.
  6. ^ a b "Arthur Appleton, farm owner, founder of museum, dead at age 92". Star-Banner. January 15, 2008. Retrieved March 30, 2014.

External linksEdit