Archives Directory for the History of Collecting in America

Archives related to: Untermyer, Samuel, 1858-1940

titleUntermyer Family Slide Collection, ca. 1940
repositoryArchives of American Art
collection title119 glass lantern slides of Greystone, the Samuel Untermyer estate in Yonkers, NY. The photographer was Samuel Untermyer, II, the grandson of Samuel Untermyer.

Bio / His Notes:
Samuel Untermyer was born in 1858 in Lynchburg, Virginia. He was the son of two German immigrants. Samuel Untermyer was a New York lawyer who began practicing law at 18 and was admitted to the bar in New York in 1879.

Untermyer established himself as a corporation attorney and became known for corporate mergers and arranging financing for industries and real estate developments. His most famous merger was with Utah Copper Co. and the Nevada Consolidated Companies which created Bethlehem Steel.

Untermyer purchased Greystone in 1899 at an auction of the estate of Samuel J. Tilden.

The first owner of Greystone was John Waring, a hat manufacturer, from Yonkers, New York. The house was named Greystone for the grey granite that was quarried nearby and used to construct the house. John Davis Hatch designed the residence.

Samuel J. Tilden, a lawyer and former governor of New York (1874-1876) and unsuccessful Presidential candidate against Rutherford B. Hayes (1876) bought Greystone for a summer residence in 1879. Tilden constructed a large greenhouse complex including a Lord and Burnham greenhouse.

Tilden died in 1886 leaving the bulk of his estate to what was later to become the New York Public Library. His two nephews contested the will, and it took ten years to resolve the estate.

Untermyer owned Greystone from 1899-1940. Untermyer hired the architect Joseph H. Freelander to remodel the mansion. The estate was 150 acres and was famous for its Beaux-Arts gardens designed by William Welles Bosworth. Bosworth's gardens included the Greek Garden; a long staircase, known as the Vista, with a Hudson River view; a rock garden with an overlook called the Eagle's Nest; and an Italian-style vegetable garden constructed as five large terraces.

At Untermyer's death in 1940, the estate was divided and sixteen acres donated to the city of Yonkers as "Samuel Untermyer Park and Gardens."

extent119 glass lantern slides 4"X6"
accessAccess to original images by appointment only. Researcher must submit request for appointment in writing. Certain items may be restricted and not available to researchers. Please direct reference inquiries to the Archives of American Gardens: For information or study purposes only. Use or copyright restrictions may exist. All requests for duplication and use must be submitted in writing and approved by Archives of American Gardens.
record source
acquisition informationGift of Frank Untermyer, grandson of Samuel Untermyer.
updated05/12/2022 11:09:58

titleSamuel Untermyer Papers, 1873-1952 (Manuscript Collection No. 251)
repositoryAmerican Jewish Archives
collection titlePapers describe the career of Samuel Untermyer as lawyer and civic and communal leader; and as counsel for the Congressional Committee known as the Pujo Committee which in 1912 investigated the "money trust."

The collection consists of correspondence, memoranda and reports pertaining to legal and civic affairs, speeches, catalogs of art holdings, last will and testament, family correspondence and biographies, Untermyer Trust correspondence, and scrapbooks. The span dates of the collection are 1873-1952, with the bulk of the material dated 1911-1940. The collection is divided into four (4) series:

· Series A: Correspondence
· Series B: Legal Papers
· Series C: Financial Papers
· Series D: Scrapbooks

Biographical Sketch

Samuel Untermyer was born in Lynchburg, Virginia, on March 2, 1858. His parents were Isidore and Therese Untermyer. Samuel was raised and educated in New York City, earning an LL.B. from Columbia Law School in 1878.

After admission to the bar Untermyer entered law practice in the prestigious firm of Guggenheimer & Untermyer, later Guggenheimer, Untermyer & Marshall. His legal practice was varied, including corporate, civil, criminal, labor, family and international law.

He achieved distinction and success early in his legal career, serving as counsel for many important cases. In addition to work in the courts, Untermyer was often engaged as an adviser for great financial transactions. He remained in active practice for 61 years, until his death in 1940.

In 1912 Untermyer received national prominence as counsel for the Money Trust Inquiry of the Committee on Banking and Currency of the House of Representatives. The committee, known as the Pujo Committee (named for its chairman), investigated financial conditions with the purpose of presenting remedial legislation.

As a result of this and other inquiries, the Federal Reserve Act, the Federal Trade Commission Act and other measures designed to curb finanacial excesses were either enacted or amended. Untermeyer took a large part in drafting or presenting this legislation.

In behalf of Jewish rights, Untermyer served as attorney for Herman Bernstein's suit against Henry Ford for anti-semitic articles published in Ford's Dearborn Independent. After the advent of Hitlerism, Untermyer became president of the Non-Sectarian Anti-Nazi League to Champion Human Rights, to counter Nazi propaganda and lead in the boycott of German goods.

Other activity in the Jewish community included serving as vice-president of the American Jewish Congress until 1926 and president of the Palestine Foundation Fund for several years.

Untermyer was a prominent member of the Democratic Party and was a delegate to six Democratic Conventions from 1904-1932. He had considerable influence on Democratic political affairs, especially in New York City.

Untermyer married Minnie Karl (died August 1, 1924) on August 9, 1880. They had three children: Alvin, Irwin, and Irene (Mrs. Stanley L. Richter). Samuel Untermyer died in Palm Springs, California, March 16, 1940.
extent57.8 Linear ft.
formatsBusiness Papers Personal Papers Correspondence Writings Printed Materials
accessContact repository for restrictions and policies.
record source
finding aid
acquisition informationThe Samuel Untermyer Papers were initially donated to the Jacob Rader Marcus Center of the American Jewish Archives by Mr. James Marshall of New York, New York in 1953. The bulk of the collection was donated by Frank Untermeyer of Chicago, Illinois, in 2006.
updated11/12/2014 11:30:11