Frank Gray Griswold (December 21, 1854 – March 30, 1937)[1][2] was an American financier and writer who was a prominent member of New York society during the Gilded Age.[3]

Frank Gray Griswold
Born(1854-12-21)December 21, 1854
DiedMarch 30, 1937(1937-03-30) (aged 82)
New York City, New York, U.S.
Occupation(s)Writer, sportsmen
Josephine Houghteling Canfield
(m. 1907)
Parent(s)George Griswold
Lydia Alley Griswold
RelativesMariana Van Rensselaer (sister)

Early life


Griswold was born on December 21, 1854, at the family home, 91 Fifth Avenue in New York City.[4][5] He was the son of George Griswold Jr. (1820–1884) and Lydia (née Alley) Griswold (1826–1908).[6] His siblings included architecture critic Mariana Griswold,[4] who married Schuyler Van Rensselaer; George Griswold, the vice president and general manager of the Tuxedo Park Association; Louisa Alley Griswold, who married Harald de Raasloff; and Baroness von Sternbeck of Munich.[7][8]

His paternal grandparents were George Griswold and Maria Matilda (née Cumming) Griswold.[6] The Griswolds were relatives of American bishops Alexander Viets Griswold, Sheldon Munson Griswold, and Frank Griswold. His maternal grandparents were Mary (née Underhill) Alley and Saul Alley, a commissioner of the Croton Aqueduct.[5] A member of the prominent Griswold Family, his family's wealth originated from the China trade as his father and grandfather were merchants with "N. L. and G. Griswold",[6] which owned clipper ships that imported tea and silks from East Asia.[4] In 1868, he moved with his family to Dresden, Germany, where they remained for five years.[9] He was educated in Vienna, Austria[3] and then in Dresden, where he graduated from the Handelschule in 1875.[2]


Meet of Griswold's Queen's County Hounds, 1913

Griswold was a financier. A friend and cousin of Pierre Lorillard, he served as a director and important executive of the Lorillard Tobacco Company from 1879 to 1893.[2]

He was also a writer, publishing several well known works including The International Polo Cup, a history of the event from their beginning through 1927;[3] as well as Sport on Land and Water: Recollections of Frank Gray Griswold, privately published in 1913, 1915, 1916, 1916, 1917, 1920, 1923, and 1931; Horses and Hounds: Recollections of Frank Gray Griswold, published by Harper & Brothers in 1926; After Thoughts: Recollections of Frank Gray Griswold, also published by Harper & Brothers in 1936.[10] He occasionally wrote under the pseudonym "Anthony Ashley, Jr."[3]

Society life


In 1892, the bachelor Griswold was included in Ward McAllister's "Four Hundred", purported to be an index of New York's best families, published in The New York Times.[11][12] Conveniently, 400 was the number of people that could fit into Mrs. Astor's ballroom.[13] For several years, he was well known as a cotillion leader,[14] and "long occupied a place in the inner circle of New York clubmen and aristocratic sportsmen."[15]

Griswold was a supporter of the Metropolitan Opera, and, as an avid fisherman and keen fox hunter, he was a member of the Meadow Brook Club, Rockaway Hunting Club and Newport Country Club.[3][16] He imported hounds from England and formed the Queen's County Hounds, for which he served as Master for many years.[10] He was also a member of the New York Yacht Club, the Union Club of the City of New York, and the Knickerbocker Club.[14]

Personal life

Griswold's wife, Josephine (née Houghteling) Canfield Griswold.

In 1907, 53 year-old Griswold was married to noted beauty,[17] Josephine (née Houghteling) Canfield (1864–1937) at St. Andrews Church in Westminster, London in a small wedding that was attended by U.S. Ambassador Whitelaw Reid.[18][14] She was the daughter of William DeZeng Houghteling and Marcia Elizabeth (née Stockbridge) Houghteling and the sister of James Lawrence Houghteling, who founded the Episcopal Brotherhood of St. Andrew. Josephine had been widowed in 1904 following the death of her first husband, wealthy engineer and yachtsman Augustus Cass Canfield, who was a grandson of Presidential candidate Lewis Cass. Josephine was the mother of three, including Cass Canfield, the publishing executive who was the longtime president and chairman of Harper & Brothers, later Harper & Row.[19]

The Griswolds owned a large red brick home designed by McKim, Mead & White in Roslyn, New York, known as Cassleigh.[20][21] Their home was burgled in 1916 and they were robbed of $110,000 worth of jewelry.[22][23] They later had a home known as Kina in New York and spent much time abroad.[24]

In his obituary in The New York Times, he was described thusly:[2]

"In appearance he is an ideal weight and figure for riding. Tall, slender, lithe, with an anglicized drooping mustache, a manner that is courteously indifferent, and a way of talking that insinuates worldliness and assurance. Mr. Griswold is probably the most accomplished master of the hounds in America and the most experienced. He has 'run to hounds' in Leicestershire, in the South of France, in any place where fox hunting is encouraged."[2]

Griswold died at his home, 783 Park Avenue in New York City, on March 30, 1937.[2] His funeral was held at St. Bartholomew's Church on Park Avenue and he was buried at Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn, New York.[2] His widow died shortly thereafter on September 29, 1937.[15]

Published works

  • The Horse and Buggy Days, (Norwood, Mass. Privately printed Plimpton Press, 1936 [limited 150 copies])
  • After thoughts: Recollections of Frank Gray Griswold, (New York Privately printed Norwood, Mass., Plimpton Press, 1936)
  • The Cascapedia Club, (1920)
  • Horses and hounds: Recollections of Frank Gray Griswold, (New York, Dutton, 1926)
  • The life-history of the Atlantic and Pacific salmon of Canada, also by R. D. Hume, (New York, Duttons, 1930)
  • The Memoirs of a Salmon, (Norwood, Mass. Privately printed Plimpton Press, 1931)
  • Observations on a Salmon River, (Mineola, L.I., N.Y., Privately printed for Thomas Gibbons, 1922)
  • Observations on a Salmon River, (Norwood, Mass. Privately printed Plimpton Press, 1921)
  • Observations on a Salmon River, also by Henry Charles Keith Petty-FitzMaurice Lansdowne, (Norwood, Mass. Plimpton, 1922)
  • Observations on a Salmon River, (Norwood, Mass. Plimpton Press 1921)
  • Salmo salar (Norwood, Mass. Privately printed Plimpton Press, 1929)
  • A salmon river, (New York, Dutton, 1928)
  • Some fish and some fishing, (New York, John Lane Company; London, John Lane, 1921)
  • Sport on land and water: Recollections, (Norwood, Mass. Privately printed Plimpton Press, 1913–16)
  • Sport on land and water: Recollections of Frank Gray Griswold, (Norwood, Mass. Privately printed Plimpton Press, 1913–1931), also by John A. Seaverns Equine Collection (Tufts University)
  • Stolen kisses: Recollections of Frank Gray Griswold, (Norwood, Mass. : Privately printed, 1914)
  • The Tarpon, (New York, Privately printed, 1922)


  1. ^ French, Robert Lewis (2001). The Griswold Family: The Sixth & Seventh Generations, Edward & Matthew. Griswold Family Association of America. p. 582. Retrieved 13 June 2018.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g "FRANK G. GRISWOLD, NOTED SPORTSMAN; Club Leader and Director of Metropolitan Opera Many Years Is Dead at 82". The New York Times. March 31, 1937. Retrieved 13 June 2018.
  3. ^ a b c d e Laffaye, Horace A. (2015). The Polo Encyclopedia, 2d ed. McFarland. p. 150. ISBN 9781476619569. Retrieved 13 June 2018.
  4. ^ a b c Major, Judith K. (2013). Mariana Griswold Van Rensselaer: A Landscape Critic in the Gilded Age. University of Virginia Press. p. 16. ISBN 9780813934556. Retrieved 13 June 2018.
  5. ^ a b Bulletin of the Underhill Society of America Education and Publishing Fund. The Fund. 1967. p. 32. Retrieved 13 June 2018.
  6. ^ a b c Biographical Catalogue of the Chancellors: Professors and Graduates of the Department of Arts and Science of the University of the City of New York ... New York University Alumni Association. 1894. p. 13. Retrieved 13 June 2018.
  7. ^ "George Griswold". The New York Times. 19 March 1917. Retrieved 12 January 2018.
  8. ^ "GEORGE GRISWOLD 2D'S WILL.; Estate Divided Among Relatives and Friends -- Mother Residuary Legatee". The New York Times. 24 March 1903. Retrieved 12 January 2018.
  9. ^ McLeod, Mary and Rosner, Victoria. "Mariana Griswold Van Rensselaer". Pioneering Women of American Architecture.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  10. ^ a b Biscotti, M. L. (2017). Six Centuries of Foxhunting: An Annotated Bibliography. Rowman & Littlefield. p. 169. ISBN 9781442241909. Retrieved 13 June 2018.
  12. ^ Patterson, Jerry E. (2000). The First Four Hundred: Mrs. Astor's New York in the Gilded Age. Random House Incorporated. p. 217. ISBN 9780847822089. Retrieved 13 June 2018.
  13. ^ Keister, Lisa A. (2005). Getting Rich: America's New Rich and How They Got That Way. Cambridge University Press. p. 36. ISBN 9780521536677. Retrieved 20 October 2017.
  14. ^ a b c "GRISWOLD -- CANFIELD". The New York Times. July 30, 1907. Retrieved 13 June 2018.
  15. ^ a b "MRS. F. G. GRISWOLD, SOCIAL LEADER HERE; Long a Member of Colony Club's Board of Governors; Dies in Santa Barbara". The New York Times. September 30, 1937. Retrieved 13 June 2018.
  16. ^ "Soft Going for Meadow Brook Hunt". The New York Times. November 9, 1907. Retrieved 13 June 2018.
  17. ^ The Scrap Book. Frank A. Munsey Co. 1908. p. 710. Retrieved 13 June 2018.
  18. ^ "ROOSEVELT WILL VISIT NEWPORT; President and Wife Expected to Be the Guests of Commodore and Mrs. Vanderbilt. MRS. CANFIELD REMARRIES Wedded to Frank Gray Griswold in London -- Ambassador Reid Present at the Ceremony". The New York Times. July 30, 1907. Retrieved 13 June 2018.
  19. ^ "Cass Canfield, A Titan of Publishing, Is Dead at 88", New York Times (March 28, 1986).
  20. ^ Wilson, Richard Guy (2008). Harbor Hill: Portrait of a House. W. W. Norton & Company. pp. 17–18. ISBN 9780393732160. Retrieved 13 June 2018.
  21. ^ "Cassleigh". Old Long Island. July 30, 2012. Retrieved 13 June 2018.
  22. ^ "GRISWOLDS ROBBED OF $110,000 IN GEMS; Burglars Motored to Roslyn and Looted Cassleigh as the Family Slept. POLICE FAIL TO FIND CLUE Mr. Griswold Thinks the Intruders Used Chloroform, but Police Doubt It. GRISWOLDS ROBBED OF $110,000 IN GEMS". The New York Times. October 25, 1916. Retrieved 13 June 2018.
  23. ^ "BURGLARS BY USE OF DRUG GET $80,000. Robbers, Who Carry Off Loot in Auto, Work Un-mosted in Country Home at Roslyn After Stupefying Millionaire, His Wife and Her Daughter, Miss Mary Cass Can-field". The Bridgeport Times and Evening Farmer. October 25, 1916. p. 13. Retrieved 13 June 2018.
  24. ^ Social Register, Summer. Social Register Association. 1920. p. 125. Retrieved 13 June 2018.