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Emigrant City: Two Stories


Emigrant City is a project by New York Public Library’s NYPL Labs, in cooperation with the Library’s Irma and Paul Milstein Division of United States History, Local History and Genealogy, and the Manuscripts and Archives Division, to digitize (already done!), and transcribe (this is where you come in) Mortgage and Bond ledgers from the Emigrant Savings Bank. The ledgers contain details of 6,400 mortgages held by customers at the bank, between 1851 and 1921, information that, until now, was available only on microfilm. Emigrant City: An Introduction is a post by Willa Armstrong of NYPL Labs, that describes what the tool is, and how it works. This blog post examines two entries in the ledgers . The first entry records a loan given to a German-born man, Francis A. Kipp. The second records a loan given, to a New York-born woman, Mary O’Connor, the first woman recorded in the ledgers. We will look at the history of the buildings offered as security, the lives of the mortgage holders, and the lives of the people who lived in those buildings. To record the lives and lifetime of a plot of land in New York City would necessitate a multi-volume set, but hopefully this post will dip its toe in the water, and give you a taste of the resources that NYPL has at your disposal.

Emigrant Savings Bank Mortgage and Bond No. 1: Francis A. Kipp.

 Francis A. Kipp.
Emigrant Savings Bank Mortgage and Bond No. 1: Francis A. Kipp.

On February 20, 1851, Francis A. Kipp borrowed $6,000 from the Emigrant Savings Bank, using some real estate on the Lower East Side in Manhattan as security. The loan is the first entry in the Mortgage and Bond ledgers. The security is described in the book as consisting of 48 and 50 Delancey Street, two frame houses, and 121 Eldridge Street, a four story brick house. Kipp values the property at $25,000. The ledger entry includes a map, describing a plot of land measuring 50 by 80 yards. The entry includes a later assessment, made November 1879, which values the property at $15,000.

Maps of the city of New York, surveyed under directions of insurance companies of said city, Plate 21 / William Perris. 1852
Maps of the city of New York, surveyed under directions of insurance companies [...] Plate 21 / William Perris. 1852

The map above, dating from 1852/4, describes the properties vividly, and confirms the information in the ledger. We see the two houses, 48 and 50 Delancey Street, to the right of the map, colored yellow, describing their frame construction, and we see that they had space at the back of the lot, a yard, or possibly a garden. 121 Eldridge Street is colored pink, denoting it being made of brick, and is built on and also has a space at the back of the building.

New York City Directory for 1851-1852 / Doggett & Rode, NY
New York City Directory for 1851-1852 / Doggett & Rode, NY

Doggett’s City Directory of 1851 listed Francis A. Kipp, a starch manufacturer who lived and ran his business at the same address, 60 Allen Street. The earliest record of his living in New York City dates from 1837. Longworth’s city directory of that year records his home and place of business as 55 Forsyth street.

Kipp was married to Margaret (Nash) Kipp, born in New York City, 1816. Census records show that they had at least 6 children. In 1850 Francis, Margaret, their daughters Catherine [born c.1836], Evanna [1843-1912], Sarah Jane [1844-1912], and Margaret [1847-1925], along with various other relatives and employees, all lived at 60 Allen Street. The census of that year describes Kipp as owning real estate valued at $10,000.

U.S. Census 1850, 16th Ward, New York County, NY, Francis Kipp
U.S. Census 1850, 16th Ward, New York County, NY, Francis Kipp

Digging deeper, we learn that Kipp bought the property on Delancey and Eldridge, recorded May 1st, 1847, from the executors of the estate of the late John Phyfe. Owners are not always occupiers, and so it goes that Kipp did not live at any of the addresses. Doggett’s 1851 Street Directory, one of only two address directories for 19th century New York City, describes Kipp’s tenants.

Doggett’s New York City street directory for 1851
Doggett’s New York City street directory for 1851

In 1851 50 Delancey was home to Gottlab Bollet, hairdresser; Richard King, policeman, and Andrew Dewitt, rulemaker. Confusingly, as the maps appear to describe them as quite separate addresses, the three men are also the listed residents for 121 Eldridge Street: mistakes have been known to occur. At 48 Delancey the listed residents are Thomas Forrest, and one J.T. Perry, blacksmith.

Kipp did not own the properties for long. He died instantly, on the morning of September 3rd, 1852. According to his death notice, in following day’s Evening Post, he was 49.

Kipp died intestate, so his wife Margaret, and William Kipp (possibly a male relative) were made executors of his estate, September 17, 1852. On January 3rd, 1853, Maragret Kipp sold the three lots, including 48 and 50, Delancey Street and 121 Eldridge Street, to former tenant, James T. Perry, the blacksmith.

The Kipp family maintained connections with the Emigrant Savings Bank. Francis A. Kipp had an account with the bank, that lists his middle name as Antonius. One Franz Antonius Kipp was born March 18, 1804, in Natzungen, Germany. Kipp’s account contained $1644.65 held in trust for a William Wegge, living in "either California or Germany.” Margaret Kipp, her daughter Catherine, and a possible son, John Kipp, all briefly held accounts at the bank. Margaret’s account tells us that she was born in 1816, and had 6 children. Emigrant Savings Bank accounts are, as many genealogists already know, an excellent source of genealogical information.

 Margaret A. Kipp
New York Emigrant Savings Bank, 1850-1883: Test Books: Margaret A. Kipp

Kipp appears to have left his family financially secure. The 1860 census describes Margaret and 6 children, including daughter Catherine, her husband Mathew Lomas, and their son John, 3 months, and two staff, living in NYC’s 10th Ward. The 1910 census shows several of the Kipp children, still single, living with servants, in some comfort, on Lexington Avenue.

Although he did not live at the address, James T. Perry, the blacksmith who bought 121 Eldridge, plied his trade on the Lower East Side for many of those years at 123 Eldridge, next door. New York City directories record Perry being a blacksmith on Eldridge Street, mostly at 123, from 1836 until 1872, when he moved to Stanton Street for 3 years, before disappearing from the listings. According to the 1860 and 1870 censuses, Perry was born in New Jersey, c.1810. He was married to Sarah, born New York c.1820, and they appear to have had one child, Theresa, who was born in either 1848 or 1852: censuses can be sketchy! The 1870 census records Perry’s self-declared financial worth, with real estate valued at $7,000, and a personal estate of $1,500.

Emigrant Savings Bank: Bond and Mortgage No. 87: Mary O'Connor.

 Mary O’Connor.
Emigrant Savings Bank: Mortgage and Bond No. 87: Mary O’Connor.

Looking through the indexes of the Emigrant Savings Bank Mortgage and Bond ledgers, one notices that the entries are a mix of mostly Irish and German sounding names, though French, Swedish, English, and numerous others are present. A quick survey suggests that approximately 30% of the mortgage holders are women.

The first woman listed in the ledgers is one Mary O’Connor, who was loaned $2000, January 22nd 1855. The security she offered was a building, 9 Frankfort Street in Manhattan, a 3 story brick building, 115 yards from the Southeast corner of Chatham and Frankfort. The property is not valued at the time of the loan, but was in 1879, to the tune of $12,000.

9 Frankfort Street offers us a wealth of information, and stories.

I.N. Phelps Stokes’ The Iconography of Manhattan Island, 1498-1909 records that Frankfort Street was laid out in 1721, and initially named Frankfurd street. Henry Moscow’s The street book : an encyclopedia of Manhattan's street names and their origins states that the street was named by the Governor of New York, Jacob Leisler who owned the land on which the street was built: he named it for his place of birth. (p.52).

 Nassau Street - Washington Street
Manhattan: Nassau Street - Washington Street, showing the Tammany Hotel, and, far left, No. 9 Frankfort Street

From the late 1700s until the late 1880s No. 9 Frankfort Street (above, the 2-story building to the left of the Tammany Hotel) was a place of work, and a place where people lived. There women and men plied their trades, taught, met to discuss important issues of the day, lived – sometimes comfortably, sometimes in abject poverty – and ate and drank. The lot on which it stood was, for a time, also home to No.9 ½, or No. 9 rear. At some point the buildings on the lot were razed, rebuilt, demolished again, and a restaurant was built, which stood for about 10 years, from the mid-1890s. That building was flattened and the property absorbed into the offices of the New York Tribune newspaper, in 1905. Further along, the Tribune building would be sold again, at one point to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, demolished, and sold in 1967, by the City of New York to become the site of Pace University, which currently occupies the block.

The five maps below, from New York Public Library’s collections, chart the built history of the lot, and block on which No. 9 stood, from 1854 to 1903-5. The maps, mostly property or land maps, describe how 9 Frankfort Street appeared, and then disappeared.

A new & accurate plan of the city of New York in the state of New York in North America, published in 1797.

A new & accurate plan of the city of New York in the state of New York in North America, published in 1797

A New and Accurate Plan of the City of New York [..] was originally drawn by cartographers Benjamin Taylor and John Roberts, in 1797. Above is a copy made for D.T. Valentine's Manual of 1853, drawn by George Hayward. Shown are Frankfort Street, north of George Street, now Spruce Street. Maps describing individual buildings are few and far between at this time.

Maps of the city of New York / surveyed under directions of insurance companies of said city, Plate 10. Perris & Browne, 1852

Maps of the city of New York / surveyed under directions of insurance companies [...], plate 10. Perris & Browne, 1852

Kate Lauber's entry maps of New York City, in Kenneth Jackson's The encyclopedia of New York City, perhaps the single great NYC reference resource, tells us that

After the Great Fire of 1835, engineer and surveyor William Perris began making fire insurance maps of Manhattan and Brooklyn that included streets, blocks, tax lots, and current use classifications [residential, storehouse, place of business, type of business, etc], as well as previous land uses, roads, and natural features. p.796

The Perris map above, describes two buildings, built of brick, Nos.9 and 9 1/2 Frankfort Street. The key to the atlas that this map is taken from tells us that both buildings are constructed of brick or stone, and that the building at front is First Class, with a slate or metal roof, coped, and a store underneath.

Plate 5 [Map bounded by Worth St., New Bowery, Pearl St., Cold St., Beekman St., Barclay St., College Place, West Broadway] Elisha Robinson (1893)

Plate 5 [Map bounded by Worth St., New Bowery, Pearl St., Cold St., Beekman St., Barclay St., College Place, West Broadway] Elisha Robinson (1893)

This later map, from 1893, by Elisha Robinson, describes a different grouping of buildings on the lot occupied by No.9, and includes the Block and Lot number, a useful identifier when researching buildings in New York City. We see what looks like a brick fronted frame building at front, and brick and frame buildings at the rear. We can also see the offices of the Tribune , Sun, and the Pulitzer Building, home to Joseph Pulitzer's World newspaper.

Manhattan, V. 1, Plate No. 6 [Map bounded by Broadway, Frankfort St., Gold St., Fulton St.] Sanborn Map Company (1884/94)

Manhattan, V. 1, Plate No. 6 [Map bounded by Broadway, Frankfort St., Gold St., Fulton St.] Sanborn Map Company (1884/94)

A year later, and we see that the lot has changed. No.9 is now home to a restaurant, no doubt full of journalists, and at least one tipsy policeman - more to follow. This beautifully detailed map describes the restaurant, known that year as Hoenaok's, unofficially as the Pewter Jug, with stores at back, a long skylight to the left of the building, and ironwork to the front. For more details, here's the answer, here's the key.

[Bounded by Reade Street, Duane Street, New Chambers Street, Roosevelt Street, Cherry Street, Frankfort Street, Cliff Street, Beekman Street, Ann Street, Park Street, and Broadway] G.W. Bromley & Co. (1916)

[Bounded by Reade Street, Duane Street, New Chambers Street, Roosevelt Street, Cherry Street, Frankfort Street, Cliff Street, Beekman Street, Ann Street, Park Street, and Broadway] G.W. Bromley & Co. (1916)

The G.W. Bromley map above describes the disappearance of No.9, the restaurant demolished (post-1905), and an extension to the ever growing Tribune Building taking it's place.

Historical newspapers suggest that 9 Frankfort Street was a place where people met. In 1805, the Humane Society were offering “good and nourishing soup to the poor […] at their soup house, No. 9 Frankfort street,” (Daily Advertiser, February 2nd, p.2), and they were not the only society meeting and presumably doing good works. From 1809 to 1818 newspapers record the Young Men’s Bible Society, the Typographical Society, the Philological Society, and the Philodemian Society all meeting at No.9, often in the schoolrooms of the seminary of Aaron and Temperance Ely. In 1815 a G. Brown took a room at No.9, where he intended to teach “the common branches of an English education, reading, Writing, Arithmetic, English grammar, geography, &c.” as well as Greek, Latin, and elocution.” (Evening Post, August 31st, p.2).

City directories describe the early occupants of 9 Frankfort Street, the first listed being Albert Rykerman, who lived there in 1800. Other early residents included a teacher, John Coffin, who taught at No. 9, but lived at 11 Reed (1811), Mrs. Field, widow (1812), R. Harding “carv. and gild. […] h 3 Venderwater” (1814), and John Firth, musical instrument maker (1818).

On January 27th, 1829, Joseph Charles O’Connor bought the lot on which No.9 Frankfort Street stood, from George Heron, and Sarah Fisher. O’Connor, born c.1790, likely in Ireland, was a builder, married to Mary Collard (c.1802-1895), daughter of Isaac and Catherine Collard. The O’Connors had at least 5 children: Margaret, Mary, Charles, Joseph, and Agnes. Mary O’Connor, of course, is the Mary O’Connor we see in the Mortgage and Bond ledgers.

The 1829 New York City directory lists Joseph O’Connor, builder, as resident at No. 9. He continued to live there until 1843. Historical newspapers describe his life, and offer clues to his career as a builder.

New York City Directory for 1842 and 1843 / Doggett, New York
New York City Directory for 1842 and 1843 / Doggett, New York

Joseph O’Connor was actively involved with the community. He was a patron of the arts, joining a committee sponsoring a “grand concert and ball […] given by the friends and admirers of P.F. White Esq., the Irish Melodist, at Niblo’s Saloon. […] Dodworth’s Cotillion Band “ were engaged to accompany the dancers at the ball following the concert. (Morning Herald, April 22nd, 1840, p.1).

O’Connor lived just along from the building occupied by Tammany Hall, on Nassau and Frankfort. Joseph was actively engaged in politics, and was a member of the Democratic Republican Party, and the Society of St. Tammany or Columbian Order. Newspapers describe his political career, involved with Tammany and the Democrats at local levels throughout the years 1831-40, perhaps reaching his peak as Chairman of the Young Men’s General Committee of the Fourth Ward, who campaigned to get President Martin Van Buren reelected in 1840 (he lost to Harrison).

Eastern Argus (Portland, Maine) June 28th, 1836 p.4
Eastern Argus (Portland, Maine) June 28, 1836, p.4

As a builder O’Connor appears to have played a part in the construction of St. Peter’s Church, designed by the architects John R. Haggerty and Thomas Thomas, which stands today on the corner of Barclay and Church Streets. An advertisement placed in the Weekly Eastern Argus, of Portland, Maine, July 12th, 1836, seeking suppliers of blue granite, with which to build the church, describes Joseph O’Connor as a contact for examining “the plan and elevation […] and all further particulars,” of the church (p.4). It may be that O’Connor headed up the building of the church. An exploration of that institution’s records may provide answers…

Joseph O’Connor died August, 15th, 1843. His death notice, in the Commercial Advertiser of the next day, asked that friends and acquaintances, and those of his father-in-law, Isaac Collard, and nephew (and sometime business partner) Michael O’Connor, also a builder, attended his funeral, at 9 o’clock the next day. News as a necessity had to travel quickly. O’Connor’s death notice also appeared in the Evening Post. He left his worldly possessions, money and real estate (including No.9) to his wife, Mary (provided she did not remarry) and their surviving children on her death: Mary O’Connor would outlive her husband by 50 years.

New-York City Directory for 1844 & 1845 / Doggett, New York
New-York City Directory for 1844 & 1845 / Doggett, New York

Mary and the children appear to have remained at No.9 for only a brief period after Joseph’s death: she is listed as Mary O’Connor, widow of Joseph 9 Frankfort in the 1844/5 New York City directory. Michael O’Connor, builder, likely Joseph’s nephew and business partner, lived at No. 9 until 1849/50, before he, like Mary and her children, left Manhattan to live on Staten Island.

Real estate records describe Mary O’Connor buying and selling property in New York, in Staten Island especially, throughout the 1850s, 60s, and 70s. New York State and Federal censuses show Mary living a seemingly comfortable life in Southfield, S.I., with her mother, aunt, children, their husbands and wives, and grandchildren, various family waifs and strays, and servants. In 1870 she had an estate worth $35,000, over $600,000 as of 2015. Her son Charles, became a successful Manhattan lawyer. When Mary died in Rosebank, Staten Island, January 24th, 1895, her obituary appeared on the front page of the New York Herald. She was buried in the family vault at St. Patrick’s Old Cathedral, Manhattan.

New York Herald, January 24th, 1895, p.1
New York Herald, January 24, 1895, p.1

The O’Connor family maintained possession of No.9 until August 1895, when they sold the property to Julia Foley. Foley sold the lot in February 1897, to Gustavus Lawrence, who sold to Whitelaw Reid, November 1903. Whitelaw Reid, proprietor of the Tribune, sold the property, along with No. 7, to himself, sort of, to the Tribune Association, in May 1905. Although a restaurant named Andre’s appears sometime in the 1930s, No. 9 Frankfort Street as a separate building, disappeared forever, absorbed into the larger Tribune building.

Richard French's Hotel
City Hall Park. French's Hotel, with street sign City Hall Square on its wall, Tammany Hotel, Sunday Times, Tribune and Currier on the left. St. Paul's in the background

No 9, and No. 9 ½ to the rear, make up an interesting lot, featuring two buildings, both occupied by a variety of people, with different backgrounds and occupations. Some people lived at No.9, for some it was a place of business, and for others it was both. In the early years, prior to the restaurant that occupied the entire lot from 1894, No. 9 (and 9 ½) was a meeting place, a school, a coffee house, a porter house, a lodging house and liquor store, and a place of residence. It was in close proximity to Tammany Hall, various hotels (the Tammany Hotel, [Richard] French’s Hotel), and newspaper offices, notably the Tribune, the Sun, and Joseph Pultizer’s New York World. The busy Pewter Mug Tavern (and lodging house) was, for many years at No. 7. One can imagine that the location of No. 9 must have been handy for work, business, and pleasure.

Doggett’s New York City street directory for 1851.
Doggett’s New York City street directory for 1851

In Doggett’s New York Street Directory of 1851, No. 9 is home to George Challiol, a tailor, No. 9 ½ to Charles Dunn, a merchant, Andrew Broughwaite, a sail maker, and Francis Kiernan, a hotel porter. Neighbors include Philip Bouchard and his son Augustus, barbers, and various other tradesmen: butchers, cart men, tailors, barkeeps, porterhouse owners, and boot makers. The census of 1850 describes people on the block born for the most part in New York, Ireland, and Germany, but also France, England, and the Netherlands.

In 1856 No. 9 is home to a business, a grocer Herman Schmidt & Co, and Dederick Estrup, also a grocer, is resident. No. 9 1/2 is home to Charles and Charlotte Helworth, a washerwoman and dyer, respectively; William Hill, armorer, Francis Kerney, a cart man. The pattern of business at the front – a grocer, a tailor, later a liquor store, coffee house, and lodging house – with working people living in the rear, continues for the time the lot has two buildings, for much of the rest of the 19th century. Stories abound...


Philadelphia Enquirer, November 1, 1889

On the night of October 31st, Pauline Schultz, of 9 Frankfort Street, New York was visiting her aunt, Mrs. Freund, in Bayonne, New Jersey, when her “adventures[…] almost caused the death of a young man from fright, and her own from exposure” (p.2)

The young man was walking home across “the salt meadows between Constable Hook and Centereville” when he spied a figure dressed in “the airy robes of a white witch,” which the Enquirer supposed made her look like a ghost. Scared to death, he ran all the way home, back to Bayonne, where he sought the help of a Police Sargent Cavanagh. The Sergent, accompanied by another policeman, set off to capture the ghost. They found the ghost up to her waist in the mud, Pauline in her nightdress. She had been sleepwalking. They took her home to her aunt, and the next day she was in the ‘papers.


New York Times, August 7, 1887, p.9

In 1897 the New York Times reported – in fairly melodramatic language, at least by today’s standards – the strange case of Jean Durand, 100, who died at, 9 Frankfort Street, the home of his friend “an old Frenchman' (the 1880 census suggests he was about 47) François Besanceney, who worked as a waiter. Durand was believed to have $2,000 in a bank account, which he had formerly kept about his person, when he died. The account, however, could not be found by Besanceney, nor by Durand’s wife, Mrs. Durand, 45 (no first name given). So, in the absence of any funds, Durand was buried in Potter’s Field, along with several other paupers. To add to the plot, when he died, Durand was awaiting a fortune of some 1 million francs, being to sent to him by a relative in Bordeaux: the missing $2,000 was the first installment, to tide him over.

According to Mrs. Durand, Jean had been rich, but was too generous, and had given all his money away. “ “[…] poor Jean will be buried at 1 o’clock today.” […] The woman looked at the mantelpiece. It was just 1 o’clock. As she saw this she burst into loud grief and refused to be comforted.”

Assistant Keeper Fogerty, of the morgue, said [...] that he buried Jean Durand yesterday in Potter’s Field, with 12 or 13 other men. [..] “all he possessed in the word were two gold studs, and they were interred with him. I thought it very strange that a man like that should be buried in a trench. If Mrs. Durand manages to get money she can have possession of her husband’s body, though that will a difficult undertaking during the Summer. She will have to pay for a metallic air-tight coffin. If, however, she waits until November no metallic coffin will be necessary.”


The Daily Graphic, March 7, 1887, p.8

The 1890 census was, for the most part, lost in a fire in 1921. City directories and newspapers help as surrogates sources for information lost in that fire. The 1880 census describes a family resident at No. 9, the Reiger family; head one Jacob Reiger, 55, a shoe maker, born in Wurtenburg, Germany. He lives with his wife, Mary, 48, two daughters, Lizzie, 14, and Emma, 9, and boarder Louis Shalk, 26, who will become his son-in-law.

The Daily Graphic, March 7th, 1887, p.8
The Daily Graphic, March 7, 1887, p.8

By 1887 Mary is dead, and Jacob’s daughters have married and left home. Reiger was distraught over his wife’s death, a few weeks prior, and his business was doing poorly. He had been talking about killing himself, and did just that on March 6th, using a shotgun and some string to shoot himself in the abdomen. According to The Daily Graphic, the shot killed Reiger immediately. The bar keep of the saloon at the front of the building, Charles Nolte, came running as soon as he heard the gun go off. Nolte found the deceased shoemaker, and a suicide note:

I, Jacob Reiger, born July 23, 1821, herewith bid farewell to all my acquaintances and friends. Through me no more trouble will be caused. I wish you all luck.

Jacob Reiger

Also, to you who live in a land faraway, I bid you farewell. You have driven me to this death.

No goodbye to his daughters, some lingering animosity with overseas family, and a tragic tale. For the genealogist, a birth and death date derived from a newspaper report and a suicide note, and for the building researcher, information about a beer saloon at No. 9, and the name of the saloon keeper. Researchers take their data where they can find it, though fact checking is recommended. See also…


Daily Graphic, June 10, 1874, p.7.

Adolph Boger, twenty-seven years of age, who lived at No. 9, a porter with Pekhard & Anderson, spurned in love, hung himself in the basement of his employer, at 75 Gold Street.

The Pewter Mug Tavern, 1860
The Pewter Mug Tavern, 1860, from the digital collections of the Museum of the City of New York, Collections Portal


New York Tribune, March 30, 1895, p.10

The Pewter Mug was a tavern that stood at No. 7 Frankfort for a number of years in the 19th century, next door to the Tammany Hotel, nee Hall. Aaron Burr reputedly lived there (though he isn’t listed in any city directory). It might be imagined that the tavern was frequented over the years by a succession of politicos, hotel guests, and journalists. The 1880 census and various newspaper articles suggest that No. 9 was also, at least for a time, the site of a tavern or hotel of some kind. In that census, Edward Miller, 67, hotel keeper, and his wife Catherine, 47, share their home with 12 boarders, and three other families. Either No. 9 was also a tavern / hotel, or the Miller’s kept a very busy house!

What is certain is that by 1893 No. 9, lot 5, block 102, was no longer two buildings, but one, a two story building, and the site of a restaurant that, according to classified advertisements in newspapers of the period, went by the name of Hoenaok’s, aka the [New]Pewter Mug.

At 4’o’clock in the afternoon, March 29th, 1895, a “half-tipsy” policeman, Officer John M. Haynes, walked into the “decent café and restaurant’ the Pewter Mug, and vulgarly insulted the proprietor, Hugo H. Hoenack (sic), and abused the bartender, a Mr. Fuestenwerth, with “the most filthy language,” before showing him “a disgusting picture,” which "he was deputed by Dr. Parkhurst to distribute among the Germans in the district." Officer Haynes then refused to pay for his beer, and threatened to fill the bartender with lead. Fuestenwerth went to fetch a policeman, but could only find one who “declined to interfere with the matter.” The bartender then went to the Oak Street Police Station, where the desk sergeant told him he had to report the incident to Headquarters. At 5pm, Haynes returned, apologized to Hoenack, but not to Fuestenwerth.


New York Times, October 31, 1903, p.16

According to property deeds held at the Office of the City Register, Whitelaw Reid, owner of the New York Tribune, purchased 9 Frankfort Street, and leased No.7 next to it, with an option to purchase later. He bought No. 9 from Gustavus L. Lawrence, and his wife Clementine (wives were usually included when a man sold property, as she was entitled to a percentage of his estate through dower). Reid intended to extend the offices of the Tribune Building, which stood on Nassau and Spruce Streets, built in 1872 and 1873, with an annex that extended to Frankfort Street, built in 1881.

The Old Tribune building. Photo-Electrotype Co. N.Y. On building to left, sign Daily witness.
The Old Tribune building. Photo-Electrotype Co. N.Y. On building to left, sign Daily witness.

From land owned by Jacob Leisler, former Governor of New York, had sprung up a building, and other buildings, which were now absorbed once again by a larger entity, once the offices of the Tribune newspaper, now part of Pace University. As a library student I interned at Pace University, and perhaps walked in the footprint of 9 Frankfort Street. Now years after the buildings have gone, and the people are forgotten, researchers can, through a window into the past, offered by records digitized by New York Public Library and others, explore that historical footprint. Ordinary people like Francis A. Kipp, and Mary O’Connor are integral parts of the City’s own genealogy, a history of a broader, metropolitan family.

By helping transcribe the data contained in digitized, historical records, like the Emigrant Savings Bank Mortgage and Bond ledgers, using tools like Emigrant City, and others created by NYPL Labs, Map Warper, What’s on the Menu?, and Building Inspector, you can help build new datasets that describe New York City’s history, shedding light on stories like those explored in this blog post.

Resources used in the research of this post…

Emigrant City

Map Warper
Search for, and download, from thousands of historical maps

Old Maps Online
International digitized map search engine

Family Search
Property deeds, wills, and vital records indexes, free online

Ancestry Library Edition
Federal and state censuses, ship passenger lists, and city directories. Free in every branch of Nerw York Public Library

City directories

ProQuest Historical Newspapers
Articles, classifieds, obituaries, and death notices from digitized historical newspapers

America’s Historical Newspapers
Articles, classifieds, obituaries, and death notices from digitized historical newspapers

NYPL Digital Collections
Maps, photographs and illustrations of buildings, and more from the collections of New York Public Library.

Museum of the City of New York Digital Collections
Images of buildings and streets in New York City

Property Deeds and Indexes at the Office of the City Register, 66 John Street, New York
Block and Lot indexes in print - because sometimes the records aren't online!

Further information on building research in New York City

Who Lived in a House Like This? A Brief Guide to researching the History of Your New York City Home


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thank you for this fantastic

thank you for this fantastic window into the past !


What an enjoyable article. I'm so glad I follow NY Public Library twitter feed.

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