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Part XVIII: December 1959 – March 1961

St. Paul, 1959. Katharine "Kit" Ordway, right, entertains guests during her brother John's 50th wedding anniversary celebration. With a one-fifth share of her father Lucius P. Ordway Sr.'s trust, Kit became one of the nation's most generous patrons of ecosystem conservation, preserving vast swaths of meadows, rolling plains, prairies, grasslands, and forests. Also, Ordway donated her 200-piece modern art collection to Yale University, including works by Picasso, Brancusi, Renoir, Rothko, and Pollock, installed in the Katharine Ordway Gallery.
Part XVIII: December 1959 – March 1961
St. Paul – Mexico – Lake Bluff – Delray Beach – Coconut Grove – Boca Grande – Hobe Sound

By Augustus Mayhew

The Ordways celebrate a golden anniversary, a fishing trip in the Gulf of Mexico, a Russian royal weds, plus Dukes, du Ponts, Pershings, Armours, and Ginevra King Pirie, one of F. Scott Fitzgerald's fledgling romances, takes friends on a tour of her new house under construction in Lake Bluff. If life in Cannes, Newport, and Palm Beach was not enough, Ellen and Lou Ordway remained vibrant, on-the-go with family and friends until Lou fell ill during the Mexican fishing excursion. Several months later, Mr. Ordway checked in to Columbia Presbyterian for several weeks. The presence of Lou's illness shadows much of the couple's time together during the next several years.

As this chapter opens, Lou and Ellen discover they could not have picked a better time to visit St Paul.
December 1959
St. Paul


Ellen and Lou Ordway fly to St. Paul for John and Charlotte Ordway's 50th wedding anniversary.
John and Charlotte Wyman Partridge Ordway celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary in St. Paul. The son of Lucius and Jessie Ordway, John's three brothers and sister were John Gilman Ordway, Samuel Gilman Ordway, Lucius Pond Ordway, Jr., Katharine "Kit" Ordway, and Richard Ordway. The five children were the primary beneficiaries of a trust their father established for them. The primary financier of 3M, Lucius P. Ordway Sr. was said to have rescued the little-known mining company and moved it to St. Paul where he became one of the first presidents of what became a multinational corporation.
"We arrive at Ordway Manor, 400 Summit Avenue, St. Paul. Chez Richard and Gladys Ordway." Built during the late 1880s and originally designed in the French Empire style by architect George Wirth, Lucius P. and Jessie Gilman Ordway lived in the house from 1918 until 1948. Then, the Ordway's son Richard and his family lived there until 1970.
Gladys Ordway.
Richard Ordway. Mr. Ordway was one of the largest stockholders of 3M.
White Bear Lake. "The Ordways gather from all over the world for a series of celebrations."
Marjorie Ordway and Dan McCarty.
Richard Ordway and Patty Wright. Pondie Ordway Nicholson.
Lou Ordway and Jack Wright.
Richard Ordway and "Smokey" Ordway.
Charlotte Ordway, Pondie Ordway Nicholson, and her father Richard Ordway.
Minnesota Club reception
Nickie Nicholson and his wife Pondie Ordway Nicholson.
Richard Ordway, Strandie Ordway, and her mother Mary Ordway.
Guests at the Minnesota Club reception.
Charlotte Ordway.
Ellen Glendinning Ordway at the Minnesota Club reception.
400 Summit Avenue. Shirley "Fondarosa" and Kit Ordway.
John and Charlotte Ordway's wedding picture, 1909.
John and Charlotte Ordway's wedding dinner, 1909.
January 1960
Key Biscayne
The ever-stylish Irene Castle at Grover Loening's party in Key Biscayne. Known as the ballroom dance queen during World War I, her first husband and dance partner Vernon Castle died in a plane crash. The film "The Story of Vernon and Irene Castle" (1939) starred Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers. She divorced her #2 Robert Treman and became a wealthy widow from #3 Frederic McLaughlin. In March 1959 her #4 George Enzinger died.
January 1960
Mexico


"A fishing trip in the Gulf of Mexico with Jack and Charlotte Ordway."
"On board our yacht Nicaya off the coast of Mexico."
"Charlotte's red snappers were cooked for dinner." Jack Ordway, Lou Ordway, and Charlotte Ordway.
Lou became ill during the trip and a 3M chairman and friend W. L. McKnight sent his plane.
Ciudad del Carmen airport. The plane flew Lou and Ellen directly back to Palm Beach.
March 1960
Delray Beach
Seagate Beach Club, Delray Beach.
Leola Armour. The first Mrs. Lester Armour. Following their divorce, Les Armour married Princess Aleka Galitzine Romanov, whose former husband Rostislav Romanov was the son of Grand Duke Alexander Mikhailovich.
Master Lucius Ordway Frazer, Ellen's youngest grandson.
Ellen Dale, Josephine Duke, and Cordelia Duke.
"The Duke Organization."
Ellen "Grandma" Ordway at the head of the table for Josephine Duke's 11th birthday party at the Seagate Beach Club.
Africa USA
Boca Raton
Before being turned into a residential development, Camino Gardens was known as Africa USA, a popular small-scale pre-Disney tourist attraction that recreated the Africa experience in Palm Beach County.
Anthony "Tony" Drexel Duke. Pompano Beach.
During May 1960 Ellen's friend Frank Arthur died.
September 1960
Chicago - Lake Bluff


"We stayed with Les and Aleka for her son Rosti's wedding."
Rosti was the great-grandson of Czar Alexander III.
Aleka Armour, "formerly of Russia," photographed with her family's recipe Beef Stroganoff. "My mother's mother was a Stroganoff," Aleka told Sports Illustrated magazine. "The dish was named for my cousin Count Paul Stroganoff."
"Report from the Marble Halls." Lester Armour, chairman, Chicago National Bank.
Aleka Armour on the phone taking care of last minute details while Lou Ordway peruses one of his wife's scrapbooks, the same photograph collection you are now seeing. In 1977, the Armour house complete with its Frances Adler Elkins interior original furniture, and murals became the setting for Robert Altman's film The Wedding.
At home with the Armours the night before the wedding. Lou Ordway, Betty Armour (Mrs. Gerald) Hollins (seated on the floor), Pam Armour, and Judger (Gerald) Hollins.
Left, Lou Ordway, Betty Armour Hollins, Pam Armour, and Susie Armour, right.
"The bride to be." Missy Cook. Leola Armour and Peter Carney.
"The bridesmaids sing to the bride."
Aleka Armour, Ellen Ordway, and Lester Armour.
"Ginnie Pirie invited us over to see her new house under construction in Lake Bluff. She explains it all to us."
Aleka Armour, Ginnie Pirie, and Lou Ordway.
Ginevra King Pirie (1898-1980), considered one of the great beauties of her time and the widow of department store magnate John T. Pirie, may always remain best known for her legendary romance with F. Scott Fitzgerald, who also happened to be a Summit Avenue-St. Paul neighbor of the Ordways. Their relationship was said to have been an inspiration for several of his memorable characters, particularly aspects of Daisy Buchanan in The Great Gatsby.
The bride, Missy Cook, and her father Edgar Cook.
The mother of the groom, Aleka Armour, and the mother of the bride.
The receiving line at the reception. Left, Mr. and Mrs. Rostislav Romanov (Romanoff).
At the reception, "a long line of Armours."
Front, Mrs. Douglas; back, Nick Gerlitzin and Joe Gerlitzin.
December 1960
Hobe Sound


"Lunch with Tom Evans."
Muriel "Momo" Bache Pershing.
Momo and Walter Pershing.
Ted and Huberta Shaeffer.
December 1960
Coconut Grove


"We drove down to Coconut Grove to see Dick and Betty's new house."
3800 Matheson Drive. Dick and Betty Dunn's house.
The rock garden.
A view from the pool.
Cordelia Duke at 13.
Lou has lunch with his grandchildren.
March 1961
The Gasparilla Inn - Boca Grande
The Gasparilla Inn. Previously owned by the Bayard Sharps (Mr. Sharp's mother was Isabella Matthieu du Pont), the Inn is now owned by William S. Farish and his wife Sarah Sharp Farish, the Bayard Sharp's only child. Here is NYSD's January 2010 close-up of Boca Grande.
Vernon and Pam Armour at The Gasparilla Inn's beach club.
The scene around the pool.
Ruth Wales (Mrs. Harry) du Pont. The du Ponts maintained homes in Manhattan, Southampton, Boca Grande, and at Winterthur.
Jane Marvel Scott.
Sally Gowen and Henry Francis "Harry" du Pont (1880-1969). The founder of Winterthur, Harry du Pont and his wife moved to a smaller house on the property and dedicated their house as a museum in 1951. Mr. du Pont served on the White House Preservation Committee, assisting First Lady Jackie Kennedy with the makeover of the White House. He is the subject of the 1999 book Henry F. du Pont and Winterthur: A Daughter's Portrait, written by Ruth Lord.
"Trouble in paradise … all adjusted."
Next: Part XVIII, Palm Beach – Seminole Golf Club, 1961.
Ellen Glendinning Ordway's photographs are from the Collection of Gayle Abrams©.
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