Part XII of Ellen Glendinning Frazer’s archives

Featured image
Taboo. Palm Beach, 1949. Cheers from the Club du Pont clique, footloose on Worth Avenue. L. to r., Ellen Glendinning Frazer, Helen Thaw McCloskey, Ann du Pont, and Allaire Crozer du Pont.

Part XII: Winter Sun, Cold War Romance, Away Down East, & A Big Catch on the River of the Presidents, 1949
Palm Beach – Medway Plantation – Northeast Harbor – Cedar Island Lodge

In 1949 Ellen Glendinning Frazer’s life made for a complex collection of scenes from Villa Tranquilla’s social swim, Medway Plantation’s out-of-this-world pursuits, Northeast Harbor’s remote comforts, and a Wisconsin hideaway’s far-flung pleasures amidst a wilderness of trout-filled rivers and streams. With some added newspaper headlines to cast some perspective on the photographs from Frazer’s archive, here is a look at the year Ellen Frazer and Lucius P. Ordway‘s friendship began turning into a happily-ever-after relationship.

In 1949 newspapers were filled with daily stories about the Red Scare, communist sympathizers, and spy rings. Mercifully, amidst “Reds riot in Rome” and “Truman seeks wider power in arming Europe,” The Shiny Sheet” headlined Bobo Rockefeller’s listing as one of the year’s best-dressed women.

January, 1949

Mrs. Lytle Hull (Helen Dinsmore Huntington Astor Hull) and Mrs. Winthrop “Bobo” Rockefeller at a New Year’s Fancy Dress Ball, New York. Bobo was the former Barbara Sears, born Jievute Paulekiute who became known as Eva Paul. In 1948 the Rockefellers’ midnight wedding hosted by the Winston Guests in Palm Beach made worldwide headlines; the couple’s 1954 divorce made Bobo “the $6 million woman.”

January-February 1949
Villa Tranquilla, Palm Beach

Helen Thaw McCloskey.
Allaire Crozer du Pont. In 1983 Allaire du Pont was elected one of the first women members of The Jockey Club.
George S. Leisure. “Every generation has its own giant of the Bar and George Leisure was ours,” wrote the chairman of the ABA’s Justice Committee when he announced the establishment of The Leisure Fund to recognize outstanding lawyers. Mr. Leisure’s three sons, George S. Jr., Peter, and Michael, were also distinguished lawyers and jurists.
George Stanley Leisure. Since the reorganization of the DuPont Company following T. Coleman du Pont’s tenure, becoming what some consider a model for the 20th-century corporation as well as a target for unceasing anti-trust litigation, the du Pont family’s attorneys, such as Mr. Leisure’s New York firm and Marvel & Marvel in Wilmington, were on constant retainer. In addition, Donovan, Leisure, et al, represented RKO and the Walt Disney Company, among many clients. Following Richard du Pont’s accidental death from a glider accident in 1943, Mr. Leisure’s firm represented du Pont’s estate in litigation surrounding his untimely death and served as a director of du Pont’s aviation company.
Ann du Pont and Peter Keeton Leisure. Peter Leisure was probably a Yale sophomore when Ellen took this photograph. In 1984, Mr. Leisure was nominated by President Regan as a federal judge to the US District Court for the Southern District of New York.
L to R.: Judge J. Edward Lumbard. A former US Attorney for the Southern District of New York, a New York State Supreme Court justice, and a chief judge for the US Court of Appeals of New York’s Second Circuit, Judge Lumbard was a founding member of the Donovan, Leisure, Newton & Lumbard law firm. ;Helen Baer Coxe, of Coxehall, Bellevue, Delaware. “Coxie” was the daughter of renowned naval architect and shipbuilder William Griscom Coxe (1869-1927), president of Wilmington’s Pusey & Jones Shipyard, and a granddaughter of George F. Baer, president of the Philadelphia & Reading Railroad.
Lou Ordway was heir to the 1917 trust funded by his father Minnesota Mining & Manufacturing Company financier Lucius P. Ordway Sr. A Yale graduate, Mr. Ordway lived in St. Paul, New York, and Palm Beach. In St. Paul, the Ordway name is synonymous with many civic improvements, as ” the family had refurnished the city’s grand St. Paul Hotel, built an opera house, supported the symphony, theater, arboretum, and the zoo.”
Lucius Pond Ordway Sr., c. 1900. One of St Paul’s distinguished citizens, Mr. Ordway made his first fortune in plumbing and heating supplies, first as Rogers and Ordway, then Crane & Ordway. In the early 1900s when a small local company called Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing needed financial backing, Ordway is said to have paid $14,000 for what would become known as 3M, one of the nation’s formidable industrial juggernauts. 3M’s invention of masking tape and Scotch tape proved a significant financial windfall.
Lou Ordway. During World War II, Ordway left Wall Street to serve as Chief of Intelligence and Deputy Chief of Staff for Air Force General Hoyt S. Vandenberg.
General Hoyt S. Vandenberg. On the covers of Time and Life magazine and described by the Washington Post as “the most impossibly handsome man in Washington,” General Vandenberg was one of three men that Marilyn Monroe was often quoted as saying she would want to be stranded with on a deserted island.
As well as the US Air Force’s second Chief of Staff and a nephew of US Senator Arthur Vandenberg, General Hoyt Sanford Vandenberg (1899-1954) also served as the second director of the CIA. Vandenberg Air Force Base, California, was named for him.
Elizabeth “Betty” Ordway Duke. In April 1947, Lou Ordway’s daughter Betty and Anthony Drexel “Tony” Duke married in Paris.
Anthony Drexel “Tony” Duke. Mr. Duke was the youngest son of Angier Buchanan Duke and Cordelia Drexel Biddle. Along with several ambassadorial appointments, his older brother Angier Biddle Duke (1915-1995) served as chief of protocol for the State Department during the 1960s. In 1937 Tony Duke founded Boy’s Harbor, later Boy’s and Girl’s Harbor; his father-in-law Lucius Ordway served on the foundation board.
Cordelia “Delia” Duke” stays afloat with the help of her father. “Delia” was named for her grandmother Cordelia Drexel Biddle Duke Robertson (1898-1984), author of the biographical My Philadelphia Father, later a Broadway comedy called The Happiest Millionaire.
Jane Marvel Scott, Ann du Pont’s cousin. Jane’s father Josiah Marvel and Ann’s father David T. Marvel were principals in the Wilmington law firm of Marvel, Marvel, Layton, & Hughes. David T. Marvel became a justice on the Delaware Supreme Court.
Ann Marvel was Jane Scott’s sister and Ann Marvel du Pont’s cousin.
“Bouffer Kimble.”
Emily Shettle.
Suzanne Whitman.
Jane “Pootsie” Scott, Jane Scott’s daughter.
Betty and Tony Duke.
Betty Duke. She and Tony Duke divorced in 1957 when Mr. Duke married “former debutante” Diane Douglas. In later life, Elizabeth “Betty” Ordway, who lived in Palm Beach and Coconut Grove, established the Elizabeth Ordway Dunn Foundation, known for its focus on Florida’s environmental concerns.
Lou Ordway.
During the 1949 winter season, society reporter Cholly Knickerbocker featured this item about Lou Ordway and Kay Denckla, of Hobe Sound and Southampton. The couple wed after his wife of 30 years, Josephine Green Ordway, an heir to the National Biscuit Company fortune, died in 1945.

Palm Beach, 1949

The Everglades Club was once much more a part of the Palm Beach community than it is today, as illustrated by the above announcement for a 1949 charity benefit.
L. to R.: Mrs. Harold “Sister” Talbott, Jane Marvel Scott, Ellen Glendinning Frazer, and Lou Ordway photographed at a benefit held at The Society of the Four Arts. With Lou Ordway’s marriage to Kay Denckla headed for divorce, Ordway and Ellen Frazer became a “duetcetera,” as Walter Winchell might have described it.

April, 1949
Easter at Medway Plantation

Easter lunch at Medway Plantation.
Gertrude Legendre works on a crossword puzzle.

Gertrude Sanford Legendre and her sister-in-law Mary Duncan Sanford. As much as Mary Sanford was known for hosting Palm Beach galas, she was also a sportswoman, spending time with her husband Laddie Sanford at the couple’s Rattlesnake Ranch in Central Florida.

July 1949

“On the way to Maine, we stopped to visit with Tony and Betty in Westport …”

Tony Duke with his dogs Gendarme, Inspector, Blackjack, Shillelagh, and Killer.

July, 1949
Northeast Harbor

Stormaway. Ann du Pont’s house, Northeast Harbor, Maine.
Ann du Pont partakes in the ancient art of reading a letter. Mrs. du Pont’s first husband, Frank de Armond, was associated with the DuPont Company. They divorced shortly before her marriage to Felix du Pont in 1937.
L to R.: George S. Leisure.; Michael Leisure and Emily Shettle step lively on Ann du Pont’s deck. In 1966, Michael Leisure became Assistant US Attorney for the Southern District of New York, a dynastic position his father held 1925-1929; later, his brother George S. Jr., 1954-1956, and his brother Peter, 1962-1966.
“Soups On.” Ann du Pont and Lou Ordway.
Peter Ordway (1916-2001). Lucius Ordway’s oldest son from his first marriage to Josephine Green, Mr. Ordway was a journalist and screenwriter for many years who also lived in Palm Beach for many years.
Landine Legendre. A ’51 graduate of The Foxcroft School, Landine first married Peter Hodgson Wood, a former director of The Explorer’s Club in New York.
Gertrude Legendre and Lou Ordway.
Arthur and Emily Shettle.
Abel’s Lobster Pound, Mt. Desert, Maine. A “Down East” lunch at a lobster pound overlooking Soames Sound. L. to r.. Landine Legendre, Lou Ordway, Gertrude Legendre, Arthur Shettle, and Ann du Pont.

July, 1949
Cedar Island Lodge, Wisconsin

In 1947 John G. Ordway bought a 4,160-acre fishing preserve in northwestern Wisconsin located along the Bois Brule, known as the “River of Presidents,” once owned by rail titan Henry Clay Pierce who hosted the nation’s presidents, politicians, and millionaires. The Ordways maintained the rustic character of the “Summer White House,” a favorite refuge for many presidents, including U. S. Grant, Calvin Coolidge, and Dwight D. Eisenhower. During the summer of 1949, Ellen Frazer and Lou Ordway spent a week at the lodge located near a fish camp formerly owned by John Jacob Astor and a 47,000-acre estate once home to Frederick Weyerhaeuser.

The Ordway Boathouse at Cedar Island Lodge.
Jack and Charlotte Ordway at Cedar Island Lodge, Wisconsin.
Charlotte Ordway befriends a deer on their property.
L to R.: ‘The Big Catch.” Lou Ordway shows off his day’s work.The morning catch being prepped.
Formal dining at the Ordway’s Cedar Island Lodge.

August 1949

“We visited Tom Evans in Narragansett…”

Jane Scott, Buddie Bohlen, Tom Evans, and Lou Ordway.
Lou Ordway, Jane Scott, Buddie Bohlen, and Tom Evans.

September, 1949
Northeast Harbor

“In the fall we went to Gertrude’s house in Northeast Harbor…”

Gertrude Legendre’s house, Northeast Harbor.
Thomas C. “Tom” Eastman. While a resident of New York and the Piping Rock Club in Locust Valley for many years, Mr. Eastman, a founder of Eastman, Dillon & Co. with Herbert Dillon, also lived in Delray Beach and at his farm in Monkton, Maryland. Mr. Eastman’s company became Blyth, Eastman, Dillon, & Company; then, merged with Paine Webber in 1979.
Bokara Legendre, left, and a friend, at the Legendre house in Maine.
Nicholas S. Ludington. Philadelphian Nick Ludington was a commercial aviation pioneer whose 1930’s Ludington Airlines promised flights “Every hour on the hour” between NYC, Philadelphia, and DC, according Amelia Earhart, the airlines’ head of public relations. Eventually selling the company to Eastern Air Lines, Ludington was also an investor in Marineland, C.V. Whitney’s open-air aquarium Florida.
Ellen Glendinning Frazer. Northeast Harbor. It was perhaps during this fall visit in 1949 that Ellen, Gertrude, and Lou Ordway planned their trip to France, Germany, England, and Ireland for the following year.
Leaving Maine, Gertrude and Ellen, accompanied by Lou Ordway, stopped in North Conway, New Hampshire.

October, 1949
Weekend hunt, Connecticut

Lou and Ellen joined Gertrude Legendre for a hunt at Dr. & Mrs. Carnes Weeks.
Gertrude Legendre.
Gertrude Legendre packs her hunting car.

October, 1949
Palm Beach

Carrie Louise Munn Boardman Waterbury standing on the balcony of her house on Pelican Lane in Palm Beach. Named for her socially-prominent mother Carrie Louise Gurnee Armour Munn, she married polo player Lawrence Waterbury in 1932 following her divorce from Reginald Boardman.

Next: Part XIII, Medway Plantation – Palm Beach – Paris – Hanover – Brittany – St. Tropez – Ireland, 1950.

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