1902 Park Avenue Tunnel Collision

—A New Rochelle Tragedy—

William Leys


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train
William Leys



      Sex: M
AKA: William Lees 2
Individual Information
          Birth: 5 Dec 1850 - Mill of Elrick, Old Deer, Aberdeenshire, Scotland 1 3 4
        Baptism: 
          Death: 8 Jan 1902 - New York, New York 1 5
         Burial: 10 Jan 1902 - Bronx, New York 5
 Cause of Death: 

Events
He appeared on the 1851 Scotland census in 1851 in Mill of Elrick, Aberdeenshire, Scotland. 6 William was shown as being three months old and born in Old Deer, Aberdeen.
He appeared on the 1861 Scotland census in 1861 in Old Deer, Aberdeenshire, Scotland. 7 William was shown as being 9 years old and born about 1852. He and his family were living at Quarry Farm House in Old Deer, Aberdeenshire.
He immigrated to the USA in 1866. 3 He had since become a naturalized citizen. According to his death certificate, he had been in the USA for 30 years.


He was naturalized Common Pleas Court on 11 Oct 1875 in New York. 8 The person who gave witness on the naturalization record was a James Frame. A later newspaper article mentioned that William's wife's maiden name was Frame.
He appeared on the 1880 Federal census on 11 Jun 1880 in New York, New York. 2 William "Lees" was shown as being 29 years old and born in Scotland., He was a clerk. He was married and was living on East 64th Street in NYC.
A bio was published for William Leys in "Comley's History of the State of New York,.." in 1877. "Among the esteemed and prominent residents of New Rochelle, one who takes an interest in its development and welfare, is William Leys, who was born at Mill of Elrick, Aberdeenshire, Scotland, December 5, 1850. He attended school in his native country at Quarry, Parish of Udny, from five until he was thirteen years of age. In 1867 he was apprenticed at Birkenhead, England, to the dry-goods trade, and where he served two years, the firm dissolving in 1869. He then engaged his services to A. T. Stewart, the foremost dry-goods merchant of New York city. It was here he perfected himself in his chosen business, and it was under this great proprietor he mastered the multifarious details in a manner that fitted him to accept one of great responsibility with the well-known house of Messrs. B. Altman & Co., of New York city, and where application and attention finally promoted him, until now he is one of the managers of this great and growing house. He is also a member of the Chamber of Commerce. In his business intercourse he combines a pleasant and considerate demeanor and carries into all his commercial associations the confident spirit and hopefulness which almost invariably characterize successful and clear-headed men."

Researcher's Note: The accompanying picture of William Leys was included in this book. 9
He appeared on the 1900 Federal census on 7 Jun 1900 in New Rochelle, Westchester county, New York. 3 William Leys was shown as being 49 years old and born December 1850 in Scotland, as were both his parents. He had been married for 26 years. He immigrated to the USA in 1866 and had since been naturalized. He was in the dry goods business. The family was residing at 91 Woodland Avenue.
He was mentioned in an article in "The New York Times" published on 9 Jan 1902 in New York, New York. 1 "...was 50 years old. He was a Superintendent of B. Altman & Co.'s Sixth Avenue Department Store, and living at 91 Woodland Avenue, New Rochelle. His body was identified by House Detective Larkin, who was sent up just as soon as the news of the wreck reached the store, for it was known that Mr. Leys always traveled by the same train. He was born in Scotland, and came to this country while a very young man, obtaining employment with A. T. Stewart as a salesman, from whose store he went to the Altman firm in a similar capacity in 1880, attaining the post of general manager of the business several years ago. He leaves a wife, three sons, and a daughter."

Note: At that time, the dry goods store was located at Sixth Avenue and 19th street in 1900. Employee records for the company are held at the New York Historical Society in their manuscript collection.
He was mentioned in an article in "The New York Times" published on 9 Jan 1902 in New York, New York. 10
WILLIAM LEYS WAS WELL KNOWN
Dry Goods Man Killed in Tunnel Accident Had Many Friends
William Leys, who was killed in the accident in the New York Central Railroad's tunnel yesterday, was a well-known dry goods man in this city, and had for twenty-two years been connected with B. Altman & Co. Mr. Leys was born in Aberdeen, Scotland, about forty-five years ago. He came to this county as a young man, and shortly afterward became associated with the firm with which he was identified until his death. For many years he had been the general manger of the Altman store.
In the dry goods district, Mr. Leys was know as a practical dry goods man: He was a highly educated man, very kindly by nature and had a host of friends. There was genuine grief among the employes (sic) as well as among his associates when the news of his death became known yesterday. In fact, few men have been so highly esteemed even by those who were in a business sense antagonistic. Mr. Leys, while still a young man, married the niece of Mr. Frame, the senior partner of Frame & Son, the well-known builders. A widow, three sons, and a daughter survive him. He also leaves several brothers, who are well known in London business circles. He was a member of the Chamber of Commerce, and of the St. Andrew's Society.
Mr. Leys had built a beautiful home in Residence Park, New Rochelle, of which he was very proud. He was in the habit of coming down to the city in the train which was wrecked, and usually sat in the last car with a party of friends, all business men in the same district. Several of these men said yesterday that it was mere chance that they had not sat with him in the last car as usual. From the appearance of the body when found, it was evident that he was killed instantly. The body was taken by relatives to his home.
He was mentioned in an article in "The New Rochelle Pioneer" published on 11 Jan 1902 in New Rochelle, Westchester county, New York. 11 "...was a well-known dry goods man, and had been with B. Altman & Co. for twenty-two years. He was born in Aberdeen, Scotland, about forty-five years ago, and received his first business training abroad. He came to this country as a young man and shortly afterward got a place in Altman's. For many years he had been the general manager of the store and was closely associated with Mr. Altman in a personal and business capacity."

"Mr. Leys married a niece of Mr. Frame, the senior partner of Frame
& Son, the well-known builders. A widow, three sons and a daughter survive him. He also leaves several brothers who are well-known in the business circles of London. He was a member of the Chamber of Commerce and of the St. Andrew's Society."

"Mr. Leys had built a fine home in Residence Park. He was in the habit of coming down to the city in the train which was wrecked, and usually sat in the last car with a party of friends, all business men in the same district. Several of these men said Wednesday that it was mere chance that they did not sit with him in the last car as usual. From the appearance of the body when found it was evident that he was killed instantly."

"The funeral services took place yesterday afternoon as his late residence and were largely attended. A large number of beautiful floral emblems was received by the family. A special train conveyed many of the employees of B. Altman & Co. to this city at noon. The interment was in Woodlawn. Rev. W. B. Waler officiated."
He was mentioned in an article in "The New York Times" published on 18 Jan 1902 in New York, New York. 12 William Ley's Will
White Plains, N. Y., Jan. 17 -- The will of William Leys of New Rochelle, manager of B. Altman and Co.'s department store in New York, who was killed in the tunnel wreck, was filed for probate here this morning. The value of the estate is stated as $25,000 and the whole is bequeathed to the wife of the testator, Jennie Marie Leys. Mr. Leys also left three sons and a daughter.



Parents
         Father: John Leys (1817-      ) 13 
         Mother: Bathia Fowlie (1822-      ) 14 

Spouses and Children
1. *Jennie Marie Frame (Aug 1853 - 27 Dec 1912) 3 
       Marriage: Abt 1873-1874 15
         Status: 
       Children:
                1. Mathilda Leys (Abt 1873-      ) 2
                2. John Alexander Leys (Abt 1874-      )
                3. Charles A. H. Leys (Abt 1876-      )
                4. William Leys (1879-      )
                5. Clifford Lenox Leys (1887-1973) 3
                6. Marian Frame Leys (1891-1909) 3 16

Notes
Burial Notes:
William Leys was buried in Lot No. 11458, Section 101, Plot Ash. Register of Interment No. 60271, Folio 943.

Find A Grave Memorial# 57760590
General:
William Leys was one of 17 people who died in a train collision in the Park Avenue tunnel outside of Grand Central Station in New York City on January 8, 1902. For additional information concerning these people and their families, please visit the following web site:
http://www.rootsweb.com/~nywestch/NewRoc1902/
train

Sources


1 The New York Times (New York Times Publishing Co., New York, NY), January 9, 1902, pages 1-2. Repository: New York Public Library, Fifth Avenue at 42nd Street, [Schwarzman Building], New York, New York, http://www.nypl.org/.

2 1880 Federal Census (Ancestry.com and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 1880 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: The Generations Network, Inc., 2005. 1880 U.S. Census Index provided by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints [Original data: United States of America, Bureau of the Census. Tenth Census of the United States, 1880. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1880. T9, 1,454 rolls.]), Source Citation: Year: 1880; Census Place: New York (Manhattan), New York City-Greater, New York; Roll: T9_896; Family History Film: 1254896; Page: 33.2000; Enumeration District: 593; Image: 0069. Repository: Ancestry.com, http://www.ancestry.com/.

3 1900 Federal Census (Ancestry.com. 1900 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: The Generations Network, Inc., 2004. [Original data: United States of America, Bureau of the Census. Twelfth Census of the United States, 1900. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1900. T623, 1854 rolls.]), NARA Series T623, Roll: 1176; Page: 11A; Enumeration District: 94. Repository: Ancestry.com, http://www.ancestry.com/.

4 William J. Comley, Comley's History of the State of New York, embracing a general review of her agricultural and mineralogical resources, her manufacturing industries, trade and commerce, together with a description of her great metropolis, from its settlement by the Dutch, in 1609. Also, an encyclopaedia of biography of some of the old settlers, and many of her most prominent professional and business men. (New York, Comley Brothers' Manufacturing and Publishing Co., 1877), page 50. Repository: New York Public Library, Fifth Avenue at 42nd Street, [Schwarzman Building], New York, New York, http://www.nypl.org/, Call Number: IR (Comley, W.J. Comley's History of the state of New York).

5 Gustav Scholer, coroner, "State of New York Certificate and Record of Death" (Coroner's Office of the Borough of Manhattan), Certificate #920. Repository: NYC Municipal Archives, D.O.R.I.S, 31 Chambers Street, New York, New York 10007, http://www.nyc.gov/html/records/html/about/archives.shtml.

6 1851 Scotland Census [database on-line]. (1851 Scotland Census. Reels 1-217. General Register Office for Scotland, Edinburgh, Scotland.

Parish: Old Deer; ED: 10; Page: 5; Line: 8; Roll: 594; Year: 1851.), Parish: Old Deer; ED: 10; Page: 5; Line: 8; Roll: 594; Year: 1851. Parish Number: 228; Civil Parish: Old Deer; County: Aberdeenshire;
Address: Mill Of Elrick; ED: 10; Page: 8; Roll: CSSCT1851_49 ; Household schedule number: 23. Repository: Ancestry.com, http://www.ancestry.com/.

7 1861 Scotland Census [database on-line]. (Scotland. 1861 Scotland Census. Reels 1-150. General Register Office for Scotland, Edinburgh, Scotland.), Household schedule 69, Parish: Udny; ED: 1; Page: 15; Line: 14; Roll: CSSCT1861_33; Year: 1861. Registration Number: 249; Registration district: Udny. Repository: Ancestry.com, http://www.ancestry.com/.

8 Soundex Index to Petitions for Naturalizations Filed in Federal, State, and Local Courts in New York City, 1792-1906, COMMON PLEAS COURT, NEW YORK COUNTY, New York (National Archives (NARA), Series M1674), Repository: FootNote.com, http://www.footnote.com/.

9 William J. Comley, Comley's History of the State of New York, embracing a general review of her agricultural and mineralogical resources, her manufacturing industries, trade and commerce, together with a description of her great metropolis, from its settlement by the Dutch, in 1609. Also, an encyclopaedia of biography of some of the old settlers, and many of her most prominent professional and business men. (New York, Comley Brothers' Manufacturing and Publishing Co., 1877), Page 50 and facing page. Repository: New York Public Library, Fifth Avenue at 42nd Street, [Schwarzman Building], New York, New York, http://www.nypl.org/, Call Number: IR (Comley, W.J. Comley's History of the state of New York).

10 The New York Times (New York Times Publishing Co., New York, NY), page 2. Repository: New York Public Library, Fifth Avenue at 42nd Street, [Schwarzman Building], New York, New York, http://www.nypl.org/.

11 The New Rochelle Pioneer (New Rochelle, New York.), January 11, 1902; Volume 43; No. 43. Repository: New Rochelle Public Library, 1 Library Plaza, New Rochelle, New York 10801, 914-632-7878 , http://www.nrpl.org/, Call Number: microfilm collection. Copies of some of this newspaper are also available on-line at Old Fulton Postcards web site.

12 The New York Times (New York Times Publishing Co., New York, NY), published January 18, 1902, on page 2. Repository: New York Public Library, Fifth Avenue at 42nd Street, [Schwarzman Building], New York, New York, http://www.nypl.org/.

13 1861 Scotland Census [database on-line]. (Scotland. 1861 Scotland Census. Reels 1-150. General Register Office for Scotland, Edinburgh, Scotland.), Household schedule 69, Parish: Udny; ED: 1; Page: 15; Line: 10; Roll: CSSCT1861_33; Year: 1861. Registration Number: 249; Registration district: Udny. Repository: Ancestry.com, http://www.ancestry.com/.

14 1861 Scotland Census [database on-line]. (Scotland. 1861 Scotland Census. Reels 1-150. General Register Office for Scotland, Edinburgh, Scotland.), Household schedule 69, Parish: Udny; ED: 1; Page: 15; Line: 11; Roll: CSSCT1861_33; Year: 1861. Registration Number: 249; Registration district: Udny. Repository: Ancestry.com, http://www.ancestry.com/.

15 1900 Federal Census (Ancestry.com. 1900 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: The Generations Network, Inc., 2004. [Original data: United States of America, Bureau of the Census. Twelfth Census of the United States, 1900. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1900. T623, 1854 rolls.]), Repository: Ancestry.com, http://www.ancestry.com/.

16 Town Records of Brattleboro, Vermont (Annette L. Cappy, CMC, CVC, Town Clerk, Municipal Center, 230 Main Street, Suite 108, Brattleboro, Vermont 05301=-2885; Phone: 802-251-8129; Fax: 802-257-2312; email: <acppy@brattleboro.org> [Windham County]), Permit for Burial or Removal for Marion Frame Leys.




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Copyright © 2007-2010 by Cathy Horn. All rights reserved.
Researched and compiled by Cathy Horn

http://www.rootsweb.com/~nywestch/NewRoc1902/

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