Anne Archbold

 

 

Anne Archbold (1873-1968)

 

Anne Archbold was a world traveler, with houses in England, Maine, and Nassau, was the daughter of a Pennsylvania oil millionaire.

Her father, John Dustin Archbold (1848-1916) founded Acme Oil Company, was bought out by Rockefeller circa 1875. Investigated in 1879, he described his role in the Standard Oil: “I am a clamorer after dividends.“ When asked how large these were, he said, “I have no trouble transporting my share“ In 1882 he was a founding trustee of the Standard Trust. In 1911 became a director of Standard Oil of NJ. (Robert Heilbroner, in American Heritage)

Anne Archbold was painted by Frederick MacMonnies in 1903 (Comenos Fine Arts, Boston; Cornish Colony Gallery)

In 1906, Anne Mills Archbold married Armar Dayrolles Saunderson (1872-1952), of Castle Saunderson, Ireland, the son of Edward James Saunderson, a leader of the Unionist party in the House of Commons. The couple bought “Foxlease”, in Hampshire. When they divorced in 1922, Archbold donated the estate to the Girl Guides, and, to remove her four children from the reach of the British courts, left England on a Standard Oil tanker.

In 1922 Archbold bought land on Reservoir Road. Hillandale was built 1922-1925.

Archbold used Hillandale to train German shepherds as police dogs and seeing–eye dogs. She was a member of the National Woman’s Party, and joined a delegation to lobby President Warren G. Harding on behalf of the Equal Rights Amendment.

Circa 1923-1929: charitable support of occupational therapy and social welfare departments, Gallinger Hospital (Green, Constance, II:321)

In 1938 Anne’s daughter Moira Archbold married Nicol Smith, a Southeast Asia explorer, at Hillandale. (Washington Post, June 3, 1938, p.X18; Nicol Smith, Into Siam: Underground Kingdom, 1946; Sharon E. Karr, Traveler of the Crossroads: The Life of Adventurer Nicol Smith, 1995)

In 1939 Anne Archbold financed the construction of a diesel powered copy of a 15th-century Chinese junk, and supported, and participated in, two botanical cruises of the Cheng Ho in the East Indies and the Pacific, collecting seeds, cuttings, rooted plants, and tubers.

 

Glover-Archbold Parkway

1924 Anne Archbold gave 23 acres to be added to a gift by Charles Carroll Glover, to form Glover-Archbold Parkway.  (“Park Offered Capital As Gift By Mrs. Archbold”, Star, October 23, 1924, p.19)

The Parkway had a 100-foot right-of-way for the construction of a road marked Arizona Avenue on some maps. This apparently seemed benign to the donors in 1924, when there were fewer cars. But after World War II plans to exercise a right of way through the park began to go forward, and conjured up visions of a commuter artery.

Archbold opposed this: “It is beautifully wooded, with a wealth of wild flowers and bird life. Quiet pathways lead down its sides along the meandering creek bed with its sycamore-tulip tangles, furnishing restful retreats for adults and fascinating children. Such a beautiful park cannot be  eliminated if Washington is to grow as a living organism with its parts in proper balance.” (“Glover-Archbold  Parkway”, Washington Post, May  30, 1953)

In  1967 the  government of the District of Columbia surrendered the right-of-way through the Glover-Archbold Park. (“Freeway Idea Killed as City Gives Up Glover-Archbold Corridor”, Washington Post, January 13, 1967, B3)

Anne Archbold died at Nassau, 1968: “It was my purpose that the beautiful wooded valley be preserved perpetually for the benefit and pleasure of the public. It  should remain and be enjoyed by all  as a natural sanctuary.” (“Park Donor Anne Archbold, 94, Dies”, Washington Post, March 28, 1968, C14)

In 1971 her executor won an additional victory:  444 F.2d 1120 – Anne Archbold, by John D. Archbold, Executor of the Estate of Anne Archbold, Deceased v. the United States, United States Court of Claims, July 14, 1971: “Involved is the deductibility, as a charitable contribution, of legal fees paid by the taxpayer to a private law firm for the firm’s services in opposing highway construction through land which the taxpayer had earlier given to the United States for park purposes.”

 

 

John D. Archbold

 

Between 1968 and 1979, Anne’s son, John D. Archbold (1910-1993), of Upperville, Virginia, used Hillandale as his Washington residence.

 

“John Dana Archbold, 83, a philanthropist who supported efforts to preserve the environment and conserve natural resources, died of congestive heart failure Nov. 29 at “Foxlease Farm,” his residence in Upperville, Va.”

“One of Mr. Archbold’s principal interests was tropical ecosystems. He donated “Springfield Plantation,” his property on the Caribbean island of Dominica, to a consortium of universities headed by Clemson University, which operates it as the Archbold Tropical Research Institute.”

“Mr. Archbold also gave 1,000 acres on Dominica for use as a national park, Morne Trois Pitons. It is one of the few misty forest preserves left in the Caribbean.”

“The heir to a Standard Oil fortune, Mr. Archbold was born in Bar Harbor, Maine. He lived in various parts of England, Thomasville, Ga., and San Diego, Calif., before settling in Washington in the early 1920s.”

“His mother, Anne Archbold, the daughter of John D. Rockefeller’s original partner in Standard Oil of Ohio, built “Hillandale,” an Italianate villa on 30 acres of land at the corner of Reservoir and Foxhall Roads in Northwest Washington.”

“A yachtsman for most of his life, he divided his time in the 1930s between Palm Beach, Fla., and Bar Harbor. His interest in Dominica grew out of a treasure-hunting expedition, and he bought property on the island in 1935.”

“After the war, he lived in New York and Palm Beach. He settled in Upperville in 1950. He used Hillandale as his residence in Washington until 1979, when it was sold for a real estate development. (A part of it was sold earlier as the site for the French Embassy.)”

(“Philanthropist and Heir John D. Archbold Dies”, Washington Post, 11 December 11, 1993, p.B6)

 

 

 

Links

Anne Archbold Hall, DC General Hospital:

http://www.dcpreservation.org/endangered/2002/archbold.html

 

The Cheng Ho Expedition, and Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, Miami:

http://industrialhistoryhk.org/luxurious-cheng-junk-king-shipyard-built-standard-oil-connection/

http://www.fairchildgarden.org/About-Fairchild/Mission-History/Archive-Collections/Cheng-Ho-Expedition

 

 

___________________________________________________________

Carlton Fletcher

 The citation and acknowledgement of my research is greatly appreciated.

All rights reserved.

 

 Questions and corrections may be directed to

carlton@gloverparkhistory.com

 

The support of the Advisory Neighborhood Council (3B) is gratefully acknowledged.