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Flagler Mansion Investigation

Henry Flager's History
Whitehall Investigation

Florida Home of Henry Morrison Flagler
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Built in 1902, Whitehall was the winter home of Henry Morrison Flagler and Mary Lily Flagler.

     SEFGR did an investigation on Sept. 11th 2001.  Yes, the same day as the horrific tragedy. It was my birthday, I called to make sure it was going to be o.k., they said, I won't be able to bring in all of my equipment. Due to the security, so I checked in the as much as I could. Armed with my Gauss Meter, Camera, and  Video Cam. Although, I told them I was coming, half of the staff had gone home, due to the happenings in New York and Washington D.C.
     We were unescorted, no guide to tell us information, but we made the best of it. The tragedy already was enought to ruin my birthday event. Timmy was willing to assist. We walked thoughout the 55 room estate. No flash photography was allowed and you couldn't go pass the velvet ropes.
     It's a beautiful mansion, built as a wedding present for his third wife, Mary Lily Kenan Flagler. They would stay there in the winters, as a retreat until Henry's death in 1913. Flagler commissioned John Carrere and Thomas Hastings to do the architecture of the estate. They have done his Hotel Ponce de Leon in St. Augustine, Florida. Construction of Whitehall was from 1901 to 1902, and was considered the Taj Mahal of North America. It was a Guilded Age triumph. Built in the tradition of the Beaux- Arts. 

Courtyard of the Whitehall Mansion
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The fountain depicts Venus and Satyrs admiring her from 4 directions.

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Satyr around fountain.
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They kind of look like Henry Flagler, in a way.

Harry Harkness Flagler
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Henry's first born son.

An interesting side note, Harry H. Flagler also fell in love with his mother's nurse. When Henry married Ida Alice Shourds, it outraged Harry, and he moved to New York . He becomes president of the New York Symphony.

Jenny Louise Benadict
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Henry's daughter, Jenny Louise dies a few week after giving child birth.

Henry Morrison Flagler
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Born January 2, 1830, Died in 1913 at the age of 83.

Henry Morrison Flagler was born in Hopewell, New York, to his parents, Reverend Issac Flagler and his mother Elizabeth Caldwell. After the 8th grade, Henry moved out of his home to Bellevue, Ohio. He work for his relatives at a retail store called, "L.G. Harkness and Co". His first earnings was $5 per month, but that included room and board.
      Henry is most noted as a Railroad Tycoon. With the help of a friend, John D. Rockefeller, which he was already in the oil business with for Standard Oil Company. Although he had the best of luck in business, he had the worst of luck with love. His first wife, Mary Harkness Flagler, had fell ill after the birth of his first son, Harry Harkness Flagler. Henry and family moved from New York for the warm weather of Florida, hoping this would help his ailing wife, which did, for a short while. Mary now a bit stronger, wanted to return to New York, because she missed her family. On May 18th, 1881, she died in New York.

Mary Harkness Flagler
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On her wedding day to Henry Morrison Flagler

Mary Lily Kenan Flagler
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Henry divorces Ida Alice, in 1897. He then marries Mary Lily Kenan Flagler.

      In 1897,Ida Alice Flagler becomes insane and is institutionalize in asylum. Henry Flagler files for divorce, but it is not grant, due to Florida Law.  Henry convinces Florida Legislature to change the law.
      He establishes a trust fund in which Ida Alice will be taken care of for the rest of her life. She dies in 1930.

       In 1901, Henry M. Flagler marries Mary Lily Kenan Flagler.  The start of the construction of Whitehall was put in motion.
       Mary Lily was quite the socialite. She would through these wonderful parties. Have entertainers sent down from New York to come, sing for her parties, and of coarse spend a week or two at Whitehall.
       Since there was 55 rooms, she would invite all the social elite to come and stay with her.

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