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Moguls, Millionaires, Statesmen, Captains of Industry, Financial Giants, Media People, Society Figures, Politicos known about the Somerset Hills Area

From the archives of Inside the Brick Academy -
September 2002

Throughout the year, distinguished residents who live/lived in the Somerset Hills will be listed. Then, as now, the area’s serene beauty and wholesome life style have attracted the rich, famous, and outstanding people.


Bedminster

  • Nicholas Brady, U.S. Senator, Secretary of the
    Treasury under Presidents Regan and Bush
  • Zebulon Pike, noted explorer
  • John Honeyman, George Washington’s superspy
  • Thomas Kean, former Governor of New Jersey, President of Drew University
  • Steve Forbes, Publisher of Forbes Magazine and Chairman of the Board of Radio Free Europe
  • D. Douglas Dillon, former Under Secretary of State, Ambassador to France and TreasurySecretary under Presidents Kennedy and Johnson
  • Christine Todd Whitman, former Governor of New Jersey and current heads the U.S. EPA. Great Grandaughter of Grant Schley, one of the founders of American Express and the founder of Far Hills.


Bernards Township

  • Kienast Quints, born in 1970 in Liberty Corner. At that time only the third set of quintuplits to survive.
  • Woodruff English, prominent attorney
  • John Sloane, founder of W & J Sloane Furniture Company. Daughter married Cyrus Vance, Secretary of State under President Carter. They lived on his estate.
  • Walter Reynolds, heir to Reynolds Tobacco Company. He sold the property to build the U.S. Veterans Administration Center at Lyons.
  • George Ludlow Lee, Chairman of Red Devil Paint Company. He lived at Cedar Hill and donated 60 acres to build Ridge High School and Cedar Hill School.
  • William Childs, with his brother Samuel Childs established the Childs Restaurant chain throughout the country.

Bernardsville

  • John F. Dryden, U.S. Senator and founder of the Prudential Insurance Company.
  • George B. Post, architect, designed the NY Stock Exchange and the NY Times buildings.
  • Frederick P. Olcott, President of Central Trust Company
  • Ogden Hammond, diplomat, former Ambassador to Spain and father of Millicent Fenwick.
  • John A. Roebling planned and built the Brooklyn Bridge. Washington Roebling invented the cable that made suspension bridges possible.
  • William O. Douglas, former member of the U.S. Supreme Court. He lived here while attending
    Columbia University School of Law.
    Far Hills
  • Charles Englehard, dealer in industrial metals and minerals. He was the model for Ian Fleming’s
    “Goldfinger”.
  • Grant Schley, banker, broker, tycoon, building of Fro-Heim (Happy Home) estate of 400 farms and 4000 acres (1500 under cultivation). It is now the site of Moorland Farms.
  • Phil Cook, comedian of stage and radio in the1930s
  • J. Geils - from the legendary J.Geils Band was born

Peapack-Gladstone

  • Walter Ladd and Kate Macy Ladd, philanthropists, built Natirar (Raritan spelled backwards), 505 acres
    in three towns and a 47 room mansion. It is now owned by the estate of the King of Morocco. Proceeds of the sale were distributed to five universities.
  • C. Ledyard Blair, financier, built 55 room villa in style of Louis XIII on 423 acres.
  • Walter Matheny, established the Matheny School in 1946 to assist victims of cerebral palsy and related
    illnesses.


These are/were some of the Somerset Hills neighbors. Some of the residences lived in by these luminaries are no longer in existence. Others have been used for different purposes. Yet, everyone selected the Somerset Hills to enjoy daily living.

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