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William Patten Grovesteen (1855 - 1895)

William Patten (Will) Grovesteen
Born in Manhattan, New York County, New York, United Statesmap
Husband of — married 23 Oct 1878 (to 1895) in Brooklyn, Kings, New York, United Statesmap
Descendants descendants
Father of [private daughter (unknown - unknown)], and
Died at age 39 in Brooklyn, Kings, New York, United Statesmap
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Profile last modified | Created 24 Aug 2009 | Last significant change: 23 Mar 2023
16:37: Randi Zurcher edited the Biography, Nicknames and Preferred Name for William Patten Grovesteen (1855-1895). (Minor corrections. ) [Thank Randi for this]
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'New York state flag'
Will Grovesteen was a New Yorker.
Will Grovesteen was buried in Elmwood Cemetery, New Brunswick, New Jersey.

Unnamed at birth, he was born 23 March 1855 in Manhattan, New York, New York, the son of James H. and Ann Grovesteen. [1] NOTE: FindAGrave shows his birth year as 1856

William Patten Grovesteen, 1855-1895, was the son of James Henry Grovesteen and Anna Vanderhoef. He married Mary Lea Field on 23 October 1878 in Brooklyn, New York. They had (at least) three children, Emily H., 1879-1937; Natalie,1882-1950; and Edward Kenneth, 1893-1893 (four months of age). [2]

In 1860, the Grovesteen family lived in the 20th ward, New York City, New York, New York. The household included

  • James H Grovsteen, 43, born in New York, a piano manufacturer, with $5000 in real estate and $4000 in personal estate
  • Anna Grovsteenn, wife, 32, b. New Jersey
  • Jas Grovsteen 17 New York
  • Catharine Grovsteen 13 New York, in school
  • Anna Grovsteen 12 New York, in school
  • Wm Grovsteen 5 New York
  • Chas Grovsteen 2 New York
  • Waldo Abbott 30 Connecticut, m. publisher
  • Julia Abbott 24 Louisiana
  • Margaret Holmes. 17 Louisiana, clerk
  • Geo Goff 30 New York, lumber industry
  • Wm Stone 19 New York, lumber industry
  • Rosey Wade 28 Ireland, domestic
  • Mary Igo 28 Ireland, domestic [3]

In 1870, the Grovesteen family lived in Hackensack Township (New Barbados), Bergen, New Jersey. The family included

  • James H Grovestein 53 born in New York, piano manufacturer, with $10,000 in real estate and $2000 in personal estate
  • Anna Grovestein, wife 42 New Jersey, $1200 personal estate
  • Kate A Grovestein 22 New York, $600 personal estate
  • Anna Grovestein 21 New York, $600 personal estate
  • Willie P Grovestein 15 New York, student
  • Charles E Grovestein 12 New York, student
  • Milton W Grovestein 8 New York, student
  • Bessie Grovestein 3 New York
  • Catharine Murphy 40 Ireland, servant
  • Mary Fost 16 New Jersey, servant
  • John Delaney 22 Ireland, a laborer [4]

James H. Grovesteen, pianos, and William P. Grovesteen, clerk, were listed in the 1876 Wilson’s New York City Business Directory on page 539 as residing at 430 W. 23rd Street, New York City. James H. Grovesteen’s business address was 71 Mercer. New York City. [5]

William Patten Grovesteen, 23, and Mary Law Field, 19, both born in New York City, were married on 23 October 1878 in Brooklyn, Kings, New York. It was the first marriage for both. Mary was the daughter of Charles H. Field and Emily Smith. William was the son of James Henry Grovesteen and Anna Vanderhoof. [6]

In 1880, the Grovesteen family lived at 430 W. 23rd St., New York City, New York. The three generation family included

  • George H. Grovesteeen, 63, born in New York (parents b. NY), a piano manufacturer
  • Annie Grovesteen Wife 52 New Jersey (parents b. NY)
  • William P. Grovesteen Son 25 New York, a banker
  • May Grovesteen (Dau. in law) 20 New York
  • Charles Grovesteen Son 22 New York, a physician
  • Milton Grovesteen Son 18 New York
  • Bessie H. Grovesteen Dau. 13 New York, in school
  • Norah Haven 25 Ireland, servant
  • Catherine Murphy 50 Ireland, servant
  • Emily Grovesteen, Granddaughter 8 mos. New York (dau. of William and May)
  • Anna Boyd 21 New York, nurse [7]

William H. Grovesteen published an open letter to the New York Stock Exchange suggesting that they should control their own stock quotations, in the New York Times, 2 March 1887, page 2.

In 1892, the Grovesteens lived in Brooklyn, Kings, New York. The household included W.P. Grovesteen, 36; and Mary F., 31, both born in the United States. Living nearby were (William’s father and brother) J.H. Grovesteen, 62; and Dr. Charles E. Grovesteen. [8]

William P. Grovesteen died on 19 March 1895 in Brooklyn, New York. He was 39, married, and resided at 40 Garden Place, Brooklyn. [9]

William P. “WP” Grovesteen, 1856-1895, is buried with his parents and his wife at Elmwood Cemetery, New Brunswick, New Jersey. A newspaper article (posted on his FindAGrave page) entitled “Money-Mad,” tells of William’s death: He was taken to a Flatbush Insane Asylum in the last stages of paresis, where he died. Grovesteen was a schemer, whose schemes put some of his associates in prison, including George H. Pell, who was sent to Sing Sing Prison for “bank wrecking” (grand larceny). [10] [George H. Pell, 1854-1913, was convicted of grand larceny, then pardoned after 2 1/2 years in prison by Governor Flower, after a campaign by his wife to free her husband. Then, in 1903, he was again charged with grand larceny. He plead guilty thinking he would receive a suspended sentence, but was given a term of 3 1/2 years at Sing Sing. When he died in 1913, his obit extolled his distinguished colonial ancestry and influential circles, and described him as a “retired broker.” (FindAGrave 152372019, for Geo. H. Pell)]

William’s infant son died in 1893, aged four months. William’s mother died the day after he was admitted to the psychiatric hospital, where he died in 1895, which was in the midst of the great financial crisis of 1893-97. Who knows what stress he was under?

William’s widow, May F. Grovesteen petitioned the court on 26 March 1895 for dissolution of her husband’s $1800+ estate, since he died without a will. He died at a Flatbush Lunatic Asylum on 19 March. He was admitted to Kings County Lunatic Asylum on 13 March 1895 with advanced paresis, atopic gait, defective articulation, irregular pupils, and “ideas very much confused”, heart “rapid and irritable”, and normal respiration. By 18 March, he was much more feeble. The morning of the 19th, he stayed in bed, refusing food. He died about 8am, as reported by Dr. D.E. Warren, attending physician. Dr. H.T. Rhodes filed the coroners report. The autopsy showed that the (obese) body had no marks or bruises, and no broken bones. The liver and lungs had some congestion. The brain appeared normal. The heart was diseased, with some fatty deposits and other problems. The decree was granted on 27 March 1895, and William’s estate was settled. [11]

William’s wife May died in December 1898. In 1900, their orphaned children Emily H. and Natalie lived with their maternal grandparents at 14 First Place, Brooklyn (NYC ward 6), New York. The family included Elias T. and Emily Hopkins; their widowed daughter, and her young daughter; and granddaughters, Emily H. Grovesteen, 21, born Sept. 1879; and Natalie Grovesteen, 18, a student; and one servant. Elias Hopkins owned the home with a mortgage. [12]

The house at 14 First Place, Brooklyn, built in 1899, is located in Carroll Gardens. It is a three story, three-family unit, a classic Brooklyn brownstone townhouse. The steps leading up to the front stoop are flanked by wrought iron railings. There are lovely, tall, double front doors. The front garden is lush and well established. There is a small backyard. This house sold for the first time in sixty years in 2017 for $2.8 million. [13] This house, built in 1899, was likely built for the Hopkins family, since they were living there in 1900, and would have had the need for three separate living quarters.


  1. "New York, New York City Births, 1846-1909," database, FamilySearch ( : 11 February 2018), Grovesteen, 23 Mar 1855; citing Manhattan, New York, New York, United States, reference 1854-1856 Birth Rec. New York Municipal Archives, New York; FHL microfilm 1,421,411.
  2. Family Tree, with sources (
  3. "United States Census, 1860", database with images, FamilySearch ( : 18 February 2021), Wm Grovsteen in entry for Jas H Grovsteen, 1860.
  4. "United States Census, 1870", database with images, FamilySearch ( : 29 May 2021), Willie P Grovestein in entry for James H Grovestein, 1870.
  5. Wilson’s Business Directory, Vol. XXIX, 11 University Pl. (
  6. "New York, New York City Marriage Records, 1829-1940," database, FamilySearch ( : 10 February 2018), William Paton Grovesteen and Mary Law Field, 23 Oct 1878; citing Marriage, Brooklyn, Kings, New York, United States, New York City Municipal Archives, New York; FHL microfilm 1,543,961.
  7. "United States Census, 1880," database with images, FamilySearch ( : 7 September 2017), William P Grovesteen in household of George H Grovesteen, New York, New York, New York, United States; citing enumeration district ED 340, sheet 577A, NARA microfilm publication T9 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.), roll 0883; FHL microfilm 1,254,883.
  8. "New York State Census, 1892", database with images, FamilySearch ( : 21 October 2021), Wm P Grovesteen, 1892.
  9. "New York, New York City Municipal Deaths, 1795-1949," database, FamilySearch ( : 3 June 2020), William P. Grovesteen, 19 Mar 1895; citing Death, Brooklyn, Kings, New York, United States, New York Municipal Archives, New York; FHL microfilm 1,323,930.
  10. Find A Grave: Memorial #149726055
  11. "New York, Kings County Estate Files, 1866-1923", database with images, FamilySearch ( : 5 June 2020), William P Grovesteen, 1895.
  12. "United States Census, 1900", database with images, FamilySearch ( : 4 January 2022), Emily H Grovesteen in entry for Elias T Hopkins, 1900.
  13. (

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Categories: Elmwood Cemetery, New Brunswick, New Jersey