Hiram B Duryea

  • American


AT BAY RIDGE HOME AT 2 A.M. TODAY Famous Commander of Duryea's Zouaves Shot Seven Times in His Bed in a Sleeping Pavilion--His Son Chester Supposed to Have Gone Suddenly Insane.

While he was asleep in an outdoor pavilion in the rear of his residence at 120 Eighty-fifth Street, in the Bay Ridge Section of Brooklyn, Gen Hiram Duryea, the wealthy starch manufacturer, was shot and killed just before 2 o'clock this morning by his son Chester, a man of forty-three years.

The son sent seven bullets into his father's body, using a Colt automatic pistol and a large caliber rifle. Death was instantaneous according to Dr. Garvin of the Norwegian Hospital.

The son gave himself up to the police of the Fort Hamilton station and was taken to the Bergen Street station to be questioned by Assistant District Attorney Conway.

The son had been at the house for several hours during the day, according to the story told to the police by servants. He had been acting in an eccentric manner. He refused to talk about the crime, and the police were at a loss to supply a motive.

The elder Duryea retired shortly before midnight, it is said. There are three servants in the house and they saw the son roaming about in the library just before that time but, as far as the police could learn there had been no quarrel between the father and son.

At just 1:50 o'clock one of the servants was awakened by the report of a pistol. She rushed in the direction of the pavilion where she knew the elderly manufacturer was asleep. He was dead. Word was telephoned to the Fort Hamilton police station and a call sent for an ambulance.

The son was found at the house, it was said, by Lieut. Lake, in charge of the Fort Hamilton station. He made no effort to escape, and willingly accompanied the Lieutenant.

Chester Duryea told the police that he was in the mercantile business, but they expressed the opinion that he was a lawyer. In the library where it was said he had spent the greater part of the night were found a number of law books and papers.

The servants said that the son had taken a great interest in hunting and in guns and revolvers. None of them, however, would express an opinion that he had appeared to be demented. They simply said that they had noticed his eccentric actions. He had stamped about the house, according to one version, and had seemed excited and irritable.

The Duryea residence is one of the finest in the Bay Ridge section. It is an imposing frame building overlooking the Shore Road. The pavilion in which Mr. Duryea was sleeping had been constructed in the rear of the house over the kitchen so that it would not mar the beauty of the residence.

A dozen dectectives were hurried to the house to question the servants. The neighborhood was also thoroughly aroused by the tragedy and a number of Mr. Duryea's friends were questioned. None of them were able to give any information which would tend to show the motive for the shooting.

Chester Duryea Paid Alimony

In 1906 Chester Duryea attained some noteriety by beginning proceedings to have the amount of alimony to be paid Nina L. Duryea, who obtained a separation from him in 1904, reduced from $2,30. He said he was unable to pay that amount. Mrs. Duryea, who was the daughter of Franklin Waldo Smith of Boston, was then living in Paris with her 4-year-old son.

Duryea at that time was under contract with the United Starch Company - as a chemist not to start a starch business of his own in the United States until July 1, 1909.

He owned some of the company's bonds as well as stock in the Corn Products Co. He said he was obliged to part with some of the bonds to pay alimony and legal fees. - New York Times, 5 May 1914


Y/M/D Description Association Composition Place Locale Food Event
Y/M/D Description Association Composition Place Locale Food Event
1861/07/04 Lieut Duryea offers his services and is commissioned Captain in the Fifth NY Volunteers. Rising to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel, the regiment was to be known as the Duryea Zouaves. First Lieutenant of Artillery
1880/08/01 Hiram Duryea buys property on Blue Mountain Lake and soon begins constructing the main Lodge building. Home The Hedges Indian Lake
1914/05/05 Hiram B Duryea is killed at home (razed) in the Bay Ridge Section of Brooklyn. He was shot seven times by his son Chester. Died Bay Ridge


Hiram Duryea's History

Hiram Duryea was a manufacturer of starch. He came from an old Hugenot family, which in consequence of religious persecution in France, fled to Manheim. The family came to this country in 1660 and settled in New Amsterdam. Hiram Duryea was born in Manhasset, LI [Long Island], on April 12, 1834. His father was Hendrick Vanderbilt Duryea, the form of name having been changed from Durie to Duryea in a previous generation. His mother was a daughter of Zebulon Wright, a lineal descendant of Peter Wright, a man of considerable note who settled in Oyster Bay in 1653. He was educated in the public schools, and this was supplemented by instruction under a private tutor.

At twenty-one he entered the business house of his father as a clerk. In a few years the name of the firm was changed to HV Duryea and Son. Mr Duryea's brothers started an independent starch manufactory, but after a few years they consolidated their business with the older concern located at Glen Cove and this firm became the Glen Cove Starch Manufacturing Company.

Hiram Duryea was for many years its vice-president and was its president later and until the business closed in 1890. He was commissioned by Governor Clark, February 5, 1855, as First Lieutenant of Artillery, attached to the Forty-eighth Regiment, New York State Militia. He remained in service with this company for some time, but was finally compelled to relinquish his commission in consequence of his change in residence.

Immediately after the firing on Sumter Lieut. Duryea offered his services and was commissioned Captain in the Fifth NY Volunteers July 4, 1861. He rose to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. His regiment was organized, equipped, and drilled in the French system, and in appreciation of his services the regiment was given the name it was known under during its distinguished history, the Duryea Zouaves.

He received his commission as Colonel of the regiment on Oct 29, 1862, but in the following month was compelled to retire from the service in consequence of permanent injuries and serious illness.

Upon the occasion of his retirement he received from his commanding officer, Gen Butterfield, a highly complementary mention in a special order. On May 26, 1866, he was commissioned by the President of the United States Brevet Brigadier General of Volunteers for "distinguished conduct at the Battle of Gaines Mills."

Gen. Duryea has, since his retirement from active service, always taken the deepest interest in military affairs, particularly those relating to the organizations growing out of the civil war. He has served a term as President of the Veterans' Association. He was married in 1868 to Laura D Burnell, daughter of Leander Burnell. He is a member of the Veteran Association of the regiment which he commanded during the war, of the Society of the Fifth Army Corps, of the United Service Club, and of the military order of the Loyal Legion. - New York Times, 5 May 1914

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