century association biographical archive

Earliest Members of the Century Association

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Ogden Haggerty

Auctioneer

Centurion, 1847–1866

Born 20 April 1809 in New York (Manhattan), New York

Died 30 August 1875 in Geneva, Switzerland

Buried Green-Wood Cemetery, Brooklyn, New York

Proposed by N/A: Founder

Elected 13 January 1847 at age thirty-seven

Century Memorials

Mr. Ogden Haggerty was also one of the founders of the Century, and during more than half of its past years was deeply interested in its fortunes, and actively participated in its affairs. He was bred to business in his father’s well-known house, and inherited his commercial enterprise and integrity. Mr. Haggerty’s early associations were with artists and men of letters. In their pursuits he found relaxation after the labors and heat of the day. With a few of these, he became a founder of the “Column,” the germ of the “Century,” and attained a just critical taste in their companionship. This he exhibited in his choice works of art, of which he had numerous fine specimens of landscape. In his early manhood, he was a zealous participator in political controversies now obsolete. He was an ardent admirer of Daniel Webster and Henry Clay. He followed their political leadership with unswerving faith, and was not their least influential supporter in the City of New York. In later days he relinquished none of his old convictions, while he recalled political failure and disappointment without asperity and without regret.

Mr. Haggerty practiced a liberal hospitality, which is remembered with pleasure by his friends among artists and men of letters. In private life he showed a generous appreciation of the merits of other men. He was not envious of their prosperity, and gave practical sympathy in their misfortunes. His pecuniary liberality was known in private experience rather than displayed to public sight. It was often most abundant and beneficial when it found no expression in the published subscription lists of the day.

Mr. Haggerty showed his interest in the Century by lending active aid to the arrangement and decoration of our present abode. His service at that time deserves our grateful acknowledgment. In later years failing health, withdrawal from the cares of business, and residence abroad, removed him from participation in our affairs. During his occasional visits to New York, he still availed himself of every opportunity to join in our social meetings, where he revived old recollections by his artistic and dramatic criticisms, and in fighting over again, with genial humor, the political battles of days gone by. He deserves well of the Century for his zealous and effective service in a time when there was, as yet, no eager competition for its membership, and the days of its prosperity had not begun.

Henry C. Dorr, Henry R. Winthrop, and Augustus R. Macdonough
1875 Century Association Memorial Notices

A biography of the painter George Inness (member 1853–1890) by his son George Jr. states that Haggerty “was the first to recognize my father’s possibilities, and later became so convinced of his genius that he sent him abroad to study, and was one of the main factors in his development as a painter.” Haggerty owned two of the paintings Inness had shown at the National Academy of Design.

Haggerty attended Columbia College in 1828 but did not pursue a degree. He became a wealthy auctioneer: in 1846 his fortune was estimated at $150,000. He was a founder of The Column, which was a predecessor of the Century. The Century’s Memorial Notices of 1875 states that his “early associations were with artists and men of letters. In their pursuit he found relaxation after the labors and heat of the day. . . . [and that he] practiced a liberal hospitality, which is remembered with pleasure by his friends among artists and men of letters.”

William A. Frosch
“Our Original Amateurs, 2009”