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W. Emlen Roosevelt


Centurion, 1891–1930

Full Name William Emlen Roosevelt

Born 30 April 1857 in New York (Manhattan), New York

Died 15 May 1930 in New York (Manhattan), New York

Buried Green-Wood Cemetery, Brooklyn, New York

Proposed by Lockwood de Forest, Stephen H. Olin, and Edward M. Townsend

Elected 5 December 1891 at age thirty-four

Seconder of:

Century Memorial

In a family of considerably diversified activities, W. Emlen Roosevelt made his particular mark in banking. Only once, and then under peculiar circumstances, did his name come into the limelight of political talk such as surrounded his kinsmen in the White House of 1902 [Theodore Roosevelt] and the Albany State House of 1930 [Franklin D. Roosevelt]. That was when President McKinley died in the autumn of 1901 and Wall Street, already deep in the ambitious “company promotion schemes’’ of that excited financial era, asked with a troubled heart what was to be expected from McKinley’s successor—the fire-eating reformer who had been chosen vice-president in 1900 without a pledge. At that moment of incipient consternation in high finance it was Emlen Roosevelt, already known as the new executive’s long-time friend and financial adviser, who quietly and apparently by authority declared to Wall Street that it need have no fear; that President McKinley’s conservative policies would be continued by President Roosevelt. Wall Street heaved a sigh of entire relief, and talked of something else. The incident foreshadowed gradual change in its attitude towards the new dynasty at Washington, which did not wholly disappear even in the exciting episodes of Northern Securities and Standard Oil.

Alexander Dana Noyes
1931 Century Association Yearbook