The Lusitania Resource > People > Saloon (First Class) Passenger List > Mrs. Ogden Haggerty Hammond (Mary Picton Stevens)

Mrs. Ogden Haggerty Hammond (Mary Picton Stevens)

Mary Hammond
Saloon Passenger
Lost
Mary Hammond and her daughter Millicent.
Mary Hammond and one of her daughters, Millicent.  Image courtesy Amy Schapiro (Hugh Fenwick Collection).
Born Mary Picton Stevens
16 May 1885
Hoboken, New Jersey, USA
Died 7 May 1915 (age 29)
At sea
Age on Lusitania 29
Ticket number 46099
Cabin number D 20 and bath
Traveling with Ogden Hammond (husband)
Lifeboat 20
Body number Not recovered or identified
Citizenship United States
Residence – Bernardsville, New Jersey, USA
– New York, New York, USA
Spouse(s) Ogden Haggerty Hammond (1907 – 1915, her death)

Mary Hammond (1885 – 1915), 29, was the wife of Ogden Hammond, and together they lived in Bernardsville, New Jersey, USA, and New York City.  She sailed on Lusitania to help the Red Cross set up hospitals in war-torn France.  Her husband Ogden survived the sinking, she did not.  Mary was also the mother of New Jersey Congresswoman Millicent Fenwick.

Contents

  1. Early life
  2. Marriage to Ogden Hammond
  3. Lusitania
  4. Family after her death
  5. Related pages

Early life


Mary Hammond, née Stevens, was born 16 May 1885 to John Stevens and Mary Marshall McGuire in Hoboken, New Jersey, United States.  The Stevens family from which Mary was decended were English settlers who had settled before the Revolutionary War, hob-nobbed with George Washington and Thomas Jefferson, founded the city of Hoboken, pioneered steam travel by boat and by train, and Mary’s grandfather, Edwin Augustus Stevens, founded the Stevens Institute of Technology.  Much of Mary’s childhood was spent at the family estate of Castle Point, which was razed in 1959 by the Stevens Institute of Technology to make way for a modern structure.

When Mary was ten, John bled to death during an operation to remove a goiter.  Her mother died nine years later, leaving the teenage Mary Stevens a millionaire. Mary was educated at Bryn Mawr from 1905-1906.

Marriage to Ogden Hammond


Ogden Hammond, Mary’s future husband, was introduced to her by one of Ogden’s Yale friends while in Bernardsville, New Jersey.  Mary and Ogden would marry on 8 April 1907 when she was a few weeks short of her twenty-second birthday, and when he was thirty-eight.

For the first year of their marriage, the two lived in Ogden’s hometown of Superior, Wisconsin.  Then they moved east where Ogden purchased a house on 30 East 70th Street in New York City, Manhattan to be exact, and an estate in Bernardsville.  The Hammonds procured their forty-seven room, New Jersey “summer cottage” from a Mr. Ellsworth, who had bought the estate from Mary’s Uncle Edwin Augustus Stevens, Jr., who had built the house in the late 1880’s.  Ogden added a swimming pool and a five-room wing, and in 1908 the Hammonds moved in just in time for the arrival of their first child, Mary.  A second daughter, Millicent Vernon, was born on 25 February 1910.  A son, Ogden Jr., was born to them in 1912 in New York City.

Among their prized possessions was a Packard, as automobiles were novelties in those days.  Ogden and Mary would often go on Sunday drives together.

As her husband entered local politics, Ogden and Mary Hammond became well-known in the social and political circuits.  They were known to be friendly and genuinely concerned for the people.  Mary was a member of the Colony Club.  Ogden, running as a Republican, was elected to a one-year term in the New Jersey assembly in 1915.

Lusitania


Also in 1915, Mary Hammond was eager to aid victims of the ongoing war in Europe and help the Red Cross establish a hospital in France.  Although rumors persisted for weeks up to the time before theLusitania‘s final departure from New York, Mary would not be dissuaded from her mission.  Whereas other passengers such as Alfred Vanderbilt and Charles Frohman received anonymous warnings, Mary received one that was much more personal.  Mary’s Aunt Elsie was a friend of German Ambassador to the United States, Count Johann von Bernstorff.  Days prior to the Lusitania‘s departure, von Bernstorff had stressed to Aunt Elsie, “Do not let anyone you know get on the Lusitania.”

Elsie did not ask why and did not want to know.  All that she knew was that von Bernstorff meant business, and with all speed Elsie made for Bernardsville to warn Mary and Ogden.  Mary laughed at Elsie’s pleads and said, “I’m sailing on the Lusitania.”

After all, the Lusitania was supposed to be the fastest and safest ship afloat.

That night Ogden and his brother John stayed up trying to dissuade Mary from her mission, but Mary remained obstinate.  Her mind was made up and no one was going to change it for her.  Giving up, John then asked Mary, “Do you have a will?”

“No I haven’t.”  Mary answered, “Why don’t you draw one up for me aboard the Lusitania before she sails and I’ll sign it.”

One wonders why Mary, who had lost her parents as a child, did not think of the possiblity that her own children could lose her in the face of the German submarine threats.  Nevertheless, unable to dissuade her wife from making the crossing, Ogden too, booked passage on the Lusitania, unwilling to leave her wife unattended.  Their cabin would be D-20, one of the few with a private bathroom.

On the morning of the Lusitania‘s sailing, 1 May 1915, the newspapers ran a warning strategically placed by Count von Bernstorff amongst the travel advertisements.  John came to see Mary and Ogden off, but his cause was not for celebrating.  He was there to seek Mary’s signature for the will he had drawn up for her.   In the will, Mary created a trust for her children and their future children, set up with money from the Stevens estate and the Hoboken Land and Improvement Company.

Mary and Ogden were in the saloon class lounge of the Lusitania when the torpedo hit.  To Ogden, the vibration “felt like a blow from a great hammer striking the ship.  It seemed to be well forward on the starboard side.”  Going out on deck to see what had happened, Staff Captain Anderson reassured Ogden that nothing was the matter and that he should go back to the lounge.

Another jolt followed shortly afterward and the ship immediately listed to starboard.  Ogden wanted to go back down to their cabin to fetch lifebelts as those on deck were already gone, but Mary pleaded with Ogden not to leave her.  The two joined Marguerite, Lady Allan for a while before continuing to along the deck without lifejackets.  A young man then passed them saying that Upper Deck “D” was already flooded in “a rush of water.”

The Hammonds then went to seek a place as high above the water as possible.  Near the aft end of the superstructure on the port side where Ogden and Mary were, a lifeboat, likely #20, was being loaded and a petty officer told Mary to get in.  Mary refused to be parted from her husband, but when it became apparent that there was still room in the lifeboat, both Mary and Ogden stepped in.  The boat was about half filled with about 35 people.

As the boat was being lowered, a man at the bow davit let a rope slip as the the man at the stern was still paying out slowly.  The lifeboat dropped bow first and was going perpendicular, and Ogden, at the bow, grabbed the rope to halt the lifeboat’s descent.  Instead of stopping the lifeboat, however, the rope tore the skin off Ogden’s hands and all in the boat, including Mary, were thrown sixty feet into the sea.  Mary was never seen again.

Mary’s death notice was in The New York Times, Wednesday, 26 May 1915, page 13, indicating she died at sea.  Ogden would later present to the United Aid Society the Mary Stevens Hammond Home for the homeless and needy children of Hoboken.

In 1925, the Mixed Claims Commission awarded Ogden $17,970 as a Lusitania survivor.  The children Mary, Millicent, and Ogden Jr. were awarded $5,000 each for the death of their mother.  Another $31,143 was allocated to Mary’s estate, which was already valued at more than one million dollars.  The trust in Mary’s will included income and principal, the latter owned by Mary’s yet-unborn grandchildren so the funds would be transferable without taxes later in life.  Half of the income generated by the principle went to Ogden, the other half to be equally divided amongst Mary, Millicent, and Ogden Jr. when the became twenty-one.  Ogden successfully petitioned the court to use some of the income to cover the cost of child care; the remaining funds were reinvested.

Family after her death


Ogden remarried in 1917 to Margaret “Daisy” McClure Howland.  Ogden then served as United States Ambassador to Spain, bringing the Hammond children with him, from 1925 to 1929.  Ogden died on 29 October 1956.

Mary’s eldest daughter Mary, nicknamed “Ma,” married Italian count Guerino Roberti on 8 August 1931.  They lived in Rome.  “Ma” died of cancer in 1958.

Ogden Hammond, Jr., was educated at St. Paul’s School in Concord, New Hampshire.  He died during Millicent’s first term as New Jersey Congresswoman.

The second child Millicent lived a long and eventful life.  She married Hugh Fenwick, a man who had divorced his wife for her, on 11 June 1932.  This action disgusted her stepmother Daisy, a devout Catholic, and Millicent was thrown out of the house.  The marriage did not last long and Hugh and Millicent Fenwick divorced in 1945.  Despite never having finished her formal education, Millicent also wrote for Vogue and became ambassador to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization.

Millicent became involved in the Civil Rights movement in the 1960’s and became greatly involved in local and state politics in New Jersey.  In 1975 Millicent Fenwick was elected to Congress at the age of 64, what the media described as a “geriatric triumph.”  Millicent was known for her outspoken and colorful character and although she ran for Senate she was not successful in that bid.  Millicent died on 16 September 1992.

Related pages


Ogden and Mary Hammond at the Mixed Claims Commission


Contributors:
Christine Connolly, Yale University Archives, USA
Hugh Hammond Fenwick (grandson of Ogden and Mary Hammond)
Senan Molony, USA
Michael Poirier, USA
Maureen Fenwick Quinn, USA (granddaughter of Ogden and Mary Hammond)
Amy Schapiro, USA
Judith Tavares

References:
Hickey, Des and Gus Smith.  Seven Days to Disaster.  G. P. Putnam’s and Sons, 1981.

Preston, Diana.  Lusitania:  An Epic Tragedy.  Berkley Books, 2002.

Schapiro, Amy.  Millicent Fenwick:  Her Way.  Rutgers University Press, 2003.

Twenty-five year record, Class of Ninety-Three, Sheffield Scientific School, Yale University.

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