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The S.A. Beardsley Residence 

Thu, 02/25/2021 - 13:03

Long Island Collection Item of the Week

Harvey Ginsberg Postcard Collection, East Hampton Library

This postcard, part of the Harvey Ginsberg Postcard Collection, features the residence of Samuel A. Beardsley (1856-1932), which was designed by William Strom and once stood on Lee Avenue in East Hampton. The owner, a well-known lawyer from New York City, was born in 1856 in Utica, N.Y., to Arthur Moore Beardsley (1822-1905) and the former Louisa Howland Adams (1825-1896). In 1881 he married Elizabeth Anne Hopper (1856-1916), with whom he raised three children. 

He came to New York in 1898, opening the law office of Beardsley & Hemmens, later known as Beardsley, Hemmens & Taylor. His clients included the New York Edison Company, also known as the New York Gas and Electric Light, Heat, and Power Company. He played a prominent role in Democratic politics and in many elite clubs such as East Hampton's Maidstone Club.

On July 29, 1904, The East Hampton Star reported that while driving in the village, the Beardsleys' "buggy" collided with a sprinkling cart. Their vehicle ended up wrecked, but thankfully no one was injured in the accident. In 1916, Elizabeth Beardsley died of disseminated sclerosis at their East Hampton house. Her obituary notes that before her death she had spent 17 summers here. Samuel remarried in 1927 in London, to Lillian Valerie Ella Walpole-Moore (b.1886), who was known as Valerie.

Samuel Arthur Beardsley died of heart disease at home on Madison Avenue in Manhattan on April 28, 1932, just days before he and Valerie were due to travel to Fontainebleau, France, for the summer. At the time of his death, The Star reported the value of his summer home here as $32,000. Two years earlier, in the 1930 census, the house had been listed as being worth $20,000.

Mayra Scanlon is a librarian and archivist with the East Hampton Library's Long Island Collection.

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