NEW YORK, NY.
Although he spent as much time
as possible away from it, the fact is Joseph Palmer Knapp was
a true New Yorker. He was born, went to school, conducted his
business from it and died there. His children started to grow
up there also. Yet all the Knapps would head for the hills so
to speak. So here is a look at some of the places he lived and
worked in on Manhattan Island and a few more from his childhood
home across the East River.
"THE ENTIRE STAFF
OF MAJOR & KNAPP 1879"
That is what is written
on this photo in the archives of the New York Historical Society.
But is it ? I'm finding all the Knapp's are proving to be very
camera shy (which is a bit strange considering their first business
was lithographs) and the fact is there may not be any of them
in this photo, and then again there may be two. If Joseph Fairchild
Knapp is in this photo with his partner Richard Major, he would
have to be the bearded gentleman with his hat on, wearing a vest
standing profile,next to last in the second row. He would be approx
47 years old here. I have had Dan May the Met Life historian look
at it too and like me he cannot confirm if it is indeed Joseph
F. Knapp. As for Joseph Palmer, I believe he went to work at this
company in 1880 -81. He could of started (part time) earlier but
he would only be about 15 years old. If he is in the photo, I
would take him to be the guy in the far right, first row with
his hat off. In any event it looked like quite a group, and they
all (except Major most likely the other vested man dead center
) would be working for the young Joseph P. Knapp Co. in a few
short years. And is that the company emblem the guy in the center
is holding? Did they dislplay it like a flag?
PARK PLACE 1877
Major & Knapp was
located on this street, near Church St. (MetLife was on the corner
then) This is looking west from Broadway. photo
NY Historical Society
Wilson Street School.
Just around the corner from the Knapp's
home on Bedford. Most likely both Antoinette and her brother
Joseph went to elementary school here.
photo: Brooklyn Historical Society
This was the 1870 Federal
Census entry for The 4 Knapp's. "Netta" is 7 and attending
school, her brother Joseph is 6. I believe they took in Charle's
Warren who was related to Phoebe's Palmer / Worral / Foster /
family. He stayed on as a border in the 1880's and wound up clerking
at an insurance company. Most likely MetLife . Joseph who is one
year away from becoming the president of MetLife lists his occupation
as a printer. The $17,000 figure is what he is declaring his home
is worth. Still being lit by candles, I wonder what he had it
insured for? The three servants were Delia Maley, Johanah Masker?
and Mary Males?
Brooklyn Polytech where
J. P. went to prep school (high school) prior to Columbia.
photo: Brooklyn Eagle
And this was Columbia
University where J. P. went for one "riotous" year.
He said he quit because it was *"Too easy after going
to Brooklyn Polytech". Needless to say, history proved
he didn't need to be there.
* Fortune Magazine
Here is the 1880 Census.
Netta has become Nettie and at 18 is in school somewhere. Sixteen
year old Joseph is having a "riotous time" at Columbia
. With the kids grown, Phoebe has reduced the household staff
to two, new people Mary Clary,and Mary O'Mealia. Delia's gone
as is Johana and Mary.
I do not know exactly
when Joseph Palmer left the nest.That is whether or not he continued
to live at home after he started working full time at Major &
Knapp. If he did he would of commuted like his father most likely
by steamer across the east river.
The Mineola steams
off to Brooklyn, Long Island in the East River 1895.
photo Hulton- Getty Archives
According to the NY
Herald Tribune. Joseph Palmer Knapp married Sylvia Kepner in 1886.
That may of been when he moved from Brooklyn to New York. After
his father died in 1891, the first residential address I have
on him, is just off 5th Ave on 58th Street. His mother Phoebe
would soon follow as she took up residence a very short distance
away in the Savoy Hotel On 5th & 59th.
The Savoy circa 1895 Hulton-
Claire was born in
1889 and Dodi would follow in 1892. Both would be little tykes
when this item appeared in the Society Column of the New York
Times. By this time, The Knapp's were living up town on the west
side, at 322 West Seventy Second
THE SUNDAY NY TIMES
MARCH 8. 1896
322 West 72nd Street
today. The third modern looking building now has that address.
The buildings in the second photo were most likely there when
Sylvia Knapp hosted her Yellow Dinner and Mme. Methot sang afterwards.
That's the Hudson River in the background. One family trait that
stays consistent; wherever any Knapp lives,water is close by,
MAY DAY IN CENTRAL
Are Claire & Dodi
Playing here today?
Central Park 1899.
Hulton- Getty Archives
SHE SANG FOR HER SUPPER
THE 20th CENTURY