The Kordes Korner

Alexander Turney Stewart died in his Fifth Avenue mansion in New York City on April 10, 1876. It was less than seven years after founding Garden City.  At the time of his death he was one of the wealthiest men in the country. A.T. Stewart & Co. was the first department store and extremely well known in New York City.

Stewart was buried in the St. Mark’s Churchyard in lower Manhattan (it’s still there). It was to be temporary as his wife Cornelia (they had no children) was building a memorial Cathedral in Garden City where Stewart would be buried in its crypt. Unfortunately, in the early morning of November 7, 1878, his remains were taken and held for ransom. This type of crime was not uncommon in those days. The above reward offer was published in the New York Times and other New York newspapers. Henry Hilton was Stewart’s legal advisor (Hilton Avenue). 

The case dragged on for years and there are different accounts of how it was  all resolved. What we do know is the Cathedral was completed in 1885 and Cornelia Stewart died the following year in her New York City mansion. Her body was buried in the crypt of the Cathedral in Garden City (hopefully next to her husband!) 

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