100 Fascinating Facts About Westchester County


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71. Third Vice President (and killer of Alexander Hamilton) Aaron Burr often tried cases at St. Paul’s Church and, as a colonel in the Continental Army in 1779, took command of the forces in White Plains.

72. Tompkins Road, which runs between Boston Post Road and Fenimore Road in Scarsdale, is named for Daniel D. Tompkins, New York’s fourth governor and vice president under James Monroe.

73. Chappaqua residents former President Bill Clinton and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton often dine at Crabtree’s Kittle House on Christmas Eve.

74. A young John F. Kennedy wrote much of his 1940 Harvard thesis, later published as Why England Slept, at his parents’ house on Pondfield Road in Bronxville. The Kennedys lived at the home, which they maintained along with properties in Hyannis Port, Massachusetts, and London, from 1929 to 1942. JFK’s thesis dealt with why the United Kingdom was unprepared for the impending WWII. His father, Joseph Sr., was ambassador to the UK at the time.

Photo courtesy of Library of Congress

75. William Howard Taft’s vice president, James Sherman, is portrayed in a (fictional) visit to New Rochelle in a climactic scene of E.L. Doctorow’s 1974 novel, Ragtime. Doctorow, himself a resident of the Queen City, describes him as “Sunny Jim Sherman,” who is “a New York State politician with many friends in Westchester.”

76. Robert F. Kennedy—who served as attorney general under his brother, JFK, and was later a New York senator and presidential candidate—attended the Bronxville schools for four years through grade five (repeating third grade).

77. Former First Lady and First Mother Barbara Bush (née Pierce) was born in Rye and attended Rye Country Day School from 1937 to 1940.

Photo courtesy of George Bush Presidential Library     

78. After winning the popular vote but losing the presidential election of 1876 to Rutherford B. Hayes, Democratic New York Governor Samuel J. Tilden retired to a Yonkers estate, Greystone, a 30-room stone villa built in 1864 by John T. Waring. The Grecian gardens in Yonkers’s Untermyer Park were once part of the property.

79. On February 19, 1861, Abraham Lincoln stopped at the Peekskill Train Station on the way to his first inaugural. One Lincoln historian declares that he was dressed in a new cashmere suit and addressed thousands as he thanked the crowd for his election. The event is commemorated every year with a parade and reenactments by The Lincoln Society of Peekskill.



80. Painter Norman Rockwell lived in New Rochelle from 1913 to 1939 and would later say that many “of my happiest years were spent” there. He sold the first of his 321 Saturday Evening Post covers in New Rochelle in 1916, and painted many of his most famous images there as well, including the doctor putting his stethoscope to a girl’s dolly and a cheerleader smoothing out the varsity letter on a football player’s sweater.



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