Elias Cornelius Benedict

From Kook Science

Elias Cornelius Benedict
Elias Cornelius Benedict - LCCN2014685458.jpg

Alias(es) Commodore Benedict[i]
Born 24 January 1834(1834-01-24)
Somers, Westchester Co., New York
Died 22 November 1920 (86)
Indian Harbor, Greenwich, Fairfield Co., Connecticut
Spouse(s) Sarah C. Hart (m. 1859)

Elias Cornelius Benedict (January 24, 1834 - November 22, 1920) was an American banker and stock broker active on Wall Street who made his fortune during latter half of the 19th century, investing extensively in securities, particularly gas securities, in addition to sundry other financial instruments, including gold speculation following the Civil War through the New York Gold Exchange Bank (with his brother, Henry Martyn Benedict), and industrial holdings, including railroads and rubber. Politically, Benedict was a Democrat and maintained a close friendship with Grover Cleveland, the 22nd and 24th U.S. President. Socially, Benedict was noted as a yachtsman, being made Commodore of the Seawanhaka-Corinthian Yacht Club, as well as for his general patronage of the arts in high society circles of his day.

At the time of his death in 1920, Benedict's personal estate was valued at over $5.9 million U.S. dollars (approx. $90 million in 2022), which included his Indian Harbor home in Greenwich, Connecticut and his seat on the New York Stock Exchange.[1]


  • Weeks, Lyman Horace, ed. (1897), "Elias Cornelius Benedict", Prominent Families of New York, New York: The Historical Co., p. 56, 

    Mr. Elias Cornelius Benedict is one of the leading representatives of the family in this generation. He is the son of the Reverend Henry Benedict and his wife, Mary Betts Lockwood, and was born January 24th, 1834, in the town of Somers, Westchester County, N. Y., where his father was pastor of a church. He was educated in schools at Westport, Conn., and Buffalo, N. Y., part of his early youth having been spent in the latter city. When fifteen years of age, he entered upon business life as a clerk in the Wall Street office of Corning & Co. In 1857, when twenty-three years old, he succeeded to their business, organizing the banking firm of Benedict & Co., of which he has ever since been at the head. In 1871, Roswell P. Flower, who at a later date was Governor of New York, joined the firm which took the name of Benedict, Flower & Co., this partnership continuing for about four years. The firm has made a specialty of investment securities and in recent years has been largely interested in gas securities. Mr. Benedict is also connected with many financial institutions. The Gold Exchange Bank, which grew out of the gold speculation of the war time, was founded by him and his brother, and he has been prominent in the management of railroad and financial enterprises of great magnitude. He is a Democrat, but has never taken any active part in politics, although political preferment has often been tendered to him. He is an intimate friend of ex-President Cleveland.

    In 1859, Mr. Benedict married Sarah C. Hart, daughter of Lucius Hart, of New York. They have four children. Frederic Hart Benedict, the only son, married first Jennie Flagler, daughter of Henry M. Flagler, of New York, and after her death married Virginie Coudert, daughter of Frederic R. Coudert. Martha Benedict, the eldest daughter, married Ramsay Turnbull and lives in Bernardsville, N. J. The two unmarried daughters are Helen Ripley and Louise Adele Benedict.

    The family residence is 10 West Fifty-first Street and Mr. Benedict owns an estate at Indian Harbor, Greenwich, Conn., once the site of the famous Americus Club. Yachting engages much of his leisure time. He owns the steam yacht Oneida, belongs to the New York, American, Seawanhaka-Corinthian and other yacht clubs and is also a member of the Manhattan, Players and City clubs and the New England Society. He is also a trustee of the New York Homeopathic Medical College and Hospital, and a director of the New York Ophthalmic Hospital, having served as its treasurer for over twenty-five years.

Business Links

  • Commercial Acetylene Co.
  • Indianapolis Gas Co.
  • Greenwich Construction Co.
  • United States Rubber Co. (Uniroyal)
    • General Rubber Co.


  1. The title of "Commodore" was granted by his yacht club, the Seawanhaka-Corinthian, and did not represent a naval rank.