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Charles Millard Pratt (November 2, 1855 – 1935) was an American oil industrialist and philanthropist.

Contents

Early life

Pratt was born in Brooklyn, New York, the eldest son of Charles Pratt and Lydia Ann Richardson.

He was the elder half-brother to Frederic B. Pratt, George Dupont Pratt, Herbert L. Pratt, John Teele Pratt and Harold I. Pratt.

He graduated from Amherst College in the class of 1879.

Career

Pratt joined Standard Oil in 1879 and was later Company Secretary. He was a trustee of Amherst College and Vassar College. He was president of the board of trustees, Pratt Institute, Brooklyn. He was a director of the Long Island Rail Road, Brooklyn City Railroad, American Express and other corporations.

Personal life

Pratt married Mary Seymour Morris, daughter of Governor of Connecticut Luzon B. Morris on May 8, 1884 and they had five children:

  • Morris Pratt (November 29, 1885 – July 15, 1910)
  • Theodore Pratt (May 21, 1887 – June 1977) married Laura Merrick on June 2, 1910. They had three children, Gwendolyn Pratt (October 27, 1917 – October 31, 1917), Theodore Pratt, Jr.(June 16, 1920 – January 15, 1998), and Merrick Pratt (born June 4, 1922).
  • Margaret Richardson Pratt (July 19, 1889 – January 20, 1919 ) married Frank J Frost. They had two children, Morris Pratt Frost (November 19, 1916 – July 11, 1990.) and Margaret Frost (January 18, 1919 – January 19, 1919)
  • Katherine Eugenia Pratt (May 28, 1891 – April 20, 1981) married Burton Parker Twichell, son of Rev'd Joseph Twichell. They had four children, David Cushman Twitchell (born April 16, 1918), Margaret Frost Twitchell (born August 13, 1919), Harmony Twitchell (September 9, 1921 – February 20, 1993), and Charles Pratt Twitchell (February 27, 1924 – April 3, 2004).
  • Richardson Pratt (June 16, 1894 – August 16, 1959 ) married Laura Cecelia Parsons. They had two children, Mary Marselis Pratt (born September 26, 1920) and Richardson Pratt, Jr. (March 25, 1923 – May 1, 2001)

Architectural legacy

William Tubby designed the Charles Millard Pratt House at 241 Clinton Avenue, Brooklyn in 1893. Located in Brooklyn’s Clinton Hill Historic District it is one of the city’s finest examples of Romanesque revival architecture, and is now the home of the Roman Catholic Bishop of Brooklyn.

Pratt's large estate, Seamoor, at Glen Cove, Long Island was designed by the New York firm of Lamb & Rich.[1]

Pratt had a winter home (also known as Charles Millard Pratt House) designed by architects Greene and Greene in Nordhoff (Ojai), California from 1908–11.

Pratt was a trustee of Vassar College, his wife's alma mater, from 1896–1920. Pratt House, a residence for the Warden, was completed in 1915 by architects York and Sawyer.

Amherst College legacy

He was the first alumnus to donate a building to Amherst College - the Pratt Gymnasium was erected in 1883, and was reconstructed as the Pratt Museum in 1942. Following further rebuilding, it reopened in August 2007 as the Charles M Pratt Dormitory, housing 118 freshmen students.

Pratt was also responsible for the enormous Pratt Dormitory on Pratt Quad at Amherst College. This five-story building was designed by Charles Alonzo Rich in 1911, in memory of their son Morris Pratt who died at Amherst while an undergraduate student.

References

  1. ^ Robert B. MacKay, et al., Long Island Country Houses and Their Architects (W. W. Norton & Company, 1997), 245-46.
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