Derby History Quiz

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Derby man built the New York Stock Exchange Building!


Recent events on the stock market may make this a bad time to reveal that it was a man from Derby who built the home of the New York Stock Exchange. Stephen Whitney was once considered the second richest man in New York City after the more famous John Jacob Astor. He was born in Derby in 1776 and lived here until he was about eighteen years old.

He started to accumulate his fortune by importing wine and spirits, eventually became involved with cotton and made so much money that he retired from trade and went into investing. He made a fortune in shipping, real estate, railways and canals and banking. He married Harriet Suydam, the sister of his brother's wife, in 1803,when he was 26 years old.

One of his projects was the building of the Merchants' Exchange Building in New York City which became the first permanent home of the New York Stock Exchange. He also helped rebuild the city after the tragic fire of 1835 (which also destroyed the Merchant's Exchange Building.) and start New York University. He died in New York on February 16, 1860 at the age of 83.

His living room from his home at 7 Bowling Green is on permanent display in the Museum of New York City. Click here to check out a chapel built in Green-Wood Cemetery in New York - and an interesting story about his last act before dying!

Correct answers were received from: Carol Sardinha, Randy Ritter, Tom Harbinson, Christopher Wadolowski, Joseph DiRienzo, Joe Navin, Stephanie Anne D'Onofrio, Malou, Robert Pasquini, Louise Pitney, Ann Searles, Allan Brozek,  Bob Ahearn, laura brezina, Jean Graboski Malone, MARY SUESS, Fred Grant, Mildred Fatterusso, Michael J Regan, Paul Comkowycz, Jack Vagnini, Fred Muratori, Jack Moran, Linda Cwanek, Pat Shelton, Melissa Middendorf Hart, Kimberley Shelton, James Honea, Robert Loftus, ozzie neustaedter ben ezra, ozzie neustaedter, chris ?, Lynette Jordan, David Lenart, and Nick from Terryville.

To see our earlier quizzes and learn more about Derby's unique history, click here.

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