Amy Isabella CROCKER
- Born: 5 Dec 1863, Sacramento, California, USA
- Marriage (1): Richard Porter ASHE Jnr in Dec 1882
- Marriage (2): Harry M. GILLIG on 10 Jul 1889 in Manhattan, New York, USA
- Marriage (3): Jackson GOURAUD in 1901 in St. George's, Hanover Square, London, England
- Marriage (4): Prince Alexandre MISKINOFF on 11 Jun 1914 in St. Martin, London, England
- Marriage (5): Prince Mstislav GALITZINE Count Ostermann of Russia on 22 Sep 1925
- Died: 7 Feb 1941, Hotel Savoy Plaza, New York, USA aged 77
- Buried: Sacramento Historic City Cemetery, California, USA
Another name for Amy was Aimée.
Amy apparently led a colourful life. She wrote an audacious autobiography, entitled "And I'd Do It Again", which shocked readers everywhere when it was published in 1936. In her book, she mentions her marriage to Porter and details about the honeymoon, etc, but then she confines herself to stories of her romances with men like the King of Hawaii and her visit to him. He gave her an Island and she managed to shock all the good Christian women by her antics. She does mention other husband's names in passing but never gives any details and uses her Galitizine title, i.e. Princess Aimée Galitizine.
Aimée Crocker (1863-1941), born Sacramento, CA, was an heiress to gold and railroad fortunes and a daughter of Judge Edwin B. Crocker (1818-1875), legal counsel for the Central Pacific Railroad, Justice of the California Supreme Court in 1865 and founder of the Crocker Art Museum, the longest continuously operating art museum in the West. Her father was a brother of Charles Crocker, one of the "big four" California railroad barons.
The family embarked on a grand European tour from 1869 to 1871 then returned to Sacramento to move into the mansion that had been built for them during their journey. Aimée (originally Amy) married five times beginning in 1885. She wrote of her family in her 1937 memoirs, Without Regret, "The Crocker family needs neither introduction nor comment. For those who never read the papers I might say that we were exceedingly wealthy."
In her teens she was infatuated with several suitors in her first trip abroad. She became engaged to one, a German prince in uniform, after a relationship of one month. She broke the engagement and later wrote of the Prince, "I recall that he did not commit suicide." She was retrieved from Europe by her mother after presentation at court in Dresden. Back at home, two friends, R. Porter Ashe and Harry Gillig, played a game of poker for her hand and Ashe won with four aces. She married him and divorced him a few years later. Aimée then chartered a yacht and sailed to Hawaii having met its King, David Kalakaua, in Europe. She remained there almost a year and the King gave her her own island where she was named Princess of its 300 inhabitants.
Returning to San Francisco, she then married Harry Gillig who had earlier lost her hand in the poker game. That marriage, too, ended in divorce. Traveling abroad years later with her daughter, Gladys Ashe, she met two brothers, Jackson and Powers Gouraud. She married Jackson Gouraud and he died several years later. Her daughter Gladys (born 21 November 1885) married his brother Powers Gouraud (thus becoming her mother's sister-in-law) and they also divorced.
On 11 June 1914 Aimee married Prince Alexandre Miskinoff, a Russian nobleman. They separated in 1915 and he divorced her the next year when she contested the suit. He alleged cruel and inhuman treatment as well as desertion and that her actions had made him ill. One of his written charges was that, although he "always behaved in a calm and respectful manner," toward his wife she made great scenes "and arrogantly claimed that her great fortune gave her the privilege to abuse her husband." Her reply was that her husband had become infatuated with a 15-year old girl in her family and that he had misled her prior to their marriage concerning his social standing. The strangest allegation in the suit was that a baby girl was born to the couple on 11 April 1915, a charge his wife denied. Miskinoff replied that he had a letter in his wife's own hand announcing the baby's birth but that his wife immediately left their home at the Hotel McAlpin with the baby because she did not want her daughter from an earlier marriage to know of the child. He alleged that his wife then kept the baby at the Hotel Endicott in the charge of nurses. He stated that he purchased a baby carriage for $80 and for several weeks proudly pushed his daughter around the sidewalks near the Hotel but his wife then became jealous of his attentions to their daughter. He asked for visitation rights to the child but his wife continued to deny her existence and the divorce was granted.
On 22 September 1925 in Paris Aimée married Prince Mstislav Galitzine, Count Ostermann of Russia, born Kiev 21 January 1899, died Paris 28 February 1966. They were divorced in 1927 in Paris when she charged infidelity. Opposing the suit Prince Galitzine said that their marriage "was purely a commercial one, animated by the American woman's desire to be a Princess," adding that he "married for a financial settlement on condition that the union be one in name only." After their 1927 divorce he remarried a Frenchwoman and had a daughter and Aimée retained the name Princess Galitzine.
She later became very active socially in New York City and had her gowns designed in Paris. While in Java she "wore the native costume and lived in a native hut." During her stay in Japan she lived in a paper house. While there, a young British officer reportedly stole for her a sacred Buddha from a temple and "the affair was hushed up." She died at 78 at the Hotel Savoy Plaza in NYC in 1941.
Extract from "The Wasp", San Francisco, dated 26 February 1910
Her Third Husband Dies
Jackson Gouraud, who died in New York the other day, was the third husband of Mrs Amy Crocker-Ashe-Gillig-Gouraud. A very peculiar family relationship was established by the fact that Mrs Gouraud's daughter, Gladys Ashe, married Gouraud's brother. Just a little while ago, Mrs Gouraud's second husband, Harry Gillig, one of the earliest and best-loved members of the Bohemian Club, passed away. Porter Ashe, the first husband, is still living, is married again, and very prominent in the golf set of San Rafael. He is a brother of Mrs Norman McLaren, Mrs Harold Sewell, Miss Elizabeth Ashe, Gaston, Sydney, and the late Will Ashe. Mrs Gouraud was Miss Amy Crocker, one of the two daughters of the late Judge E. B. and Mrs Margaret Crocker of Sacramento. Her sister Jennie is married to the Hon. Sloat Fassett, one of New York's prominent politicians. Judge Crocker was a brother of Charles, Henry, and Clark Crocker, all of whom except Clark amassed large fortunes. From her childhood Mrs Gouraud did very much as she pleased, and when she eloped with Porter Ashe it did not cause great surprise. It is said that Ashe and Gillig were both in love with the piquant heiress, and played a game of cards to see which should have the first chance of proposing for her hand. Ashe won, but after his divorce Gillig took the opportunity to pay his devoirs. The Gilligs, with Frank Unger, then fidus Achates, travelled all over the world sailing the Meditarranean and the Nile in company. After the Gilligs' divorce, the husband went to Paris and studied the voice, and while there was said to be very attentive to a beautiful girl, a relative of ex-Governor Markham of California. The Jackson Gourauds made things hum, and gave the papers good copy ever since their marriage.
Extract from "The Wasp: The Leading Weekly of the Pacific Coast"dated Saturday, 16 July 1910
Mrs Amy Crocker Ashe Gouraud, who was operated on in Paris last week and was reported to be in a critical condition, is now rapidly recovering.
Extract from the Crocker Art Museum Website
Amy Isabella Crocker Galitzine (1863-1941)
As the most colorful member of the Crocker family, Amy (later Aimée) enjoyed an exotic and indulgent lifestyle. Her audacious autobiography, entitled "And I'd Do It Again", shocked readers when it was published in 1936. She married five times, including a union with the European Prince Galitzine. She had one daughter with her first husband R. Porter Ashe and later adopted Yvonne and Reginald while married to Jackson Gouraud. She died in New York in February 1941.
Extract from "The Evening World" dated Monday, November 18, 1912
Mrs Gouraud Sued By Son-In-Law For Wife's Alienation.
Walter Morgan Russell Asks $50,000 Damages for Loss of Her Affections.
Mrs Aimee Crocker Gouraud, who inherited millions, who lived as a native in a hut in Java, who spent two weeks in a Rajah's harem, resided in a paper house in Japan, caused several duels to be fought over her in Paris, brought to New York a batch of the "goldingdest" Oriental dances the old burg ever saw, and in the meanwhile found time to be led to the altaron three different occasions, is to appear in a new role soon - that of defendant in a suit for alienation of affections.
Walter Morgan Russell, who married Mrs Gouraud's daughter, Gladys, a couple of years ago, has begun action for the alienation of his wife's affections. He asks $50,000. Only the summons in the suit was filed today in the County Clerk's office, the nature of the action not being given. Joseph S, Buhler of Dennis & Buhler of No. 140 Nassau street, attorneys for the plaintiff, refused to discuss the case today, and at hewr home, No. 46 West Fifty-sixth street, it was said that Mrs Gouraud was out of town.
But to those who know the Gourauds well and have been frequent guests at the famous soirees given by the mother, announcement of a suit for alienation caused little surprise. Mrs Russell and her husband have been separated for about a year, the parting taking place in England, where she is at present. She has a handsome home abroad and spends most of her time there. Mrs Russell is independently wealthy. She and her mother have always been on the best of terms.
While Mrs Gouraud has three marriages to her credit, the daughter's wedding to Russell was not her first matrimonial adventure. At one time she was her mother's sister-in-law as well as her daughter, the two having married brothers. When the heiress to the Crocker millions was Mrs "Jack" Gouraud, wife of a well known man about town, her daughter Gladys was Mrs Powers Gouraud. This was in 1906. The daughter obtained a divorce in the West, and it was said at the time that her mother gave Powers Gouraud $500,000 to free her daughter, who later married Russell. She is about twenty-six years old.
While the daughter has not been in the spotlight on so many occasions, Mrs "Jack" Gouraud has furnished columns and columns for the public press. She was born in San Francisco and when very young ran away from school to marry Porter Ashe, a noted Kentucky horseman, from whom she was divorced after seven years. They spent most of their time abroad. In 1889 she married Henry M. Gillig, Commodore of the Larchmont Yacht Club. From him she was divorced in 1901, and then she married Jackson Gouraud, who died in 1910. The daughter, Gladys, was born of her union with Ashe.
Extract from the "San Francisco Call" dated 22 January 1913
Charges Denied In Toto.
Aimée Crocker Gouraud Justifies Herself in Damage Suit Filed.
New York, Jan. 21. - Mrs Aimée Crocker Gouraud, through her counsel, Lawrence & Lawrence, today filed in the supreme court a general denial to the allegation made by her son-in-law, Walter Morgan Russell, who recently started an action to collect $50,000 for the alleged alienation of the affections of his wife, Mrs Gladys Ashe Gouraud. Mrs Gouraud denies her daughter and Russell were living happily together as husband and wife at the time of the alleged separation.
Extract from the "San Francisco Call" dated 31 December 1913
Be Bride Four Times! Never! But Former Miss Crocker Will.
Mrs Jackson Gouraud and her child. The former Amy Crocker of San Francisco, it is said, will marry a rich Russian prince.
"Three mariages are enough for any woman. Engaged again? Why, whose wife will I be next?"
That is what Mrs Amy Crocker-Gouraud said a year ago.
But now she has changed her mind and her question has been answered, for she is to wed Prince Alexander Miskinoff, a wealthy Russian, according to word which has reached her San Francisco acquaintances.
Here is the previous matrimonial record of Mrs Gouraud, daughter of the late Judge E. H. Crocker, cousin of William H. Crocker, and at various times resident of San Francisco, New York, Paris, Larchmont, and Rangoon:
- Porter Ashe, San Francisco attorney.
- Henry M. Gillig, San Francisco clubman.
- Jackson Guraud (now dead), cosmopolite.
She has narrowly escaped a fourth venture many times, according to her friends. Some of those to whom she is reported to have been engaged are:
- M. de Max, her literary collaborator.
- Jacques Le Baudy, "emperor of the Sahara" and multimillionaire.
- M. Mansillia, Argentine diplomat.
- Melville Ellis, composer of muse.
- Genia Agariedoff, singer.
Besides her spectacular dinners in New York and Paris, her stage appearances, her writing and her dancing, Mrs Gouraud has within a few months been brought into prominence by the $50,000 suit of Walter Morgan Russell, who married her daughter, Gladys Ashe Hooper. He charged alienation of affections.
The daughter was divorced by one husband, Powers Gouraud, brother of her mother's husband. She eloped once with Osterlog, an American dentist, and toured Europe.
Extract from the "Madera Tribune" dated 8 February 1941
Belle Of Early Days Is Summoned.
Bride of Poker Game Is Wedded Five Tinmes.
New York, Feb. 8. - Princess Aimée Crocker Galantzine, who had five husbands including two Russian noblemen over a romantic of 40 years, died in her hotel apartment here at the age of 78.
She was the belle of San Francisco in the lush '80s, the daughter of Judge Edwyn Bryant Crocker of Sacramento, from a family of gold miners and railroad builders. In 1887, it is said, Porter Ashe and Harry Gillig played a game of poker for her hand and Ashe won it with four aces. She married Ashe, divorced him the next year and married Gillig.
A few years later she divorced Gillig and went abroad with her daughter, Gladys, born of her marriage with Ashe. In France the mother and daughter met two brothers, Jackson and Powers Gouraud. The mother married Jackson, the daughter married Powers. Jackson died and in 1914 the mother married Prince Alexandre Miskinoff of Russia. She divorced him two years later and after a few more years married Prince Alexander Galatzine, another Russian. They were divorced in 1927.
Extract from Find A Grave
Name: Amy Isabel "Aimée" Crocker Gouraud
Birth: 5 December 1863 in Sacramento, California, USA
Death: 7 February 1941 in Manhattan, New York, USA
Burial: Sacramento City Cemetery, Sacramento, California, USA
Died at the age of 78 years, 2 months, 2 days. Cause of death not stated.
From the Crocker Art Museum website:
Aimée Crocker was born Amy Isabella Crocker December 5, 1863 in Sacramento, California to Judge Edwin B. Crocker and his second wife Margaret. Aimée was the sixth child in a family of four girls, two boys (one of whom was adopted) and a half sister. Three of the children would die young. Aimée was left with a small fortune of $10 million in 1875, when her father "E.B" died. (equal to over 228 million today).
Aimée Crocker (December 5, 1863 '96 February 7, 1941) was an American heiress, princess, eccentric and author best known for her adventures in the Far East, for her extravagant parties in San Francisco, New York and Paris and for her collections of husbands and lovers, adopted children, Buddhas, pearls, tattoos and snakes.
Aimée's husbands were:
1. Porter Ashe (1882-1887)
2. Henry Mansfield Gillig (1889-1901)
3. Jackson Gouraud (1901-1910)
4. Alexander Miskinoff (1914-1916)
5. Prince Mstislav Galitzine (1925-1927)
After Jackson Gouraud (the true love of her life) died of an acute attack of tonsillitis, Aimée kept the name Gouraud for the rest of her life.
When asked by a friend who lost count of her marriages whether Mstislav was her fifth or sixth husband, she said, "The prince is my twelfth husband if I include in my matrimonial list seven Oriental husbands, not registered under the laws of the Occident.
Children: Gladys, Dolores, Reginald, Yvonne, Yolanda Aimée Crocker.
Author of "Moon Madness And Other Fantasies" (1910) and "And I'd Do It Again" (1936)
She died at 78 at the Hotel Savoy Plaza in NYC in 1941.
Extract from the "San Bernadino Sun" dated 9 October 1941
Tenth of Crocker Estate Left Intact
(By Associated Press)
NEW YORK, Oct. 8. - Aimee Crocker, who used an inherited $10,000,000 to catapult her into the limelight of two continents with her gay activities, left more than a tenth of it when she died last Feb. 7 at her home here at the age of 78.
An estate tax appraisal filed today showed that her only daughter, Mrs Gladys Crocker Ashe of New York, received $200,000 outright, jewelry, and a life estate in one-half the residue, out of her mother's total estate of $1,106,585 gross and $1,051,449 net.
The millions left Aimee Crocker by her father Judge Edwin Bryant Crocker of Sacramento, California, launched her on a career, that included five marriages and four divorces. Her last husband was Prince Alexander Galatzine. They were divorced in Paris in 1927.
Extract from www.leagle.com
Matter of Gouraud.
85 A.D.2d 342 (1982)
In the Matter of Bank of New York, as Trustee under a Trust Created by Aimee C. Gouraud, Respondent. Ronald S. Lockhart, as Surviving Executor of Walter M. Russell, Also Known as Gerald Russell, Deceased, Appellant; Jenny F. N. Learned et al., Respondents
Appellate Division of the Supreme Court of the State of New York, First Department.
March 23, 1982
Attorney(s) appearing for the Case
Ronald S. Lockhart, pro se (Alger, Andrew & Rohlfs, attorneys), for appellant.
John R. Alexander of counsel (Sayles, Evans, Brayton, Palmer & Tifft, attorneys), for Jenny F. N. Learned and others, respondents.
Stephen Lochner of counsel (Rockwood, Edelstein & Duffy, P. C., attorneys), for Edward S. Crocker and others, respondents.
KUPFERMAN, J. P., SULLIVAN, LUPIANO and FEIN, JJ., concur.
This is a proceeding for the settlement of the final account of the Bank of New York as trustee of an inter vivos and a testamentary trust, both created by Aimee
[85 A.D.2d 343]
Crocker Gouraud. There are no objections to the accounts as such, but the trustee has sought a determination of the persons entitled to the remainder.
In 1933, Mrs. Gouraud created the inter vivos trust to terminate on the death of her grandson, Russell. The income was payable for the lives, first, of Russell's mother, and then of Russell. On the latter's death without issue the remainder was to be paid over to Mrs. Gouraud, if living, and otherwise to her estate. Mrs. Gouraud died in 1941, Russell's mother in 1947, and Russell in 1976 without issue. Thus, the remainder became payable to Mrs. Gouraud's estate.
After specific bequests, Mrs. Gouraud's will directed that her residuary estate be divided into two equal trusts, which Special Term denominated Trusts A and B. The income of Trust B was payable to Russell for his life, and on his death, if his mother had predeceased him, the remainder became payable to Mrs. Gouraud's next of kin and heirs at law. The disposition of this remainder is undisputed.
The income of Trust A was payable to Russell's mother for her life with the remainder to Russell on her death if he survived her. The appellant, the executor of Russell's estate, contends that Russell, having survived his mother, became the absolute legatee of one half of Mrs. Gouraud's residuary estate and thus that he is entitled to one half of the remainder of the inter vivos trust that is payable to that estate. Seemingly troubled by the fact that under the terms of the will Russell would become a remainderman of an inter vivos trust of which he was an income life beneficiary, Special Term held that the appellant's contention "[w]hile seeming logical, on its face * * * is supported only by a literal, mechanistic interpretation of the language employed in the will. It produces a thoroughly anomolous, unsatisfactory result." So minded, Special Term felt called upon to analyze the will alone and in its relationship with the inter vivos trust in an effort to ascertain Mrs. Gouraud's intention and her motives respecting the disposition of the remainder of Trust A. It concluded that her intention was to benefit her living heirs, excluding any intention to benefit Russell's estate. It directed that the remainder of the trust be paid to Mrs. Gouraud's heirs at law.
[85 A.D.2d 344]
Stating that a decedent is presumed to intend to benefit living persons, citing Matter of Potter (68 Misc.2d 745, affd 41 A.D.2d 1025), Special Term noted that the inter vivos trust gave no contingent remainder to Russell or his estate, but in Matter of Potter the question posed was when a remainder vested in the absence of any indication as to the time of vesting in the governing instrument. A similar question was posed in Matter of Herrick (9 Misc.2d 938) relied upon by the respondents. Here, the governing instrument, Mrs. Gouraud's will, created a trust for the life of Russell's mother and directed that the principal be paid on her death to Russell if then living.
We find nothing "anomolous", "unsatisfactory", or incongruous in one being a remainderman of a trust of which he is a life beneficiary (see United States Trust Co. v Taylor, 193 App Div 153, 156; Matter of White, 213 App Div 82; Safford v Kowalik, 278 App Div 604).
Special Term had no warrant to resort to principles of construction to determine the disposition of the remainder. The inter vivos trust agreement clearly and explicitly directed that upon Russell's death the remainder be paid to Mrs. Gouraud's estate. Her will gave Russell a one-half interest in her residuary estate contingent only upon his surviving his mother. Russell's death subsequent to the death of his mother clearly establishes the entitlement of his estate. Where language is unambiguous and supports a reasonable meaning, it must be accepted as manifesting the grantor's intention; the court is bound and the canons of construction do not come into play (Matter of Bisconti, 306 N.Y. 442).
Upon settlement of the judgment, Special Term awarded attorneys' fees payable from the inter vivos trust to the respondent parties before it, exclusive of the appellant. Under the judgment appealed from the appellant has no interest in the principal of the inter vivos trust fund and thus no standing to object to the award of such fees. In view, however, of our modification of the judgment to the extent appealed from, there should be a redetermination of the fees to be awarded and allocation thereof among the several funds.
[85 A.D.2d 345]
Judgment, Supreme Court, New York County (MARTIN EVANS, J.), entered September 3, 1981, to the extent that it determined that all of the remainder of an inter vivos trust be paid to the heirs at law and surviving next of kin of the grantor of the trust and charging attorneys' fees against said remainder of the inter vivos trust, modified, on the law, to direct that one half of the remainder of the inter vivos trust be paid to appellant Lockhart as surviving executor of the estate of Walter Morgan Russell, deceased, and the matter of the award of attorneys' fees remanded to Special Term for reconsideration, with costs and disbursements payable out of the estate of Aimee Crocker Gouraud.
Judgment, Supreme Court, New York County, entered on September 3, 1981, unanimously modified, on the law, to direct that one half of the remainder of the inter vivos trust be paid to appellant Lockhart as surviving executor of the estate of Walter Morgan Russell, deceased, and the matter of the award of attorneys' fees remanded to Special Term for reconsideration, with costs and disbursements payable out of the estate of Aimee Crocker Gouraud.
Amy married Richard Porter ASHE Jnr, son of Colonel Dr. Richard Porter ASHE and Caroline Joyce LOYALL, in Dec 1882. (Richard Porter ASHE Jnr was born on 4 Jul 1860 in San Francisco, California, USA, died on 23 Dec 1929 in San Francisco, California, USA and was buried in Cypress Lawn Memorial Park, Colma, San Mateo County, California.). The cause of his death was Cerebral hemorrhage.
Amy next married Harry M. GILLIG on 10 Jul 1889 in Manhattan, New York, USA. (Harry M. GILLIG was born in 1859 and died on 13 Apr 1909 in Los Angeles, California, USA.)
Amy next married Jackson GOURAUD, son of George Edward GOURAUD and Florence Willis SNOW, in 1901 in St. George's, Hanover Square, London, England. (Jackson GOURAUD was born in 1874 in Paris, France, died on 21 Feb 1910 in Manhattan, New York, USA and was buried in Woodlawn Cemetery, Bronx, New York, USA.)
Amy next married Prince Alexandre MISKINOFF on 11 Jun 1914 in St. Martin, London, England. (Prince Alexandre MISKINOFF was born in 1886 in Tiflis, Russia.)
Amy next married Prince Mstislav GALITZINE Count Ostermann of Russia on 22 Sep 1925. (Prince Mstislav GALITZINE Count Ostermann of Russia was born on 21 Jan 1899 in Kiev, Ukraine and died on 28 Feb 1966 in Paris, France.)