Finding Aid for the Childs Frick Papers, Series I: Correspondence, 1883-1901, 1925, undated HCFF.4.1

 Part of the Frick Family Papers

Summary Information

The Frick Collection/Frick Art Reference Library Archives10 East 71st Street
New York, NY, 10021
 © 2012 The Frick Collection. All rights reserved.
Frick, Childs, 1883-1965.
Childs Frick Papers, Series I: Correspondence
1883-1901, 1925, undated
2.5 Linear feet (6 boxes)
Childs Frick (1883-1965) was the son of industrialist and art collector Henry Clay Frick. He was a noted paleontologist and a founding trustee of The Frick Collection. These papers consist of letters to Childs Frick chiefly from family members and friends.

Preferred Citation

Childs Frick Papers, Series I: Correspondence. The Frick Collection/Frick Art Reference Library Archives.

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Biographical Note

Childs Frick (1883-1965) was the eldest son of industrialist and art collector Henry Clay Frick and his wife Adelaide. Born in Pittsburgh, he attended the Sterrett School and Shadyside Academy in that city. From 1893 to 1896, he attended boarding school in Cambridge, Mass., where he was accompanied by the tutor C.A. Duniway. Childs Frick graduated from Princeton University in 1905. From an early age, Childs showed an interest in natural history, and later achieved recognition for his work as a paleontologist. Over the years, he led or sponsored a number of scientific expeditions around the world and donated trophies to both the Carnegie Institute in Pittsburgh and the American Museum of Natural History in New York. He served as a trustee of the American Museum of Natural History, where he also established the Frick Laboratory of Vertebrate Paleontology, and as president of the board of trustees of The Frick Collection, which was founded by his father.

Childs Frick married Frances Shoemaker Dixon in 1913, and they had four children: Adelaide (1915-1956), Frances (1916-1971), Martha (1917-1996), and Henry Clay II (1919-2007). The family lived at Clayton, an estate located in Roslyn, N.Y., which was a gift to Childs and his wife from Henry Clay Frick. Childs Frick died at Clayton in 1965.

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Scope and Content Note

This series consists of incoming letters to Childs Frick (sometimes addressed as "Ti" or "Ty") chiefly from family members and friends. Items date from 1883 to 1901, with one item from 1925, and a small amount of undated material. The bulk of these letters were written by his mother, Adelaide H.C. Frick, during the period of 1893 to 1896 while Childs was attending boarding school in Cambridge, Mass. During that time, Adelaide Frick wrote to her son several times per week with news regarding family members, pets, local events, and social engagements, including visits from Andrew Carnegie and his wife. While most of these letters were written from Clayton, the Frick family home in Pittsburgh, others were written while she was traveling, and are dated from New York and various locations in Florida.

Henry Clay Frick's letters to his son date from as early as 1892, but he wrote far less frequently than his wife. His letters often contain reports of Childs Frick's peers, details of travel plans, news from home, and frequent urgings for Childs Frick to improve himself academically. Other family members who corresponded regularly with Childs Frick include his sister, Helen Clay Frick, and his aunt, Martha H. Childs.

In addition to family members and friends, Childs Frick received letters from several employees of the Frick family, including Henry Clay Frick's secretary George Megrew, Helen Clay Frick's governesses Marika Ogiz and Marguerite Dunton, Frick family coachman James Elmore, Clayton gardener George Doerr, and chef Spencer Ford. Megrew and two business associates of Henry Clay Frick, Millard Hunsiker and R.L. Hurst, also contributed to Childs Frick's stamp collection.

This series contains one folder of unidentified materials and one folder of invitations, including an invitation to the wedding of Andrew W. Mellon and Nora McMullen.

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Materials in this series are arranged alphabetically by correspondent.

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Administrative Information

Access Restrictions

These records are open for research by appointment under the conditions of The Frick Collection/Frick Art Reference Library Archives Access Policy. For all inquiries or to schedule an appointment, please contact the Archives Department at


Gift of the Helen Clay Frick Foundation, 2015.

Processing Information

Arranged and described by Julie Ludwig, 2012, with funding from the Helen Clay Frick Foundation.

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Related Materials

Related Materials

For additional correspondence of Childs Frick, see the Childs Frick Family Papers in this repository.

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Controlled Access Headings

Family Name(s)

  • Frick family--Homes and haunts--Pennsylvania--Pittsburgh.


  • Correspondence.

Personal Name(s)

  • Carnegie, Andrew, 1835-1919.
  • Frick, Adelaide Howard Childs, 1859-1931.
  • Frick, Childs, 1883-1965.
  • Frick, Helen Clay, 1888-1984.
  • Frick, Henry Clay, 1849-1919.


  • Stamp collecting.

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Collection Inventory

1 1

Bakewell, Gifford


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1 2

Bakewell, Joseph


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1 3

Carnegie Museum (Pittsburgh, Pa.)


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1 4

Childs, James Asa


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1 5-8

Childs, Martha Howard ("Attie")


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1 9

Childs, Mary Bell Hogg [Mrs. James Asa Childs]

Includes invitation for her wedding to James Asa Childs.


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1 10

Doerr, George


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1 11

Duniway, C.A.


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1 12

Dunton, Marguerite


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1 13

Elmore, James


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1 14

Ford, Spencer


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1 15-18

Frick, Adelaide H.C.


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2 1-11

Frick, Adelaide H.C., continued

4 January 1894: Mentions marble bust of Martha Frick ("It is beautiful, although we do not think it a very good likeness of our darling child..."); and Kingsley House.

7 January 1894: Mentions photographer Roseti.

9 January 1894: Mentions Phipps family, their departure from Knebworth House in England, and their plans to travel to Rome.


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3 1-11

Frick, Adelaide H.C., continued

Letters dated 27 February 1895-25 March 1895 are written from Palm Beach, Fla. Letters dated 27 and 30 March 1895 are written from Washington, D.C.

Letter dated 21 October 1895 mentions the removal of thirteen paintings [for the inaugural exhibition at the Carnegie Library?]


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4 1-12

Frick, Adelaide H.C., continued

13 December 1895: Mentions concert by Nellie Melba in Pittsburgh's new Carnegie Hall.

Postmark 6 January 1896: Mentions visiting "the gallery [at the Carnegie Library?] to see the pictures."

1 March 1896: Mentions plan to build a playhouse at Clayton.

8 March 1896: Written from Palm Beach, Fla.

21 April 1896: Mentions arrival of Helen Clay Frick's portrait by Chartran.

25 April 1896: Mentions plans to give "an entertainment" on May 5th; "Mr. Carnegie is with us and we went to the concert at the Hall last night....Papa's and Helen's portraits [by Chartran] are hung now....Mr. Chartran is painting another portrait of Judge Mellon."

26 April 1896: Mentions lunch at the Woodwell's with Mr. Chartran and Mr. Knoedler.

24 October 1896: Written from New York. Mentions trying on gowns at Guerin's and luncheon with Mr. and Mrs. Carnegie.

3 March 1897: Written en route to Florida. Letters dated 10-14 March 1897 were sent from Palm Beach, Fla. and St. Augustine, Fla.

12 March 1897: Includes thank you note from Childs Frick to Mr. and Mrs. Carnegie.

1 December 1898 [letter addressed to Helen; envelope addressed to Childs]: Written from New York. Mentions luncheon at Mr. and Mrs. Carnegie's and seeing their daughter Margaret; also mentions seeing Mr. Chartran and Mr. Knoedler.

28 July 1900: Written on board the chartered yacht Shemara.

26 April 1901: Written from New York. Mentions departure of Mlle. Ogiz on a steamer, with Mr. Frick, Helen, Mr. Knoedler, and Mlle. Dunton seeing her off; also dinner held by Mr. Frick at Delmonico's, attended by Mr. Carstairs and Mr. Harding.

Undated letter in which Mrs. Frick writes "I hope you had time to call upon Mrs. Carnegie as she would be glad to see you. Mr. Carnegie is staying with us."

1895-1901, undated

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4 13

Frick, Adelaide H.C., continued

Folder of envelopes without accompanying letters.


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5 1-3

Frick, Helen Clay


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5 4-8

Frick, Henry Clay


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5 9

Geer, Clarence J.


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5 10

Harvey, George


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5 11

Hunsiker, Millard

Folder contains stamps collected for Childs Frick by Hunsiker.


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5 12

Hurst, R.L.

Letters mention stamps forwarded to Childs Frick for his collection.


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5 13


Includes the following invitations: Mrs. Jane Grandison's birthday (1893), to visit Mary Mellon [1894?], for dancing at the home of Dr. and Mrs. William J. Holland (1900), and the wedding of Andrew W. Mellon and Nora McMullen (1900).


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5 14

McLaughlin, W.A.


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5 15

Megrew, George


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6 1-4

Megrew, George, continued


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6 5

Mitchell, John

Letter from Scotland re: hunting dogs.


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6 6

Ogiz, Marika


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6 7

"R.R." [René Rumpelmayer?]

Folder contains postcards from Monte Carlo and Verona.


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6 8

Rea, James


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6 9

Standard Stamp Co. (St. Louis, Mo.)


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6 10

Union Club of Pittsburgh


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6 11

Whitney, George I.


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6 12


Folder contains envelopes without accompanying letters, as well as letters from unidentified correspondents.

1894-1900, undated

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