The book The History of Fairfield County, Connecticut, 1639-1928 wrote: “Westport has been to a very considerable extent the beneficiary of his public spirit. He is now president of the Corn Products Refining Company of New York and the Colonial Oil Company of New Jersey, a trustee of the Title Guarantee & Trust Company, a director of the Thompson –Starett Company, the Long Island Safe Deposit Company and Bush Terminal Company and is a member of the United States Lloyds. (1) Mr. Bedford is vice president of the Riding and Driving Club of Brooklyn, The Bridgeport Yacht Club, the Black Rock Harbor Club and the Hokomin Golf Club. (2).
He gave to Westport its’ YMCA, two school buildings, three schools, a central fire station and half the cost of two playing fields, and the Nurses Home.” (3) Also, in 1924, the State Police Barracks were erected on the Post Road on land donated by Bedford. (4)(Westport, Connecticut, Woody Klein, Greenwood Press, CT). E.T. Bedford purchased The Westport Hotel and converted it to a club specifically dedicated to women- The Westport Womens Club, still in existence today. (5) Besides F.E. Lewis he was the biggest taxpayer in town.
When the Standard Oil trust was broken up by the U.S. Government in 1907 Bedford resigned his posts at various oil concerns and became president of Corn Products Refining Company where he quickly earned for the company ten times the profit it heretofore had earned. (6).
Due to his wealth and his other residency in Brooklyn E.T. was featured in The New York Times.
The New York Times June 06, 1921
FIRE IN E.T. BEDFORD’S HOUSE:
Residence of the Standard Oil Magnate on Clinton Avenue, Brooklyn, Damaged by Flames.
There was much excitement yesterday afternoon in the aristocratic neighborhood of Clinton and Willoughby Avenues, Brooklyn, as a result of a fire which badly damaged the handsome residence of Edward T. Bedford of the Standard Oil Company, at 181 Clinton Avenue, between Willoughby and Myrtle Avenues.
HORSES WORTH $100,000 LOST BY E.T. BEDFORD; Fire Destroys Them With Barns on His Connecticut Farm.
NORWALK, Conn., June 5.–Twelve show and race horses, valued at $100,000, were destroyed early today in a fire at Winfromere Farm, the estate of Edward T. Bedford, President of the Corn Products Refining Company and a Director in many New York corporations. The Bedford estate is at Greens Farms, about four miles from here.
(This loss equals $ 1.5 million in 2020 dollars).
Wynfromere was a breeding and stock farm with a half mile racetrack- Bedford was the breeder of the celebrated Hamburg Belle, who held the world’s record of 2:01 ¼ and was sold for $50,000 ($584,000 in 2014 dollars). He also set a record with his two trotters, Bemay and York Boy, registering a mile in 2:12 ½. (7).
Bedford Park, Bronx was named after E.T. in 1906 and Bedford Park, Illinois was also named for E.T., having been the owner of the company Corn Products International which brought in the work for the area. (8)
Westporter Adds to Record-Breaking Year For Estate Taxes
reported WestportNow on Sunday, May 12, 2013:
Connecticut will record a budget surplus this year thanks to an unexpected jump in the state’s inheritance and gift taxes, including those from the $88 million estate of a Westport woman, the Hartford Courant reported today.
Legislators expecting to collect about $150 million were stunned recently when the projection soared to $428 million — the highest amount, by far, in state history,” the newspaper said. Many deceased lived in Fairfield County.
The second largest estate cited in the report, $88 million, was held by [ Bedford Descendant ] Lucie Cunningham Warren, the grandmother of Senate Republican leader and expected gubernatorial candidate John McKinney.”
Warren died July 16, 2012 at age 104 at her Beachside Avenue home in Westport’s Greens Farms area after an out-of-the-spotlight life that included volunteering at Norwalk Hospital until she was 96. (9)
An heir to the Standard Oil fortune, Warren owned a huge stock portfolio of $75 million, including $27 million in ExxonMobil, nearly $20 million in Procter & Gamble and more than $10 million in Chevron Corp., the Courant said. It said her probate file shows that she set aside more than $30 million to pay federal and state taxes.
It said the unexpectedly huge collection of inheritance taxes — along with a spike in income tax revenue —helped turn the red ink into black. The boost has pushed the state into a surplus, though lawmakers acknowledge that this represents one-time revenue that will be hard to duplicate (10) http://www.westportnow.com/index.php?/v2_5/comments/43408/)
Furthermore in 2014 another Bedford descendant, Ruth Bedford, who died just short of her 100th birthday left $40 million dollars to the Foxcroft School.
1. History of Fairfield County, Connecticut, 1639-1928, Volume III, Chicago Hartford, The S.J. Clarke Publishing Company, 1929.
5.6. Westport, Connecticut, Woody Klein, Greenwood Press, CT
7. Selected Writings of Elbert Hubbard,Volume 2, 1922, W.M.H. Wise, New York.
9. WestportNow July 17 & 20, 2012.