September 27, 1956 – Mrs. Frances Osborne Kellogg Dies at Osborndale
Dairy Farmer, Prize Cattle Breeder, Manufacturer, Patron of Arts Deeded Vast Property for a Park
Had Retained only Life Use of Area Extending from Pinkhouse Cove on Housatonic into West of Ansonia
Mrs. Frances E. Osborne Kellogg, widow of Waldo S. Kellogg, died last night at 10:43 o’clock, following several weeks’ illness in the family home, 500 Hawthorne Avenue, in which she was born and where she lived her entire life.
A woman of many interests, she was prominent in the community. Mrs. Kellogg was an industrialist, connected with local manufacturing concerns as well as with industrial firms in England.
She was the first woman member of the board of directors of the Birmingham National Bank, and was for many years president and sponsor of the Woman’s Club of the associated towns and cities which brought many distinguished artists to this community.
Mrs. Kellogg was the proprietor of Osborndale and Bassett Farms, both distinguished throughout New England for their high bred cattle and outstanding dairy products. Her prize cattle took many honors at stock exhibitions throughout the country, attracting wide attention by their high products, and commanded tremendous prices when sold. The name “Osborndale” in the dairy world became synonymous with highest quality and finest registered stock.
Property to State
Five years ago, Mrs. Kellogg announced that she had decided to deed to the State of Connecticut most of her real estate comprising of two farms and her homestead, to be developed as a state park in a long range recreational program for the people of the state.
Reserving life use of the properties and income, Mrs. Kellogg deeded the property to the state in 1951 and it was accepted on behalf of the state by the then governor, John Lodge.
Mrs. Kellogg deeded to the state, with the exceptions of certain marginal properties, Osborndale and Bassett Farms, extending from Pink House Cove into Ansonia, and including Pickett’s Pond, to the Connecticut Park and Forest Commission. The State of Connecticut later announced its long range plans for development of the property into a recreational center for the people of the state, the plans encompassing a huge amphitheater for musicals and other outdoor presentations.
Native of Derby
Mrs. Kellogg was a native of Derby and descendant of an old Connecticut family. It was in 1817 that Captain Stephen Osborne of New Haven and his wife Apama Gorham, granddaughter of Captain George Gorham, came to live in Derby. Both Captain Osborn and Captain Gorham saw active service in the War of the Revolution and Captain Gorham built many vessels at the old Hallock’s Shipyard here and was a noted sea captain.
Mrs. Kellogg was the daughter of the late Major Wilbur Fisk Osborne, who was born in Derby January 14, 1841, and the late Ellen Lucy Davis Osborne. Major Osborne was the son of the late John W. and Susan (Durand) Osborne. His father was one of the pioneers in the brass industry in this country and a founder and president of the Osborne and Cheeseman Company. Major Osborne, a graduate of Wesleyan University, was an enlistee in the Union Army in the War of the Rebellion and served nearly four years. Following the war, he became identified with his father’s industry, the Osborne and Cheeseman Company. In 1882 he organized a branch known as the Schneller, Osborne, and Cheeseman Company. He also was the organizer of the Union Fabric Company and an organizer of the F. Kelley Company, both of these companies being located in Ansonia for a number of years when they were moved to this city in newly constructed plants on Roosevelt Drive. Mr. Osborne was also one of the incorporators of the Derby Silver Company which later became an affiliate of the International Silver Company. He was identified with many other industrial and commercial interests and was a high-minded citizen. He was the founder and organizer of the Derby Neck Library and was an active officer and member of the Derby Methodist Church.
Upon the death of Major Osborne, in 1907, his daughter Mrs. Kellogg assumed many of the business interests and civic responsibilities which she maintained until her death. She became president and assistant treasurer of the Union Fabric Company and treasurer of the F. Kelley Company and vice president of the Connecticut Clasp Company of Bridgeport. With her associates in the Union Fabric Company together with Faire Bros. Ltd. of Leicester, England, she was instrumental in founding Steels and Busks, Ltd. of Leicester, and became one of its permanent directors and made frequent trips to England to visit the company’s manufacturing plants.
Mrs. Kellogg was married in 1919 to Waldo Stewart Kellogg, of New York, a well known architect. After coming to Derby, Mr. Kellogg became interested in stock raising and agriculture and made the Osborndale farm and later the Bassett farm two of the best known stock breeding and milk producing farms in New England. Mr. Kellogg specialized in Holstein stock raising, an interest in both farms being always maintained by Mrs. Kellogg. Mr. Kellogg died in 1929, and Mrs. Kellogg carried on the Osborndale Farm, carefully adhering to its high standards. She served as president of the New England States Holstein-Friesian Association of Connecticut and served as director of the Connecticut Jersey Cattle Club, the New Haven County Farm Bureau and the National Dairy Show of St. Louis. Prize specimen cattle of Osborndale and Bassett Farms in recent years have achieved outstanding honors and premium prices.
Patron of Music
Mrs. Kellogg, herself a talented violinist, was a lifelong devotee to and patron of music. As a young woman, she studied violin first under Max Fonaroff and Frans Milcke of New Haven, and later with Max Bendix and Franz Kneisen in New York. She also studied musical theory with Percey Goetsius at the University of Musical Art, now known as the Julliard Foundation of New York City. Her devotion to music encompassed an interest in and assistance and encouragement to many young and aspiring artists whom she considered to have unusual or promising talent.
In her desire to share with other music lovers her interest and enthusiasm in music, Mrs. Kellogg brought to the community through the Women’s Club, until a few years ago when her activity through this medium ceased, some of the best artists in the country and from other countries. As president of the Women’s Club, she directed the club program for many years bringing to Derby outstanding figures in the musical and lecture field.
Derby Neck Library
Continuing her father’s interest in community and industrial affairs, Mrs. Kellogg also devoted herself to the Derby Neck Library, which her father, in 1897, was instrumental in founding. Antedating other libraries, hereabouts, Major Osborne and others established the library mostly as a community project, but is soon attracted patrons from the entire city and other cities and towns hereabouts. Mrs. Kellogg continued her father’s purpose to provide the latest and best reading material to the library’s patrons. She also carried on the work of completing the library building on Hawthorne Avenue, which her father had undertaken to the point of securing a grant for the new building from the Andrew Carnegie Foundation, and which he did not live to see realized. Since her father’s death, Mrs. Kellogg served as president of the Derby Neck Library Association and until a few weeks ago she assisted in the library work on those afternoons in which it was open. Her cousin, Miss Helen Krehbiel, librarian for many years, died July 10 last.
Active in Church
Mrs. Kellogg was an active and lifelong member of the Derby Methodist Church and did a great deal on behalf of the church. She served for many years on various committees and was also a member of the official board of the church
Mrs. Kellogg was a woman of many and varied activities. She was a member of the Board of Directors of the Griffin Hospital. She also served as a member of the Board of Zoning Appeals for the City of Derby for a number of years, being a member at the time of her death. Some years ago she purchased the Shelton property on Seymour Avenue, containing the ancestral home, a greystone mansion, of Edward N. Shelton, and later sold the property to the City of Derby, the New Irving School now occupying the site. She was a director and longtime member of the Connecticut State Forest and Park Association.
When in 1917, Irving H. Peck conceived the idea of a supervised swimming camp on Lake Housatonic, Mrs. Kellogg offered the use of her property on the riverfront as the site of what is now the Recreation Camp.
In 1901, Mrs. Kellogg organized the Derby Choral Club, which began with a small group of women singers, and soon grew into a mixed chorus of 250 voices which for 16 consecutive seasons presented a public musicale here until the death of its director, Dr. Horatio W. Parker.
Mrs. Kellogg served as a member of the Derby Board of Education representing the Second Ward for two terms aggregating eight years.
She was a member of the Lower Naugatuck Valley Business and Professional Women’s Club.
She was also a longtime member of the Sarah Riggs Humphreys Chapter, D.A.R.
Mrs. Kellogg’s nearest surviving relatives are several cousins.
Funeral services will take place Saturday afternoon at 2 o’clock at the late residence, 500 Hawthorne Avenue. Internment will be in the family plot in Oak Cliff Cemetery. There will be no calling hours.