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Astor Widows, Now Said To Be on Edge of Social Duel

The Washington Times

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In This, Their Hour of Grief, Friends Say They Are Preparing for War

[Above a photo of Ava Willing Astor:] Armed With Millions, Son's Favor, and

[Above a photo of Madeline Force Astor:[ Her Sword Is Youth, Her Shield Is

NEW YORK, May 8---Mrs. Ava Willing Astor, mother of Vincent Astor, America's
richest resident land owner, soon will close her residence abroad and return
to the United States. There are two reasons given for this action by friends
of the late Col. John Jacob Astor's former wife and his widow.

Primarily, Mrs. Astor desires to reside where she may be in close
communication with her son, whom she loves deeply. The young
multi-millionaire fully reciprocates this affection. It is said he has urged
his mother to take this course.

Secondary, is the desire of the former wife of the late Col. John Jacob
Astor to return to her own country as the recognized social head of the
Astor family. To use her own words, as "Mrs. John Astor."

The present period of mourning does not permit intimate friends of either
Mrs. John Astor or the young widowed bride, Mrs. Madeline Force Astor, to
discuss their probable rivalry for social prestige. But, it is conceded,
that the woman of the two who wins the personal support of William Vincent
Astor, will be socially recognized as THE Mrs. Astor, prior to Vincent's

Another point of information should set at rest the gossip and reports of a
contemplated immediate marriage by Vincent Astor.

This person, a close friend of the young man, said:

"I am sure that Vincent Astor does not intend to be married in the immediate
future. That he would attempt to do this before reaching his majority, next
November, is considered unlikely. He is a very sensible young man, and seems
eager to respect the counsel of the men who are to serve with him to
conserve his great financial interests. Of course, it is natural for the
possessor of such an immense fortune to desire to wed and possess an heir.
But it may be announced as a certainty that William Vincent Astor is not now
engaged to marry any girl. After November 15 next he may decide.

"One more point. Mr. Astor is energetic, but he dislikes publicity fully as
much as his father did. He realizes that the position as head of the great
Astor family places him prominently before the public. But he will endeavor
as far as lies within his power, to avoid seeking publicity at all times.
For many weeks to come he will be in almost daily conferences concerning his

In his own behalf Mr. Astor yesterday declared that he will remain an
American. This avowal has been praised by his friends. The only man who
holds more property in America than Vincent Astor is the second cousin,
William Waldorf Astor, who expatriated himself to become a British subject.

Vincent Astor yesterday announced that he would be unable to return to
Harvard this spring for study. He has been offered an opportunity to return
for the June examination with his class, and may do that. As to continuing
the Harvard course next fall, the question is unsettled. But, Mr. Astor
stated that he would first consider the advisability of taking up a law
course here in New York, where he may be in close communication with his
business affairs.

The future residence of Mr. Astor has not been announced. At present he
retains his effects at the Fifth avenue mansion, which now belongs to the
widow, Mrs. Madeline Force Astor. Very shortly, however, he is expected to
remove from that house. He may occupy apartments or a house in New York,
still to be selected, or he may take up his domicile at the estate on the
Hudson, near Rhinebeck.

Related Biographies

Madeleine Talmage Astor
John Jacob Astor
Ava Willing Astor


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Encyclopedia Titanica (2012) Astor Widows, Now Said To Be on Edge of Social Duel (The Washington Times, , ref: #18615, published 7 June 2012, generated 4th December 2022 12:34:07 AM); URL : https://www.encyclopedia-titanica.org/astor-widows-now-said-to-be-on-edge-of-social-duel-18615.html