William Montgomery Vermilye (September 30, 1801 – June 18, 1878)[1] was an American banker and philanthropist.

William Montgomery Vermilye
William Montgomery Vermilye.jpg
22nd President of the Saint Nicholas Society of the City of New York
In office
Preceded byAugustus Rodney Macdonough
Succeeded byRobert George Remsen
Personal details
Born(1801-09-30)September 30, 1801
New York City, New York, U.S.
DiedJune 18, 1878(1878-06-18) (aged 76)
New York City, New York, U.S.
Hester Anthony De Reimer
(m. 1827; his death 1878)
ParentsWilliam W. Vermilye
Mary Montgomery Vermilye

Early lifeEdit

Vermilye was born in New York City on September 30, 1801.[2] He was the eldest child born to Mary (née Montgomery) Vermilye (1782–1847), who was of Irish Montgomery lineage, and William W. Vermilye (1780–1849),[3] a venerated elder in the Presbyterian Church.[4] Among his siblings were the Rev. Dr. Thomas E. Vermilye and Rev. Dr. Robert G. Vermilye and Col. Washington Romeyn Vermilye, who married Elizabeth Dwight Lathrop, daughter of U.S. Representative Samuel Lathrop.[5]

Vermilye, who was of Huguenot ancestry, was "a descendant of one of the oldest families of New-York, the original founder of the family, Mr. John Vermilye, having immigrated to this country from England in 1690."[1]


After a common school education in New York, he entered business at the age of eighteen in the office of the Commercial Advertiser which his father was proprietor.[1] He left the Advertiser and joined the Commercial Bank, staying until the Spring of 1830 when the Merchants' Exchange Bank was organized and Vermilye was the first cashier, staying in that role until 1840, when he became cashier of the Manhattan Banking Association. In 1846, he became treasurer of the Ohio Life and Trust Company after the resignation of Newton Perkins, holding this position until 1849.[1]

In 1849, Vermilye, along with his brother Col. Washington Romeyn Vermilye and George Carpenter, founded the firm of Carpenter & Vermilye, which became one of the most prominent banking houses in New York City and was known for selling war bonds during the U.S. Civil War.[1] After Carpenter's retirement in 1858, the firm was renamed Vermilye & Co. Ten years later in 1868, Vermilye himself retired.[a] While active in business, he was a trustee of the Mutual Life Insurance Company and served as vice-president and acting president of the Mechanics Banking Association.[1] In 1863, he declined, along with Abraham Lincoln, Robert B. Roosevelt, John J. Astor Jr. and Nathaniel Sands, to endorse John Adams Dix for mayor of New York City.[10]

In 1868, along with James Lenox, he was also a founder of the Presbyterian Hospital in New York City. In addition, he was an incorporator of the New York Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children in 1875 with Elbridge Thomas Gerry, serving as a director for two years. In 1877, he became the 22nd President of the Saint Nicholas Society of the City of New York,[11] a charitable organization in New York City of men who are descended from early inhabitants of the State of New York.[12]

Personal lifeEdit

On April 4, 1827, Vermilye was married to Hester Anthony De Reimer (1810–1894).[3] Hester was the youngest daughter of Hester (née Anthony) De Reimer and Samuel Babbington De Reimer, a Roosevelt family descendant through his paternal grandmother.[13][b] Together, William and Hester were the parents of:[13]

  • William Edward Vermilye (1828–1888), who married Julia E. Murdock (1832–1928).[13]
  • Thomas Edward Vermily (1828–1828), who died in infancy.[13]
  • Mary Anthony Vermilye (1830–1913), who married Charles A. Davison, Esq. (1824–1900) in 1850.[13]
  • Louise Maria Vermilye (1832–1902), who married lawyer John Ebenezer Burrill (1822–1893) in 1853.[13][15]
  • Robert Montgomery Vermilye (1835–1878), who married Amanda Conover (1840–1874) in 1862. After her death, he married Anna Hunter (1844–1913) in 1876.[16]
  • Lewis Forman Vermilye (1838–1851), who died aged 13.[13]
  • Emily Augusta Vermilye (1840–1845), who died young.[13]
  • Frederick L. Vermilye (1842–1845), who died young.[13]
  • Elizabeth Perkins Vermilye (1844–1846), who died young.[13]
  • Charles Augustus Vermilye (1848–1907), who lived in Englewood, New Jersey.[13]

Vermilye died of Bright's disease of the kidneys at his home, 39 West 31st Street in New York City, on June 18, 1878.[1] After a funeral at his residence, he was buried at Woodlawn Cemetery in the Bronx.[17]


  1. ^ In 1905, Carpenter & Vermilye was renamed after its principal partner, William A. Read.[6] In 1921, the firm was again renamed as Dillon, Read & Co. to include partner Clarence Dillon.[7] In 1991, it was acquired by Barings Bank[8] and, in 1997, it was acquired by Swiss Bank Corporation, which was in turn acquired by UBS in 1998.[9]
  2. ^ Samuel Babbington De Reimer (1768–1815) was the grandson of Catherine (née Roosevelt) De Reimer (1711–1741), a granddaughter of Nicholas Roosevelt (1658–1742).[14]
  1. ^ a b c d e f g "Obituary; William M. Vermilye" (PDF). The New York Times. 19 June 1878. Retrieved 3 May 2019.
  2. ^ Riker, James (1881). Harlem (city of New York): Its Origin and Early Annals: Prefaced by Home Scenes in the Fatherlands; Or, Notices of Its Founders Before Emigration. Also, Sketches of Numerous Families, and the Recovered History of the Land-titles. Riker. p. 550. Retrieved 3 May 2019.
  3. ^ a b Genealogical Record of the Saint Nicholas Society of the City of New York. Saint Nicholas Society of the City of New York. 1905. p. 176. Retrieved 3 May 2019.
  4. ^ History of Bergen and Passaic Counties, New Jersey: With Biographical Sketches of Many of Its Pioneers and Prominent Men. Everts & Peck. 1882. p. 266. Retrieved 3 May 2019.
  5. ^ Dwight, Benjamin Woodbridge (1874). The History of the Descendants of John Dwight, of Dedham, Mass. J. F. Trow & son, printers and bookbinders. p. 876. Retrieved 3 May 2019.
  6. ^ "The Encyclopedia of New York City: Second Edition". Yale University Press. December 1, 2010.
  7. ^ "BANKING FIRM CHANGES.; William A. Read & Co. Dissolves and Dillon, Read & Co. is Formed". The New York Times. January 14, 1921.
  8. ^ EICHENWALD, KURT (November 13, 1991). "Travelers Is Selling Dillon Firm". The New York Times.
  9. ^ Swardson, Anne (December 9, 1997). "SWISS BANKING GIANTS SBC, UBS TO MERGE". The Washington Post.
  10. ^ "Lincoln, Abraham (1809-1865) to Robert B. Roosevelt, John J. Astor Jr., and Nathaniel Sands". www.gilderlehrman.org. Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History. Retrieved 3 May 2019.
  11. ^ "The Late William M. Vermilye" (PDF). The New York Times. 25 June 1878. Retrieved 3 May 2019.
  12. ^ Youngs, Florence Evelyn Pratt; Saint Nicholas Society of the City of New York (1914). Portraits of the Presidents of The Society, 1835-1914. New York, NY: Order of the Society. Retrieved 12 April 2019.
  13. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Whittelsey, Charles Barney (1902). The Roosevelt Genealogy, 1649-1902;. Hartford, Connecticut: Press of J. B. Burr & co. pp. 14, 60. Retrieved 3 May 2019.
  14. ^ "Petrus De Reimer". www.americansilversmiths.org. Society of American Silversmiths. Retrieved 3 May 2019.
  15. ^ "MISS BURRILL BRIDE OF JACK A. RAINIER; Wedding Celebrated at St. Bartholomew's, Followed by Reception at the Gotham". The New York Times. 21 May 1913. Retrieved 3 May 2019.
  16. ^ De Riemer, William Edward (1905). The De Riemer family, A.D. 1640(?)-1903. Printed by T.A. Wright. p. 28. Retrieved 3 May 2019.
  17. ^ "The Funeral of William M. Vermilye" (PDF). The New York Times. 22 June 1878. Retrieved 3 May 2019.

External linksEdit