My Mother and J.P. Morgan, Jr.

My Mother & J.P. Morgan, Jr.

Kathleen Patricia Smith Moore

The following is a transcript from a recording I made of my mother, Kathleen Partricia Smith Moore. She remembers her experience in the early 1940s when she spent three days at the J.P. Morgan estate providing private-duty nursing-care.

During World War II, when England was being blitzed so badly, a lot of English children were sent over to this country and a lot of the families offered to take these children and keep them until the war was over. J.P. Morgan, Jr. had a great big place on the North Shore of Long Island, and he offered to take some children. And the children they sent to him was a Lord Primrose, who was a boy about twelve, and his niece and nephew who were real little bitsy kids, and they had a nurse with them. And Mr. Morgan got a tutor, I think he was a young … student… so that the boy would keep up on his studies. And Mr. Morgan did everything that he could to make it nice for these people. He gave them a certain section of his very big mansion. He was an elderly man at this time, and his butler had the very unusual name of Mr. Physick. I thought it was funny because I was called in, and being a nurse, his name struck me as funny. (He was) a very nice elderly gentleman about the same age as Mr. Morgan.

JP Morgan Estate, Matinecock Point, 1934


This child got sick, Lord Primrose. I don’t know what his first name was. And so they called in Dr. Derby who was at that time, he was also quite an elderly man. He was physician to many wealthy families… He really was a nice guy and a very kind gentleman. And so he was called in to see the boy and he said that he had what he thought was a mild case of appendicitis, so he should be watched. And Mr. Morgan wanted to be specially careful, because he was a boy from a different country and he was responsible for him. He didn’t want anything to happen to him. So Dr. Derby said, “Why don’t you get a nurse in and this will relieve the nurse who has charge of the two little children. She won’t have to be concerned with him.” So I was called in.

John Pierpont Morgan, Jr.


I was only there about three days, I guess. While I was there, I ate with Mr. Morgan. He asked me if I would like to go out and take a walk in the gardens. The gardens were at the back of the place, leading right down to the sound. He said it would be a nice change and I would like to look at them, and it was. It was really very beautiful.

(Lord Primrose’s visit is mentioned in The House of Morgan: An American Banking Dynasty and the Rise of Modern, by Ron Chernow)

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