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RESIDENCE OF WM. B. THOMPSON. ESQ., GREYSTONE, N. Y.
MESSRS. CARRERE & HASTINGS, ARCHITECT
William Boyce Thompson was born May 13, 1869, in Alder Gulch, Virginia City, Montana. He would later use the name of his birthplace for his new, grand home in Yonkers.
His early years were typical of mining towns of that generation. In 1887, at 18, he was sent east to the Phillips Exeter Academy, and upon completion of his studies there enrolled in the Columbia University School of Mines. He later returned to Montana, and was employed by his father in the family's copper and silver mines in Montana and Arizona.
On February 6, 1895, he married Gertrude Hickman in Butte. Encouraged by success, the couple relocated to New York where he joined the Curb Exchange. Exeter classmates and club members soon introduced him to influential New Yorkers. As he was one of the few people on Wall Street with a comprehensive knowledge of the mining business, he became a successful mining promoter and developed mining properties in Canada and the west and southwest of the U.S. Later he acquired diamond mines in Africa. The Guggenheim Brothers, J.P. Morgan and Bernard Baruch were his sometime business partners. He made an astounding fortune.
Through a series of land purchases from 1906—1910, he began to acquire properties in Northwest Yonkers. Around 1910 he commissioned the architectural firm of Carrere and Hastings to draw up the plans for his magnificent estate, which he called "Alder Manor".
The Colonel title was bestowed upon Thompson when he led a Red Cross Commission to Russia after WWI to determine the need for medical supplies and other relief.
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John Polachek was a Hungarian immigrant making ornamental bronze and iron in Long Island City, L. I. His work was so revered that orders came from banks, theatres and public buildings. Architects as far away as Montreal, Tokyo and Buenos Aires commissioned him to reproduce their designs. Polachek played a part in the consolidation of eleven American foundries, including Tiffany Studios Bronze & Iron Plant, into the General Bronze Corporation.