March 16, 1901
Postmark New York, N.Y.
To Paris, France
Forwarded to Villa Brunel, Montboron, Nice
Scott# ?
Letter included with this cover
Every so often a gem of a collection surfaces. Well before the Enron scandal or Bernie Madoff was even born, John Chester Eno, a bright young post Civil War man was growing up in a life of wealth and luxury. With the most promising future ahead of him. The following is the story of this man's life as told by history and the envelopes he chose to keep as memories of his life. This rare and important collection was discovered by accident after a purchase of an envelope full of old covers. The covers will be displayed in chronological order where the clarity of the postmarks allow it. I hope you take a few moments to enjoy this little bit of history and see how one mistake can change a person's life.
DON CARLOS 
STAMPS AND COINS
SERVING COLLECTORS SINCE 1961
Presents
History Through Philately
John Chester Eno - January 22, 1848 to February 28, 1914
His Father Emos Richards Eno of Simsbury, Connecticut was a clerk in a small general store in Hartford, Connecticut. He married Lucy Jane Phelps daughter of Elisha Phelps who was a distinguished lawyer and and member of Congress from Connecticut, also of Simsbury, Connecticut. They had 6 children together, four boys and two girls, Emos, William, Charles and John Chester, the boys and Mrs. Woods and Mrs. Pinchot, the girls. They moved to New York City, where he and his cousin John J. Phelps opened a profitable dry goods business making a fortune. He parlayed his fortune into real estate investments in Manhattan buying corner lots and sometimes whole undeveloped city blocks. His store, located at 74 Broadway is believed to be the first brownstone, which he built in the city. Retiring from active participation as a merchant, he built the famous Fifth Avenue Hotel between 1856-1859 at the corner of Fifth Avenue and 23rd Street in Madison Square, Manhattan. He then built the Madison Square Theater in 1863. North of the Square, he built 233 Fifth Avenue. his residence for many years. He controlled a large amount of Manhattan real estate, mostly undeveloped. A lot more can be found on the obituary linked below
Obituary of a successful real estate man
Covers addressed to The Eno's four story brick residence at 233 Fifth Avenue in New York City
John Chester Eno, born on January 22, 1848, was the son of Emos Richards Eno and Lucy Jane Phelps. He had a privileged life as the son of a wealthy businessman. As a young man, John C. Eno attended high school at Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts, a private boarding school, where he prepared for a college future at Yale University.

Covers saved while attending Phillips Academy, a boarding high school, Andover, Massachusetts
As a young man, John Chester Eno attended Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut. A popular young man amongst his fellow students, a member of Yale's shadowy Skull and Bones fraternity, received the honor of being named  the Wooden Spoon man of 1869, an honor bestowed by the Society of Cochleaurati or “Cochs” which traced its origin to Yale’s shadowy Skull & Bones fraternity. Not listed by name to keep his election secret until the unveiling, he was identified in the program as simply as “The Innate Man.” The significance of this award was much deeper than the mere antics of the practical jokes and inside fraternal humor, John Chester Eno had been chosen to "the highest elective honor of the college" by other honorees giving him the social status that came with it. He was graduated A.B. at Yale in 1869, knowing he was the most popular member of his class. This part of his life is very colorfully explained on the prologue of this bright young man's thesis
Covers John C. Eno saved while attending Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut
John Chester Eno, as can be expected, spent some time at the family home in Simsbury, Connecticut. The Eno house is on record as his father's second residence for many years. The Amos Eno House is a historic home in Simsbury, Connecticut. It is also known as the 1820 House. The house was built in 1822 by Elisha Phelps, who was given the land by his father, Noah. Noah Phelps was a graduate of Yale University, a lawyer and a judge. Elisha and his wife had three children: Mary, John, and Lucy. John grew up to be the Governor of Missouri and became a United States Senator. Mary married John Allen, and their son became a representative to the United States Congress. The Eno family would visit the house in Simsbury every summer.

One of their grandchildren was Gifford Pinchot, conservationist and Governor of Pennsylvania, who was born in the house. Emos Eno House, Wikipedia
Cover John C. Eno saved addressed to Simsbury, Connecticut
As history shows, it was not long before this bright and influential young man got his first break. After graduating Yale, he spent several years with the banking house Morton, Bliss & Co. in New York City, a private investment banking firm of partners George Bliss and Levi Parsons Morton founded in The City in 1869. 
Cover addressed to him while working at Morton Bliss & Co. in New York City
While young John C. Eno was in school, his father was entering into the banking industry. He along with some relatives founded the Second National Bank of New York in 1863. Second National Bank of New York was a small, yet strong bank, attracting many wealthy families. It was so successful that original investments were recovered in a single dividend payout. In 1879, John Chester Eno, the bright young banker was elected president of the Second National Bank of New York at the ripe young age of 31.
Cover addressed to John C. Eno, President, Second National Bank of New York
The next chapter of this bright man's life turns darker as rumors begin circulating in the financial districts that the Second National Bank of New York was having troubles. Its president, John Chester Eno, then 36 years old, had been speculating on Wall Street. When his investment sense had proven faulty, he had made up his financial shortcomings with the ready supply of funds he had in the family bank to the tune of $4,000,000, rendering the bank insolvent and his father who covered the losses extremely angry. In May 1884 it is learned that John C. Eno had resigned as president of the bank. With the fear of prosecution and authorities on the hunt after an arrest warrant is issued on May 24, 1884, the young banker's whereabouts are unknown for a while. He then fled to Canada where he stays with family for nine years. While there it is said he was involved in dealings building the Canadian railroad. It is not surprising I did not find any covers from this period of his life, maybe he kept them in Canada.
The Eno Embezzlement Case timeline- Good read


After nine years, John Chester Eno returned home, an influential family must have went a long way as he bonded out on $20,000 and the whole case against him was quashed, but his history will follow him for the remainder of his life.

It was late morning on February 20, 1883 that Eno returned to the United States. Going directly to his attorney's office Col. George Bliss located at 160 Broadway. The two then accompanied by John Eno's older brother, Emos F. Eno began the legal process best explained in the New York Times article the next day, February 21st, 1883.
January 6, 1864
Postmarked in Newark, N.J.
Scott# 65 
October 12, 1864
Postmarked in Andover, Mass.
On monogrammed envelope
Scott# 65 Green Postmark
June 26, 1865
​Postmarke in Sinsbury, Conn.
Scott# 65
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April 3, 1865-69?
Postmarked in Newark, N.J.
On initialed envelope (Phelps?)
Scott# 65 
June 12, 1865-69?
Postmarked in Newark, N.J.
On monogrammed envelope
Scott# 64 or 65 
June 21, 1865-69
Postmarked in Brooklyn, N.Y.
On corporate envelope (Dad?)
Scott# U-58 
June 26, 1865-69
Postmark city unknown
On monogrammed envelope
Scott# 65 
November 30, 1865-69
Postmark New Haven, Conn.
Scott# 65 
August 27, 1867
Postmark New _____Village, Mass.
Scott# 65 
Two more covers saved while attending Yale University, addressed to New York City around Christmas time,
( While he was home on break? )
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December 23, 1865-69
Postmarked in New Haven, Conn
Scott# 65 
Decmber 30, 1865-69
Postmarked in New Haven, Conn
Scott# 65 
September 19, 1870-78
Postmark ?, PA
Scott# ?
After graduating college, it makes sense that the young Eno moved back home. As he got ready for his bright professional life, enjoying the comfort's of the family residence. It provided security as he got ready to embark on his adult life. It would not be long before the business community in Manhattan learn of this bright, likable young graduate and doors started oppening for him.
February 7, 1871
Postmark Philadelphia, PA. 
Scott# U84 
July 23, 187?
Postmark Simsbury Conn. 
Scott# ? 
June ?, 1872
Postmark Simsbury Conn. 
Scott# ? 
January 21, 187?
Postmark Simsbury, Conn. 
Monogrammed envelope 
(Happy Birthday from dad?)
Scott# ? 
August 11, 1882
Postmark Saybrook, Conn.
Scott# ?
Upon his return, Mr. Eno set up shop right where he left from, his father's Fifth Street Hotel
as shown by these covers dated 1883, the year he returned.
March 17, 1893
Postmark Saybrook, Conn.
Scott# 220
His wife may have remained in Canada for a while looking after things. He may have set up residence, although speculation on my part, at the St. James Hotel on Broadway & 25th Street in New York City. The cover on the right was addressed to him at the St. James hotel, as is same as the letterhead on the letter posted to his wife.
March 17, 1893
Postmark Ocean Grove, N.J.
Scott# 220
October 30, 1893
Postmark ?, N.J.
Scott# 220
John Chester Eno continued to do business from his father's hotel for the next few years
Covers from and to the St. James Hotel on Broadway and 25th Street, New York
July ?, 1894
Postmark New York, NY
Scott# 220
August 15, 1894
Postmark New York, NY
Scott# 220
January 6, 1894
Postmark Bridgeport, Conn.
Scott# 220
January 16, 1894
Postmark Bridgeport, Conn
Scott# 220
February 14, 1894
Postmark Bridgeport, Conn
Scott# 231
February 22, 1894
Postmark Bridgeport, Conn
Scott# 231
April 20, 1894
Postmark Bridgeport, Conn
Scott# 220
December 4, 1896
Postmark New York, N.Y.
Scott# 220
The next item is sort of a mystery. It's an the envelope Mr. Eno received C/O Decker, Howell & Co. in Brooklyn, New York. According to the New York Times article, published when he returned, Mr. Eno had rather large accounts with them when he lost the money in the market. 
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February 3, 1896
Postmark Brooklyn, N.Y.
Scott# 220
Cover mentioning Decker, Howell & Co.
At some point in the last few years, after his return from Canada, John C. Eno must have made a choice about the direction of his life. Obviously banking was out of the question, and as we will see a little later as this bright mind continues, that he chose to go into the corporate world, still interested in the markets and commenced his re-branding in some sort of gas or heating business. He chose to save three letters addressed to Manhattan lawyers Isidore S. Korn and Max S. Korn whose address on record was 31 Nassau Street in New York City. One of the letters from the Dean Steam Pump Co. in Holyoke, Massachusetts. 
March 2, 1901
Postmark New York, N.Y.
To Paris, France
Forwarded to Grand Hotel, Heidelberg
Scott# ?
No letter included with this cover
Covers and letters to France
126 Liberty St.
Dear Mr. Eno,

I have just received your letter of March 5th and in the pleasure of reading, I realize that perhaps my letters to you may be in a measure as acceptable. I was just about to write you when your letter arrived. I am glad to learn that your daughter is sure to recover her usual health. I received the circular you sent of a gas saving arrangement and showed it to Mr. Shuman. He pooh poohed it, stating that it was of no use whatever. Of course, he knows and according to his own account, he knows it all. But he has not been of any service to me in my endeavors to furnish the Cons Gas Co. with a burner suited to their wants. I have never seen Mr. Capp since the say I met him in Mr. Terry’s office. I heard from him however, two days ago when he presented, per his son, the note for 250 gross (?) by the Int Gas Mfg. to you. I sent him to Mr. Terry and in our interview later with Mr. Terry found that he had also presented a note of 2000 to Mr. Terry. What Mr. Terry said to him, I do not know. Whatever Mr. Terry said to me does not need to be repeated. He will probably write you. I have very little about Joe Decker, except that he is still living in his home, in Madison, now (?) wonder alike to both friends and foes, bring liable at any moment to arrest (?) for being without any visible means of support. I have not cracked at all. As for Deckers office, mow (?) them twice since last October. The operation of wall shut (?) of the present day, are too much for me. They are just overwhelming. It may be written, as in Biblical times “There were giants in those days” “Little ships must keep near shore”. I sent you the leather statement, the stock lingers around 12, rarely fluctuating more than 1 percent. Since I last wrote you, I have opened up one or two more chances for sale. One with Messrs. J & D Dunham & Co. who have a 300 lt meter, one with the owner of a large building of 13 storys, but the tenants all use electricity. Still they have one 100 lt meter for their halls and basements. Also the mechanics at B & G who have a 200 lt. and 40 lt meter. I have also opened negotiations with an owner of several large apartment houses as he has bought about 50 for his own house and is much pleased with them. I think I was justified in expecting to do something with the apartments. I have also a proposition before the Panlis’s Fushiro (?), the church, or at 59 St., that I expect to hear from favorably, this with the exception of small cash sales and several inquiries from partners looking for agencies, is about all done since my last letter to you. Which I think was written March 2nd. The Orvis Down DFT & C is now waiting for some especial brick to be used for arches and when they are received I think you will soon thereafter hear a good report from them. I presume that you, after hear from Charley Walsh, if I did not think so, I won’t make an especial trip to Lockwood’s office, am write you with regards

  Yours Sincerely,



  W.A. Williams

April 22, 1901
Postmark New York, N.Y.
To Paris, France
Forwarded to Villa Brunel, Montboron, Nice
Scott# ?
Letter included with this cover
April 22, 1901


Dear Mr. Eno,

I wrote you on the 8th (??) and among other matters sent you a proxy and waiver of meeting to be used at a meeting to e held in the latter part of April for the purpose of reducing the capital stock of the International Gas Mfg. Co. to 120,000 g this move being necessary on account of the change in tax laws. I asked you to cable us the word “sent” when we would vote the same as if we had your fancy. This was fourteen days ago and we ought to have received your cable by this time. I trust that the letter has not miscarried. The gas governor business is not very brisk, but we are dong something and getting a little new business all the time. The Orvis Co. seems to drag a little, but from all I can learn is going to be a success. They are just now applying their system to a Babcock & Wilson boiler, and if it is as successful as we have every reason to expect, it might mean many very good orders.

The Park Co. if I can judge from the preparations that they are making, is expecting to do a very large business. They have very fine offices that are very beautifully furnished in the new sky scraper, on the corner of Broadway and Chamber St. and the latter part of this week we expect to move the International and the Orvis to the same building. I believe that the Orvis Co. is going to send Mr. Orvis to Europe this summer to see the foreign patents, for which they expect to get a very large sum. The stock market has again broken its record, the sales for 
last week were 10,000,000 shares, and at almost a continual adramo (?). There is a day of reckoning coming, and what a falling off will be there my countrymen. Your friend, Mr. Copp, is dead. I presume you have already heard of it, but possibly not. I think the cause was Brights disease. May Herricks is also dead, died early last week at the residence of uncle Mclladison (??), Mr. Joe Decker. I have not seen him for several months. I did intend going last week, also to hunt up Chas. Walsh Esq. But have not been down below Liberty Street. We have been having the worst weather for this entire month, that I have ever had the misfortune to endure. I trust you are enjoying balmy breezes. With regards.

Yours truly,


W.A. Williams
April 24, 1901
Postmark New York, N.Y.
To Paris, France
Forwarded to Villa Brunel, Montboron, Nice
Scott# ?
Letter included with this cover
April 24, 1901


Dear Mr. Eno,

Just after writing you that I was going soon to see Charley Walsh so that I could write you how he was looking and behaving, I was handed the clipping I enclosed. I was very much shocked to learn that he was so ill, but was pleased to learn that he had consented to leave his room at the hotel to go to a hospital where he will have much better care than he could get in a home of his own. I fear from the nature of his troubles that you will never see him again. It makes me feel awfully old so many of my friends have died lately. Of course, I am old, and most of my friends are troubled with the same complaints. We are having rain for a change, but are promised fair weather for tomorrow. I envy you the blue skies of Italy, but aside from the warmth and skies, New York is a good place for a steady diet. I think from appearances that Mr. Terry is expecting great things from the Orvis as well as the Park Co. He now proposes to take the other half of the 7th floor at 277 Broadway for that co. This means about 2500 a year rent, so that naturally I suppose that anticipates a good business for the Orvis. As for Orvis personally, I have no faith in him. The stock market had it’s first real set-back yesterday, and I should say that the insiders are keeping up prices to sell on. I have had some experience in that line in No. Pacific “Little ships should keep near shore”. It is only a question of time (perhaps very 
short) where the street will be filled with show lambs shivering in the cold, mourning for their profits because they are not. Of course, now that I am so situated that I cannot profit by it. I have had several points from a very good friend. Notably to buy Bank of Commerce which has advanced since the point was given about 10 points. All of which I have no doubt will make you smile. Mrs. Williams desires me to send you her (????) and say that you are remembered by her daily and it is a good thing to be remembered in the prayer of a good woman. With regards, I remain

Sincerely yours,


W.A. Williams
May 8, 1901
Postmark New York, N.Y.
To Paris, France
Scott# ?
No letter included with this cover
May 23, 1901
Postmark New York, N.Y.
To Paris, France
Scott# ?
No letter included with this cover
June 12, 1901
Postmark New York, N.Y.
To Paris, France
Scott# ?
Letter included with this cover
June 12, 1901


Dear Mr. Eno,

I wrote you last month giving you an account of my inter???? With Charley Walsh. I expect to hear from him today and will write you later in the day. Mr. Terry says that he wrote you a long and charactive (?) resume of all your interests with him, and yesterday stated that he was very much disappointed in not receiving a reply. Everything seems to be working satisfactorily in the Park and Orvis Cap, but up to the present I have not been able to get the specific information I expected, but will undoubtedly, very soon. The experiments with the Orvis furnace have been very satisfactory, and the Park I am told by Mr.Terry is doing well, but of course all new enterprises have to do as all humanity does, creep before they walk. The International GLM Co. is a year old baby, and cutting teeth. I believe I wrote you that we have given an option to the English patent for 5000. 1000 to the agent negotiating the sale. We have also given an option on the French patent at 3000. Commission 600, and as are now waiting developments. I have just heard from Charley. He is improving, but very slowly. Was out yesterday in his invalid chair, but I was informed that he is expected to get down town in a carriage within a week. We are having some nice summer weather, the mercury marks 83 (3 pm) in our office on the 6th floor. Mall(?) St. is still in existence and the business would have been considered enormous a few years ago, but compared with days of more than two million shares, it seems dull. I wish that I could send you word of a good sized contract, but summer is a bad time for gas or in fact any other business. I trust you have having a good time, and hoping to see you soon Ir(can’t make out last word)

Yours truly,

W.A. Williams

Three covers he chose to save addressed to the old Waldorf-Astoria Hotel
March 31, 1902
Postmark New York, N.Y.
Scott# U367

November 19, 1902
Postmark Aiken, SC
Scott# ?

November 19, 1902
Postmark Symsbury, Conn.
Scott# ?

Covers to the law offices of Isidore S. Korn and Max S. Korn, 31 Nassau Street in New York City.
April 11, 1898
Postmark New York, N.Y.
Scott# 220
October 27, 1899
Postmark Holyoke, Mass.
Scott# 220
July 17, 1901
Postmark Holyoke, Mass.
Scott# 220
In 1901, we find John C. Eno in Paris, France. Being drawn there by his daughters ill health, as per information in the letters included in the covers. The letters are between him and an associate of his in New York City. Mr. Eno was apparently involved both professionally and financially with the International Gas Saving Manufacturing Co. located at 126 Liberty Street in New York. They span between March of 1901 and August of 1901. Seven covers in all but only four containing letters that shed a little bit of light as to his business dealings at the time. Showing a man recovering from his mistakes and continuing his business life. It should also be noted that all the letters were mailed C/O Credit Lyonnais, the largest bank in the world as of the year 1900. I believe he was looking for financing for a large business venture back in New York.
In 1907 we find Mr. Eno back in Paris. It is mentioned in his obituary that him and his wife had moved to France, probably to spend time with their daughter Mrs. William Leon Graves. His wife died in Paris in October of 1912. After his wife died he lived with his daughter Mrs. Mary Pinchot Eno in her house in New York.  
Cover addressed to Mr. Eno while in Paris addressed C/O Morgan, Harjes & Co.
Forwarded to Hotel Victoria Baumgarten in Thur, the Lake Lucern region in Switzerland
August 10, 1907
Postmark New York, NY Sta H
Scott# ?

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The next two covers shed little light as to his life. The covers are addressed to New York City. It is unclear if he spent some time in New York in 1908, or someone was looking after his affairs. The name Mrs. Charles B. Wood had been seen in a previous cover, addressed to the Fifth Avenue Hotel on March 17th, 1893, fifteen years prior to the reference to her on one of the following covers. The cover in question from the Republican National Committee, on 1 Madison Avenue in New York that was mailed to Simsbury, Connecticut and then forwarded to the Plaza Hotel in New York City.
Cover addressed to Hotel Belmont at 42nd Street, New York City
January 31, 1908
Postmark Washington D.C.
Scott# ?

Cover From the National Republican Committee, addressed to Simsbury, Conn 
Forwarded to Mrs C. Wood at the Plaza Hotel at 589  59th Street in New York City
December 2, 1908
Postmark New York, N. Y. Sta. P
Scott# ?

Cover From Mr George S. Terry to John C. Eno 
George S. Terry wrote to John C. Eno on October 2, 1908. Mr.Terry was on the verge of becoming Assistant Treasurer of the United States in New York on March 1st, 1909. Mr Terry made his money in the dry goods business just like Mr. Eno's father. Mr Terry was mentioned in letters to France posted earlier in this page. Mr. Terry passed away at Aiken, S.C. on April 14th, 1911
Mr. George S. Terry's obituary

October 2, 1908
Postmark New York, N. Y. Sta. P
Scott# ?

Bearing & Moore monogram from reverse of cover
The last cover that Mr. Eno chose to keep, is dated shortly after his wife died in 1912. Addressed to his daughter's home in New York City. This is the last address he had, as it was here that Mr. John Chester Eno passed away at the age of 67. As we can see his obituary was not very kind to him, and his past followed him until the day he died. 
Mr John Chester Eno, the son of "The Merchant Prince" of New York. Obituary
This presentation has shown the obituary's inaccuracy as we do see he in fact was involved in business well after his return from Canada. We also see that his father must have forgave him at some point by the covers addressed to the Fifth Avenue Hotel. This is the story of a man, just like most of us, that have made mistakes in the past and have lived to regret them. I have enjoyed researching these covers as an outsider of a story that began on January 22nd 1848, 164 years ago. Hope you enjoyed it! 
The last cover John C. Eno chose to save
October 24, 1912
Postmark Saugatuck, Conn.
Scott# ?

The Son Of "The Merchant Prince"
The John Chester Eno Personal Cover Collection
In 1902-1903 three covers addressed to the first Waldorf-Astoria Hotel, making us wonder if he ever met
John Jacob Astor IV before he died on the Titanic on April 15, 1912. Closing of the first Waldorf-Astoria Hotel happened on May 3, 1929. While the original was arguably the grandest hotel in the world in the late 1890's, in the 1920's, with so many new technological advances being adopted, it was becoming dated. Prohibition drained down the revenues of the hotel and the action in New York had moved further uptown. The decision was made to sell the site to the developers of what would become the Empire State building and to tear down the hotel in 1929.