Catherine (Holsman) Coster (1778-1847)

Mrs Catherine Margaret (Holsman) Coster

Associated Houses

Coster Mansion

579 Broadway

She grew up between New York and New Jersey. Before marrying her father, Catherine's mother had been the wife of Pierre Lorillard I, the founder of the Lorillard Tobacco Company, and therefore Catherine was the half-sister of Pierre Lorillard II etc. Aside from being married to John G. Coster - one of New York's first five millionaires - Catherine also received a one-sixth share of her unmarried half-brother's (George Lorillard's) estate which consisted of, "upward of four hundred houses, stores, and blocks of property in the city, and is valued at upward of $3 million". Her husband had enjoyed an untarnished reputation as a merchant, but as a father it was said: "His immense wealth has made him conspicuous... Mr. C has been rather too indulgent a parent; but immense wealth in the hands of a parent is apt to make children careless". 
Contributed by Mark Meredith on 22/01/2020 and last updated on 21/11/2023.
Image Courtesy of the Frick Art Reference Library; The Lost Coster Mansion, DaytoninManhattan; The Old Merchants of New York City (1864) by Walter Barrett; Social Control of Wealth in Antebellum New York (2017), by William P. LaPiana, New York Law School