Ephraim Holbrook (1782-1852)
Ephraim Holbrook Jr., Merchant, of New York City & "Bellefield"
He was born at Albany, New York. From about 1814, he started his mercantile career in the firm of Disbrow, Gillespie & Parish. In 1819, he and the hugely influential Henry Parish took the firm over and it became known as Parish, Holbrook & Co, of 60 Franklin Street, New York. Aside from being partner, he was the principal manager of Parish, Holbrook & Co., that traded between Charleston and New York. His success was such that by 1826 he was able to retire from business, indulging his passions for scientific agriculture at the estate he purchased that year in Dutchess County, Bellefield. During his tenure, the estate became, "the admiration of all who saw it". Nonetheless, in 1843 Holbrook moved back into New York City where he, "employed his leisure in financial operations on Wall Street" and charitable causes. When he died in 1852, he left a $400,000 fortune, $300,000 of which he left to the charities in which he was involved. Holbrook married his wife, Nancy, in 1815 and though they had no children of their own, they adopted Nancy's niece, Mrs Harriet Pierson (Cook) Porter. They also adopted (another niece?), Laura Sanford Holbrook, who married George Washington Lee (1803-1842) and after his death settled with her son (Louis Holbrook Lee) in Connecticut.