Lamon Vanderburgh Harkness (1850-1915)

Lamon V. Harkness, Racehorse Breeder, of New York & Kentucky

Associated Houses

Walnut Hall Farm

3725 Newtown Pike, Lexington

He was born in Bellevue, Ohio. In 1869, his father advanced him $500 with which to buy a cattle farm near Eureka, Kansas. Things changed from the following year when his father's partnership in Standard Oil made the family very rich, very quickly. Lamon quit farming and went into banking in Kansas City. When his father died in 1888, Lamon inherited roughly $50 million plus his shares in Standard Oil and moved back east, buying William Avery Rockefeller's 22-bedroom mansion on 34-acres in Greenwich, Connecticut. In 1892, his love of trotting horses led him to buy Walnut Hall Farm in Kentucky which under his leadership became one of the best-known Standardbred horse farms in the world with 1,400-horses on 5,000-acres. Aside from his homes in Connecticut and Kentucky, he kept a mansion at 933 Fifth Avenue in New York City; a summer home at East Hampton on Long Island; a winter home near Pasadena in California; and, a yacht, the 70-foot Wakiva. He died at his daughter's Ranch, Cienega de Los Paicines leaving a $100 million fortune to his three children: (1) Harry Harkness (2) Lela, Mrs Ogden M. Edwards; and (3) Myrtle, Mrs A. Kingsley Macomber/Ilhamy Hussein
Contributed by Mark Meredith on 20/05/2020 and last updated on 24/05/2020.