Magdalena Will (1773-1841)

Mrs Magdalena (Will) Coster, Hosack

Associated Houses

Vanderbilt Mansion

Hyde Park

Coster-Phelps Mansion

Kip's Bay

She was the daughter of Henry Will of New York City and a first cousin of Philip Hone, Mayor of New York City. Her first husband (married in 1801) was Henry A. Coster who left her a substantial fortune including their house at 85 Chambers Street and their country estate, the Henry A. Coster House at Kip's Bay, Manhattan. It was her first husband's fortune that allowed her second husband, Dr David Hosack, to buy what is now known as the Vanderbilt Mansion in Hyde Park, where he laid out his own botanical garden. Magdalena was the mother of seven surviving children by Coster. When she married Hosack, their two families joined as one at Chambers Street where at the dining room table the children would sit alternately, Hosack-Coster-Hosack-Coster etc.

The extravagant lifestyles led by her sons (Harry and Washington) eventually killed them. Her five daughters all married into prominent families: (1) Julia, Mrs Francis Barretto (2) Louisa, Mrs Hamilton Wilkes (3) Caroline, Mrs William Elliott Laight (4) Laura, Mrs William Colville Emmet (5) Adaline, Mrs Peter Augustus Schermerhorn.
Contributed by Mark Meredith on 21/01/2020 and last updated on 03/02/2020.
Image Courtesy of the Frick Art Reference Library