Ward McAllister (1827-1895)

(Samuel) Ward McAllister, Self-Appointed Arbiter of New York's Gilded Age Society

He was named for his uncle-by-marriage, Samuel Ward III. Together with Lina Astor, they drew up The Four Hundred - the first American social register made up of 213 New York families and individuals whose moneyed lineage could be traced back at least three generations and therefore in their eyes constituted society's elite. Edith Wharton's fictional character Sillerton Jackson who appears in The Age of Innocence and Old New York was contrived through the character's of McAllister and Egerton L. Winthrop. He married and had three children (listed). It was their daughter, Louise, who is credited for the line, "Meet me at the Hyphen" (which also became a popular song) in reference to the twin hotels known as the Waldorf-Astoria.
Contributed by Mark Meredith on 12/02/2019 and last updated on 16/12/2023.