Family of James Lenox Ashmead and Florence Campbell Livingston of NY & Passaic, NJ

After Everett G. Kaufman built the house at 49 Summer Street, Passaic, NJ and lived there for several years, the family moved to Yonkers, New York.

However, the house did not remain vacant. It was purchased by James Lenox Ashmead, who is found living there in the 1895 Passaic city directory. Although he eventually owned the house, it appears that Everett Kaufman sold it to Otto Laue, who in turn, sold it to J. Lenox Ashmead on 4 April 1898.

On 13 June 1898, Lenox took a one year mortgage from Joseph V. Morrisse for $100. It was noted that he was living in Clifton, New Jersey at that time.

The Ashmeads’ life in Passaic was not long, as the house was listed for sale between 22 July and 27 October of 1902. It had 8 rooms plus a bathroom, gas and electric lights!

James Lenox Ashmead was born in December 1865 in New York, the son of Amos D. and Catherine (Kate) A. Westervelt of New York, New York. He married Florence Campbell Livingston on 25 October 1892 at St. Mary’s Episcopal Church, also in New York City.

Florence was born in February 1871, the daughter of Christopher and Anna Eliza Livingston, of New York.

James’s father, Amos, was an undertaker and James is found in an 1894 New York city directory with the same occupation. He was living at 151 East 83rd Street. An 8 January 1894 newspaper story reports that James’s home was robbed, with the thieves caught. I wonder if that had anything to do with his decision to move to New Jersey?

He also might have decided that working with the living was more fulfulling, as his 1895 appearance in the Passaic city directory gives a totally different occupation – that of photographer.

J. Lenox and Florence were living at 49 Summer Street, with Eliza Bridges, noted as mother (but was Lenox’s mother-in-law) and with their young daughter, Katherine A., who was born in Passaic in 1897.

J. Lenox Ashmead was listed in the 1901 Passaic city directory, but not found in the 1905 New Jersey state census.

The 1910 census shows the family living at 2436 Valentine Avenue in the Bronx, New York. The same four people are in the home – J. Lenox, Florence, Katherine and Eliza Bridges. However, no one has any occupation listed.

On 12 November 1912, an obituary was published for J. Lenox Ashmead in the Buffalo Evening News. It said he had been an invalid and death was not unexpected. The cause of his ill health was not mentioned.

Florence (Bridges) Ashmead was listed in the White Plains city directory as late as 1932, living at 5 Rockledge Avenue, but she hasn’t been found after that time.

Daughter Katherine was their only child.


1. Katherine A., born 30 January 1897, Passaic, Passaic, New Jersey; died 10 January 1975, Fort Belvoir, Alexandria, Virginia; married William Holscher, 10 September 1917, Manhattan, New York. William was born 1891, New York and died 17 July 2004, Alexandria, Virginia.

The Holschers were living in Mamaroneck, also in Westchester County, New York. They were the parents of two daughters, both of whom married, but I have no information about the next generation.

One interesting side note is that my childhood bedroom was on the first floor of our house and it had a door to the front door hallway to access the upstairs room. My bedroom had no closet either, so legally it couldn’t be called a bedroom. The door from my bedroom into the living room and other rooms downstairs was actually a double sliding door. It would have been perfect as a photography studio and I believe that is how J. Lenox Ashmead used it!




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