Biography of John S. Mapes
Bronx County, NY Biographies





JOHN SIMONSON MAPES - A generation of the most successful of the realty men in this section of the city have desirable and pleasing reasons for recalling the remarkably active period while John S. Mapes, of the H. C. Maples & Company, was New York City's leading auctioneer, and dealt thus more extensively in real estate matters than any other individual, at the same time creating a new and widespread interest in realty in behalf of i all established in the business. Mr. Mapes, who is now interested solely in his immediate real estate possessions, has always lived in The Bronx, and he is one of a very few men still surviving who actively shared in the history of the material progress of The Bronx from the outset of its realty enterprises. He is a son of Leonard Mapes, who was born in November, 1804, and died in July, 1880, and Mary (Archer) Mapes, born in 1812, died April 19, 1880, and descendant of John Archer, who held an original land grant under King Charles I, purchasing for ten barrels of apples in the sixteenth century land that is now inclusive of nearly all of Fordham.

John S. Mapes was born August 17, 1849, in the old homestead on the Mapes Farm, at East Tremont and Beach avenues, The Bronx; the house which was built in 1851 and is still standing is in a good state of preservation. When he was sixteen years old, he began work on his father's farm, where he remained until he was twenty three years of age, when his father gave him full charge of the property; he then established a coal yard at Gouverneur Slip and Front Street, at the lower section of Manhattan. After continuing in that business two years, he decided to return to the farm, and starting a dairy business, for nine years he drove a milk wagon, and retailed milk.

On April 27, 1887, Mr. Mapes became a member of the Auctioneers' Association, and entering actively upon that profession, with special abilities as a speaker and an unusual gift of wit, he became the leading auctioneer in the real estate market. For a considerable period he had charge of all real estate sold by auction in The Bronx, and doubtless of more real estate than any other man in the greater city. He continued thus until his health became broken on account of a severe attack of pneumonia, and after a period of traveling, he retired from public business, and now gives his sole attention to his personal holding of real estate. As a boy he attended and was graduated at the old public school at the corner of Vyse Avenue and One Hundred and Seventy seventh Street.

John S. Mapes married, June 16, 1874, Ella M. Frost, daughter of John Bartow Frost, and Jane (Beatty) Frost. John Bartow Frost was of an old Westchester County family, who were early settlers in the town of Bartow, in the section of Pelham. Their children: I. Ella Leonard, born April 16, 1876; married John F. Robinson. 2. John Francis, born January 21, 1879; married Lena Saul, and they have one child, John Francis Mapes, Jr., born in 1903, who is now a member of the United States Navy, aboard the United States Ship "Maryland." 3. Edna, born in October, 1881; married Gustav Nielson, and they have one child, Donald Nielson, born in 1913. 4. Lucy, born in October, 1883; married Richard H. Arnold, of Poughkeepsie, son of Judge C. W. H. Arnold, second attorney for the Poughkeepsie Trust Company, of which his son is an officer; they have three children: i. Ruth M., born January 6, 1910. ii. Charles William H., Jr., born April 3, 1912. iii. R. H., born March 18, 1922. 5. Alva, born in October, 1885; married Frederick DeGar, and they have children: i. Warren Harding, born in August, 1922. ii. Betty Jane, born September 19, 1925. 6. Harriet, barn in February, 1892; married Henry E. Giegler; they have two children: i. Henry Courtney, born November 11, 1917. ii. Robert Mapes, born March 26, 1922.

From:
The Bronx and its people
A History 1609-1927
Board of Editors: James L. Wells,
Louis F. Haffen
Josiah A. Briggs.
Historian: Benedict Fitspatrick
Publisher: The Lewis Historical Publishing Co., Inc.
New York 1927


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