The good fortune of our branch of the family is entirely due to the hard work of individuals not bearing our name.  Here are some thoughts:

CH Woerishoffer came to the US in 1864 as a young 21-year-old with no means.  He worked his way through the world of finance and married Anna Uhl, youngest daughter of the founder of the NY Staatszeitung in 1873 at the age of 29.  I believe his mother-in-law put up $300'000 ($5.75 million today) which allowed him to set up Woerishoffer & Co.

Between 1873 until his death 13 years later, CFW became one of the richest and most powerful men on Wall Street.

After CFW died, the United States Trust Company became responsible for managing the estate and in 1931 these assets were placed in trust (an Austrian newspaper, Freiheit, estimated it at $200 million or $3 billion in today’s currency) in favor of her 3 grandchildren.  These figures seem largely exaggerated and more precise information can probably be found in the archives.

When Carlo came into the picture (1896/7?) most of those who had contributed to creating this great wealth had either died or were very old.

Jakob Uhl and Anna Behr had both passed away and Oswald Ottendorfer was 72 at the time and hardly knew Carlo.

Anna Woerishoffer, Carlo's mother-in-law and Ida Seilern, his mother, were respectively 47 and 56 years old.

This was the perfect setup for a 29-year-old dapper Austrian aristocrat with a pencil moustache, to sweep the 23-year-old American debutante off her feet.  There was no control.  Anna W. was there to keep an eye on Carlo but she too may have been under his charm.

After they married, Carlo considered his wife's fortune as his own.  Unemployed with little experience and no oversight, he proceeded to speculate unaware of the risks he was taking.  With disastrous results.

Without the irrevocable trusts most of the Woerishoffer estate would have disappeared long ago.

It took 50 years (1836-1886) to build two colossal estates (NY Staatszeitung & Woerishoffer & Co) and a further 100 for both to largely disappear.




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