Lavinia Chilton Abercrombie
b. 14 February 1863, d. 18 November 1928
- Father: Leonard Anderson Abercrombie b. 1 December 1832, d. 23 December 1891
- Mother: Lavinia Afton Chilton b. 13 August 1836, d. circa 6 May 1919
- Lavinia Chilton Abercrombie was born on 14 February 1863 in Huntsville, Walker County, Texas.
- Leonard Anderson Abercrombie and Lavinia Afton Chilton appeared in the US federal census of 1 June 1870 in Huntsville, Walker County, Texas. Other members of the household included Lavinia Chilton Abercrombie, James Buford Abercrombie, Mary Lee Abercrombie, Ella Hadyn Abercrombie and Frances Amelia Abercrombie. Also in the household were three domestic servants.
- Leonard Anderson Abercrombie and Lavinia Afton Chilton appeared in the US federal census of 1 June 1880 in Walker County, Texas. Other members of the household included Lavinia Chilton Abercrombie, Ella Hadyn Abercrombie, Frances Amelia Abercrombie, William Chilton Abercrombie, Leonard Anderson Abercrombie and Corinne Afton Abercrombie.
- The following appeared on 26 July 1886 in The Dallas Morning News: (Fort Worth) Miss Vinnie Abercrombie, of Huntsville, is in the city visiting her sister, Mrs. Henry Finch.
- The following appeared on 16 December 1889 in The Dallas Morning News: (Fort Worth) Miss Vinnie Abercrombie of Huntsville is visiting her sister, Mrs. Henry Finch.
- She married Robert Scott Lovett, son of William Lovett and Susan Ann Hardy, on 29 October 1890 in Walker County, Texas.
- Robert Scott Lovett and Lavinia Chilton Abercrombie appeared in the US federal census of 1 June 1900 in Houston, Harris County, Texas, at 2019 Main Street. Other members of the household included Robert Abercrombie Lovett, Ruth Lovett Finch and Leonard Anderson Abercrombie. Also in the household were three domestic servants. Niece Ruth Finch also is enumerated with her parents in Huntsville.
- Robert Scott Lovett and Lavinia Chilton Abercrombie appeared in the US federal census of 15 April 1910 in Manhattan, New York, at 2/4 West 72nd Street as guests in a large hotel.. Other members of the household included Robert Abercrombie Lovett. Also in the household was German-born lady's companion Ana Trilling.
- Robert Scott Lovett and Lavinia Chilton Abercrombie arrived in the Port of New York on 9 September 1913, accompanied by Robert Abercrombie Lovett aboard the SS Kaiser Wilhelm der Grosse, having departed Cherbourg, France, on the 3rd.
- Robert Scott Lovett and Lavinia Chilton Abercrombie arrived in the Port of New York on 11 April 1914, aboard the SS Cincinnati, having departed Naples on 27 March.
- The following appeared on 29 October 1917 in The Philadelphia Inquirer: William C. Abercrombie, lawyer and brother-in-law of Judge Robert S. Lovett, who has been contesting the lunacy proceedings begun by his brother, Leonard Abercrombie, has been adjudged incompetent by Justice Goff in the Supreme Court and ordered committed to an institution for treatment. During the proceedings the respondent conducted his own case and endeavored to show that a conspiracy had been evolved by Judge Lovett and hhis wife to send him to an institution.
- The following appeared on 8 July 1918 in the Middletown Times-Press: (Goshen, July 8) William C. Abercrombie, a brother-in-law of Judge Robert Scott Lovett, chairman of the board of directors of the Union Pacific Railway, has failed in an attempt made through his wife, Mrs. Annie S. Abercrombie, to secure his release from Interpines, here, where he was committed as an incompetent by Justice Goff in the Supreme Court on October 27, 1917. Mrs. Abercrombie obtained a writ of habeas corpus for her husband, but after a hearing Justice Greenbaum ordered it dismissed.
The court ruled that the proceeding was not one which raised the question of whether or not Abercrombie had recovered his mental poise.
Mrs. Lovett is Abercrombie's sister. At a hearing last year he declared that she was in conspiracy with Leonard Abercrombie, a brother, and Judge Lovett to get him "out of New York" and committed to some institution. He admitted that he had asked them for money when he was under the influence of liquor.
Abercrombie, who had been a practicing lawyer here for twelve years, conduct[ed] his own hearing and the court decided that what he stated as "facts" were in reality "delusions."
- The following appeared on 25 August 1918 in The Sunday Oregonian: (New York) A fight of almost two years to free William C. Abercrombie, lawyer and brother-in-law of Judge Robert S. Lovett, from an insane asylum ended successfully recently.
Supreme Court Justice Guy sustained a writ of habeas corpus. He said in his opinion the proceedings which committed Abercrombie were irregular from their beginning in the Magristrate's Court.
Frederick Hendrick, lawyer and classmate of Abercrombie at Harvard, fought his battle for him. Mrs. Abercrombie persisted that her husband was entirely rational when his brother and his sister, Mrs. Robert S. Lovett, testified against him.
In Justice Guy's chambers after the writ was signed, Mr. Hendrick said:
"My old classmate and client and fellow practitioner is not now and never has been insane. Although for some months he was under restraint unjustly, in institutions for persons not able to care for themselves, he is possessed of one of the keenest minds that I have ever known and he knows how to use it.
"It is possible for a perfectly sane man to be committed to an institution, if proper certification is obtained from alieniests. When he has been committed it is possible for friends to try in vain at the County Courthouse where the commitment papers were signed to find out what has become of him. This is so because no record need be kept there of the commitment.
"Friend, wife or sister, can only find the lost one by going from one to another of the institutions in the state where insane or allegedly insane persons are detained. Fortunately, my client was not lost sight of in that way. But the whole subject is one that calls for prompt and effective action to safeguard the citizens of the state.
Abercrombie, who had long lived in Virginia, came to New York in October, 1916, and was arrested, charged with intoxication. On the petition of his brother, Leonard A. Abercrombie, he was committed to Bellevue Hospital for observation as to his sanity.
Mr. Hendrick asserted yesterday that "some one had been hired to get Abercrombie drunk." Abercrombie alleged he was the victim of a conspiracy among his relatives.
Saying that "passion had taken the place of reason," Justice Goff last October refused to upset the commitment to Bellevue. The Justice's decision rebuked Abercrombie's "delusions" that he was the victim of a plot by his brother, his sister, Mrs. Lovett, and Judge Lovett.
"He demonstrated implacable hatred of his kindred, who, as the testimony discloses were at all times kindly, helpful and solicitous of his welfare," Justice Goff said.
Abercrombie has been out on bail for several months and living with his wife, Mr. Hendrick said.
- In 4 June 1924, Lavinia Chilton Abercrombie was living in Locust Valley, Long Island, Queens County, New York, when she applied for a passport.
- She departed the Port of New York on 2 July 1924 aboard the SS Mauritania for travel in France and England.
- Robert Scott Lovett and Lavinia Chilton Abercrombie arrived in the Port of New York on 1 October 1925, aboard the SS Reliance, having departed Cherbourg, France, on 23 September.
- Lavinia Chilton Abercrombie died on 18 November 1928 at age 65 in Manhattan, New York.
- Her husband Robert Scott Lovett became a widower at her death.
- She was buried at Locust Valley Cemetery in Locust Valley, Long Island, Nassau County, New York.
- The following appeared on 19 November 1928 in The New York Times: Mrs. Robert Scott Lovett, wife of the Chairman of the board of the Union Pacific Railroad, died yesterday. Before her marriage in 1890 she was Miss Lavinia Abercrombie of Huntsville, Texas. Her father, Colonel Leonard Anderson Abercrombie of the Confederate Army, was one of the leaders of the Texas bar and a State Senator. Her maternal grandfather, William P. Chilton, was for twelve years Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Alabama.
- Last Edited: 17 Jun 2012