Chester Arthur Namesake Disinherited

This story involves politics, the law, and a whole lot of Hamburgers.

Mr. and Mrs. Charles H. Hamburger lived in New York during the mid-to-late 1800s. They had five children: Frank, Minnie, Emilie, Josephine and Otto.

Now, Charles was a life-long Democrat. So was his son Frank. But the woman Frank married was a Republican and, in 1880, she was able to convince Frank to name their newborn son Arthur Chester Hamburger after vice presidential candidate Chester Arthur.

This name did not please Grandpa Hamburger, who “was worth about $300,000.” So, in 1882, he wrote a will that left thousands to everyone…except for little Arthur Chester. “[T]he old gentleman, still outraged at the name given to Frank’s child by its mother, left it $50 for the purpose of showing that it was not left out of the will by accident.”

By 1887, Grandpa Hamburger had passed away, Frank had passed away, and Frank’s widow was in court trying to squeeze money out of the Hamburger estate for her disinherited child. As far as I can tell, she was unsuccessful.

Source: “Disinherited for his name.” New York Times 24 June 1887: 3.

P.S. How do you like the name “Minnie Hamburger”?


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