Hutchins Hapgood, journalist and author, was born on May 21, 1869 in Chicago, Illinois, the son of Charles Hutchins and Fanny Louise Collins Powers Hapgood. Hutchins's father, descended from a long line of Massachusetts Hapgoods, moved west prior to the Civil War to seek his fortune. After an unsuccessful law practice and several business failures, Charles Hutchins Hapgood settled in Alton, Illinois, and eventually became a successful plow manufacturer. In their latter years the Hapgoods traveled frequently throughout America and Europe and included many prominent individuals within their social circle, most notably the Robert Todd Lincolns and the Samuel Clemenses.
Hutchins Hapgood received his early education in the Alton public schools. Like his father and two brothers, he attended Harvard University, receiving the B.A. degree in 1892 and the M.A. in 1897. In the interim he spent two years in study at the universities of Berlin and Freiburg, Germany, reading sociology and philosophy, and also traveled extensively. For a time he was an instructor in English composition at Harvard and the University of Chicago. After trying his hand at various jobs, Hapgood eventually decided to become a journalist like his older brother Norman.
Charles Hutchins Hapgood had a tremendous influence upon the character of his sons. Although not a religious man, he imparted to them a strong moral sense, an abhorance of great wealth, and a basic belief in progressive socialism. This, coupled with a liberal Harvard education and appropriate connections, led Hutchins Hapgood into the thick of muckraking journalism. His first newspaper job was with the New York Commercial Advertiser under the tutelage of Lincoln Steffens. Here he met Steffen's assistant, Neith Boyce, whom he married on June 22, 1899.
In 1904 Hapgood became the drama critic for the Chicago Evening Post . Returning to New York, he later became an editorial writer for the Evening Post, the Press, and the Globe . While maintaining his career as a journalist, Hapgood also wrote books. During the first decade of the twentieth century, he produced the bulk of his major works, including Paul Jones (1901), The Spirit of the Ghetto (1902), The Autobiography of a Thief (1903), The Spirit of Labor (1907), An Anarchist Woman (1909), and Types from City Streets (1910). The anonymously published Story of a Lover (1919), describing the "open" marriage which he and Neith maintained, was initially suppressed as pornographic. Hapgood's last great work was his autobiography, A Victorian in the Modern World (1933).
Hutchins Hapgood was a close friend of Mabel Dodge Luhan and an habitué of her salon at 23 Fifth Avenue. Other close friends included Bernard and Mary Berenson, Jacob Epstein, Max Eastman, Anton Johanson, Walter Lippmann, Robert Morss Lovett, Gertrude and Leo Stein, Alfred Stieglitz, Maurice Sterne, and Mark Sullivan. He and Neith were founding members of the Provincetown Players.
Hapgood's career declined following the death of his eldest child, Boyce, in 1918 and the end of the muckracking era. The last several years of his life he spent with Neith in Key West, Florida, at their home in Provincetown, Massachusetts, and on a farm in Richmond, New Hampshire. Hutchins Hapgood died on November 19, 1944, in Provincetown, and was buried in the family plot in East Cemetery, Petersham, Massachusetts.
For further biographical information, see The Hapgoods: Three Earnest Brothers (1977) by Michael D. Maraccio and A Victorian in the Modern World (1933) by Hutchins Hapgood.
Neith Boyce Hapgood, author, was born on March 21, 1872 in Franklin, Indiana, the daughter of Henry Harrison and Mary Ella Smith Boyce. She spent her formative years primarily in Los Angeles where her father, a former Union captain in the Civil War, was part-owner of the Los Angeles Times . Her mother was one of the founders of the Flower Festival, forerunner of the Tournament of Roses parade. Henry Boyce later sold his interest in the newspaper and entered real estate. This proved successful until an economic downturn forced Boyce into bankruptcy. The family then relocated to Boston for a few years before settling in New York.
As a child, Neith exhibited a keen interest in books and later began writing stories, some of which her father published in his newspaper. After the family moved East her father frequently asked her for stories to publish. As a young woman, she was a frequent contributor to Vogue magazine. Neith Boyce's first full-time job in journalism was as a reporter with the New York Commercial Advertiser, where she was the assistant to the city editor, Lincoln Steffens. She married Hutchins Hapgood on June 22, 1899, and had four children: Harry Boyce, Charles Hutchins, Miriam, and Beatrix.
Neith soon left journalism and devoted her time to writing and to the demands of motherhood. Her major works include: The Forerunner (1903), The Folly of Others (1904), Eternal Spring (1906), The Bond (1908), Two Sons (1917), Proud Lady (1923), Harry: A Portrait (1923), and Winter's Night (1927). The death of their firstborn of influenza in 1918 had a profound effect upon Neith. The writing of Harry: A Portrait, a memorial to his life, helped to bring her out of a deep mental depression.
Together with her husband, Neith socialized with the leading members of the artistic world of the United States (both resident and expatriate) during the first two decades of the twentieth century. By the 1930s she had produced all of her major works and spent her remaining years in Key West, Florida, Provincetown, Massachusetts, and Richmond, New Hampshire. She died on December 2, 1951, in Richmond and is buried in the Hapgood family plot in East Cemetery, Petersham, Massachusetts. BOYCE FAMILY Henry Harrison Boyce (1841-1903) m. 1870 Mary Ella Smith (1845-1937) *following the divorce of their parents, the children were given their
mother's maiden name HAPGOOD FAMILY (1) Hutchins Hapgood (1763-1837) m. 1789 Betsey Grout Collins Powers ( -1921) *adopted by Seth and Lydia Hapgood For further genealogical information, see The Hapgood Family (1898) by Warren Hapgood, The Story of an American Family (1953) by Neith Boyce Hapgood, and the Hapgood Family Papers, manuscript group number 795, Manuscripts and Archives, Yale University Library. HAPGOOD FAMILY (2) Charles Hutchins Hapgood (1836-1917) m. 1867 Fanny Louise Collins Powers ( -1921) (1894-1974) (1906- ) HAPGOOD FAMILY (2) (cont.) Charles Hutchins Hapgood m. 1867 Fanny Louise Collins Powers (cont.) HESS/POWERS FAMILY Reuben L. Hess m. 1817 Fanny Louise Collins Hutchins Hapgood (1836-1917)
From the guide to the Hapgood family papers, 1829-1977 (inclusive), 1900-1940, (Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library)
|creatorOf||Hapgood family papers, 1829-1977 (inclusive), 1900-1940||Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library|
|Place Name||Admin Code||Country|
|Greenwich Village (New York, N.Y.)|