Philanthropist and art collector Arabella Duval Huntington was the wife of the railroad and shipping magnate, Collis P. Huntington. After his death, Arabella married Collis' nephew, Henry E. Huntington. Both husbands put at Arabella's disposal immense funds for the purchase of works of art. Her purchases later became the foundation for Huntington Library and Art Gallery in California. Aside from her art collecting, Mrs. Huntington spent much of her time immersed in various charitable and humanitarian endeavors.
From the description of Arabella Duval Huntington papers, 1888-1925. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 122557266
Arabella Duval Huntington was born in Richmond, Virginia, in 1851. Her parents, Mr. and Mrs. R.M. Yarrington, raised Arabella in Virginia where she remained until her marriage at the age of eighteen. She married a Mr. Worsham of New York City in 1869 and returned there with him. However, he died a year later, leaving Arabella with an infant son, Archer Milton.* The next fourteen years were spent raising her son and educating him herself. In 1884, she married Collis P. Huntington, railroad builder and financier. Mr. Huntington legally adopted Archer. They lived a very happy life together until his death in 1900.
For the next ten years, Mrs. Huntington tried to carry on her husband's interests, visiting his shipyards and supporting charities in his name. In 1913, she remarried once more. Mutual interests in art attracted her to Collis P. Huntington's nephew, Henry E. Huntington, and after their marriage they traveled extensively in Europe, gathering the materials for what was to be the Henry E. Huntington Library and Art Gallery in California. She divided her time between New York and her husband's home in California. She remained active in numerous charities and good works until her death in 1924.
*This history has been questioned. A. Hyatt Mayor, Arabella's nephew, has suggested that Archer Milton was in fact the illegitimate son of Collis Huntington. [RR]
From the guide to the Arabella Huntington Papers, 1888-1925, (Special Collections Research Center, Syracuse University Libraries)