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Childs Frick Papers, Series I: Correspondence

Identifier: HCFF.04.01

Scope and Content Note

This series consists of incoming letters to Childs Frick (sometimes addressed as "Ti" or "Ty") chiefly from family members and friends. Items date from 1883 to 1901, with one item from 1925, and a small amount of undated material. The bulk of these letters were written by his mother, Adelaide H.C. Frick, during the period of 1893 to 1896 while Childs was attending boarding school in Cambridge, Mass. During that time, Adelaide Frick wrote to her son several times per week with news regarding family members, pets, local events, and social engagements, including visits from Andrew Carnegie and his wife. While most of these letters were written from Clayton, the Frick family home in Pittsburgh, others were written while she was traveling, and are dated from New York and various locations in Florida.

Henry Clay Frick's letters to his son date from as early as 1892, but he wrote far less frequently than his wife. His letters often contain reports of Childs Frick's peers, details of travel plans, news from home, and frequent urgings for Childs Frick to improve himself academically. Other family members who corresponded regularly with Childs Frick include his sister, Helen Clay Frick, and his aunt, Martha H. Childs.

In addition to family members and friends, Childs Frick received letters from several employees of the Frick family, including Henry Clay Frick's secretary George Megrew, Helen Clay Frick's governesses Marika Ogiz and Marguerite Dunton, Frick family coachman James Elmore, Clayton gardener George Doerr, and chef Spencer Ford. Megrew and two business associates of Henry Clay Frick, Millard Hunsiker and R.L. Hurst, also contributed to Childs Frick's stamp collection.

This series contains one folder of unidentified materials and one folder of invitations, including an invitation to the wedding of Andrew W. Mellon and Nora McMullen.


  • 1883-1901, 1925, undated


Access Restrictions

These records are open for research by appointment under the conditions of The Frick Collection/Frick Art Reference Library Archives Access Policy. For all inquiries or to schedule an appointment, please contact the Archives Department at

Biographical Note

Childs Frick (1883-1965) was the eldest son of industrialist and art collector Henry Clay Frick and his wife Adelaide. Born in Pittsburgh, he attended the Sterrett School and Shadyside Academy in that city. From 1893 to 1896, he attended boarding school in Cambridge, Mass., where he was accompanied by the tutor C.A. Duniway. Childs Frick graduated from Princeton University in 1905. From an early age, Childs showed an interest in natural history, and later achieved recognition for his work as a paleontologist. Over the years, he led or sponsored a number of scientific expeditions around the world and donated trophies to both the Carnegie Institute in Pittsburgh and the American Museum of Natural History in New York. He served as a trustee of the American Museum of Natural History, where he also established the Frick Laboratory of Vertebrate Paleontology, and as president of the board of trustees of The Frick Collection, which was founded by his father.

Childs Frick married Frances Shoemaker Dixon in 1913, and they had four children: Adelaide (1915-1956), Frances (1916-1971), Martha (1917-1996), and Henry Clay II (1919-2007). The family lived at Clayton, an estate located in Roslyn, N.Y., which was a gift to Childs and his wife from Henry Clay Frick. Childs Frick died at Clayton in 1965.


2.5 Linear feet (6 boxes)

Language of Materials



Childs Frick (1883-1965) was the son of industrialist and art collector Henry Clay Frick. He was a noted paleontologist and a founding trustee of The Frick Collection. These papers consist of letters to Childs Frick chiefly from family members and friends.


Materials in this series are arranged alphabetically by correspondent.


Gift of the Helen Clay Frick Foundation, 2015.

Related Materials

For additional correspondence of Childs Frick, see the Childs Frick Family Papers in this repository.

Processing Information

Arranged and described by Julie Ludwig, 2012, with funding from the Helen Clay Frick Foundation.

Finding Aid for the Childs Frick Papers, Series I: Correspondence, 1883-1901, 1925, undated HCFF.04.01
Part of the Frick Family Papers
Finding aid prepared by Julie A. Ludwig
© 2012 The Frick Collection. All rights reserved.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Arranged and described with funding from the Helen Clay Frick Foundation.

Repository Details

Part of the Frick Collection/Frick Art Reference Library Archives Repository

10 East 71st Street
New York NY 10021 United States