Pullman's Children

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The Children of George M. Pullman

Extended family at Pullman's Fairlawn estate, Elberon, New Jersey, 1894

Pullman moved his family from Albion, New York to Chicago in 1865. He married Harriett Sanger, daughter of a construction company owner, on June 13, 1867. Together, they had four children: Florence (1868-1937), Harriett (1869-1956), and the twins George, Jr. (1875-1901) and Walter Sanger [known as Sanger] (1875-1905). A young man named Gustave Behring claimed that he was the illegitimate son of Pullman.

Florence was his acknowledged favorite, accompanying him on many business trips. Harriett lived the longest, until 87, and had several marriages.

The twins were a source of great scandal and heartache, described partially below.

Florence (1868-1937)

Florence was Pullman's favorite child, and, in fact, she seemed to be his favorite relative. She often accompanied him on business trips and served as an advisor to him. She was quite an eligible marriage prospect, and had a number of marriage proposals. After rejecting several suitors, she married a young lawyer named Frank Lowden. Lowden eventually became Governor of Illinois from 1917 to 1921. He was a candidate for the Republican nomination for president in 1920 and 1928.

Governor Lowden

She was active in charity work and the social scene in Illinois.

She had 4 children, Pullman Lowden, Florence Lowden, Harriett Lowden, and Frances. Florence died peacefully in her sleep at her farm in Oregon, Illinois.

Harriett (1869-1956)

Harriett, like her sister, lived a relatively peaceful and happy life. She was married and widowed twice; she had no children. Her first marriage was to a prominent San Francisco man, Frank J. Carolan. Most famously, the Carolans built the Carolands estate in Hillsborough, California. The Carolan marriage became embittered over quarrels concerning the building. In 1917, the Carolans separated and moved out of the Chateau; Harriett moved to the East Coast, Frank remained in California.

The Carolands Estate

After Frank's death in 1923, Harriett married Colonel Arthur Schermerhorn in 1925, and although the new couple briefly reinhabited the Chateau in 1927, it would remain essentially uninhabited for its first 29 years.

The Twins George, Jr. (1875-1901) & Walter Sanger [known as Sanger] (1875-1905)

As alluded to, the twins were a source of great scandal and heartache. George, Jr. in particular led a life that could charitably be described as spirited, being named in several romantic scandals and at least one divorce proceeding. George Pullman's will clearly reflects his feelings towards his children: his wife and his daughters got the vast majority of the estate, while his sons were left with little.


George M. Pullman and his Family

George Mortimer Pullman

George Pullman

Pullman's Children

Harriett Pullman holding her twin sons

The Twins

Account of scandal involving George, Jr., with Mrs. Blanche Bowers, San Francisco Call, March 6, 1900

Gustave Behring: Pullman's Illegitimate Son?

The Strange Case of Gustave Behring

Images of Pullman and Family

Other Pullman-Related Sites

  • Historic Pullman Garden Club - An all-volunteer group that are the current stewards of many of the public green spaces in Pullman. (http://www.hpgc.org/

  • Historic Pullman Foundation - The HPF is a non-profit organization whose mission is to "facilitate the preservation and restoration of original structures within the Town of Pullman and to promote public awareness of the significance of Pullman as one of the nation's first planned industrial communities, now a designated City of Chicago, State of Illinois and National landmark district." (http://www.pullmanil.org/)
  • The National A. Philip Randolph Pullman Porter Museum is a 501(c)3 cultural institution. Its purpose is to honor, preserving present and interpreting the legacy of A. Philip Randolph, Pullman Porters, the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters and the contributions made by African-Americans to America's labor movement. ((http://www.nationalpullmanportermuseum.com/)
  • Pullman Civic Organization - The PCO is a strong and vibrant Community Organization that has been in existence since 1960. (http://www.pullmancivic.org/)
  • Pullman National Monument - The official page of the Pullman National Park. (https://www.nps.gov/pull/)
  • South Suburban Genealogical & Historical Society - SSG&HS holds the Pullman Collection, consisting of personnel records from Pullman Car Works circa 1900-1949. There are approximately 200,000 individuals represented in the collection. (https://ssghs.org/)
  • The Industrial Heritage Archives of Chicago's Calumet Region is an online museum of images that commemorates and celebrates the historic industries and workers of the region, made possible by a Library Services and Technology Act grant administered by the Illinois State Library. (http://www.pullman-museum.org/ihaccr/)
  • Illinois Digital Archives (IDA) is a repository for the digital collections libraries and cultural institutions in the State of Illinois and the hosting service for the online images on this site. (http://www.idaillinois.org/)