Mrs. Elkins



Kate (Felton) Elkins (1867-1934) was the daughter of Charles Norton Felton (1832-1914), U.S. Congressman and Senator from California and co-founder of Pacific Coast Oil (now Chevron Corporation), and Charlotte A. (Ashley) Felton (1831-1875). She grew up in San Francisco and at the family's country estate in Menlo Park, Felton Gables. When her father first served in Congress beginning in 1885 Kate joined him and was hostess of his official home in Washington. In 1888 she married William Lukens Elkins Jr. (1863-1902), a wealthy businessman from Philadelphia, at the family home in Menlo Park. The couple lived in Philadelphia but frequently returned for visits to California. After his death in 1902 Kate's visits to California were less frequent. In 1911 Kate married another Philadephian, William Delaware Neilson (1850-1927), forfeiting a half million dollars or more in inheritance, conditional on not remarrying, from her first husband. She was wealthy in her own regard as her father was one of the wealthiest persons in California. After her second husband's death she made several generous charitable donations including establishment of the Charles Norton Felton Jr. Memorial Fund in honor of her brother for the Stanford Convalescent Home, the Charles N. Felton Redwood Grove in honor of her father, a Library of American Literature at the Stanford University Library in honor of her mother Charlotte Ashley Felton, and an annual American Literature scholarship at Stanford University to honor her uncle George Loomis.

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