Edward Hamlin Everett – often described as big in stature – was also a businessman and orchardist on a grand scale. Everett was born into a prominent family on May 18, 1851, in Cleveland, Ohio. By his teens, his world had turned upside down: his father had died and his mother remarried businessman Henry Putnam, Sr., of Bennington, Vermont. A contentious relationship ensued and the young Everett stayed behind in Ohio, living with a wealthy uncle and attending Phillips Academy in Andover, Mass., during the school year. Abandoning the private school, he returned to his mother and stepfather’s home and graduated from Bennington High School in 1869.
After an abbreviated career working for his stepfather, Everett tried banking, a career that did not suit his entrepreneurial spirit. Striking out on his own, he acquired the Newark Star Glass Company of Ohio, changing its name to the E. H. Everett Company. Hard work plus innovations in the bottle manufacturing industry led to his earned title, “the Bottle King.” He amassed his fortune in the manufacture of glass bottles along with enterprises in natural gas and oil, real estate, cattle and orchards.
In July, 1886, Everett married Amy Webster King, daughter of Oren King, owner of the Newark Star Glass Company. Together they had three daughters, Amy, Mary and Ann. Upon the death of his wife in 1917, he later remarried Grace Burnap, an aspiring mezzo-soprano who bore him two daughters, Sarah and Betty Grace. Just a few days shy of his 78th birthday, Everett died from complications of prostate cancer surgery. Soon after, his daughters of his first marriage and second wife, Grace waged an acrimonious legal battle for his estate, estimated at over $2 million dollars but widely believed to be 20 times greater, just months before the stock market crash of 1929. The daughters were represented by Warren R. Austin of Vermont, who later served as a Senator from Vermont and became the first U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations.