A Mystery! Can you solve it, I could not…

Your Turn: A Murder Mystery For You to Solve

When you go through history names pop up, you never knew before, connected to more familiar personages. You open a closet, find a lost love, a turn that would of changed someone’s life, a what if, a close call. It still is the meek who make the world go round. Thousand nameless hero’s shaped the character’s we learn in history. Then sometimes you dig up a few corpses. Now read the narrative below, this is one of finds I have no answers for yet. I will tell you the sequences of events and then inform you what was going on in history at the time. Then I will leave it up to you to find an answer to the riddle…
John Murray Forbes. Well he is not the concern, but the connection that brings us into the mystery below. Forbes will buy the Michigan Central Railroad from George Potter. Potter’s wife, Eliza Thayer French, was from Quincy next to Milton where the Forbes hail from. Carl Jung the famous psychologist will travel America in 1924-1925. The tour would be sponsored by George French Potter. Potter would come to learn of Carl Jung through Guy Fowler McCormick Jr. of the International Harvester wealth. His mother, Edith Rockefeller McCormick, was an early supporter of Jung after seeking his help to treat her depression. Guy’s future wife, 20 years his senior and a divorcee, Fifi would be one of Jung’s patients during her first marriage. So follow the connections below.
A George French Potter sells Michigan Central Railroad in 1846 to John Perkins Cushing, William Sturgis, John Murray Forbes, Josiah Quincy Jr., John Bryant, and Thomas H. Perkins. A younger George French Potter’s mother Eliza Thayer French was from Quincy next to Milton where Cushing and Forbes hail from. Potter was a Yale graduate that enters banking. George French Potter and Guy Fowler McCormick Jr. were friend’s of Carl Jung and supported his 1924-1925 tour through America. On February 25th 1925 George French Potter will shoot himself in the head during Jung’s tour. His brother Henry Camp Potter Jr. had shot himself in 1909. Also the same day as George French Potter shoots himself Joseph Medill McCormick, a cousin of Guy’s, will commit suicide by an overdose of pills. He was also from Yale and was one of Carl Jung’s patients when he suffered from depression running the Chicago Tribune. Marshall Field III, editor of another Chicago paper, would found the Committee for the Study of Suicide with Dr. Zilboorg in 1935 after two of his brothers and his father commit suicide.
Two years later very quietly the Federal Reserve on February 25, 1927 becomes an eternal institution by a vote by the 69th Congress.
Now that is how I stumbled upon this mystery. I was looking for research on the day Congress granted an eternal charter to the Federal Reserve. There is score of essays about the debates of not renewing The Second Bank of the United States and the Bank War. Same for not renewing The First Bank of the Untied States. But nothing about the Federal Reserve’s renewal, The Third Bank of the United States. The date February 25th brings me to this mystery. I found a newspaper article about George Potter’s suicide on February 25th…
On Halloween in 1925 the banker Milton E. Ailes director of Riggs Bank dies. After the sudden death of Milton E. Ailes, Robert V. Fleming becomes Riggs’ president at the age of 35. Fleming was head of National City Bank which controlled Riggs Bank. So the mystery ties into descendants of George Peabody’s partner’s sons bank. It also ties into Thomas H. Perkins and his opium brood. It stems from Yale University and Skull & Bones. Percy Rockefeller and William McCormick Blair were bonesmen. Percy will be connected below.
Edith Rockefeller McCormick was one of Jung’s early patients and sponsors. Edith, a believer in reincarnation, thought she was King Tuts first wife. King Tut’s discovery had recently been in the news all over the world. Guy Fowler McCormick Jr., Edith’s son, would become John Davison Rockefeller’s favorite grandson. He marries “Fifi” Anne Urquhart Potter Stillman. Fifi was the daughter of James Brown Potter, coffee merchant and partner in Brown Brothers & Co. Her divorce from James A. Stillman in 1921 was the divorce of the decade and her husband lost his father’s National City Bank in the process to Frank Vanderlip. Vanderlip would then be in position to attend the Jekyll Island’s meeting as the bank’s representative in the discussions to make the Federal Reserve.
In the divorce James A. Stillman said Fifi fathered their youngest child by an Indian guide. She claimed he fathered two illegitimate children with chorus girl Florence H. Leeds. The court refused the divorce in 1923 saying that he had misbehaved. In 1924 she started the affair with Guy Fowler McCormick Jr., her son’s roommate in Yale. By October 1924 James and Fifi were civil to each other for their daughter Anne’s marriage to Henry Pomeroy Davison Jr.
Henry Pomeroy Davison Jr. was a director at Time Magazine, Yale Graduate, and member of Skull and Bones. He becomes chairman of Morgan Guaranty Trust. His father was senior partner at J.P. Morgan & Co. and was present at Jekyll Island before the creation of the Federal Reserve. Davison and Benjamin Strong Jr. helped J.P. Morgan during the 1907 Panic decide which banks would survive. Strong would become the first president of the Federal Reserve on December 23, 1913. He also served as chairman for the American Red Cross. The federal deposits for the American Red Cross would be held by Riggs Bank. John Davison Rockefeller would be a major supporter of the Red Cross. Remember Riggs was George Peabody’s partner in Georgetown and Baltimore and his son would be Lincoln’s and Daniel Webster’s banker.
Fifi then filed for divorce in 1925 but withdrew the contest after receiving a $500,000 necklace 6 weeks later. They then spend five years in Europe and Fifi tries to find herself under the care of Carl Jung. Afterward she renewed the divorce in 1930 which went through on June 4th 1931 and married Harold “Guy” Fowler McCormick Jr. on the same day. Guy was 32 and Fifi was 52. Two of McCormick’s father’s siblings would suffer Schizophrenia. During his affair his parents divorce. The affair between Harold Fowler McCormick Sr. and Edith Rockefeller McCormick and Harold’s new Polish opera star wife would be a love triangle that inspired part of Citizen Kane. These families would of gave great delight to Jung’s previous mentor Sigmund Freud.
Stanley McCormick, Guy’s uncle, was treated by Dr. William Alanson White of St. Elizabeth Hospital. Also Stanley’s older sister was treated for Schizophrenia since she was 19. St. Elizabeth will be the new location for Homeland Security and was the mental asylum where John Warnock Hinckley Jr. was just released from on September 10th 2016.
St. Elizabeth was also an institute designed by Kirkbride who designed Danvers State Hospital from Batman fame, Arkham Asylum. It was supported by Dr. Thomas Miller who was President William Harrison’s doctor who helped in his assassination. Neil Bush, George Herbert Walker Bush’s son had dinner with Scott Hinckley, John’s brother, the night after John tried assassinating Ronald Reagan in March 30th 1981. Harrison first suffered Tecumseh’s Curse on March 26th 1841 to die April 4th 1841. Reagan was the last to suffer Tecumseh’s Curse on March 30th 1981. The hospital opened 2 years after Zachary Taylor would be assassinated during his successor Millard Fillmore term in president in August 1852.
Back to Stillman. Later James A. Stillman will return as a director of the National City Bank. He had helped J.P. Morgan avert the 1907 Panic when the two of them along with a few other bankers decided what banks to loan money too, and which ones they would let fail. Vanderlip, who had replaced Stillman, was one of the committee on Jekyll Island that forms the Federal Reserve. Milton E. Ailes who succeeds Vanderlip as Assistant Secretary to the Treasury and president of National City Bank dies on Halloween in 1925.
Sarah Elizabeth Stillman, mother of James A. Stillman dies February 7th 1925. Stillman’s brother’s wife Mary E. Stillman dies that year too. Fifi flees the country to have psychological help in Europe in 1925. Remember on February 25th 1925 George F. Potter will shoot himself in the head during Jung’s tour. Also that day Joseph Medill McCormick will commit suicide.
Joseph Medill McCormick was part owner of the Chicago Tribune that his grandfather Joseph Medill started. He was William Sanderson McCormick’s grandson. Cyrus Hall McCormick Sr. who founded International Harvester was William’s brother. Joseph Medill McCormick’s father was a diplomat under Lincoln and McKinley who were both assassinated. Joseph and Harold “Guy” Fowler McCormick Jr. were first cousins. Joseph Medill just lost his second term in Senate when he kills himself.
James Stillman Rockefeller marries Nancy Campbell Sherlock Carnegie in April 15th 1925. There were a lot of strange things going on that year.
Stillman, McCormick, and Rockefeller make medieval royal inbreeding look tame. Sarah Elizabeth “Elsie” Stillman marries William Goodsell Rockefeller. He is the son of William Rockefeller who was a senior executive of Standard Oil with his brother John Davison Rockefeller Sr.. His other son Percy marries Isabel Goodrich Stillman. Fifi’s mother was married to Percy A. Rockefeller and she marries John Davison Rockefeller’s favorite grandson. I think Jung had his hands full with this group. I hear the theme song to the Adams Family playing in my head now…
James Stillman Rockefeller’s and Nancy Campbell Sherlock Carnegie Rockefeller’s daughter was Nancy Sherlock Carnegie Rockefeller. Nancy Sherlock Carnegie Rockefeller marries Barclay McFadden. Their grandchild is Barclay McFadden III who was friend of James McDonald who was on Citi’s Board and CEO of Rockefeller & Co. who committed suicide in New Bedford, MA in his car on September 15th 2004.
What was going on that year? A special session of the Senate was called by President Elect John Calvin Coolidge Jr. of Massachusetts on February 14, 1925. I can’t find out on what yet. He would read his inauguration on March 4th. Revised International Opium Convention was signed February 19th 1925. Then on February 25th 1927 the Federal Reserve Act is amended very quietly to receive an eternal charter that can only be revoked by criminal action by Congress.
It is interesting two of my themes, opium and the national bank collide that month.
Sometimes you do not know what twists and turns history will take you down, or how they will fit till later…
So that is the mystery for you. Filled with insanity, suicides, political marriages, the Federal Reserve, famous psychologists, scandalous divorces, affairs, Oh MY! Now was it suicide with these gentlemen, or was it murder. You go research it and tell me what you find! chris.dowgin@salemtunneltour.com


For more tales like this about how Salem MA has shaped American History read Sub Rosa by Christopher Jon Luke Dowgin available at Barnes & Nobel, Amazon.com, and your favorite local independent book seller.
Ask for it by name!

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