Frank H Work (1819 - 1911)

Banker, Broker, Ancestor of Princess Diana

Frank H Work was a New York city-based banker and broker, agent of Vanderbilt, through whom he built a vast fortune. Frank Work was also an ancestor of Princess Diana.


Frank H Work (1819-1911), ancestor of Diana Spencer, Princess of Wales

Frank Work was born in Chillicothe, Ohio, the younger of two brothers.  His father died while Frank was a mere infant.  It is not yet known by me, whether the widow remarried, or how she supported the family.  Frank left his home at about age 18 or 19 to come to New York City to make his fortune.  Starting off small, his interest in horse racing eventually attracted the attention of Vanderbilt.  When Frank's co-partnership was in trouble, Vanderbilt came to his financial aid, but then also offered him the chance to be his agent.  Meanwhile, Frank's future-wife's father died while she was only 16, in 1848.  They must have known each other from Chillcothe, for next we find the Chillicothe-widow also moving to New York City with her daughter Ellen Wood (1831-1877), who then married Frank there in 1857.  They would have three children: Frances Eleanor "Ellen" Work 1857, George Paul Work 1858, and Lucy Bond Work 1860.  Frank became a broker and banker, by 1860 worth $120,000, by 1870 worth $230,000.  When he died, Frank left an estate in excess of thirteen million dollars.  Frank left a complicated will with many codicils, however the heirs between themselves, made a friendly agreement to set the will aside and all its requirements, dividing the estate equitably amongst themselves.


"Frank Work Dead of Pneumonia at 92" (obit), New York Times, 17 Mar 1911, page 9