Fernando Yznaga, who died yesterday at the Minturn
Hospital from diphtheria, was one of the best-known
men in New York and foreign society and club life.
His sudden death produced a great shock in this
city, where he had many friends. Mr. Yznaga was one
of the most entertaining of men, very clever at
epigram and repartee, and famous for quaint sayings.
His life had been quite adventurous and, from a
domestic point of view, somewhat of a stormy nature.
He was the only son of the late Antonio Yznaga del
Valle. His mother was from Louisiana and a member of
a well-known family there. She was a Miss Clements.
His father for years was a merchant in New York. He
was a Cuban by birth, holding large estates in that
island, and engaged in the Cuban trade. He belonged
to the well-known family of Yznaga del Valle, many
members of which have lived in New York and other
Fernando Yznaga was educated abroad. His father went
out of business and settled in Louisiana on a
plantation near Lake Concordia. The family lived
there and in Cuba for a number of years, and they
were all well known in New Orleans society. Fernando
Yznaga remained in that city until about the year
1880. He had three sisters. The eldest of these, the
beautiful Consuelo Yznaga, and her mother passed
part of the year, after she grew up, in New York and
its vicinity. They have many relatives here. Mrs.
Yznaga had a small house in East Orange, and it was
there, after mother and daughter had met Lord
Mandeville, that they nursed this nobleman through
an attack of African fever. A short time after that
Consuelo Yznaga married the heir of the Duke of
Fernando Yznaga came to New York to live just after
his sister's marriage. It was here that he met Miss
Jenny Smith, the sister of Mrs. William K.
Vanderbilt. Lady Mandeville and Mrs. Vanderbilt were
very intimate friends, and shortly after the meeting
Mr. Yznaga married Miss Smith. Becoming the
brother-in-law of Mr. Vanderbilt, the foundation of
his fortune was established. It is said that one of
his wedding presents was a seat on the Stock
Exchange and he entered into the firm of H.B.
Hollins & Co., who have always done a great deal of
the Vanderbilt brokerage business. Fernando Yznaga
and William K. Vanderbilt remained very devoted
friends through all the domestic complications which
followed, and Mr. Yznaga was generally one of the
guests on the many cruises of the Valiant. In fact,
Winfield Hoyt, Mr. Yznaga, and Louis Webb were
frequently referred to as the "Three Vanderbilt
Musketeers." as they were always seen together and
with William K. Vanderbilt. Mr. and Mrs. Yznaga did
not live very happily, and fifteen years ago they
were divorced. Mrs. Yznaga remarried, her second
husband being William George Tiffany of the
Baltimore family of that name. They are living at
Maison Lafitte, near Paris.
Society was astonished about twelve years ago to
hear of the announcement of the engagement of Miss
Mabel Wright and Fernando Yznaga. Miss Wright had
appeared with Mrs. William K. Vanderbilt at the
opera on a Friday evening, and her engagement was
then announced to her friends. Miss Wright was a
very beautiful girl. She had appeared at some
charity entertainment and had made a sensation with
her beauty. Her father was a designer of carpets for
the Higgins Mills. He and his daughter lived very
quietly in a boarding house. Miss Wright's face was
her fortune, and after a trip to Narragansett and a
short visit to Newport she became the toast of the
season. The wedding was quietly celebrated in less
than a week from the announcement of the engagement.
The ceremony took place at the house where Mr.
Wright and his family boarded, and Mr. and Mrs.
Yznaga sailed the following day for Europe.
On their return to this country they lived in New
York and at Tuxedo. About six years ago there were
again rumors of domestic unhappiness. This
culminated when Mrs. Yznaga went to Dakota and
secured a divorce. Soon after this she married Count
Zichy, at St. Stephen's Roman Catholic Church. The
Count and Countess Zichy are living in Hungary,
where the Count's family have large estates. The
Count was a well-known figure in Newport society for
several Summers. His wife became a Roman Catholic at
the time of her marriage to him, and she had the
previous marriage with Mr. Yznaga annulled by the
For the past six years, since Mr. Yznaga had been a
second time divorced, he had been out a great deal
in society. His brother-in-law, William K.
Vanderbilt, also divorced, had him as an almost
constant companion. There have been several rumors
of his intention to marry a third time, but Mr.
Yznaga always treated these stories lightly. It was
even announced, only a few weeks ago that he would
marry Mrs. Constance Biddle, a woman recently
divorced from her husband, and who had gone on the
stage. The report was denied.
Mr. Yznaga was an excellent business man, and is
said to have made a fortune in Wall Street. He was a
member of the Union and Tuxedo Clubs, as well as one
of the original members of the Metropolitan Club,
where he lived.
Surviving Mr. Yznaga are his mother, Mrs. Antonio
Yznaga, who is at present on her Southern
plantation, and three sisters, the eldest the
widowed Duchess of Manchester, known here so well as
Lady Mandeville; Nautica, Lady Lister Kaye and
Emily, who is unmarried. They are all abroad. Mr.
Yznaga last year made a Winter trip to Davos, where
he was with his sister, the Duchess of Manchester,
at the death of her only surviving daughter. He had
never seemed a very strong man since then, and it is
thought by those who heard yesterday of his sudden
death, that his constitution had never recovered
from the long, nervous strain which he went through
at that time. He left no children.