William Leggett, writer, Evening Post

William Leggett (April 30, 1801 – May 29, 1839) was an American poet, fiction writer, and journalist. He was a New Yorker who attended Georgetown and then entered the military. His time in the military didn’t agree with him and he was court martialed for “dueling on duty”. Upon leaving the navy, he returned to New York City in 1826 and began writing. Leggett became a theater critic at the New York Mirror and assistant editor of the short-lived Merchants’ Telegraph. In November 1828, he founded the Critic, a literary journal that lasted only a few months. In the summer of 1829, however, William Cullen Bryant… Read More

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Owen F. Dolen, educator, advocate

In 1925, Owen F. Dolen (c.1864-1925) was asked to speak at a ceremony in this park, then known as Westchester Square. The occasion was the unveiling of a new monument to the neighborhood soldiers who died in World War I (1914-1918).  Dolen was a well-respected educator and life-long member of the Bronx Westchester Park community, and had spearheaded the campaign to place the memorial at the square. He gave a rousing twenty-five minute speech, bowed to the crowd, sat down, and died of a heart attack just minutes later. On April 30, 1926, the Board of Aldermen (now the City… Read More

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John de Morgan, author, Staten Island park advocate

Frank Sheridan a.k.a. John de Morgan, (1848-1926) was an Irish-born writer with a background in the classics. He worked as a tax-collector in Staten Island, New York. He  was a regular contributor of historical novels (specializing in Colonial and American revolutionary War stories), science fiction and other subjects for serials for Norman L. Munro’s Golden Hours from 1888 and also published three serials in George Munro’s Fireside Companion. He also wrote parodies and essays using the pseudonyms Captain Luther Barr, John L. Douglas, Frank Sheridan, and An Old Salt”. Mr. de Morgan lived on Staten Island from 1883 until his death… Read More

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Iris De La Cruz, AIDS activist

Iris De La Cruz helped found a support group for prostitutes and after she became infected with the AIDS virus, she started several groups for people like her. She started the first support group for positive women and another for hetero singles. She confronted people who looked at her struggle with drugs and prostitution and finally with AIDS as shameful and telling them she was not ashamed. She fought the stigma of AIDS, her body weakened but her spirit and humor never waned.  She was an inspiration to so many people. She did a lot in the short time she was… Read More

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Alexander McDougall- leader of The Sons of Liberty

Alexander McDougall (1732– June 9, 1786) was an American seaman, merchant, a Sons of Liberty leader from New York City before and during the American Revolution, and a military leader during the Revolutionary War. He served as a major general in the Continental Army, and as a delegate to the Continental Congress. After the war, he was the president of the first bank in the state of New York and served a term in the New York State Senate. He was born in Scotland, but came to NY in 1738 with his family. His first job was a milk delivery… Read More

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