Woman of the Century/Mrs. Frank Leslie

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search

LESLIE, Mrs. Frank, business woman and publisher, born in New Orleans, La., in 1851. Her Miriam Florence Leslie.jpgFRANK LESLIE. maiden name was Miriam Florence Folline, and she is a French Creole. She was reared in opulence and received a broad education, including all the accomplishments with many solid and useful attainments. She wrote much in youth and was already known in the world of letters, when she became the wife of Frank Leslie, the New York publisher. Mr. Leslie was an Englishman. His name was Henry Carter. He was born 29th March, 1821, in Ipswich, England, and died 10th January, 1880, in New York, N. Y. The name "Frank Leslie" was a pen-name he used in sketches published by him in the London "Illustrated News." In 1848 he came to the United States, assumed the name "Frank Leslie" by a legislative act, and engaged in literature and publication. Miss Folline went to Cincinnati during the Civil War, and finally to New York City. She was engaged in literary work there. One of the editors of Leslie's "Lady's Magazine" was sick and in poverty, and Miss Folline volunteered to do her work for her and give her the salary. The invalid died, and Miss Folline was induced to retain the position. In a short time she became the wife of Mr. Leslie, and their life was an ideally happy one. Her experience and talents enabled her to assist him greatly in the management of the many art publications of his house, and she learned all the details of the great business concern, of which she is now the head. During their married life Mr. and Mrs. Leslie made their summer home in "Interlaken Villa," Saratoga Springs, N. Y., and there they entertained Emperor Dom Pedro, of Brazil, and the Empress. Many other notable people were their guests, and in New York City Mrs. Leslie was, as she still is, one of the leaders of society. In 1877 the panic embarrassed Mr. Leslie, and he was compelled to make an assignment. Arrangements were made to pay off all claims in three years. A tumor developed in a vital part, and he knew that his fate was sealed. He said to his wife: "Go to my office, sit in my place, and do my work until my debts are paid." She undertook the task without hesitation, and she accomplished it with ease. Her husband's will was contested, and the debts amounted to $300,000, but she took hold of affairs and brought success out of what seemed chaos. She adopted the name Frank Leslie in June, 1881, by legal process. She is now sole owner and manager of the great publishing house. One of her published volumes is "From Gotham to the Golden Gate," published in 1877. She has spent her summers in Europe for many years. In 1890 she became the wife, in New York City, of William C. Kingsbury Wilde, an English gentleman, whom she met in London. Her hand had been sought by a number of titled men in Europe, but her choice went with her heart to Mr. Wilde. In European society she shone brilliantly. Her command of French, Spanish and Italian enabled her to enter the most cultured circles, and her personal and intellectual graces made her the center of attraction wherever she went. Mrs. Leslie is one of the most successful business women of the country. Her home is in New York City, and she is in full control of the business she has built up to so remarkable a success.