Beach Town in a Forest

Beach Town in a Forest
Beach Town in a Forest, Pine Knoll Shores located in Carteret County on North Carolina's Crysal Coast. Photo compliments of Bill Flexman and Dave Prutzman

Friday, August 29, 2014

Roosevelts Who Developed PKS

The Roosevelts who developed Pine Knoll Shores, the grandchildren of President Theodore Roosevelt, were all individuals of accomplishment before taking on their roles here. This post attempts to outline what we know about them.[i]

Grace Green Roosevelt McMillan – Born in San Francisco, August 17, 1911.

  • At age 17, went to France to spend the summer with a French family and attended the Sorbonne the following winter while her parents went to Asia for wild game hunting to get specimens of exotic animals for Natural History Museum in New York City.
  • Graduated from the Sorbonne in Paris.
  • At age 20, took courses in business and made her debut in New York City while her parents were in Puerto Rico during the time her father was provincial governor there.
  • Went by ship to Kobe, Shanghai and Hong Kong on the way to Manila with her parents when her father was appointed governor general of the Philippines.
  • Had not only an audience with the Emperor and Empress of Japan but also a lunch with them, rare opportunity for Americans at the time.
  • Joined her parents in England in 1934, after they had spent a year or more travelling the Eastern/Mid-Eastern world and met architect and yachtsman William McMillan, friend of her parents who had been travelling with them.
  • Married William McMillan in March 1934 at Christ Church, Oyster Bay, NY.
  • Lived in the country outside of Baltimore in a home he designed.
  • Had two children—William McMillan, Jr., who graduated from Princeton, and Eleanor (born in December 1937), who graduated from Radcliffe.
  • Became an accomplished freelance photographer.
  • Was a trustee of the Baltimore Museum of Art and the Greater Baltimore Medical Center.
  • Had three granddaughters.
  • Died February 26, 1994, of a stroke, when she was 82.
  • Her husband died April 17, 1994 when he was 89.[ii]

Five members of the Roosevelt Trust. Front Row: Teddy’s wife, Anne Babcock Roosevelt; Ted Roosevelt II with granddaughter Eleanor MacMillan on his lap; Grace Green Roosevelt McMillan; Eleanor Butler Roosevelt with grandson, William Jr. on her lap; Theodore Roosevelt III.
Standing: Grace’s husband, William McMillan; Quentin Roosevelt. Picture taken in 1941 and appearing in Day After Yesterday. Cornelius is not in this family picture. (See below for a blowup of inset of Cornelius's photo, which appears in upper right of this picture.).

Theodore Roosevelt III – Teddy Born in Philadelphia in June 1914.
  • Attended Groton prep school.
  • Visited parents in Puerto Rico in summers.
  • Went to Wyoming with brother Cornelius one summer.
  • Graduated from Harvard in 1936.
  • Wanting to seek a job without the influence of family, took a job at a DuPont paint factory in Philadelphia.
  • After one year, moved on to DuPont’s company office in Chicago and stayed two years.
  • Became an industrial salesman for DuPont and was given the territory of Kentucky, southern Illinois and southern Indiana with headquarters in Louisville, until war broke out.
  • In Louisville, met Anne Mason Babcock.
  • Married Anne Mason Babcock on February 3, 1940.
  • Had one son, whom they referred to as “T IV,” born in 1942.
  • After the attack on Pearl Harbor, Teddy went into Navy.
  • Was assigned to naval base in Jacksonville, Florida, and took an apartment there with wife Anne. His father and mother took a nearby beach cottage at Ponte Verdra, where Teddy and his brother Quentin get together before being deployed.
  • He was a Navy pilot in the Pacific, and earned an Air Medal.
  • Left Navy as a lieutenant commander.
  • After the war, went into finance and worked for the firm of Montgomery Scott in Philadelphia.
  • With wife, Anne, and son, “T IV,” lived on a 72-acre farm near Paoli, Pennsylvania.
  • Became Secretary of Commerce for the state of Pennsylvania in 1947 and served for two years.
  • Listed by US Chamber of Commerce as one of the ten most outstanding young men in the nation.
  • Decided not to run for office despite pressure from Republican Party to do so.
  • Died January 9, 2001, at age 86.

Cornelius Van Schaack Roosevelt – Born in Philadelphia October 23, 1915.
  • Named for his great-great-grandfather.
  • Went to Puerto Rico when his father was provincial governor, but didn’t stay long; returned to U.S. to go to school.
  • Visited Puerto Rico in summers.
  • Went to Wyoming with brother Teddy one summer.
  • Graduated from Groton prep school.
  • In 1932, visited parents in Philipines.
  • In July 1933, took gliding lessons in Germany at Segelflugschule.
  • Did archaeological work in Peru in the summer of 1934 with Groton classmate Richard Cross, exploring a temple at Chavin, partly underground and publishing an article with maps of discoveries.
  • Left Harvard, where he studied for two years, and went to Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he graduated with honors in 1938 with a degree in mining engineering.
  • Worked for four years in Mexico with the American Smelting and Refining Company.
  • Worked as a contract engineer in Special Devices Division of the Bureau of Aeronautics, which became Office of Naval Research and remained associated with it to work not only with aeronautical devices but also with anti-submarine crew training.
  • Joined navy in 1942, even though he was nearsighted.
  • After the war, went to Shanghai and traveled extensively in Asia as president of a company of consulting engineers, agents for manufacturers of industrial equipment, power plans, rolling and spinning mills, construction and mining.
  • Left when China was taken over by communists.
  • Continued to be in classified research for the Navy.
  • Became head of a technical division in the CIA.
  • Enjoyed scuba diving.
  • Died August 3, 1991, at age 76.[iii]

Quentin Roosevelt – Born in Oyster Bay, NY, in November 4, 1919. [iv]
  • His birth was at the time his father was first elected to the New York State Assembly.
  • Had musical talent, perfect pitch; took piano lessons and sang as a child.
  • Attended Groton prep school, where he studied harmony.
  • Also had artistic ability.
  • Went to Puerto Rico when his father was provincial governor and went to San Augustine at Rio Piedras, a military boarding school, where he learned Spanish.
  • In 1934, went to Sonoita, Arizona, horseback riding and explored a cave that had pottery and bones. Later, the Museum of Natural History in New York City examined these discoveries and determined that the bones were a Pleistocene antelope.
  • In 1937, went to China with his mother, had lunch with Madame Chiang Kai-shek, who was to provide her signature on 250 pages of manuscript for a special edition Doubleday was issuing when Ted III was publisher.
  • Had to leave because Japanese invaded China, a harrowing escape requiring intervention by marines.
  • Evacuated to Manila and was in the Manila Hotel with his mother when a major earthquake hit, another near-death experience.
  • In 1939, went to Tibet, where he collected Nashi (Naxi) scrolls, paintings and other artifacts that would be the basis of his Harvard thesis. The majority of his findings went to the Library of Congress, the Peabody Museum, Fine Arts Museum in Cambridge and the Harvard Yechin Institute. The proceeds paid for his journey.
  • Graduated cum laude from Havard.
  • Became a commissioned second lieutenant in the Army.
  • During World War II, served in the 33rd Artillery, First Division, his father’s division.
  • In 1941, trained at Fort Devens, Massachusetts, and mother moved there temporarily to be near him and her husband.
  • Went to North Carolina on maneuvers, and his mother went to Pinehurst for several weeks to be near them there.
  • Then went to Fort Blanding in Florida, and could visit with brother Teddy who was stationed in Jacksonville. Family visits were at Point Verdra Beach, where mother rented a place.
  • Went with First Division to Fort Benning, Georgia, and then to Hershey, PA, an embarkation site.
  • Went to England and was stationed at Tidworth on Salisbury Plain with his father; mother also went to England and worked with Red Cross, developing a club for troops at Tidworth House.
  • Took part in invasions of Normandy and North Africa.
  • In Africa, received a Silver Star at Ousseltia.
  • Was wounded in North Africa at Kasserine in February 1943 by a strafing Messerschmitt. A shell went into his lung and lodged in his liver. Almost died of resulting infection.
  • Received the Croix de Guerre and Purple Heart.
  • Met and became engaged to Frances Webb from Kansas, who was working with a Red Cross Club.
  • Married Frances Webb at the Church of St. Peter and St. Paul in Blandford, England, on April 12, 1944.
  • Landed at Omaha Beach while his father landed at Utah Beach on D-Day, June 6, 1944.
  • Was promoted to major.
  • Served as a liaison officer in China, where he received a citation for his accomplishments.
  • After the war, worked for two years in the New York office of China National Aviation Corporation, connected to Pan Am Airways.
  • Had three daughters.
  • In December 21, 1948, was killed in a plane crash on a return business trip from Shanghai to Hong Kong, wanting to get back to spend Christmas with his family. He was only 29 years old.
  • Wife Frances survived him and remained a member of the Roosevelt Trust. She died in 1995.
Post Author: Phyllis Makuck, revised 4/23/2015
To contact the author or the History Committee

[i] Eleanor Roosevelt, Day Before Yesterday, Doubleday & Company, Inc., Garden City, New York, 1959. Published shortly after Eleanor's death. Most of the information before 1959 about the lives of the Roosevelts who developed Pine Knoll Shores comes from this memoir as do the family photos reprinted here.

[ii] McMillan's obituary found in


[iv] Photo from
Maj Quentin Roosevelt, II Added by: Warrick L. Barrett, reprinted in Wikipedia.