A Brooklyn street named for a president’s son

QuentinroadOn a street grid packed with lettered avenues, Brooklyn’s Quentin Road stands out.

Stuck between Avenue P and Avenue R, Quentin Road actually used to be known as Avenue Q. But in 1922, a petition to change the name was brought to the city’s Board of Aldermen. So who was Quentin, and why did Brooklynites want to honor him with a street name?

Quentin was Quentin Roosevelt, 21, fifth child of Teddy Roosevelt. Rambunctious and mischievous as a child, Quentin left Harvard and his fiance, Flora Vanderbilt Payne, in 1916 to volunteer for World War I.

QuentinrooseveltHe trained as a pilot at a field on Long Island (today known as Roosevelt Field), but was killed in combat over France in 1918.

The petition to rename Avenue Q for Quentin may have had to do with his father’s popularity in New York. After all, he was the former city police commissioner and state governor, not to mention U.S. president.

QuentinRooseveltgravefranceReportedly devastated by his son’s death behind enemy lines, Theodore Roosevelt died the next year.

“To those who fearlessly face death for a good cause; no life is so honorable or so fruitful as such a death,” he said.

“Unless men are willing to fight and die for great ideals, including love of country, ideals will vanish, and the world will become one huge sty of materialism.”

Tags: , , , , , ,

16 Responses to “A Brooklyn street named for a president’s son”

  1. Penelope Bianchi Says:

    That is pretty much what has happened! I loved Teddy….now I love
    Quentin….how adorable is he? the horrible effects of war.. Families, children….horrible.

    I will visit that street the next time I am in NYC….a city I ADORE!!!!

  2. Penelope Bianchi Says:

    Thank you! For another wonderful post! I forgot to say!!!!

  3. jsbielicki Says:

    Reblogged this on psychosputnik.

  4. Kenny Says:

    Most Roosevelt Field shoppers assume the mall is named for Theodore or maybe Franklin, if they think at all. There is a plaque there honoring Quentin.

  5. Audrey Burtrum-Stanley Says:

    The death of his son, Quentin, so devistated Teddy Roosevelt, all the fierce attitude and quotes like: ‘Speak softly and carry a big stick!’ became like dross… This son’s life mattered more than he ever realized (as every parent would feel) It changed Roosevelt dramatically. A tremendously moving book on this final period of his life is called ‘RIVER OF DOUBT’. I strongly urge anyone wanting to know more, to read this book. It offers revelations that will amaze and readers will come to understand how brokenhearted (in many ways) the great leader was at the time of his own death…

  6. Audrey Burtrum-Stanley Says:

    One more note of interest:
    The gigantic World War 1 Memorial in Kansas City features the gravesite photo you have included. Quentin was eventually moved to another and given a simple government-issued tombstone, no different than the thousands surrounding him. When President and Mrs. Reagan visited the cemetery. While there, Nancy Reagan placed flowers on a single grave – the son of Roosevelt, Quentin’s resting place in France near the battlefields of WWI.

  7. wack60585 Says:

    Reblogged this on wack60585.

  8. Thomas Martin Says:

    I have been receiving three email together each week. This week only one?????

    Sent from my iPad


  9. Andrew Porter Says:

    Hence the name of the musical, “Avenue Q: The Musical”!

  10. Audrey Burtrum-Stanley Says:

    Don’t you understand – your readership needs ‘an ephemeralnewyork’ fix on a regular basis! We were all out here in the hinterlands just walk’n the floors waiting for more NYC info & pic! Hope you are OK. Even folks who don’t personally know you – but thro this magic window called a computer – WE ALL CARE. ‘Get Well!’

  11. ephemeralnewyork Says:

    Thank you Audrey! I’m fine, and I promise a new blast of Ephemeral is coming in the next few days…now that the morphine has worn off and I can concentrate again.

  12. Penelope Bianchi Says:

    OH! Heal and be well! YIKES!!!

  13. The Curious Case of Quentin(e) Road | The Gravesend Gazette Says:

    […] pip, cheerio, and all that rot”), but those of us in southern Brooklyn have heard, repeatedly, how “Avenue Q” was renamed in honor of President Theodore Roosevelt’s youngest […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: