Henriette (Hettie) Steinway Vietor

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Henriette Steinway Vietor (b. March 1, 1867 in New York City; d. July 11, 1933 in New York City) was the daughter of Albert Steinway, William's youngest brother, and Louise Albertine Kreischer.(3)(5) She was, therefore, William Steinway's niece. Henriette married Adolph Vietor on December 3, 1889, in New York City.(4) That marriage produced three children, Frederick Albert in 1891, Marie Louise, in 1892, and Carl William in 1894.(3)

William often mentioned in the diary family events that included Hettie and her parents, particularly birthday parties and outings.(Diary, 1873-03-02, 1874-12-13, 1875-05-16) Henriette lost her father, Albert Steinway, in May of 1877 when she was not quite ten years old. In the following years, William played a somewhat different role in the life of Henriette, her mother Louise, and her sister Ella, with Hettie often playing with his daughter Paula and on occasion staying at his house.(Diary, 1879-12-25, 1881-06-29, 1886-05-27) Before Hettie’s engagement to Adolph Vietor was announced, Louisa met with William to discuss the matter. (William referred to his sister-in-law as Louisa sometimes.) Later that day, Adolph himself called on William to discuss his proposal. (Diary, 1889-04-04) When Henriette's wedding was announced, William wrote in his diary of the discussion among the women of the family concerning William's role in the wedding. William noted the speculation about whether he should escort his wife, Ellie, or his sister-in-law and mother of the bride, Louise, to the church.(Diary, 1889-11-28) But in fact, William quite proudly escorted Hettie to the Church of the Divine Paternity (corner of 45th and Fifth Avenue) and described the ceremony and reception in great detail.(Diary, 1889-12-03)

Hettie maintained close contact with the Steinways and the Kreischers and was a frequent participant in William's Skat games along with her husband.(Diary, 1892-11-06) She met with William to discuss her uncle Eddie Kreischer's suicide shortly after the event.(Diary, 1894-07-03) In later life, her mother, Louise Steinway, Henriette, Adolph and their son Carl, who was still living with his parents, shared a home on West 72nd St. in New York.(1)

Their son Frederick would play an important role in the Steinway & Sons business affairs. Immediately after his graduation from Williams College in 1913, he began work with the firm and developed several improvements to the Steinway piano that were patented, most notably the accelerated action. He was appointed to the Board in 1930 and assumed the role of Vice-President and General Manager in which capacity he served from early 1941 until his death in June of 1941.(2)(6)


(1)“Adolph Vietor,” U.S. Census 1920, Series T625, Roll 1197, Page 184.
(2) “Col F A Vietor, 50, Steinway Official”, The New York Times, June 19, 1941, p.21.
(3) Maniha, Ken, Steinway Family Genealogy 
(4) “Married,” The New York Times, December 5, 1889, p.5.
(5) “Mrs. Adolph Vietor,” The New York Times, July 12, 1933, p. 17.