From New York Times, "Anness Wins Children," Dec. 30, 1931.
In a very sad and unjust court battle, Mr. and Mrs. Edward C. Anness of 1,155 Park Avenue, New York City, won custody of Peyton Randolph Anness, Jr., age seven, and his brother, Edward J. Anness, age five. They were taken from their mother, Helen Donovan [Anness] Patrick, widow of Peyton Randolph Anness, Sr. The battle raged along ethnic and class lines between the wealthy Anness grandparents and Helen of Irish-American stock. Mr. Edward Anness was the "oldest member of the New York Stock Exchange in point of service." Mr. & Mrs.Edward Anness had never accepted Helen who was always identified as "the former stenographer" who married their son. As reported in the New York Times, "The assistance of a deputy sheriff was required to tear the boys from their mother." My maternal grandmother and her sister, the boys' maternal grandmother, Mary Donovan, always mourned this great loss to the family. I remember a framed photo of the boys sitting with a stuffed toy dog on the wall of my grandmother's bedroom. This story has certainly influened my understanding of the negative power of socio-economic class.