David Billikopf, June 1946 -  Age 22 - Knollwood: David in sling a week or two after his car [green 1945 KAISER sedan, David's first car] skidded on wet pavement on highway and went off the road, turned over and landed in an adjoining field.  Only injury to David: a piece of glass broke from the windshield and cut a vein in David's right wrist.  Bleeding.  David wrapped a towel around arm to stop bleeding and walked back to highway to stop a car (any car) to take him to nearest hospital.  A Good Samaritan stopped and took him to nearest hospital, guided by local gas station young man who came along.  Doctor stitched up David's wrist and had him remain in hospital until the following day.  David's car a 50% WRECK picked up and repaired by local garage, eventually sold, never again used by David.  Next day David traveled to Knollwood, still far away, by taxi.  Florence was there and remained with David a week or so. David, fully recovered, bought another car: a maroon FRAZER sedan.  David couldn't play tennis that summer.  No lasting effect of injury.
Caption written by David Billikopf and sent to Leigh Ann Little, c. 2014
Born: June 9, 1926

Died: March 25, 2018

Married: María Encina (annulled)

Children: Gregorio Billikopf, Nicolás Billikopf, Yahia Billikopf, Philippa Anderson, Stephanie Billikopf

David Marshall Billikopf, 91, passed away peacefully on March 25, 2018 at his home in Santiago, Chile, surrounded by family and others who cared about him. He was the son of the late Jacob and Ruth (Marshall) Billikopf, grandson of Louis Marshall, and nephew of wilderness activist Bob Marshall.

David was born on June 9, 1926, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He grew up in Philadelphia, spending summers in the Marshall family cottage at the Knollwood Club in the Upper Adirondacks of New York. He attended the Oak Lane Country Day School and the Germantown Friends School in Philadelphia before graduating with honors from Harvard University in 1947. He served in the United States Army from 1945 to 1946.

After college David hitchhiked across the United States and then sailed to Europe, spending a year traveling through France and Italy.

In 1952 David married María Encina of San Javier, Chile. During the 1950s and 1960s David played an integral role in managing the Encina family's vineyard. In 1955 David built a home for his family in the Las Condes section of Santiago, Chile. This home, where he passed away, is designated as a National Monument by the Chilean government.

In 1970, during a time of political turmoil in Chile, David brought his wife and five children to New Canaan, Connecticut, where they lived until returning to South America in 1975. It was during this time that David wrote the book, "The Exercise of Judicial Power, 1789-1864," an extensive study of the beginnings of the U.S. Federal Court system and Supreme Court decisions during that period.

After returning to Chile David spent his years writing and traveling. He wrote several novels, novellas, short stories, and poems in both English and Spanish.

Besides his parents, David was preceded in death by his sister, Mrs. Florence Schweitzer, and a grandson, David Marsing Billikopf.

David is survived by three sons, Gregorio, Nicolás, and Yahia Billikopf; two daughters, Philippa Anderson and Stephanie Billikopf; 25 grandchildren, and 15 great-grandchildren. He is also survived by his Godson, Monsignor Carlos Encina of the Vatican, as well as a host of family, friends, and caretakers.

Written by Leigh Ann Little, Find A Grave Contributor Vintage Kansas City

David Billikopf wrote the following for inclusion on the Historic Saranac Lake wiki.

I am David Marshall Billikopf, the grandson of  Louis Marshall of Knollwood.  Although I was born in Philadelphia June 9, 1926, the son of Jacob Billikopf and Ruth Marshall Billikopf, I first arrived at Knollwood when I was five weeks old, thanks to the good old New York Central Railroad's Adirondack Division.  When I was four years old my mother discovered when we arrived at the Saranac Lake Station that my face was covered with chicken pox.  I loved that journey from Grand Central Station through Albany to Utica where I was fascinated by the train going back and forth in the middle of the night before heading North to Montreal, though we went only as far as Lake Clear Junction, after passing through Big Moose and Old Forge and other tiny flag stops.  At Lake Clear again we went back and forth before heading for our destination: Saranac Lake.

If the journey was great, the summers on the North Shore of Lower Saranac Lake were even greater.  If I have any roots, other than the one acre plot on which I live in the outskirts of Santiago, Chile, they are at and around Knollwood, three-quarters of which I explored, including a circumvalation of Lily Pad Pond  in the middle of the night.  Unlike my uncles Bob and George, I was not a mountain climber, though I enjoyed an annual climb up the thousand stairs of Ampersand Mountain.  For several summers starting in 1944 my next-door neighbor was Albert Einstein whom I remember vividly because he didn't wear socks!  Cottage Five, the Marshall Cottage, remains sacred for me: that is where my mother died when she was 38 and I was only 10.

As for "the village", I enjoyed going into town on the Forest Home Road once I was old enough to drive.  I remember Dr. Sageman, William Wallace, Kolleckers, George Clark (son of Herb Clark) at the A & P, the  owners of the record store (LP's)...and Dew Drop Inn right on the river.  Also Joe Walsh, Carter Brady and Russell Newell. And John DiVarney who ran the newstand at the station and was a friend of my grandfather decades earlier! And I consider your Historic Saranac Lake wiki a masterpiece.

And his Wikipedia user page contained a similar sketch, written in 2012:

As a product of the 19th century (my parents were born in 1882 and 1898 respectively) I have devoted my adult life to research and investigation in just about every field. I have been using Wikipedia for many years as the source of information. Although I am 85 years old, I am still a student, if not a scholar.

I was born in Philadelphia in 1926 and attended two excellent schools there, Oak Lane Country Day School and Germantown Friends School, before entering Harvard College where I received my A.B. magna cum laude in 1948 [Class of 1947]. My real Education, however, did not begin until I left The Academic World and began my own personal Experiment in International Living, mostly in Italy between October 1949 and June 1950. In early 1951 I first visited Chile where I settled once and for all two years later. In addition to my five Chilean-born children I have 24 grandchildren and 8 great-grandchildren.

I am the author of THE EXERCISE OF JUDICIAL POWER [published by Vantage Press, NYC, in 1973], a study based on the original Supreme Court Decisions, up until the Civil War, of the exercise of power by the Federal Judiciary, including a definitive coverage of how the Federal Courts extended their role in cases involving Admiralty Jurisdiction at the expense of the State Courts.

I have written several novels which have not yet been published.


In 2012, David Billikopf edited the Wikipedia Page for Saranac Lake, correcting a mention of Albert Einstein, and stating that he was a grandson of Louis Marshall.  As he provided an email address, I wrote to suggest that he might find the Historic Saranac Lake wiki interesting, thus starting an exchange that over five years would involve more than two dozen emails in which he spoke of his family's history at Knollwood and sent us a number of pieces he put together, like the following, along with a number of photographs. -- Marc Wanner


Various items   From David M. Billikopf


From Chappaqua, N. Y.  JUNE 14, 1911  when Bob was 10

Dear Mother,

                   Bob and I are at the Post Office in the village, with Uncle Judah, [1] and Ruth [2] is visiting Mrs. Cox’s school.  We are having a great time.  David [3] can walk now and almost talk.  Love to Pop and George etc.

        Your loving son  James

        I’m fine without anyone fusing [sic].



From Chappaqua, N. Y.  JUNE 20, 1911  when Bob was 10

Dear Mother,

                   We are all well. Please give my love to everyone. Please send another cake soon [“soon” is erased and replaced by] immediately.

        I’d like to go to the dentist on Saturday if possible.  Spank George & kiss father for me.  Your loving son, James

        We’d all like a chocklate [sic] and were [sic] all fine, I hope you are.                 Bob


From his office in NYC to Knollwood

August 3, 1916 [4] when Bob was 15

My dear Children:

                         I have received your several letters and am very much pleased with them, especially when you confirm the information which I have had that the weather is cool and conducive to work and exercise.  I am especially pleased with Robert’s anxiety to work. [5]  He says: “Two hours a day is a long time for vacation.”  I really think that he should have more vacation than two hours a day.  If he insists upon working all day long I must protest.  He is entitled to more relaxation.  I really believe that he should have more than two hours a day for that purpose.  In fact all that I expect from him is that he shall work for two hours a day.  George, on the other hand, complains of having worked very hard and that he is “supprised” [sic] that he and Robert have not become sick in consequence.  In his case also I shall be content if he works two hours a day.  Beyond that he may enjoy himself as he pleases.  I am glad to know that he is making such excellent progress in Jean Valjean.

        I assume that Ruth is now camping at Round Lake. [6] I expect that she will reach Knollwood shortly after I get there on Saturday morning.

        The reports of the white fishery are most astounding.  It merely indicates that our ignorance of the methods of fishing gave the fish a chance.  I only fear that our activity now may be such as to make fishing less interesting in future years.  It might be well to be moderate. Certainly no more fish should be taken from the lake than we could utilize.

        [The letter continues and ends]

        With love to all of you, and with best regards to the Knollwooders, I am

        Your affectionate

                        Father [signed by his secretary, Neary]


Aboard The North Coast Limited en route to Missoula

October 26, 1934

when Bob worked in The Office of Indian Affairs

Dear Putey:

                 Back to Missoula again at the start of a 7 ½  weeks autumn field trip.  The weather is grand and the prospect of being in Missoula again in less than 24 hours almost too good to be true.  I have no earthly business there, but shall remain two days, one on a Sunday and one annual leave.  Thereafter, I plan to visit the Flathead Reservation in Montana; the Spokane, Colville, Yakima, Neal Bay and Quinaielt [7] in Washington; the Warm Springs and Klamath in Oregon; the Duck Valley in Nevada; the Ft. Hall in Idaho; the Uintah-Ouray [8] in Utah; five or six in Oklahoma; and return to Washington Monday December 17.  And shortly thereafter I’m already looking forward to a Philadelphia visit to the various and sundry Billikopfs.

        Your two letters of last summer were greatly appreciated and read two or three times in word for word interest.  I was especially interested and also shocked by the tragedy of Lynwood Coon. [9] It was swell that the children enjoyed the summer so much.  I wish I could play baseball with David who is a year and a half younger than I was when I suddenly became such an ardent baseball fan. [10] [11]

        I wanted to write you much more than once this summer, but I was so busy I just didn’t write at all except for business.  First a seven weeks field trip, starting June 18, to the Crow, Tongue River, Ft Belknap, Rocky Boys, Blackfeet and Flathead Reservations in Montana, ending with a day and a half in Missoula.  Then by train and plane and train again to Winslow, Arizona, from which I drove to Kearns Canyon on the Navajo Reservation.  Here a great Navajo Tribal Council was held, with over 2,000 Navajos present.  Mr. Collier  [I am now going to interrupt Bob’s letter to include the Wikipedia article on John Collier]

Mr. Collier was there, and Jim Stewart, chief of the Land Division, and Walter Woelke, Mr. Collier’s all-around assistant.  The latter two I consider the best men I the whole Indian Bureau, except Mr. Collier who is the grandest human being for whom I have ever worked.

[Bob goes on to name others in the entourage including Marion Hall], Collier’s secretary, aged 29, dark, very pretty, very quiet, exceptionally sensitive…

[Bob then goes on to write about a tour of the northwest corner of the Navajo country, in which Mr. Collier’s son and daughter-in-law as well as Marion Hall joined.]

It was all so different than the Adirondacks in which we were raised.  It was so peaceful, so exquisite, so delightful that of course the exquisite and delightful feminine sharer in this adventure, Marion Hall, became the fourteenth white hope, and for a while it seemed as if she might be the ultimate one, but I just cant make up my mind yet to stop being single. [12] [13] Please, I’d like to talk about this subject with you when we get together in December.

        Then I took the train to the Klamath Reservation in Oregon where revolution was in the air.  The Indians there have immensely valuable timber and the lumber industry had bought three of the eight members of the Tribal Business Committee, representative body of the Klamath Indians.  There was one stormy session which lasted 6 hrs and 55 minutes during which the Indian superintendent of the reservation, the Bureau, John Collier and I were under constant attack.  It was swell.  I had to stick up for all.  They even threatened to scalp me (facetious) but concluded that I was only the Commissioner’s “pencil” and that they’d better scalp the man who pushed the pencil, only, someone added, his scalp wasn’t worth very much…

        [One of the Indians] turned on me and shouted: “I know you.  I know you as well as you know me.  I know you aren’t in the Indian Bureau to see how much money you can make.  You’re in it to try out some of your crazy, wildcat schemes.”  The Klamaths aren’t typical, in fact they’re by far the worst tribe there is outside Okla.

[There is much more in the letter but I will skip ahead to Bob’s visit to the Hooka Valley Reservation where he had lunch with “the great and original Ty Cobb himself.”]

        Ty was immensely pleased when I still remembered that he led the American League in batting for nine consecutive years from 1907-1915; that he hung up a batting record of .420 one season; that he stole 96 bases in 1913; and we became warm buddies before the meal was over. [14]

        My hand is so sore [Bob was then on Page 8 of his handwritten letter] I can’t write another page so I’ll continue soon in the next.

        Love & more love, Bob


written on The California Limited

September 17, 1936

Dear Florence:

                     Your swell letters have all been greatly enjoyed. I’m sorry you had to leave Knollwood so early, but I bet you had a good time at Pengilly. [15]  Today, unless you changed your plans, you are returning to Melrose Park.  I know at first it will seem very strange and sad and unpleasant without Putey, but you seem to be as brave and strong as Putey…

        I’ve just spent half a glorious month in Northern Wisconsin, Michigan & Minnesota.  I got completely soaked three different days, but like Regina who fell in the lake, [16] I also had a good time.  Some of the days were so gloriously, cloudlessly, crisply blue it seemed as if nothing could be more beautiful.

        Yesterday I met with 22 cranky Red Lake Chippewas.  I was the only white man among them. Most of the Red Lake Indians are strongly in favor of our forestry work, but we stopped a scandalous racket which the leader of these 22 hoped to get away with, & so they were very sore.  It was just a timber steal – 22 of them wanting to steal some valuable trees by cutting them down & selling the logs when the trees really belonged equally to all 2,000 members of the tribe.

        I’m glad you liked young Dobbie, I hope she got a job.

        Blumenthal calls me Robbie,

        But really I am Bob.


From Peach Springs, Arizona

October 8, 1936

Dear David:

                 Hurray for the Yankees and Jake Powell! [17] Boo for the Giants and hunky Whitehead! [18]  And Boohoo for myself who bett on the Giants.  Well, it must have been an exciting World Series anyway.  I heard the broadcast of the Fifth Game which the Giants won in 10 innings way out among the cactus in the desert of the Papago Reservation. [19]

        Love, Bob



# 1  APRIL 25, 1939











#2 JUNE 9, 1939

Some people like autos, and others like gold,

But I like my nephew, now thirteen years old,

I wish I were with him to give thirteen cheers,

And dangle persimmon leaves from both his ears,

And blow out his candles and eat up his cake,

And swim in the Delaware River or lake,

But since I can’t do this, at least I can say,

Most happy returns of this glorious day.



[1]  Judah L. Magnes, husband of their Aunt Beatrice Lowenstein

[2]  My mother

[3]  David Magnes, their first cousin

[4]  A few months after his wife, my grandmother, died.

[5]  The nature of the “work” is not at all clear!

[6]  Middle Saranac Lake

[7]  A virtually forgotten Reservation composed of four “fish eating” Indian Tribes. Population 54 in 2010.

[8]  The Uintah and Ouray Indian Reservation is located in northeastern Utah, USA. It is the homeland of the Northern Ute Tribe.

[9]  One night during the summer of 1934 Lynwood Coon,  Russell Newell and Percy, all of whom worked at Knollwood, ventured out onto the lake in a rowboat.  The rowboat capsized and Lynwood drowned.  My mother hesitated to inform me [I was 8 years old] but finally did so. I was shocked just as I was two years earlier when I was told of the Lindbergh baby kidnapping. 

[10]  Softball was one of the favorite Knollwood sports.  Bob kept a record of every game of “The Knollwood League” and compiled the statistics for each player, whether on the team of The Guides [men who worked at Knollwood]  or The Guests [the six Knollwood families and their guests].  Louis Marshall was the umpire.  “We” were still playing games – but without statistics, Bob or my grandfather – in the 1940’s.

[11]  In 1934 a college student, Ralph, accompanied us to Knollwood as a “tutor”.  He taught me to play baseball, a sport in which I indulged in the backyard of our house in Melrose Park, Philadelphia, by bouncing the ball against the back of the house and leaping up to catch it.  My hero that year, 1934, was Dizzy Dean and his brother Daffy, who pitched the St. Louis Cardinals to a 4-3 victory over the Detroit Tigers in the World Series.  Eventually I became and remain a fan of the New York Yankees, who are in the news again [July 2011] with Derek Jeter’s 3,000th hit, celebrated as well by a house guest, a young lady from Mount Vernon, New York.  I also played softball at summer camp in Connecticut.  My greatest prowess was a two-base line drive when I swung at a ball which was way over my head and nowhere near the plate, something which Bob would probably have done…or perhaps did?

[12]  I don’t know whether or not Bob was exaggerating when he referred to Marion as the fourteenth white hope, but apparently he had a number of girlfriends, whom he rated in eight categories.  I don’t have the list of categories but I remember that he allotted 10 points to each of six and 20 points each to: sex appeal and intellectual compatibility.  No young lady who rated high on sex appeal rated high on intellectual compatibility and no young lady who rated high on intellectual compatibility rated high on sex appeal.  Consequently, not one of his girlfriends received a score of 100…and consequently Bob never stopped being single, perhaps just as well considering his premature death at the age of 38.  He may never have been a father but he was a great uncle who rated even higher than Dizzy Dean. [See footnote 11, above.]

            Betty Dublin Marshall, George Marshall’s wife, contended that this rating was merely a defense mechanism, that Bob didn’t really want to get married because he didn’t want to get tied down to living in a city.  Furthermore, although very sociable – and fond of young ladies – Bob was shy, as was his brother George.

[13] As for Marion Hall (1905-April 4, 1983), in 1939, the same year that Bob died, she became Marion Hall Fisher when she married Professor Howard T. Fisher [1903-1979] of Harvard, not exactly a handsome man. 

 [14]  Bob’s recollection of Ty Cobb’s .420 batting average in one season [1911] was correct.  However, the year that Cobb stole 96 bases was 1915, not 1913.  As to base hits, Cobb makes Derek Jeter look like a piker.  Cobb made his 3,000th hit in 1921 when he was 34;  Derek was 37 when he achieved that goal.  Cobb went on to make 4,189 hits in total.  To use one of Bob’s favorite words, it would be swell if Derek could match what was the record until Pete Rose surpassed it in 1985.  Apparently Cobb had a terrible temper but Bob escaped being one of Cobb’s “victims”.

[15]  Pengilly was the 20 acre estate of the Guinzburg family in New Rochelle, Westchester County.  Bob’s and my mother’s sister-in-law, Lenore Guinzburg Marshall, invited my sister and myself to Pengilly between the time we left Knollwood [September 7th] and started school, after my mother died [at Knollwood] in August 1936.

[16]  I have no idea who Regina was.

[17]     Bob was referring to the 1936 World Series which the Yankees had just won 4-2 against the Giants. Yankees left fielder Jake Powell led all hitters in hits (10), batting average (.455), runs (8), bases on balls (4). He hit a a home run in the final game.

 [18]  Whitehead was Burgess Whitehead of the Giants.  He made only one hit in 21 At Bats!

[19]  Bob’s sentence structure leaves much to be desired. To avoid the conclusion that the game was played “way out among the cactus…”, it should have read, “Way out among the cactus in the desert of the Papago Reservation, I heard the broadcast of the Fifth Game which the Giants won in 10 innings.” 

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