A New Hampshire tradition was born in 1935–Yankee magazine.
“Climb up on some hill at sunrise. Everybody needs perspective once in a while, and you’ll find it there.” Robb Sagendorph could have as easily been talking about Yankee Magazine itself. Along with his artist director wife, Beatrix (Thorne) Sagendorph, Robb began publishing Yankee, the magazine that reflected New Hampshire, and New England life, in its most memorable and pristine forms.
Robb was publisher, president and director of the magazine “Yankee” until 1970. In 1939 he had bought the rights to the “Old Farmer’s Almanac” from Little Brown and Company and returned it to its original look from 1792. In 1935 he became president and director of Yankee, Inc.
Robert Hansell Sagendorph, but called “Robb,” he was born in Newton Centre, Massachusetts to George Adam & Jane Cooper (Hansell) Sagendorph. He had three sisters, Marian, Joan and Elizabeth. His father was the owner of an iron manufacturing company. He grew up in Massachusetts, attending Newton and Brookline MA public schools, Noble and Greenough, and Harvard College. In addition to his involvement with Yankee Inc., he was a director of Penn Metal Co., selectman and moderator of the Town of Dublin. He was a member of Harvard Club of New York and of the Brookline (MA) Country Club.
He married Beatrix Thorne, daughter of George and Louise Thorne. She was born 7 April 1900 in Evanston IL. He died on 4 July 1970 in Dublin, New Hampshire. Beatrix died April 1985.
Robb’s sister Marion Bradford Sagendorph, was born 1 March 1903 in Newton MA and died 29 Oct 1991. She married 25 June 1923 in Newton MA to Roger D. Hale. He was b. 2 Sep 1900 in Newton MA, son of Frank Judson & Grace Elona (Herrick) Hale. Besides their son Judson [see more below], they had children Roger D. and Patricia Hale.
Beatrice (Thorne) Sagendorph was an artist of original paintings that found their way to the cover of Yankee” magazine, many of them outdoor scenes. For a number of years she taught art classes for children in an elementary public school in New Hampshire. She was a member of the New Hampshire Art Association, on the board of directors of the Copley Society of Boston, a member of the International Council of the Museum of Modern Art and of the Cosmpolitan Club of New York. In 1965 she donated the Thorne Art Gallery to Keene State College in memory of her mother, Mrs. George A. Thorne of Chicago and Dublin New Hampshire. Mrs. Sagendorph held several one-man shows and has exhibited in a variety of exhibitions and jury shows. In the spring of 1968 she won honorable mention in the Fitchburg Museum Show, for an abstract.
Robb and Beatrix’s children included:
1. Lorna Sagendorph, born 13 Sep 1933 and died 19 March 2004. She married C. Robertson Trowbridge. At one time he was publisher of Yankee magazine, he was born 31 March 1932, and died 10 Sept 2003. They had divorced. Their children were Jamie Trowbridge, Cor Trowbridge, Beatrix (Trowbridge) Sanders and Phil Trowbridge. Jamie Trowbridge is currently President of Yankee Publishing Incorporated.
2. Jane/Jayne Thorne (Sagendorph) Germond, a professional artist whose paintings appeared from time to time on the older covers of Yankee. She silk-screened as well as authored two children’s books, “What Happened to George” and “Hansell, the Tasselman.” She held shows in Alberqueque NM, Sharon NH as well as exhibiting with the New Hampshire Art Association traveling exhibit, and with the Currier Gallery, Manchester. She has participated in the Fall River Art Association (national exhibit) and the Providence Art Club group shows. Her works have won awards. Included in her Strawbery Banke exhibit is a recent portrait of May Sarton, the distinguished poet and novelist, who has made her home in the New Hampshire Monadnock region the past 10 years. Mrs. Germond is the wife of Russell Germond, who is a professor at the Rhode Island School of Design. The couple have a son and two daughters, and resided in Providence Rhode Island.
Now Robb’s nephew, Judson D. “Jud” Hale Sr. is the editor in chief and the chairman of the board of directors. Jud came to the magazine as a young man in 1958 “to get some experience.” A Boston native, Jud was raised in rural Maine (Vanceboro) and has degrees from the Choate School and Dartmouth College (Class of 1955). He lives with his wife Sally (Huberlie) on a 26-acre spread with view of Mt. Monadnock. They have three married sons, Judson Jr. (aka JD, who is publisher of Yankee magazine), Daniel and Christopher, and seven grandchildren.
Judson Sr. is one of the largest shareholders in the “still-family-owned,” Yankee Publishing. In a recent interview he said with mock solemnity, “In the next century, our aim is to own New England — metaphorically speaking.”
-Jud’s New England Journal-
[updated January 2014]