The Century Association Year-Book 1960, by The Century Assoc

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Part 4 of 4

Dunlevy Milbank

Milbank was one of those men whose quiet philanthropy sustains the welfare institutions of our capitalist democracy. His special interest was children's aid. The Dunlevy Milbank Center for 3,000 teen-agers and younger children recently opened at Fifth Avenue and 118th Street, New York, owes its existence to Milbank's million-dollar gift. He also aided the research into the affliction known as retrolental fibroplasia which causes blindness in premature babies. He established the Milbank Home for Convalescent Boys at Valhalla, New York, and he gave much to the Institute of Crippled and Disabled. He is on record as having contributed more to the Children's Aid Society than any other individual in its history.

Dunlevy Milbank was born in New York City in 1878 and was educated at the Cutler School and at Yale. He took a law degree at the New York Law School in 1902. He practiced law for several years, interesting himself particularly in his family estates.

His favorite recreation was golf. But he was also a judge of horses. With these he took prizes all over the United States. At one time he belonged to a volunteer fire company.

He spent whatever time he could at the Century. He served on the Board of Management and took great interest in the Club's activities. He was a familiar figure in the dining room where he always sat at a table for four, usually with the same companions. In the latter part of his life he was confined to a wheelchair, and it must have taken great courage for him to come to the Club as often as he did. But no one heard him complain, even when his suffering and difficulty of movement were evident to all who knew him.

He was a member for thirty-six years.

George Henry Nettleton

The whole of George Nettleton's adult fife was devoted to Yale. He prepared at Andover and then entered the class of 1896 in Yale College. After his graduation he spent a year at the University of Geneva and returned to New Haven to accept an instructorship in English. In 1900, he received his Ph.D. degree. He was promoted to assistant professor in 1906. He became full professor of English in Yale's Sheffield Scientific School in 1916, succeeding the late Wilbur Cross. He was appointed professor of English in Yale College in 1921 and was named Lamson Professor of English twelve years later.

Nettleton's deep interest in international education took him to Paris during the First World War as director of the Yale Bureau there. He organized and was first director of the American University Union in Europe—that immensely valuable institution which made it possible for American servicemen to study at French and English universities after the Armistice. For this undertaking he was made a Chevalier of the Legion of Honor. At this time, he also held lectureships at the Sorbonne in Paris and at Cambridge in England. He was a trustee of Vassar College from 1919 to 1939 and was acting president there in 1922-23. In 1937, after President Charles Seymour took office, he became dean of Yale College.

In addition to his scholarly pursuits, he was much interested in athletics. For a while, he was chairman of the Board of Control of Yale Athletics. These years from 1925 to 1930 were a period of expansion—as they were in all American universities—and adjustment of sports and studies was necessary to meet the increase in enrollment. The planning of the Payne Whitney Gymnasium also required much of Nettleton's attention.

Nettleton was known for his thoroughness and his meticulous awareness of detail, but he is also remembered by those who were close to him as a kind and generous man. He is said to have devised and supported many private or hidden charities. It was his custom to invite his subordinates home to Sunday dinner and talk with them about sports as well as literature. He also took a personal interest in the students with whom he worked both in the Sheffield Scientific School and in the College. It was characteristic of him to write the history of Yale men in the First World War. He knew most of these boys well and he saw in them something of the spirit of Rupert Brooke.

George Nettleton lived to be eighty-four. For more than half of his life—forty-eight years—he was a member of the Century.

Peter Oliver

In much of his activity Peter Oliver was, in the best sense (the Century sense), an amateur. His interests were varied and he never went half-way into any of them. He was an accomplished sailor and master of any crisis that might arise on a boat. As one who has often cruised with him says, he "loved nothing better than to be at the wheel with the lee rail under." But he was also a discriminating book collector: not primarily because he liked fine printing or binding or because the books were "firsts" but because their substance attracted him.

It was as a scholar, however, that Oliver was most distinguished, and the greater part of his time was devoted to research and critical writing. He was a classicist—an especially enthusiastic Latinist with particular attention to Horace. His book on Horace was completed a year or so before his death and has not yet been published. He had, too, an interest in seventeenth-century literature. The titles of his books, some of which he had printed on little job presses, suggest the variety of his explorations. Among them are Saints of Chaos, A New Chronicle of the Compleat Angler, A Galaxy of Disagreeable Women, and Adventures of Joseph Sell, the Great Traveler.

Peter Oliver graduated from Harvard College in 1922. Before he began his scholarly pursuits, he had a job with the Cunard Line organizing the student-tourist class for trans- Atlantic travel. After that he was executive secretary of the Good Government Association in Boston. Later, he settled down in Katonah, New York, and it was there that he accumulated his fine library.

Of his doings in the Club a close Centurion friend has written: "Peter loved the Century as he loved all good things in life. He was often to be seen coming in from the New York Public Library, where he had spent a morning working, carrying on his back his vast green baize bag with the cards that he had accumulated in his researches. . . . There he would be with his face wreathed in smiles as he saw a friend who might join him for a drink or lunch, filled with some anecdote—generally, if it was about something he had been doing, he would be the butt of the story . . . delighted at any triumphs of his friends, and always hopeful that he or they would succeed in doing the things that ought to be done and that no one but such 'damn fools' as they would undertake."

But most of his time at the Century was spent in the Library. Here he would bury himself in the Club's Loeb Classical Library or, perhaps, confer with the librarian on material for his study on "The Year 1800 in the United States" in which he investigated trends in navigation, medicine, literature, and other directions. When a book he needed was missing, he would hunt for it in the bookstores, buy it, and present it to the library.

It was a great pity that Peter Oliver should have died so young. Such men are rare and should stay with us a long time to enrich our lives.

Alfred Townsend Osgood

"He was not guilty," writes a fellow physician of Alfred Osgood, "of writing a book." Whether or not this Centurion colleague meant that, therefore, he was a good doctor, there is abundant evidence that he was that in addition to being a good companion. He was a quiet man; he listened more than he talked; and his bountiful generosity was cherished by its beneficiaries but forgotten by him and never publicized.

Doctor Osgood was educated at Yale and the College of Physicians and Surgeons before it became the medical department of Columbia. He received his doctor's degree in 1899, served on the resident staff of New York's Presbyterian Hospital for two years, and began practice as an associate of the late F. Tilden Brown. His special study of urology brought him to the New York University-Bellevue Medical Center. From 1912 to 1936 he was professor of urology at New York University Medical School and was later made professor emeritus.

In the course of his career he was on the visiting staff of Bellevue Hospital and consulting surgeon in urology at Bellevue, the French Hospital of New York, the New York City Cancer Institute, Northern Westchester Hospital of Mount Kisco, Bronxville's Lawrence Hospital, and Muhlenberg Hospital in Plainfield, New Jersey. He retired in 1947 at the age of seventy-four. Unhappily, the last years of his life were darkened by a prolonged and painful illness, but through it he maintained the forbearance that must come from profound medical understanding.

Alfred Osgood lived to be eighty-six, and he was a Centurion for thirty-four years.

Thomas Ignatius Parkinson

What is the right "type" for an insurance man? In his younger days Thomas Parkinson was advised that he was "not the type" for the insurance business. Perhaps that is why he became president and later chairman of the board of the Equitable Life Assurance Company of America. Perhaps that is also why during the twenty-seven years in which he held these offices the company's assets were multiplied by six. And possibly if he had been the "right type" instead of being an extremely forceful and intelligent individual, he would never have become a Centurion.

Parkinson, however, was not an insurance man, pure and simple. During a long and strenuous career, his talents were directed into many channels. Before insurance came teaching. He was professor of legislation in the Law and Political Science faculties of Columbia University; then dean of the Columbia Law School. He was director of Columbia's Legislative Drafting Research Fund and chairman of the fund's administrative board. For a time he was legislative counsel to the Senate and for two terms he was president of the Chamber of Commerce of the State of New York. In the First World War he was an army major.

Thomas Parkinson was born in Philadelphia seventy-seven years ago. In 1902 he graduated cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania School of Law. For five years he practiced law in Pennsylvania; then he came to New York to work with a charter commission which prepared a new administrative code for the city.

From his law school days he had been especially interested in insurance. During part of the First World War, he worked with the War Department in drafting the act that created the Bureau of War Risk Insurance. It was partly this that interested Equitable in him and, in 1920, he was invited to join it as second vice-president. He became president in 1927. During his long career there he interested himself particularly in foreign affairs, and he was primarily responsible for liquidating a German debt which had gone back to 1871.

He was a member of the Century for thirty-eight years.

Louis Wetherbee Pitt

Louis Pitt succeeded Walter Russell Bowie in 1940 as rector of Grace Church in New York. The greatest challenge that presented itself to him at that time was the development of Grace Church School, a project which grew out of a boy's choir school. Under Doctor Pitt's imaginative and vigorous leadership it acquired a registration of more than two hundred boys and girls. The school extended its teaching beyond the fundamentals and made a special point of "interesting the children in the world around them," and the best secondary schools were eager to enroll its graduates. The rector had a way with young people that inspired their confidence and affection.

Louis Pitt was born in Middletown, Connecticut, in 1893. It was natural for him to go to Middletown's Wesleyan. When he was graduated, in 1915, he entered Berkeley Divinity School, where he remained until 1918 when he was ordained a deacon. Later he was consecrated a priest of the Protestant Episcopal Church. He served as curate in Christ Church, Newark, and as assistant in St. Luke's in Montclair. His first rectorship was at St. Mark's Church in Newark; seven years later he accepted a call to St. Mary's in Ardmore, Pennsylvania.

His church gave him all kinds of honors. For four years from 1947 to 1951 he served as a member of the Standing Committee of the Diocese of New York; he was awarded a trusteeship of the Cathedral of St. John the Divine; he was appointed Dean of the Convocation of Manhattan and a deputy to the 1949 General Convention of the Episcopal Church in San Francisco. He was also president of the Liberal Evangelicals. In 1948 as visiting chaplain of Columbia University he delivered the invocation when Dwight Eisenhower was installed as president of the university.

Dr. Pitt's close friends knew of the quiet help he gave to those who needed it. His many kindnesses, says a Centurion who knew him well, "were very real, unusually so, and straight out of a warm heart and a successful delicacy in making the recipients happy and comfortable about it."

It is a pity that a minister of such inspiration and friendliness to his fellow men should have to leave this rich service at an age when most of us are in our prime.

Richardson Pratt

The Century has been lucky in its treasurers. In other places those who control the finances are often querulous, didactic, or gloomy. But for us there has been a long succession of stewards of our exchequer as balanced as the books they supervised and men with happy tempers besides. Dick Pratt followed in the tradition of Henry Baldwin. He could look calmly at both tribulation and prosperity, and his humorous, easy-going manner hid many hours of strenuous work when he wrestled with frustrating problems in his devoted attention to the health of our Club.

It takes imagination to keep a couple of hundred men amused and entertained by a balance sheet. Yet no one dropped asleep while Dick was on the platform giving his annual report: telling what the figures meant in words that we could all understand—even those of us who could never balance our own check books—and telling what had happened to the Century in the year behind and what would come in the one ahead. While he talked, the future looked bright—not because he was deceptive in his optimism but rather because in the image he gave us, the thought of money receded behind the other values: as long as the Century was true to itself, it must survive.

Richardson Pratt was born in Glen Cove, Long Island, sixty-four years ago, and he lived there most of his life. He graduated from Amherst College in 1915, and five years later he joined the Standard Oil Company in New York. Meanwhile, for the First World War, he had organized a company of Glen Cove Negroes, a group to which he gave the highest praise. While serving overseas with the 369th infantry, he won the rank of captain.

Standard Oil was a natural for Dick. His grandfather, Charles Pratt was a co-founder with John D. Rockefeller of | the original company. Dick joined the company in 1920 and I was with it until 1944, when he left to become the senior partner of Charles Pratt and Company, a firm mainly concerned with the investment business of the large Pratt family. During the last fifteen years he interested himself in a diversity of activities, including Pratt Institute in Brooklyn and the American Academy in Rome, of which, in 1958, he was elected secretary. He was a trustee of Amherst and of Vassar.

It was a sad day for the Century when Dick left us. In i the twenty-one years of his membership, he had endeared himself to many men. He placed a milestone on the road of our honorable march. His memory will be cherished not only by his generation but by the younger Centurions who felt his kindly influence. Everyone who knew Dick Pratt was happy in his presence and proud of his friendship.

Lawson Purdy

If he had lived another fortnight, Lawson Purdy would have been ninety-six. When he was ninety, he complained that the days were all too short for all the things he wanted to do. Yet many of us would be happy to have filled such an abundance of days with works as useful as his. The goal of much of his effort was, as one obituary pointed out, a "safer, cleaner and more beautiful" New York. His signal achievements were in city planning and tax reform.

A native of Hyde Park, New York, Purdy received his higher education at Trinity College, Hartford, taking his B.A. degree there at the age of twenty-one. While he was still in college, he acquired his lifelong interest in the subject of taxation. Like many young men of the time, he was an eager champion of Henry George and a vigorous proponent of the single tax. Later, he became so absorbed in tax reform that he abandoned the legal career on which he had embarked in order to give full time to the fight for a scientific tax program.

In 1906 he began his service as president of the New York Department of Taxes under Mayor McClellan and held this position for eleven years. He was an officer of the city's first zoning commission in 1916 and general director of the Charity Organization Society from the end of the First World War until the bottom of the depression in the early 1930's. In his last years in that position he added to that difficult task strenuous activity on the city's Emergency Work and Relief administration of which he was chairman.

"Fifth Avenue," said Purdy when its charm was threatened by the erection of high apartment buildings, "is the show street of the City of New York and anything which impairs its beauty will impair the whole city." He vigorously supported a movement begun by the Fifth Avenue Association to prevent such disfigurement.

He outlived most of his intimates. Perhaps his closest friend in the Century was the Club's beloved treasurer, Henry de Forest Baldwin, and much of the time he spent in the clubhouse was in the East Room, Baldwin's favorite spot. He was an arresting figure with his erect bearing and shock of white hair, and even in the Century, where no one turns to look at Presidents or Supreme Court judges, it was difficult not to cast a backward glance at Lawrence Purdy.

He was with us twenty-eight years.

Cornelius Packard Rhoads

In 1956 "Dusty" Rhoads, as his intimates called him, predicted that a chemical control of cancer would come in ten years. "Some authorities," he is quoted as saying in an interview, "think that we cannot solve the cancer problem until we have made a great, basic, unexpected discovery, perhaps in some apparently unrelated field. I disagree. I think we know enough to go ahead and make a frontal attack with all our forces. . . . We'll follow every promising lead, and we know a lot of them. If the ivory-tower men solve the problems ahead of us, we won't feel we've wasted our time."

No one who knows of the intense work of research that Doctor Rhoads has done could believe that he had wasted a moment. And as director of the Sloan-Kettering Institute for Cancer Research he was able to inspire hundreds of technicians, chemists, and laboratory assistants to do their part in this greatest detective work of our time.

"Dusty" Rhoads was born in Springfield, Massachusetts, in 1898. After going to college at Bowdoin, he spent four years in the Harvard Medical School from which he graduated, magna cum laude in 1924. After a year as intern in Boston's Peter Brent Hospital, he was appointed a fellow of the Trudeau sanitarium in New York State. His work on the staff of the Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research began after two years as an instructor in pathology in the Harvard Medical School. In 1940 he was made director of Memorial Center, and with this and the directorship of Sloan-Kettering in 1945 he became the head of what is said to be "the largest concentrated program for the study, treatment and cure of cancer in the world."

In the Second World War as colonel in the Army Medical Corps he interested himself in the receiving end of chemical warfare. For this work he was cited by the army as having "developed new methods of diagnosis and treatment for the relief of injuries due to toxic chemicals, and perfected a compound to counter the effects of blister gas. He also developed equipment for detecting gas in air, food and water." For these contributions he was awarded the Legion of Merit.

Rhoads was not a practicing physician. His life was devoted to the work and administration of medical research. It is upon this infinitely patient and meticulous inquiry that the hopes of millions must depend. It is sad to know that such a man's heart must fail at an age so relatively young; yet it is likely that he had already established a program which could be carried on without his active participation though the inspiring presence be gone.

A Centurion colleague tells of his abounding energy, his genial face, and his ready smile. In the many men and women he helped to develop techniques in their various branches of science he instilled an unwavering loyalty.

Carl Rungius

Carl was one of those Centurions who prove that the Century has no formula or type. He was, indeed, an artist and a distinguished one, but his subjects were far from the civilization most of us know, and a large part of his life was spent in rugged and lonely places inhabited only by the wild animals he loved to paint.

"Carl's real habitat," a Centurion friend wrote of him, "was in the moose country. He was more at home in camp than in the parlor. As an expert with the rifle due to his early training in Germany, his interest in wild life made him a natural sportsman. He knew his stuff—you can't fool sailors or hunters with abstractions."

A village near Berlin was the birthplace of Carl Rungius more than ninety years ago. His father was a Lutheran minister. Carl studied at the German Academy of Art under Peter Meierheim, then known through Europe as a talented painter of wild life. When, in 1894, after a tour of duty in the Prussian cavalry, he came to the United States, he found a rich field for his work in the West. He spent ten years hunting and painting, coming in 1904 to Banff in Alberta which became his headquarters for some thirty years. There he established a studio; to it he brought the prizes of his hunts and made the best of his paintings, using the dead animals arranged in characteristic poses for his models. In later years he was especially proud of a bearskin from a grizzly he had shot when he was seventy-eight.

He served on the advisory council of the National Academy of Design and was active in the Academy throughout his life. He exhibited there and in one annual exhibition he won the Ellen P. Speyer Memorial Award for his painting "Across the Barren." At another Academy show, he was given the first prize for his canvas "Lake Arthur."

When Hitler came to power in Germany, Rungius had a visit from an official of the German government who invited him to hunt and paint on the estates of Hitler and Goering. Pointing out a window which gave a wide view of the mountains that edged Bow Valley Carl replied: "These are my hunting grounds. I will come when your Fuehrer can offer me better than these, and greater freedom."

When he was over eighty, he flew by helicopter over the tundra in Alaska, taking photographs of the moose there which moved in great herds. This was a government assignment.

His work is preserved in private collections, in the New York Zoological Society, and in his Banff studio, which has been acquired by the Glen Bow Foundation of Calgary. The Century is fortunate in the possession of one of his moose paintings.

Carl Rungius was known for his even temperament, his striking individuality, never subject to the influences of schools of art, and, despite all the cultural revolutions of his time, his immunity to change.

Bernard Samuels

Doctor Samuels was so shy, so quiet, and so unassuming that a casual acquaintance would never have guessed that he had an international reputation or that he had held many of the highest offices in his profession in the United States. He was often at our clubhouse but usually in a dark corner, hunched over a desk, intensely concentrated, writing furiously.

"As far as I am aware," writes a Centurion acquaintance and colleague, "he took part in none of the activities in the Club. He rarely, if ever, had a meal there. I cannot remember ever seeing him sit down to visit or have a drink."

He gave the impression of being so utterly absorbed in his work that he had no time for anything else. Yet this work was not wholly confined to his profession. He was deeply interested in American history, particularly that of his native state, Virginia, in which he built a library and museum in connection with his home.

His profession was ophthalmology. He was an eye surgeon, a teacher whom, an associate says, "students would cut classes to hear," and a pathologist. His distinguished career reached its climax when he became president of The International Congress of Ophthalmology in 1954.

Bernard Samuels was born in Front Royal, Virginia, in 1879. Jefferson College in Philadelphia gave him his medical degree, and he then did postgraduate work for four years in Vienna, Prague, and Berlin. After studying under Professor Ernest Fuchs at the University of Virginia, he was appointed clinical instructor of ophthalmology at the Cornell University Medical College, a post he occupied for nearly thirty years. His work there was briefly interrupted by the First World War in which he served as a major in the Army Medical Corps.

Yet his arduous duties at Cornell Medical were not enough. In 1930 he added a term of teaching at The New York Eye and Ear Infirmary which led to his appointment as full surgeon there. Though his title changed to advisory surgeon and consulting pathologist in 1946, there was little question of retirement. In 1949 he was elected to the executive committee of the National Society for the Prevention of Blindness, and in 1953 he presided at the Seventeenth International Congress of Ophthalmology, which was attended by some 1,500 specialists. This meeting in New York was the second of its nature to be held in the United States.

As late as 1956 Doctor Samuels, then in his seventy-seventh year, helped establish the New York Infirmary's Institute of Ophthalmology of the Americas, designed primarily for postgraduate medical students from Latin America.

It seems a pity that in his twenty-two years of membership he knew so few Centurions, but we must be grateful for the incalculable value of his work to those whose sight was darkened.

Robert William Sawyer

It was said of Judge Sawyer—who was known as the First Citizen of Oregon—that his waste basket was more valuable than most men's libraries. In a long, continually active life, he had been a lumberman, a lawyer, a county judge, a newspaper editor and publisher, an ardent conservationist, a forester, a protector of wild life, and a promoter of projects that included state parks, highways, reclamation, irrigation, and the construction of public buildings. Although most of this activity was localized within his beloved adopted state, his correspondence ranged far and wide, inquiring into national issues and seeking or giving advice.

Robert Sawyer was born in Bangor, Maine, in 1880. He was educated at Exeter and at Harvard. He took his A.B. degree in 1902 and his LL.B. from the Harvard Law School in 1905. He was then admitted to the Massachusetts bar and practiced law for a time in Boston. But as a young man his interests were divided between a lawyer's office work and the forests of his native state as well as the natural resources of Massachusetts. Such a lover of nature and the outdoors could hardly be confined by an urban life, and when he learned of the great timber operations in Oregon, he migrated to that state, driving the last miles of the journey in a horse-drawn buggy.

But in the town of Bend in which he took a job as a lumber piler, the conflict between his interest in timber lore and the fondness for intellectual pursuits he had acquired in the East impelled him to look about for work that would meet both urgencies. He found it in the Bend Bulletin, a newspaper owned by George Palmer Putnam. He had come to Putnam's attention through some verse he had submitted to the paper and Putnam hired him. Three years later, in 1915, he bought the Bulletin.

The paper's editorial office was an ideal center from which to reach out and touch all the state's problems. He spent many days walking over the country, climbing the mountains, camping, always in the search of improvement in the ways of conserving the land, saving the trees, and giving sanctuary to all sorts of wild animals from antelope to ducks. He served on the Oregon Highway Commission; he was known as the father of the state's park system; he was county judge of Deschutes County for seven years: he took special interest in the University of Oregon and made abundant contributions to its library, to the Oregon State Library, and to the Oregon Historical Society.

In his paper he was forthright and frank, sometimes stepping on political toes as he wrote, but with scrupulous regard for accuracy. He had nothing but contempt for slipshod journalism and never let an error go unchallenged. He was a steadfast Republican and said, in no uncertain terms, what he thought of the New Deal.

Like many Centurions who live far from New York, he was not able to come often to the Club, but he was happy in his membership. He was elected twenty-one years ago.

Edgar Craig Schenck

When the manager of the grocery store at Riverhead, Long Island, was shown Edgar Schenck's obituary, he was astonished to see that his friend had held an exalted position as museum director. "Why, I liked him," he said, implying surprise that he could be friends with so important a person. "He came by in a beat-up car, dressed in a sweater. He told me he worked at the Brooklyn Museum, but I thought he was the janitor!"

That was Schenck. When he went with his family to the Riverside cottage, he pulled down the curtain behind him. He would stop all the clocks and watches in the house so that time had no more meaning for him. Then he would dig clams, play games with his wife and children, and conjure up out of his lively fancy images that they could all laugh at.

His career was devoted exclusively to art. He was greatly concerned with the museum's technique of presenting art to the public and especially insistent that it maintain a high level of taste. To him a museum was primarily an educational institution; its entertainment value (which the word implies) comes second. He was particularly anxious to make modern art comprehensible to people outside the magic circle of artists. To him the integration of art with life was a major premise.

Edgar Schenck was born in Hot Springs, North Carolina, in 1909, the son of a clergyman. He took his bachelor's degree at Princeton (where he was a member of Phi Beta Kappa) in 1931. Three years later he received his M.F.A. from the Princeton graduate school. In this time he made three archaeological field trips in Europe. After completing his studies, he married and lived for a time in Honolulu, where his parents were. There he became instructor at the University of Hawaii. Within a year or so he was director of the Honolulu Academy of Arts. When he returned to the United States in 1947, he was appointed director of the Smith College Museum. In 1949 he went to Buffalo as director of the Albright Art Gallery and from there, in 1955, he came to the Brooklyn Museum.

One of his first acts there was the establishment of two $5,000 annual fellowships for training in museum procedures. Last year he made a lecture tour of India and Turkey for the State Department and it was in the course of that mission that he suffered his fatal heart attack.

Unhappily Schenck's death came less than a year after his election to the Century. His friends know what an ideal member he would have made. He enjoyed social occasions, liked good food and drink, was happy to sit late in the night talking informally and gaily about art.

In a year when so many Centurions passed ninety, it was sad to see one die at forty-nine.

Vladimir Gregoievitch Simkhovitch

There was something about Vladimir Simkhovitch that made you stop whatever you were doing when you saw him and go and sit next to him to hear him talk. He always had something surprising to say—something new and fresh and unexpected. He might speak of Oriental art of which he was a connoisseur—having, himself, an extensive collection. Or he would tell you about his experiments in cross-breeding delphinium at his summer place in Maine or the raising of oriental pheasants there and training them to survive a tough Maine winter. Or he would talk about Russia in which he had been born and which he had left early in life. He was immensely interested in the Soviet experiment and was aware, more than most of us, of the advances the Russians were making.

He was educated in Germany, where he studied law, economics, and philosophy. He took his Ph.D. degree at Halle in 1898. Throughout his career in education he was a brilliant representative of the European scholarly tradition. This seems to have been a reason for his appeal to so many American students who had begun their education under the rigid rules and arithmetical credit system which we may hope will eventually disappear from our schools.

He came to the United States soon after completing his studies in Germany and became a professor at Columbia in 1904. As a member of the University's first graduate faculty he belonged to a group that included John Dewey, Franz Boaz, James Harvey Robinson, Charles Beard, and Wesley Mitchell. Though his subject was economic history he would branch out in his lectures on all sorts of by-paths. He had some highly provocative theories, one of which was that the fall of Rome was due to agricultural loss. His book Hay and History in which he demonstrates this had a wide acceptance and it certainly makes fascinating reading. He often told the story that the printer did not believe the title and insisted on printing it "John Hay and History."

To Simkhovitch, education was not a process through which teachers propelled their students. Half the job—or more—came with the student's initiative. That was a reason that he advocated, especially for graduate students, freedom from regulations and special requirements—freedom, as an associate puts it "to pick flowers from the wayside, to explore interesting by-paths, to dig into fundamentals on their own responsibility instead of being led along well-beaten routes."

A characteristic story is told by a Centurion who was one of Professor Simkhovitch's students: "He was the last of the faculty members who was present when I got my Ph.D. When it came to his turn to ask questions, he delivered me a long lecture on Russia and Socialism and then said he was satisfied with my qualifications, for which, of course, I loved him."

Simkhovitch was especially fond of the Century. He was a familiar figure both in the East Room and at the Long Table. He was a member for fifty-two years.

Sidney Earle Smith

Higher education in Canada took a long stride forward as a result of the dedicated effort of Sidney Smith. The pressure of fund raising, so general in these times on university presidents, never seems to have diverted him from his warm, intense interest in the individual student. Concepts of mass education were quite alien to him. That he was able to conserve his beliefs in the face of the inundation of students and the rocketing educational costs of postwar years suggests the measure of his special dedication.

His career began when he was made dean of law at Dalhousie University in Halifax in 1929. "He came," a colleague tells, "like a breath of fresh air into that rather venerable institution and the somewhat stodgy and sleepy city of Halifax. He was bursting with vigor of youth, full of fun and warm friendship, enthusiastic in the pursuit of knowledge and an inspiring teacher to prospective lawyers." Five years later, he became president of the University of Manitoba. He was then thirty-seven, the youngest university president in Canada.

Manitoba at this time has been described as a "financial and administrative morass"—a victim of the depression. In his decade of strenuous work here, he restored its stability through sound administration of funds and built its academic standing to a new peak. His philosophy of education discriminated sharply between grades of intelligence and character among the students in opposition to the equality concept held by some educators in the United States. "The ideal," he said, "of one man's being as good as another has been done to death," and he hoped that more snobs would enter Manitoba. "Not social snobs," he explained, "but snobs with a sense of responsibility." Great leaders were this kind of snobs. "They are conscious of belonging to a class and won't let it down."

In 1945 he reached the high point of his profession with the presidency of the University of Toronto, the largest educational institution in Canada and then about to enter its greatest period of expansion. In spite of this rapid growth, however, President Smith firmly maintained the pattern of a federation of small colleges, and he encouraged in each of these the small-college atmosphere. He found that there had been undue emphasis at Toronto on technical and vocational training; he fought this and brought about a proper balance with the humanities.

At the age of sixty he entered public life. He was then appointed Secretary of State for External Affairs. This was in 1957 and he served in that post until his death. He died on the eve of the arrival in Ottawa of Prime Minister Macmillan.

Sidney Smith was born in Port Hood, Cape Breton Island, in 1897, the son of a farmer father and a schoolteacher mother. His education began at Port Hood Academy and King's College in Halifax. It was interrupted by the First World War, in which he served as a gunner in a Canadian siege battery. Later he graduated with honors from Dalhousie and from Harvard.

In June, 1958, he received the degree of Doctor of Laws from Columbia University. He was cited as "scholar of the law, eloquent advocate of liberal education and distinguished man of government."

Theodore Spicer-Simson

Though English-born, Theodore Spicer-Simson spent most of his life in the United States and in France. He was a sculptor of portrait medallions. He took special pleasure in portraying bearded heads; he had great feeling for the decorative use of beards. In England George Bernard Shaw, Robert Bridges, and "A.E.," offered scope for this, and his portraits of these men are among his best, but he also did some fine medallions of Thomas Hardy and Winston Churchill. His American subjects included Dreiser, Mencken, Elinor Wylie, Hervey Allen, Padraic Colum, and Van Wyck Brooks.

From his earliest youth Spicer-Simson knew precisely what he wanted to do in his life, and nothing could divert him from it. His parents tried to induce him to be a military officer and, when he refused, put him into his father's brokerage firm in Le Havre, France. There, instead of keeping the books, he spent his time making sketches of the other clerks or of ships in the harbor.

He was a brave young man as well as a determined one —brave enough to ride one of those monstrous old-fashioned bicycles with the enormous wheel in front and the tiny one behind. One day this dangerous sport nearly ended his career when he lost control of the monster on a steep hill. He slid off behind and grabbed the frame of the bicycle which dragged him down the hill on his stomach. His only thought in these gruelling moments was: "Now, perhaps, I'll never be an artist."

Later, when he was doing his portrait-medallion of Thomas Hardy, he made it clear that there would be no flattering compromise. "Mr. Hardy," he said at the first sitting, "I want you to know that I am making this portrait to please myself." Hardy jumped up and put his hand on the young sculptor's shoulder. "That," he said, "is precisely why I write my poems."

A book published in England, entitled "Men of Letters of the British Isles," presented the English collection of his portrait-medallions, but no American collection was published. Two of the American portraits, however, were used as frontispieces. One was the head of Gamaliel Bradford in the volume of Bradford's letters; the other, of Centurion Van Wyck Brooks, was the frontispiece of Brooks's Days of the Phoenix.

Spicer-Simson had, for many years, a studio in Paris and lived in the village of Bourron, near Fontainebleau. During the German occupation he was put in an internment camp but was let out when his health failed. He also had a bungalow at Coconut Grove in Florida, and it was there that he died.

He received awards for his work from the National Sculpture Society and from the Numismatic Museum. He was a member of the Century for forty years and exhibited in the Art Gallery in the 1920's.

Eliot Tuckerman

Eliot could trace his American ancestry to 1630 and he was proud of the Yankee family through which he was descended. His views were so conservative that even some of his rightist Republican friends stopped short of his position. He was nostalgic for the old ways which he believed had been defeated by the loose thinking and ethics of the modern world. He never hesitated to express his beliefs no matter what company he was in, and his companions sometimes thought him too emphatic.

But many of our best citizens, including, of course, Centurions, heartily agreed with him in his indignation about national Prohibition. He was firmly convinced that the 18th Amendment was proposed in defiance of constitutional rule. Actually, the amendment was submitted to the states by the vote of two-thirds of the members of each house who were in attendance at the time. But Tuckerman maintained that the vote should be by two-thirds of the whole number of Senators and Representatives and he cited a letter by Gouverneur Morris, one of the Constitution's signers, as evidence of the correctness of his view. In 1927 he filed a brief to this effect in the Supreme Court.

Born in New York in 1872, he graduated from Harvard College in 1894 and took his law degree at the Harvard Law School in 1898. After serving as private secretary to Joseph H. Choate, he entered the offices of Evarts, Choate and Beaman. When his apprenticeship there was completed, he practiced on his own, specializing in estate law. He was considered an expert on constitutional law.

In 1914, soon after the outbreak in Europe of the First World War, he went to England on a warship as custodian of a gold shipment from J. P. Morgan and Company to the British government.

In 1918 he was elected to the New York State Assembly from the tenth district. As a Republican he took an active interest in politics and public affairs. He wrote frequent letters to the newspapers; his correspondence included many diatribes against President Franklin Roosevelt and the New Deal.

At his death Tuckerman was eighty-seven. He had been a Centurion since 1911.

Victor Morris Tyler

For a dozen or so years there were no more familiar figures at the Century than the Tyler brothers, Ernest and Victor. Many Centurions were greatly saddened by Ernest's death in 1951, but Victor has stayed on with us, to delight us with his stories and anecdotes and his sympathetic companionship. No one could tell a shaggy dog story better than he, and no one laughed more exuberantly at his own tales— a peculiarly infectious habit that sometimes filled a room with gaiety. Now Victor is gone, too, and only memories are left, but they are good ones.

The Tyler family were connected with the beginnings of the American telephone. Morris F. Tyler, father of Ernest and Victor, was the New Haven lawyer who drew up the first incorporation papers of the District Telephone Company of New Haven. In 1883, only seven years after the telephone was invented, Morris Tyler became the head of The Southern New England Telephone Company.

Victor was born in 1875 and was graduated from Yale in 1898. For two years he was his father's personal secretary. In 1901 he was elected secretary of his father's company; then, on his father's death in 1907, he succeeded him as director of The Southern New England Telephone Company, a post he held for more than fifty years.

In 1957 Victor published his personal memoirs in a book entitled Connecticut Telephony. In the Foreword to this book, its editor has written: "No man now living has Victor Tyler's intimate knowledge of the early years of telephony in Connecticut— both as a participant and through association with his father. These memoirs should give most readers, as they did me, a real sense of re-living the trying, pioneering events which formed the sound base for a large, modern corporation."

A Centurion associate says: "Victor Tyler was one of the finest gentlemen I have ever known. Blessed with a keen mind, an excellent sense of humor, and a deep understanding of his fellow men, he added immeasurably to any occasion or enterprise in which he took part."

James Carey Warren

Jim Warren had been a Centurion for only four years when death took him away at an age that is most rewarding for many of us. But the Century meant much to him. He came to most of the monthly meetings and, especially, to the concerts, for music was his favorite art though he was an amateur of them all.

While his vocation was investment banking, his tastes lay widely outside that circle. He had a fine gift of appreciation for painting, sculpture, and the ballet; in music he added performance to understanding. In singing he followed in the tradition of that "Century's immortal" Frank Rogers. He was an ardent promoter of glee clubs, he was a member of the University Glee Club in New York for fifteen years, and he sang also in the Schola Cantorum and in the Blue Hill Troupe.

Warren was born in Cleveland in 1896. His father was for many years head of the Romance Language Department at Yale, and Jim's boyhood was spent in New Haven. He graduated from Amherst with the class of 1919. It was in college that his musical activities began, but his active participation in glee club events did not prevent him from becoming a member of Phi Beta Kappa and graduating magna cum laude. In the First World War he enlisted in the army and was at the Field Artillery School in Louisville when the war ended.

He then entered the firm of Lee, Higginson and Company and later became a partner in A. M. Kidder and Company of New York. Here he was in charge of underwriting and syndicates from 1942 to 1956. He was a director of the American Maracaibo Petroleum Company and vice-president and trustee of Knickerbocker Hospital in New York.

The cancer that overtook Jim Warren on a vacation in Spain brought death quickly, and he was spared a session of acute pain. He died at sixty-two.

Roger Williams

"It is entirely filled," said Roger Williams of the Century, "with stuffy old men." Saying this, he resigned. A dozen or so years later a member who knew him and knew that he was a natural Centurion invited him to the Club for lunch at the Long Table. It was obvious that Williams was having a good time, so the member asked him if he still thought the Century was full of stuffy old men. "Why, no," answered Williams; "they all seem to be young men of my own age now." After that it took little persuasion to convince Williams to ask for reinstatement. He became greatly attached to the Century and spent many hours in the library, driven by his constantly inquiring mind. It was his custom when he heard a question asked in the course of a conversation at lunch to spend the afternoon running down the answer.

Roger Williams's career was largely concerned with ships. When he retired he was executive vice-president of the Newport News Shipbuilding and Drydock Company. This position followed a long experience with naval vessels, merchantmen, and yachts.

He was born in Chatham Center, New York. At nineteen he saw naval action in the Spanish-American War. After graduating from the Naval Academy in 1901, he served first on the battleship Illinois, then as commander of the presidential yacht Sylph in the administrations of Theodore Roosevelt and Taft. In the First World War he commanded the destroyer Duncan in the Queenstown Patrol. In his crew were Centurions Junius S. Morgan and Charles Curtis. Later he served as naval aide to General of the Armies John J. Pershing. He was awarded the Navy Cross.

After his resignation in 1920 he became operating manager in New York of the International Merchant Marine, but he did not confine his work to New York. At Newport News he supervised the building of three Panama Pacific liners. His appointment as director of the Newport News Shipbuilding and Drydock Company came in 1930, and in the same year he was elected vice-president of the National Council of American Shipbuilders, an office which he continued to hold through annual re-election. He was also honorary vice-president of the Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers and president of the board of trustees of the Mariner's Museum.

A Centurion who saw him often in his last illness reports that Williams inquired constantly about the Club. "I only hope," he said, "that the doctors will get me well enough so that I will be able to go down a few times a week to sit at the Round Table and listen to the conversation at cocktail time again."

Edwin Garvin Zabriskie

Is there an affinity between medicine and music? It is arresting to find so many music lovers and indeed, interpreters of music among doctors. A striking example was Edwin Zabriskie whose performance with the violin and viola was a counterpoint to his difficult, delicate work in neuropsychiatry. He also maintained a string quartet which performed on many a winter evening at his home. He took part, too, in the musical and dramatic events of the Bohemian Club of San Francisco. It was said of him that he was a humanist as well as a physician, a romanticist in the best sense of the word and an inspiring teacher.

Third in a line of physicians, Edwin Zabriskie was born in 1874. He was educated first at the Erasmus Private Academy in Brooklyn, then at Columbia and at the Long Island College Hospital, from which he received his doctor's degree in 1897 at the age of twenty-three. He served his internship at Kings County Hospital. Then, still restless for education, he studied neurology in the University of Berlin and in Paris.

Upon his return he was appointed adjunct professor of neurology at the New York Post-Graduate Medical School. Soon after the Neurological Institute of New York was founded, he joined its staff and eventually became its acting director. He was professor of clinical neurology at the College of Physicians and Surgeons from 1925 until his retirement in 1948 when he became professor emeritus in the college and consulting neurologist to the Presbyterian Hospital.

In the First World War he served in the Army Medical Corps and was a pioneer in the treatment of war-inflicted nervous disorders. This work took him through the battles of Chateau-Thierry and the Marne and the Meuse-Argonne campaign. He was cited by the Fifth Army Corps. He was discharged in 1919 with the rank of lieutenant colonel. In the Second World War he was consultant to the United States Surgeon General and was an examiner in neurology and psychiatry at the induction board. For his services, President Truman bestowed upon him a Certificate of Appreciation.

Doctor Zabriskie was a founder of the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, a Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association, and consultant to many hospitals in the New York metropolitan area. In 1947 he was awarded the Alumni Medallion of the Long Island College of Medicine for his fifty years of distinguished service to American medicine.

A Centurion colleague of Edwin Zabriskie writes: "He was always charming, witty and wise. Aside from his great professional skill, one of his greatest attributes was his uncanny ability to judge men—often before they could judge themselves." Could any tribute be more apposite to a man whose daily task was to seek reasons for the vagaries of the human mind?

Roger Burlingame
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Re: The Century Association Year-Book 1960, by The Century A

Postby admin » Tue Jul 31, 2018 11:35 pm

(Through April 15, 1960)

A roster of those who were Centurions at the time of their deaths and also those who resigned as members in good standing. The years record the span of membership.


* Founder / t Honorary Member / R Year of Resignation / ? Year unknown or year when name last appeared in Year-Book; no other information in Association records as to termination of membership.

Abbe, Robert 1890-1928
Abbey, Edwin A. l 897— 1911
Abbot, Willis J. 1927-1934
Abbott, Lawrence F. 1906-1933
Abbott, Lyman 1907-1922
Abbott, Mather A. 1922-1934
Abbott, Nathan 1910-1914 R
Abbott, Samuel A. B. 1893-1931
Abbott, Theodore Jacob 1938-1951
Abernethy, Julian W. 1913-1923
Ackerman, Carl 1934-1959 R
Adam, Robert Borthwick 1927-1932 *
Adams, Chas. Lawrence 1924-1933
Adams, Elbridge L. 1916-1934
Adams, Frank D. 1925-1933 R
Adams, Henry 1892-1918
Adams, Herbert 1894-1945
Adams, James Truslow 1925-1949
Adams, Julius Walker 1859- ?
Adams, Samuel Hopkins 1926- 1958
Adams, Thomas 1928-1934 R
Adams, Wayman 1925-1959 R
Adams, William 1877-1880
Adler, Felix 1905--933
Agar, John Giraud 1917-1932 R
Agassiz, Alexander 1879-1910
Agnew, Cornelius R. 1867-1888
Agnew, John T. 1867-1899
Aiken, Wm. Martin 1902-1908
Aitken, Robert Ingersoll 1918-1935 R
Akeley, Carl E. 1917-1926
Albinola, G. 1851-1870 R
Alburtis, Edward K. 1859-1866 ?
Alden, Bradford 1860- ?

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