Archive:20th Century Biographical Dictionary, Volume 8

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Archives > Archive:Extracts > 20th Century Biographical Dictionary, Volume 8

The Twentieth Century Biographical Dictionary of Notable Americans. 10 vols. Rossiter Johnson, ed., Boston: The Biographical Society, 1904. [A corrected edition of The Cyclopedia of American Biography (1897-1903) and Lamb's Biographical Dictionary of the United States (1900-1903).] (Republished by Gale Research Company, Book Tower, Detroit, 1968) Library of Congress Catalog Card Number: 68-19657. Vol VIII: Moul--Pyne.

NEAL, David (Dalhoff), artist, was born in Lowell, Mass., Oct. 20, 1838; son of Stephen Bryant and Mary (Dalhoff) Neal, and grandson of Stephen Neal and of David Dalhoff. His first ancestor in America, Christoph Logadin Dalhoff, immigrated to New Amsterdam from Holland in 1830. He attended the high school at Lawrence, Mass., and a private academy in Andover, N.H. Deciding to devote himself to the study of art, he removed to San Francisco, Cal., where he made drawings on wood. He studied in the Royal academy, Munich, and under Maximilian Ainm ller and Alexander Wagner. He was married, Dec. 9, 1862, to Marie, daughter of Maximilian Ainm ller of Munich. She died Sept. 29, 1897. In 1870, under the direction of Carl von Pilotz, he gave his attention entirely to figure painting. Among his earlier paintings are: The Chapel of the Nonberg Convent, Salzburg (1864); Chapel of the Kings, Westminster (1869); St. Marks (1869); On the Grand Canal Venice (1869). His figure subjects of later period include: Retour du Chasse (1870); James Watt (1873); The Burgomaster (1873); The First Meeting of Mary Stuart and Rizzio (1876), which received the highest award at the Royal academy of Munich; Oliver Cromwell Visits John Milton (1883); Nuns at Prayer (belonging to the Royal Gallery, Stuttgart) (1884); Admiral du Quesne receives Louis XIV. on board the flagship Louis Le Grand, at Cherbourg (1885); Boy with Violin (1887). His later and more noteworthy work consists of portraits, the most important being those of: Countess Lerchenfeld, the Rev. Mark Hopkins, Mrs. W. C. Whitney, Mrs. Harrison Garrett, the Hon. Adolph Sutro (Paris, 1890), Governor Nesmith, Judge Ogden Hoffman (for the U.S. District Court room, San Francisco, Cal)., Rev. Dr. William Henry Green (for the Lenox Library, Princeton university), D. O. Mills, the Misses Mills, Whitelaw Reid, Miss Reid. Mr. Neal made his home in Europe, visiting America occasionally.

PARKER, Abraham X., representative, was born in Granville, Vt., Nov. 14, 1831; son of Isaac and Amanda (Patrick) Parker; grandson of Abraham (1763-1829) and Sarah (Whitney) Parker; great-grandson of Joseph (4th) Parker, a minute man and soldier at Bunker Hill, and a descendant of Joseph Parker, who came from Newbury, England, to Newbury, Mass., in 1638, at the age of twenty-four, removing later with his brother Nathan to Andover, Mass., where his descendant, Joseph (4th) was born, 1735. Abraham Parker's maternal grandfather was Joseph Patrick, of Scotch-Irish extraction, who was town clerk of Granville, Vt., for more than forty years. Isaac Parker served in the Vermont legislature, moved to Potsdam, N.Y., in 1840, and there became a farmer, town superintendent of schools and supervisor. Abraham X. Parker attended St. Lawrence academy, Potsdam, and the Albany Law school, and was admitted to the bar in Albany, 1854, returning to Potsdam to practice. He was married in 1857, to Mary J., daughter of Alpheus Wright, of Potsdam. He was a member of the assembly, 1863-64, refusing re-nomination in 1865. He was elector-at-large on the Republican presidential ticket in 1876, and a representative from the nineteenth and twenty-second districts in the 47th, 48th, 49th and 50th congresses, 1881-89. He served on the judiciary and other important committees, and in the 50th congress was a member of the special committee appointed to investigate the coal and railroad employee strikes and other labor difficulties affecting the commerce of four states which were visited and inspected by the committee. After this public service he returned to Potsdam and resumed his law practice until his appointment by President Harrison as assistant U.S. attorney-general. Sept. 8, 1890. With the change of administration, March 4, 1893, he resigned, but was retained in office upon the request of Attorney-General Olney, to complete important work, until the adjournment of the supreme court in May. He took active interest in the educational institutions of Potsdam, and became president of the Thomas S. Clarkson Memorial School of Technology.

PARKER, Nahum, senator, was born in Shrewsbury, Mass., March 14, 1760; son of Amos and Anna (Stone) Parker; grandson of Andrew and Sarah (Whitney) Parker; great-grandson of John Parker and a descendant of Thomas Parker, who emigrated from England in the Susan and Ellen in 1635 and settled first in Lynn, and then in Reading, Massachusetts Bay colony. Nahum Parker was a soldier in the Continental army under General Gates and took part in the battles that resulted in the capture of Burgoyne's forces at Saratoga in 1777. He settled in Fitzwilliam, N.H., in 1786, was a member of the board of selectmen, 1790-94, and clerk and treasurer of the town, 1792-1815. He was a representative in the state legislature, 1794-1804 and 1806-07; a member of the governor's council, 1804-05, and was U.S. senator from New Hampshire, 1807-10, resigning in 1810 when he was succeeded by Charles Cutts (q.v.). He was justice of the court of common pleas for Cheshire county, which included Sullivan county, 1807-13; an associate justice of the Western circuit, 1813-16; judge of the court of sessions of Cheshire county in 1821 and of the court of common pleas for Hillsborough county in 1822. He was also a member of the New Hampshire senate and its president in 1828. He was married, Aug. 11, 1783, to Mary Deeth of Gerry, Mass., and their son, Amos Andrew Parker (born Oct. 8, 1791, University of Vermont, 1813, lawyer, editor of New Hampshire Statesman, author of Recollections of Lafayette (1879)) celebrated the hundredth anniversary of his birth, and died in Fitzwilliam, N.H., May 12, 1893. Nahum Parker died in Fitzwilliam, N.H., Nov. 12, 1839.

PHOENIX, Jonas Phillips, representative, was born in Morristown, N.J., Jan. 14, 1788; son of Maj. Daniel and Anna Lewis (Phillips) Phoenix, grandson of Alexander and Cornelia Pheonix; and of Jonas and Anna (Lewis) Phillips, and a descendant of Alexander and Abigail (Sewall) Phoenix. Alexander Phoenix emigrated from England to New Amsterdam in 1640, and removed to Rhode Island in 1652. Jonas Phillips Phoenix attended the public schools and early engaged in mercantile pursuits in New York city, where he became a prominent merchant. He was married, April 5, 1810, to Mary, daughter of Stephen and Harriet (Suydam) Whitney of New York. He was a member of the board of aldermen, 1838-39; a presidential elector on the Harrison and Tyler ticket in 1840, and a Whig representative from the third district in the 28th and 31st congresses, 1843-45 and 1849-51. He was an unsuccessful candidate for mayor of New York in 1840, 1842 and 1847; a member of the state assembly in 1848; one of the commissioners of the Croton aqueduct in 1842, and one of the governors of the New York almshouse in 1849. He died in New York city, May 4, 1859.

PHOENIX, Stephen Whitney, antiquarian, was born in New York city, May 25, 1839; son of the Hon. Jonas Phillips and Mary (Whitney) Phoenix. He was graduated at Columbia, A.B., 1859, A.M., 1862, and LL.B., 1863. He then studied and traveled abroad, and on his return to New York city, devoted himself to antiquarian and genealogical research. The epitaphs on the tombstones in Trinity churchyard, New York city, and the records of births, baptisms, marriages and deaths of the Reformed Dutch and Presbyterian churches in New York, were copied at his expense for preservation, and printed in the New York Genealogical and Biographical Record. He also collected and preserved portraits of old New Yorkers, many of which were engraved, as well as nearly 3,000 prints relating to New Amsterdam and old New York, which are owned by Columbia university. He left his herbarium to the American Museum of Natural History in New York; his genealogical works and $15,000 to the New York Historical society, the income to be invested in books on heraldry and genealogy; his pictures, curiosities, and coins to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and his library of books, to be known as the Phoenix collection, to Columbia university, with $500,000 for use in the school of mines. He is the author of: The Descendants of John Phoenix (1867); The Whitney Family of Connecticut (3 vols., 1878); The Family of Alexander Phoenix (MS.). He died in New York city, Nov. 3, 1881.

PIERCE, Frederick Clifton, historian, was born in Worcester, Mass., July 30, 1856; son of Silas Austin and Maria N. (Smith) Pierce; grandson of Amos Pierce, and a descendant of John Pers of Watertown, Mass., 1637. He attended Groton academy, Mass., and engaged in journalism in Worcester, Mass., in 1879. He removed to Chicago, Ill., 1880, and was city editor of the Gazette, 1880-90. He was business manager of the Chicago Journal, 1890-1900, and was chosen advertising manager of the Chicago Inter-Ocean in 1900, and business manager in 1901. He organized the City Grays, 3d regiment, Illinois National Guard, in 1883, and commanded it until 1885, when he was promoted colonel of staff to Governor Richard 0glesby. He was also a member of the staffs of Govenors Fifer and Altgeld, and served as secretary of the National Guard for six years. He became a member of the American Historical society, 1900; the Society of American Authors, and many other organizations. He is the author of: History of Grafton, Mass. (1879); History of Barre, Mass. (1880); Life and Services of R. M. A. Hawk (1886); History of Rockford, Ill. (1887); and numerous genealogies, including the Field, Foster, Harwood, Whitney, Fisk, Fiske, Pierce, Peirce, Pearce, Forbes, Forbush, Gibson, Batcheller, Batchelder and Sherman families.

PORTER, Benjamin Curtis, artist, was born in Melrose, Mass.; son of Charles and Julia (Curtis) Porter. He studied art at an early age, and traveled extensively in America and Europe. For some years he gave his attention to figure painting, but finally devoted himself entirely to portraiture, establishing a studio in New York city. In 1876 he exhibited at the National Academy of Design, New York city, and was elected an associate in 1878, and an academician in 1880. He was married in 1887 to Mary Louise Clark of Connecticut. He was awarded a medal at the Paris exposition, 1900, and at the Pan-American exposition, Buffalo, 1901. His principal works include: Henry V. and the Princess Kate (1868); The Mandolin Player and Cupid with Butterflies (1874); The Hour Glass (1876); Portrait of Lady with Dog (1876); Portrait of Boy with Dog (1884), and numerous other portraits, among the subjects being Cornelius Vanderbilt, Mrs. Henry Clews, Mrs. Abram Hewitt and Mrs. Harry Payne Whitney.

PURNELL, Thomas Richard, jurist, was born in Wilmington, N.C., Aug. 10, 1846; son of Thomas Richard and Eliza Ann (Dudley) Purnell; grandson of John and Sarah Purnell and of Gov. Edward B. and Elizabeth (Ruffin) Dudley; great-grandson of John Purnell (1st), who settled in North Carolina in 1780, and a descendant of Christopher Dudley, John Haywood, one of the first settlers in Edgecomb county, N.C. (1675), and Thomas Purnell, who came from England, 1634, and settled in Virginia or Maryland. He attended Hillsboro Military academy, and in 1864 served in the C. S. army as orderly to Gen. W. H. C. Whitney at Wilmington, and in 1865 as topofraphical engineer in the Army of Northern Virginia with the rank of lieutenant. He was paroled at Greensboro, N.C., May, 1865, and was graduated at Trinity college, N.C., A.B., 1869, A.M., 1872. He studied law under Col. Robert Strange in Wilmington; was married, Nov. 11, 1870, to Adelia E., daughter of Dr. Alexander T. and Lucinda B. (Blum) Zevely of Salem, N.C.; practised law in Baltimore, Md., 1870-71; Salem, N.C., 1871-73; was state librarian at Raleigh, 1873-76; representative in the state legislature, 1876-77; state senator, 1883-84; Republican candidate for presidential elector, 1884 and 1888; candidate for attorney-general of the state, 1892; for solicitor of the 4th judicial district, 1894; was commissioner for the U.S. circuit court, 1877-97; practised law in Raleigh, 1876-97, and on May 5, 1897, succeeded Augustus Seymour, deceased, as U.S. district judge for the eastern district of North Carolina.

Copyright © 2002, 2006, The Whitney Research Group

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