century association biographical archive

Earliest Members of the Century Association

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James W. Beekman Jr.

Lawyer/Trustee

Centurion, 1875–1908

Full Name James William Beekman Jr.

Born 4 November 1847 in New York (Manhattan), New York

Died 7 August 1908 in Oyster Bay, New York

Proposed by John H. Gourlie and Gilbert M. Speir

Elected 1 May 1875 at age twenty-seven

Archivist’s Note: Second vice president of the Century Association, 1869. Son of James W. Beekman

Century Memorial

James William Beekman came of a stock which has adorned the life of New York since early colonial times. What was best in New York tradition—high breeding, genial temper, loyalty, sincerity, capacity, and unselfishness—was his by inheritance. He was recognized as a member by prerogative of this Association almost in boyhood, at twenty-four years of age [sic: twenty-seven], and in our society he came and went for thirty-three years. With him and the comrades of this place there was the reciprocal interchange of pleasant relations which constitutes our life. He was educated here and was a graduate of the Columbia Law School; he belonged, of course, to the Holland Society, to that of the Colonial Wars, to the Sons of the Revolution, and the St. Nicholas. He was of right a trustee of the New York Hospital, the Historical Society, Society Library, and the New York Dispensary, to all of which he gave his time and energy most lavishly. He had membership in four clubs. Associating continuously with men of every type, he nevertheless retained a marked individuality. In him there was a combination of noble principle, considerate manner, gladness of spirit, and firm conviction, which are not too common. His unshaken faith displayed itself in abounding works: the sick and afflicted were cheered by his voice and presence, the poor knew his bounty, and he was socially endowed with abundant gifts for the highest ministry of life.

William Milligan Sloane
1909 Century Association Yearbook