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Nelson S. Spencer


Centurion, 1903–1934

Full Name Nelson Stanley Spencer

Born 5 May 1856 in Naugatuck, Connecticut

Died 30 June 1934 in Wilton, Connecticut

Buried Sharp Hill Cemetery, Wilton, Connecticut

Proposed by Edward M. Shepard and Robert Underwood Johnson

Elected 7 March 1903 at age forty-six

Century Memorial

Probably Nelson Spencer could be described as a lawyer of the old school. He never specialized exclusively in one or two lines of practice. In court he undertook no sharp manœuvre and pretended to no oratory; but in his quiet manner he was an excellent trial lawyer, extremely effective as cross-examiner. The variety of his legal aptitude and learning was shown by the fact that he organized the great Viscose Corporation, pioneer in the rayon industry, guiding it subsequently as counsel, director and chairman of the board, and that he also represented the City Club in the proceedings which ended in the removal of Borough President Ahearn by Governor Hughes. He reorganized the corporate form of the Philharmonic Society to qualify it to receive the Pulitzer bequest, a task requiring diplomatic gifts as well as legal skill and knowledge. In his later years he was much sought as executor or trustee, or as legal adviser to other fiduciaries, by whom his sound judgment and courage in dealing with difficult situations were appreciated.

Alexander Dana Noyes
1935 Century Association Yearbook