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George R. Van de Water


Centurion, 1894–1925

Full Name George Roe Van de Water

Born 25 April 1854 in New York (Queens), New York

Died 15 March 1925 in New York (Manhattan), New York

Buried Youngs Memorial Cemetery, Oyster Bay, New York

Proposed by Henry Y. Satterlee and Stuyvesant F. Morris

Elected 3 March 1894 at age thirty-nine

Seconder of:

Century Memorial

Even in the land campaigns of 1898—which, it must be owned, nowadays wear much the aspect of amateur war to those who have lived through 1917 and 1918—there are incidents and reminiscence which still have a hold on the popular imagination. The story of San Juan Hill is confused and bewildering, even at this later date; but one of the often-repeated traditions of the battle was the presence of Dr. George Roe Van de Water with the 71st on the active firing-line. The chaplain is ordinarily expected to remain well in the rear, watching the assault with his binoculars, if he wishes. Dr. Van de Water, so all the contemporary dispatches told, chose to accompany the advancing troops into the hottest places, where, in the rain of bullets, he could personally help, comfort and encourage the men who fell in action.

Something of this energy and enthusiasm inspired Dr. Van de Water’s ministerial career. His work in developing the public facilities of his parish—its libraries, reading-rooms, social clubs, missions—made each successive charge entrusted to him a land-mark. He was a preacher of such earnestness and conviction that he drew his audiences even from other parishes. For all this achievement, the genial personality of the man himself provided the background.

Alexander Dana Noyes
1926 Century Association Yearbook