century association biographical archive

Earliest Members of the Century Association

View all members

Herman K. Vielé


Centurion, 1904–1908

Full Name Herman Knickerbocker Vielé

Born 31 January 1856 in New York (Manhattan), New York

Died 14 December 1908 in New York (Manhattan), New York

Buried Green-Wood Cemetery, Brooklyn, New York

Proposed by Thomas A. Janvier and James Carroll Beckwith

Elected 6 February 1904 at age forty-eight

Archivist’s Note: Son of Egbert L. Vielé

Century Memorial

Herman Knickerbocker Vielé was born in this city fifty-two years ago, the son of a distinguished military and civil engineer[, Egbert L. Vielé]. To his father’s profession, he was privately and thoroughly trained, and for many years he was connected with public works in the Federal capital. But in these labors his genius breathed an uncongenial air and the avocations of painting and writing were nearly as exacting as his professional calling. Finally these nascent tastes grew so insistent for all his time and energy that he abandoned the distasteful struggle, removed to New York, found stimulating friends, dallied with the brush and palette for a little and then, finding himself, stepped forth as a commanding figure in the field of imaginative literature. Four patriotic and genealogical societies—for he came of colonial stock—gave him membership and he belonged to three leading clubs of the city. Four years ago he became a Centurion, and while his membership was short, he was recognized at once as a true fellow, in spirit, character, and sympathy, having already many warm friends here, and finding new ones every day. First and last he was a voluminous writer of sketches, poems, and reviews, but his position of high rank was finally won and definitely settled barely more than eight years ago. In that short space he has maintained it by the publication of six volumes. His was subjectively a dramatic life and exhibits a signal instance of victory won by the spirit over barriers of substance.

William Milligan Sloane
1909 Century Association Yearbook