century association biographical archive

Earliest Members of the Century Association

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Salem H. Wales

Editor, Scientific American/Public Servant

Centurion, 1870–1902

Full Name Salem Howe Wales

Born 4 October 1825 in Wales, Massachusetts

Died 2 December 1902 in New York (Manhattan), New York

Buried Southampton Cemetery, Southampton, New York

Proposed by Richard Butler and John Frederick Kensett

Elected 7 May 1870 at age forty-four

Archivist’s Note: Father-in-law of Elihu Root; grandfather of Elihu Root Jr. and Edward W. Root

Century Memorial

It is difficult to realize that the solid physique and active mind of Salem H. Wales, so familiar to the members of The Century, belonged to one who died suddenly at the advanced age of seventy-seven. He had frequented the Club for more than thirty years, and much of the scant leisure left from his many activities was spent within its walls. Of New England birth and descended from the New England aristocracy, the Puritans, Mr. Wales had been a resident of New York for nearly threescore years, and had held numerous positions of trust and honor here, both in the city government and in the social institutions of the community. During the war he was an active officer of the famous Christian Commission, and was one of the founders of the Union League Club; he was at different times member and President of the Dock Commission and of the Park Commission; he was one of the founders of the Metropolitan Museum of Art and of the Homeopathic Medical College and Hahnemann Hospital, and a trustee of almost innumerable associations for the promotion of art, education, and benevolence. Among his useful labors were those of a publisher, and, for twenty-four years, the managing editor of the Scientific American.

Edward Cary
1903 Century Association Yearbook