century association biographical archive

Earliest Members of the Century Association

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Abner W. Colgate

Manufacturer (White Lead/Linseed Oil)

Centurion, 1890–1904

Full Name Abner Weyman Colgate

Born 30 August 1838 in New York (Manhattan), New York

Died 20 March 1904 in Pasadena, California

Proposed by Horace W. Robbins and Edward H. Kendall

Elected 1 February 1890 at age fifty-one

Century Memorial

Abner W. Colgate, at the time of his death, had withdrawn for some years from the extensive business interests with which he was long and honorably connected, the Atlantic White Lead Company, which he founded, being the chief. After his retirement he devoted the energies which failing health left to him to charitable work of a systematic and intelligent sort, and to the cultivation of artistic tastes and gifts, which he possessed in an unusual degree. He was a painter in water colors of marked skill, and a student and amateur practitioner of architecture. One of our architect members writes that “at the fall of the Campanile di San Marco in Venice he was so struck by the diagram prepared by Mr. Colgate, covering certain features of interior construction designed to prevent any possible recurrence, from causes within the structure itself, of a calamity everywhere deplored, that he introduced the designer and his project to the architect charged with the restoration of the famous tower.” Mr. Colgate was also intensely interested in the study of astronomy, and had built at his country home in Morristown a well-arranged observatory, in which he passed much of his time.

Edward Cary
1905 Century Association Yearbook