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Earliest Members of the Century Association

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Charles P. Echols

Lieutenant Colonel, U.S. Army/Professor of Mathematics

Centurion, 1907–1940

Full Name Charles Patton Echols

Born 6 September 1867 in Huntsville, Alabama

Died 21 May 1940 in New York (Manhattan), New York

Buried United States Military Academy Post Cemetery, West Point, New York

Proposed by Edgar W. Bass and John W. Clous

Elected 4 May 1907 at age thirty-nine

Century Memorial

Appointed to the U.S. Military Academy from Alabama in 1887 and graduated third in his class—as was his father (a colonel in the Confederate army) before him—Charles Patton Echols taught mathematics for thirty-six years at West Point. His nickname among the cadets was “P. Echols.” When he retired with the rank of colonel in 1931, he declined a parade and review, and even a dinner dance in his honor at the Academy on the ground that he had no taste for fuss and feathers. In that year, with four other West Point officers, he played in a chess game against world champion Capablanca. He was a member of the Opera Club of New York and at the time of his death he had in his pocket a baseball season pass to the Polo Grounds.

He commanded a company of engineers in the Philippines during the Spanish-American War and served as an observer with the Allies in the first Great War. Over six feet, and robust and active at seventy-two, he was beaten to death and robbed (except for his West Point class ring) by four thugs in the early hours of a May morning in Bryant Park less than three hundred yards from the Century club-house.

Geoffrey Parsons
1940 Century Memorials