century association biographical archive

Earliest Members of the Century Association

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William MacNeven


Centurion, 1847–unknown

Full Name William Hugh MacNeven

Born 25 October 1815 in New York State

Died 12 May 1854 in Savannah, Georgia

Buried Riker-Lent Burial Ground, Astoria, New York

Proposed by N/A: Founder

Elected 13 January 1847 at age thirty-one

Archivist’s Note: Half-brother-in-law of Thomas A. Emmet. There is a possibility that he did not join the club despite documentation of his election, as his name does not appear in any subsequent printed rosters of membership. He may have chosen not to “qualify” for membership (i.e., pay initiation fees). The Century Association has traditionally recognized such cases as former members, however, as rosters were not published annually and it is possible he joined between printings.

Century Memorial

MacNeven was the son of William James MacNeven (1763–1841), who received his medical degree in Vienna in 1784, became a professor of obstetrics and joined the staff of New York Hospital.

William Hugh (1815–1854) graduated from the College of Physicians and Surgeons in 1837 and was described as skilled in mathematics and French, talented in music and proficient in several instruments. He was a physician at the hospital for immigrants on Ward’s Island, and, looking for a less demanding life because of chronic illness, ended his professional career as physician for the United State Life Insurance Company.

His obituary for the New York Academy of Medicine (by Dr. William W. Jones) described him as having “amiable qualities and estimable character. . . . [I] knew him well and loved him much. . . . a member of many literary and charitable institutions. . . . Discriminating in the investigation of disease, original in his mind, and skillful in the application of remedies.”

William A. Frosch
“Our Original Amateurs, 2009”