Delos D. Neer
Return to Lone Fir Soldiers' Monument

Rev. H. K. Hines, D.D., Illustrated History of the State of Oregon, page 646

Delos D. Neer, who for a number of years has been prominently identified with the architectural interests of Portland, Oregon, is well known not only in this city but also throughout other town and cities of the State. A resumé of his life is as follows:

Delos D. Neer was born in Charlottesville, Schoharie county, New York, in 1847, oldest of the seven children of Charles and Levancha (Schermerhorn) Neer, natives of that locality. Charles Neer operated a harness and wagon manufactory, was raised on a farm, and spent a great deal of his early life teaching school. Delos D. remained at home attending school until 1857, when, by the death of his father, self-support became necessary, and he found employment at farm work, turning in the mere pittance received as wages to his mother to aid in her maintenance. Thus he labored in summer and attended school in winter until 1864. At that time he enlisted at East Worcester, New York, in the Third New York Cavalry, and was forwarded to the recruiting rendezvous at Hart's Island, where, because of misplaced papers, he was attached to Company K, One Hundred and Thirty-third New York Infantry, Third Brigade, First Division, Nineteenth Army Corps, Department of the Potomac, under command of Gen. Phil Sheridan. He engaged in the campaign of the Shenandoah Valley during 1864 and 1865, and after the war closed passed through the grand review at Washington, was discharged at Hart's Island, and from there started home. At Albany Mr. Neer chanced to meet his old employer, Mr. Van Benthusen, with whom he immediately engaged for the summer, haying and harvesting.

In the spring of 1867 he was employed by Mr. Ogden, a prominent contractor and builder of Kirkwood, New York, and with him went to Jersey City, New Jersey. There he received his initial lessons in building, construction and drawing. Taking naturally to the trade, he acquired such proficiency, that in the spring of 1868 he returned to Binghamton, fitted himself with tools, and began work as journeyman carpenter, which he followed for many years.

Mr. Neer was married near Binghamton in the fall of 1869, to Miss Alfrelia Collins, a native of that locality. They had two children, neither of whom survived infancy, and in 1873 Mrs. Neer died.

The Oregonian, March 17, 1883 — Pursuant to announcement a number of those interested in forming a post of the G.A.R. in this city, met at the office of Prettyman & Creitz last evening. Mr. D. D. Neer was elected to the chair, who stated that the object of the meeting was to take preliminary steps for an early organization. The names of thirty-three persons were then presented for membership, and they were enrolled as follows:
G. A. Stanton, E. C. Brigham, Edwin Bates, W. McFarland, C. Ganiere, E. A. Jones, W. E. Hayden, Geo. W. Edmunds, J. H. Miller, W. W. Royal, G. J. Ross, Thos. Hawks, G. R. Matthews, Wash. Jones, A. J. Monroe, Henry Jones, Chas. H. Welch, Geo. W. Stafford, I. Ogilbee, S. H. Fields, Paul Stanley, J. E. Mayo, F. A. Haines, I. N. Saunders, E. Martin, F. R. Neale, D. D. Neer, J. A. Newell, W. F. Crietz, Francis M. Knowles, S. R. Harrington. 
The meeting adjourned to meet one week from Monday next for the purpose of organization. This meeting will be held in Ross & Story's building, where a hall has been engaged by the new post. The above list is unmistakable proof of an earnest start, but it is believed it can be increased at least twenty members before decoration day. Those who have not yet reported themselves are requested to do so at the next meeting.

After the death of his wife Mr. Neer went to Waverly, New York, where he continued contracting and building, and where he was also engaged in the manufacture of doors and sashes. He remained there until the spring of 1875. At that time, having decided to visit California, he arrived in the Golden State in April. He followed his trade in San Francisco, and while there was employed on the Hopkins' mansion. In February, 1879, he removed to Portland, and about this time conceived the idea of applying himself to architecture as a profession. This he successfully accomplished, and in 1880 opened an office in East Portland. He was chiefly engaged upon dwelling houses until 1882, when he formed a copartnership with John Loromer, and their office was removed to Portland. They did an active and successful business until the fall of 1883, when the partnership was dissolved. Mr. Neer was architect and superintendent of construction of the courthouses of Clackamas, Benton and Washington counties, and of the new jail for Lane county, this State, and also of the courthouse at Snohomish, Washington, besides many brick buildings, schools and residences in Portland, and a large part of the brick work of the East side. He was architect of the Barr Block, which is one of the latest imposing business blocks of the city.

Mr. Neer's second marriage occurred in Oakland, California, in October, 1877, to Miss Kate L. Saunders, a native of Missouri. They have three children: Helen R., Harry W. and Bessie L.

Mr. Neer is deeply interested in the G. A. R., and it was through his efforts that Sumner Post, No. 12, was organized in 1881 [sic]. He was elected the first Post Commander. For two years he has served as Inspector for the Department of Oregon, and for the same length of time as Assistant Inspector on the staff of the Commander-in-chief of National Organization. He has been a member of the A. O. U. W. for eleven years, and is now a Past Chancellor of Phalanx Lodge, No. 14, K. of P., and last, but not least, is prominently identified with Portland Lodge, No. 142, B. P. O. E. The subject of this sketch is thoroughly Oregonian, having sworn full allegiance to the State of his adoption, and it is through the combined efforts of such men that Oregon is fast coming to rank as one of the foremost States of the Union.


Delos D. Neer was the architect for the Soldier's Monument in Lone Fir Cemetery.


The Sunday Oregonian, 23 Nov 1919, Sec 3, Page 7, col 2

Delos D. Neer, veteran of the civil war and Portland resident, died at his home in Sellwood last Monday, November 17, at the age of 72 years.

Mr. Neer was the father of Mrs. Oscar Overbeck and Harry Neer of this city. Besides being a member of the G. A. R. he was also a member of the Elkes and of the Knights of Pythias.

Find A Grave

Funeral services were held at Holman's parlors Wednesday afternoon and interment was in the G. A. R. cemetery.


The Oregonian, 13 Jul 1922, Page 16

Neer—July 12, at the residence, 591 Thompson street, Katherine S. Neer, aged 79 years, mother of Mrs. Oscar E. Overbeck and Harry W. Neer. The funeral service will be held at the above residence Friday, July 14, at 10:30 A. M. Friends invited. Concluding service, Riverview cemetery, private. J. P. Finley & Son, directors.