|Birth: ||Dec. 7, 1840|
|Death: ||Feb. 17, 1902|
husband of Sarah Knight
DEMISE OF COL. N.B. KNIGHT
Death Came to Him While Sitting in His Room
HE WAS FULLY DRESSED AND HELD IN HIS HAND A LETTER FROM HIS DAUGHTER
Col. Knight Was an Able Lawyer - His Record as a Soldier During the Civil War, and His Operations on the Pacific Coast - recently Returned from London.
Col. N. B. Knight, long a prominent figure at the Marion county bar, and the bar of the state, and when in his prime one of the ablest attorneys in the state of Oregon, died suddenly in his rooms, at the Hotel Willamette, between 9 o'clock on Monday evening and 9 o'clock yesterday morning, as the result of heart failure.
Colonel Knight recently returned to Salem from a trip to London, whither he was called on important legal business. He arrived in Salem about three weeks ago, since which time he was visiting friends in this city, prior to proceeding to Baker City, to look after his law business. On Monday, Colonel Knight called on some of the officials at the Capitol and after 9 p.m. he retired to his rooms, after receiving mail from the night clerk, among the letters being one from his daughter Miss Silvia, of Portland, who visited him over Sunday. At 9 o'clock yesterday morning when the chambermaid entered his room, she found the electric lights turned on, and Colonel Knight sitting in a rocking chair, fully dressed. His head was resting on the high back of the chair, his left limb was crossed over to his right knee, and in his hand he held a letter. He appeared to be asleep and when the chambermaid called him and received no response, she hastened out of the room, calling to the elevator boy to come and wake Colonel Knight. The young man responded, but he quickly realized that the guest was dead, that life had fled several hours before the body was discovered. The room was found in perfect order, and the bed showed no signs of having been occupied. The dead man's hat, usually worn jauntily tilted on the left side of his head, was lying on the carpet by the side of the chair as though carelessly dropped there by its owner. The end had apparently come without a struggle, for there was a look of peace on the expressive countenance of the dead man.
Undertakers Rigdon & Clough were at once notified, as was Coroner D. F. Lane, and the body was removed to the undertaking parlors. Coroner Lane decided to hold an inquest on the remains, but later concluded that it was unnecessary, and arrangements were begun for the funeral. An examination of the remains indicated that the end came as a result of heart failure, as suspected from the first.
The letter in colonel Knight's hand, was from his daughter, Miss Silvia, and reads as follows: "Monday, Feb. 17, 1902 My dear papa - Just a line to let you know I arrived home safely. I had a fine time in Salem. "I was sorry I did not get to see you this morning. You must have been very sound asleep, for I rapped and rapped at your door to tell you goodbye but you did not hear me, I guess. "The train was a whole hour late, so I waited at the hotel and read a magazine. "Hope to see you in a few days. "Lovingly, "YOUR SMALL DAUGHTER."
It was while contemplating this letter, breathing filial love in every line, that the fond father passed to his eternal rest. Immediately after the discovery of the death of colonel Knight, his son, Winter M. Knight, and the daughter above referred to, Miss Silvia, were communicated with, by wire, and they arrived on last night's overland.
The funeral will be held at 1:30 o'clock this afternoon, from the home of Hon. Samuel L. Hayden, corner of Cottage and Ferry streets, under the auspices of the Marion County Bar Association, and Rev. Cuney, rector of St. Paul's Episcopal church, will officiate, and the remains will be given burial by the side of the grave of his wife, the late Sarah Miller Knight, in Rural cemetery.
The pall-bearers, chosen from among the attorneys of this city, are: J. J. Murphy, W. M. Kaiser, E. P. McCormack, C. L. McNary, R. J. Fleming and W. T. Slater.
LIFE of COLONEL KNIGHT.
Napoleon Bonaparte Knight was born of one of the leading families of Delaware, at Dover, in that state, December 7, 1840. There he grew up, and when quite a lad was sent to a prominent educational institution in New York state, where he acquired an excellent education, graduating in languages, medicine and law, and soon after he accepted a position as professor of languages in a prominent Southern college, and it became apparent that he would grow into a staid professor. But the rumblings of the Civil War gave warning of a conflict, and when Sumpter was fired upon, the young professor hastened to his native state and impetuously tendered his sword and service to the Governor and was immediately - though scarce 21 years of age - commissioned colonel of the First Delaware U. S. Volunteer Cavalry. One troop of his regiment was raised by another young patriot - Wm. P. Lord, now minister to Argentina - and he was elected to captain, but upon recommendation of the young colonel of the regiment, Captain Lord, was promoted to major, and served with colonel Knight the greater part of the war. The war record of colonel Knight is good, and his regiment, which saw the thickest of that long, sanguinary struggle, won many laurels but its excellent work for the old flag.
After the war Colonel Knight came to Salem, arriving here in 1867, and he immediately began to practice law here, and in 1868 his business had grown to such proportions that he took in, as his business partner, his former fellow-soldier, Major W. P. Lord, who had after the war accepted a position in the regular army, served on the Pacific coast and in Alaska, and had after three years of service, retired and come to Salem to join his former comrade-at-arms and regimental commander. They were very successful in the law business, and when they dissolved the partnership they had both become very well-to-do. In 1870,
Colonel Knight became the husband of Miss Sarah U. Miller, a daughter of the late Gen. John F. Miller, and this union was blessed with three children - one son, Winter M. Knight, now of Portland; and two daughters, Miss Portia Knight, the actress, now starring in London, and Miss Sylvia, of Portland. As both the parents had had every educational advantage, it is not strange that the children were given the same opportunity to train their minds, and they secured every advantage possible in the way of education. In 1890 the first great sorrow came to Colonel Knight and his children, when Mrs. Knight, who had been ailing for several years, died at Ashland, whither she had gone for the benefit of her health. The remains were brought to Salem and laid to rest in the Odd Fellows' cemetery.
In 1889 Colonel Knight went to Klamath county, where he engaged in the stock business on a large scale, and during his leisure hours practiced his profession. In 1892 he sold out his live stock business, but remained in Klamath Falls until in 1896 he returned to Salem and resumed the practice of law here remaining here for several years, when he went to Baker City and there established an excellent practice making mining litigation a specialty. It was in connection with this business that he went to London in May, 1901, and not to act as counsel for his daughter in her suit against the Duke of Manchester. Returning from London, he came to Salem for a few weeks rest, and he had intended leaving this week for Baker city, to resume his practice, when the grim reaper, death, interfered in the program with a heavy hand. In politics Colonel Knight was a Republican and in the latter 70's he served Marion county as a state Senator. In 1885 he was the candidate of one branch of the Republican party for United States Senator, and at one time lacked but one vote of the election. That vote was not secured, and the Legislature adjourned without electing. At that time the Democrats in that body all joined one wing of the Republican party in supporting Colonel Knight. Following adjournment, a special session was held and John H. Mitchell was elected Senator. Colonel Knight was an able lawyer, a genial, whole-souled, big-hearted gentleman, distinguished for his chivalrous conduct, and his demise is mourned by thousands of friends throughout the state. He had his faults, but who has none? Let him, who is without fault, cast the first stone.
Weekly Oregon Statesman 23 Feb 1902, 5:1-2
COLONEL KNIGHT IS NO MORE.
Passes Away at His Room in Hotel Willamette -- His Sudden Ending Supposed to Have Been the Result of Heart Disease.
Col. N. B. Knight, the well known Oregon attorney, is no more. He was found dead in his room at Hotel Willamette this morning. About 9 o'clock Landlord Conner was notified by the hired help, and upon going to his room found the body of Colonel in his chair cold in death. Monday evening about 8 o'clock he retired to his room, No. 51, on the second floor of the hotel, in good health and in his most kindly mood. He took his mail with him, evidently intent upon enjoying an evening of reading and letter writing. When found this morning he was sitting in a chair leaning back against the wall, his left leg crossed over his right knee, with a folded letter in his hand. He had evidently read his letter, as his eyeglasses were laid off to one side, and all appearance would indicate that he had fallen asleep in contemplation of the sweet sentiments from his daughter Silvia, who had visited him the day before.
Monday Feb. 17, 1902. My dear papa - Just a line to let you know I arrived home safely. I had a fine time in Salem. I was sorry I did not get to see you this morning. You must have been very sound asleep, for I rapped and rapped at your door to tell you goodbye but you did not hear me, I guess. "The train was a whole hour late, so I waited at the hotel and read a magazine. "Hope to see you in a few days. "Lovingly, "YOUR SMALL DAUGHTER."
Col. Knight had been back from England only about two weeks, where he had so successfully conducted the suit of his daughter, Miss Portia Knight, the noted actress, and was only expecting to remain in Salem a few days longer, before returning to resume his practice at Baker City. While in England Col. Knight wrote some able and scholarly letters to his friends, several o which were published and most favorably commented upon. Col. Knight was a native of Dover, Del., and was about 60 years of age. He was given a fine education when a young man, having graduated in medicine as well as law. He also at one time held a professorship of modern languages at a college in his native state. He served in the Civil War with honor, and came to Salem about 1867. He first opened a law office with the late Seth. R. Hammer, and later formed a partnership with Wm. P. Lord. He had a successful practice and acquired some prominence as a politician.
He was married in September, 1871, to Miss Sarah Miller, daughter of Gen. and Mrs. J. F. Miller. Their union was blessed with three children, all of whom are living. They are Winter M. Knight and miss Silvia Knight, of Portland, and Portia Knight, of London, England, and the two former will be here to attend the funeral. Mrs. Knight died in October, 1890. T
here will be no inquest over the body, as the district attorney deems such proceeding unnecessary, and it is supposed that his death was the result of apoplexy. The funeral will be held at the home of S. L. Hayden Wednesday at 1:30 p. m. Rev. Coney, rector of St. Paul's Episcopal church will officiate, and the body will be laid to rest beside that of Mrs. Knight in Rural cemetery.
The Daily Capital Journal 16 Feb. 1902, 4:2-3.
(bio source: Salem Pioneer Cemetery Website)
Sarah Miller Knight (1850 - 1890)
Col. N. B. Knight
Salem Pioneer Cemetery
Created by: Patty C
Record added: Feb 10, 2008
Find A Grave Memorial# 24544982
Added: Aug. 16, 2012
Added: Aug. 16, 2012
Of all that I have read about Napoleon Knight and the 1st Delaware Cavalry, I have come to realize he was a politically connected young man of 21 put in charge of a Regiment. He was not up to the task. Reading a very good diary of a Seargent of the Unit, ...(Read more)|
Added: May. 25, 2012