Obituary published in The Washington Post on 3-25-1995:
PAUL MILTON NIEBELL SR.
Paul Milton Niebell Sr., 93, a Washington lawyer who specialized in American Indian claims cases, died March 18 at Suburban Hospital after a heart attack.
Mr. Niebell opened his Washington law practice in 1930, and he continued his legal work until shortly before his death. As a specialist in Indian claims against the U.S. government, he became accustomed to handling cases that extended over long periods. One case involving a claim by the Florida Seminole Indians against the United States lasted more than 25 years.
In another case that extended over a period of years, Mr. Niebell was instrumental in obtaining an executive order from President Nixon in 1972 restoring Mount Adams and 21,000 surrounding acres in the state of Washington to the Yakima Indian Tribe.
Describing his work, Mr. Niebell liked to quote a legal maxim about Indian claims law that, "An attorney who prosecutes an Indian claim case against the United States should be as wise as Solomon, have the patience of Job and live to be as old as Methuselah."
Mr. Niebell, of Potomac, was born in Scranton, Pa. He came to Washington as a young man and received a law degree from George Washington University Law School. Over the years he would become one of the school's major benefactors, and in 1980, a classroom as Stockton Hall was named in his honor.
Mr. Niebell also funded a professional chair of silversmithing at Bacone College in Muskogee, Okla.
He was active in several Masonic organizations and had served on the board of trustees of the Scottish Rite Foundation. He was past chairman of the board of trustees of Almas Temple of the Shrine, past high priest and former treasurer of the Mount Vernon chapter of the Royal Arch Masons, past president of the Bethesda-Chevy Chase Shrine Club and a member of the Washington commandery of the Knights Templar.
Mr. Niebell also was a former president of the D.C. Society of the Sons of the American Revolution and the Seabrook Civic Association.
Survivors include his wife of 39 years, Eleanor Warrene Smallwood Beasley Niebell of Potomac; four daughters, Paula N. Tidwell of Crofton, Nancy N. Ashton of Annapolis, Barbara B. Sweeney of Gambrills, Md., and Dorothy B. Burkholder of Laurel; two sisters, Arlene N. Coon and Evelyn I. Niebell, both of Florida; and four grandchildren. A son, Paul Milton Niebell Jr., died in 1991.
Eleanor Warrene Smallwood Niebell
1921–2017 (m. 1955)
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