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Bill Thayer

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The text that follows is reproduced from (the report of the) Sixty-fourth Annual Reunion of the Association of the Graduates of the United States Military Academy, June 12, 1933.

[image ALT: A head-and‑shoulders photograph of an old man with a full head of hair and a long drooping moustache; he has a concentrated and somewhat fierce air. He is West Point graduate Worth Osgood, the subject of this webpage.]
Worth Osgood

 p71  Worth Osgood
No. 2285 Class of 1869
Died July 23, 1932, at Chittenango, N. Y.,
aged 84 years

Worth Osgood was born in Berlin Township, Delaware County, Ohio, April 9th, 1848. He spent his early years on the farm of his grandfather, David Osgood. His early schooling was acquired there and later at the Yates Polytechnic School; and, before going to West Point, he had studied for over a year at the Troy Polytechnic Institute. He entered the Military Academy in June, 1865. His natural disposition was such that he readily adapted himself to the disciplinary regulations of the Academy; he was quiet, modest, and very unobtrusive in manner — inclined to be retiring, but also very good natured. He bore with more than usual calm the many forms of annoyance, then termed "devilling," some of which were extremely disagreeable, that were then inflicted upon the class.

Osgood's preparation was such that when the Academic term began, September 1, he at once took a high stand in his class, maintained it throughout the four years, and graduated number 13. The writer's knowledge of, and acquaintance with, him began immediately upon our entry into "plebe" camp, when we were requested to display our "fistic" ability to some of the upper classmen of "B" company; neither of us before that evening had ever seen boxing gloves. The acquaintance thus originating developed into a friendship which continued through the next two generations, kept up by occasional letters; for we had little personal association in all that time except for six years between 1874‑'80.

Upon graduating on June 15, 1869, Osgood was appointed a 2nd Lieutenant in the 2nd Artillery. His first and only post was Fort Stevens, Oregon, at which he reported on October 1st, 1869. Active duty in the field began for him almost immediately; and, during the first half of 1870, he had constant service in the operations necessary to suppress the Indian uprisings in that Military Department. On January 1, 1871, Osgood left the Military service by Honorable Discharge.

 p73  Upon return to civil life, Osgood immediately obtained a position as civil Engineer on the N. Y. & O. Midland R. R. Before he had served a full year in this position, however, he received, through a classmate who had also left the service, an invitation to come to Washington and accept the post of Assistant Examiner in the U. S. Patent Office. He accepted this offer and served as Assistant until the autumn of 1872 when he was promoted to be Principal Examiner. In this capacity he served until 1876, when he gave up his position in the Patent Office and established himself as a Patent Attorney and Mechanical Expert. His experience as a Principal Examiner combined with his previous education, which was largely scientific, admirably fitted him for the work now chosen, and it continued to be his professional work until he retired from business in 1913, at the age of sixty-five.

He retained his Law office in Washington until 1879; then he transferred it to New York City and kept it located there until 1908, when he made another transfer to Dayton, Ohio. There he continued his legal business until he retired from work in 1913. His residence was in Brooklyn during the time his law office was in New York City. While serving as Principal Examiner in the Patent Office, he graduated from the Columbia Law College, D. C., in 1874, with the Degree of Bachelor of Laws. He was then admitted to practice before the U. S. District and Circuit Courts and the Appeal Courts of Columbia,º New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. In 1880 he published the Portfolio of Patent Right Deeds and Patentees' Form Book.

Osgood became a member, in 1875, of the Washington Knights Templars organization. He was a member of the Masonic order in Brooklyn, and was President of the Brooklyn Theosophical Research Society for four consecutive terms, 1904‑1908.

In the early decade, 1880‑'90, Mr. Osgood married Miss Laura Howe of Torrington, Conn. She was a very cultured woman and had considerable artistic ability. In her early years she had taught school. She died January 5th, 1913, and was buried at Cornwall Hollow Cemetery, where now Mr. Osgood's remains also report.

Mr. Osgood is survived by an adopted son, Frank E. Muni, of Nutley, N. J.; a niece, Lydia Wyant, and a nephew, Worth Wyant, living at Pullman, Ill.

After the death of his wife and his retirement from business in 1913, Mr. Osgood lived for eight years at Clinton, N. Y.; during that time he spent several winters at Aiken, S. C. It was there that I met him for the last time, in the winter of 1916‑'17. We spent several afternoons together and greatly enjoyed recalling events of the fifty years since our boxing bout in the camp of 1865.

 p74  Though his military career was short, his affection and admiration for the Academy were great. He said that at West Point he had spent four years that devolved less responsibility upon him than any equal period since. He was a liberal subscriber to the memorial window of his class and also rendered some assistance in getting out the 1920 edition of the Cullum Register.

The last eleven years of Osgood's life were spent in Chittenango, N. Y., in the home of friends. He was feeble and quite inactive for more than a year just prior to his death, but his mental powers and his kindly, obliging disposition seemed unchanged almost to the very end.

His last letter to me, written shortly after last New Year, began, "My ever faithful friend", and referred very briefly to what he thought the future contained for him. In the capacity implied by this designation, I here repeat that I knew Osgood and kept in occasional touch with him for sixty-seven years. I think that his extreme modesty, amounting almost to self-effacement, often deprived him of due appreciation. He was very successful in the profession that he adopted and gained high reputation for untarnished honor and honesty and marked ability with all who required his services.

In compliance with a promise made my friend, I submit this sketch in the full belief that it shows that his name deserves to be included on the list of West Point's sons who have brought credit to their Alma Mater.

Indicates a West Point graduate and gives his Class.S. E. Tillman.

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Page updated: 17 Mar 16