Appletons' Cyclopædia of American Biography/Nason, Elias

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NASON, Elias, clergyman, b. in Wrentham, Mass., 21 April, 1811; d. m North Billerica, Mass., 17 June, 1887. He taught to obtain means to enter college, was graduated at Brown in 1835, taught in Augusta, Ga., in 1836-'40, edited the “Georgia Courier,” and lectured throughout the state on the flora of the south. Returning to the north, he settled in Newburyport, Mass., edited the “Watchtower,” became master of the Latin-school, and subsequently of the high-school, and in 1852 was ordained pastor of the Congregational church in Natick. He officiated at Needham in 1858-'60, served on the Christian commission during the civil war, writing and lecturing in support of the National government. From 1865 till his death he resided in North Billerica, and constantly supplied adjoining churches. He was a successful lecturer, spoke several languages, was a member of many learned societies, and at one time edited the “New England Historical and Genealogical Register.” He published “Songs for the School-Room” (Boston, 1842); “Chrestomathie Française” (1849); “Memoir of Rev. Nathaniel Howe” (1851); “Thou Shalt Not Steal” (1852); “Strength and Beauty of the Sanctuary” (1854); “Congregational Hymn Book” (1857); “Congregational Hymn and Tune Book” (1858); “Our Obligations to Defend our Country, and Sermons on the War” (1861); “Songs for Social and Public Worship” (1862); “Eulogy on Edward Everett” (1865); “Fountains of Salvation” (1865); “Eulogy on Abraham Lincoln” (1865); “Life of Sir Charles Henry Frankland” (1865); “Gazetteer of Massachusetts” (1872); “Life of Henry Wilson” (1872); “Lives of Moody and Sankey” (1872); and a “History of Middlesex County” (1872). He also left in manuscript a “History of Hopkinton” and a “History of the Nason Family.” — His cousin, Henry Bradford, chemist, b. in Foxborough, Mass., 22 June, 1831; d. in Troy, N. Y., 18 Jan., 1895, was graduated at Amherst in 1855, and then studied chemistry at the University of Göttingen, Germany, where in 1857 he received the degree of Ph. D. for his original investigations on the formation of ethers. On his return to the United States in 1858 he was appointed professor of natural history at the Rensselaer polytechnic institute in Troy, and in the same year he became professor of chemistry and natural sciences in Beloit college, holding both of these appointments until 1866. He then accepted the chair of chemistry and natural science in the Polytechnic institute, which he afterward held. He was appointed juror by the U. S. government at the World's fair in Paris in 1878, and was assigned the department of mineralogy and metallurgy. In 1880 he was called to the place of chemist of the Standard oil company, and afterward devoted much attention to the abatement of nuisances arising from smoke, odors, and other products of refineries, and also to the improvement of methods for treatment of crude oil. Prof. Nason received the degree of M. D. from Union in 1880, and that of LL. D. from Beloit in the same year, and in 1887 was appointed director of Pratt institute, Brooklyn, N. Y. He was a member of the chemical societies of Berlin and New York, and in 1878 he was made a fellow of the London chemical society. His publications include “Table of Reactions for Qualitative Analysis” (Troy, 1865); a translation of Wöhler's “Handbook of Mineral Analysis” (Philadelphia, 1868); “Table for Qualitative Analysis in Colors” (Troy, 1870); an edition of Elderhorst's “Blow-pipe Analysis” (Philadelphia, 1873; revised ed., 1880); and “Biographical Record of Officers and Graduates of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute” (1887).