American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Daniel Underhill, 1874-1951

  • In Memoriam
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 1952

DANIEL UNDERHILL

1874-1951

Daniel Underhill died suddenly on 1 July 1951 at Jericho, L. I., in the house where he was born 77 years ago. He was a direct descendant of Capt. John Underhill (fl. 1630) and Halen Kreuger. He was a graduate of Friends Academy, Locust Valley, L. I., of Swarthmore College, and of New York Law School. He received his law degree in 1896 and was admitted to the bar in the same year, soon becoming a member of the staff of the District Attorney of Queens County. A few years later he became a partner in the law firm of Davison and Underhill, practising in Brooklyn. After 1930 the firm became Underhill and Foster.

Mr. Underhill was chairman of the board of directors of the Bank of Hicksville, trustee and counsel of the Roslyn Savings Bank, former trustee of the Nassau County Trust Company and of the Glen Cove Trust Company. He was a former vice-president of the Nassau County Bar Association and a member of the board of managers of Swarthmore College. He was a member of the Religious Society of Friends.

He joined the American Alpine Club in 1922, assisting with various legal procedures in connection with its activities and attending many of its meetings. He was a member of the Alpine Club of Canada (1921), the Alpine Club (1930), the Swiss Alpine Club, the Appalachian Mountain Club and the Fresh Air Club. His climbing career began in 1920, and for several seasons he was active in the Canadian Rockies and Selkirks. In 1922 he visited the Alps, climbing in various districts between the Graians and the Dolomites. From 1925 on he went to the Alps annually, ascending a large number of the classical peaks, among them Grand Paradis, Matterhorn (twice—once by Zmutt and Italian ridges), Zinal Rothhorn (twice), Finsteraarhorn, Schreckhorn, Monte Rosa, Lyskamm (traverse), Dom-Täschhorn (traverse), Weisshorn, Aiguille du Midi, Aiguille du Géant, Mont Blanc, Dent Blanche; high-level route, Fionnay to Zermatt. This is but part of a larger record. Underhill was a strong, conservative climber of winning personality. He went with the writer to Tyrol in 1929 and climbed the higher peaks of Stubai and Oetzthal. Later, with Alfred Streich, he was on the Wetter horn and traversed the Aletschhorn. This was his last season. In 1938 he married Bertha Coer, who survives him.

J. Monroe Thorington

[Daniel Underhill served as Secretary of the Club, 1929-31, and as Vice-President, 1932-34. In the words of one of the tributes to him, “he was a man of sterling character and remarkable judgment —wise, modest, tolerant and kind of heart…and his memory will be cherished.”—Ed.]

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