Westpoint Memorial 1949
Harry H. Stout 1895
Cullum No. 3623 • Apr 13, 1949 • Died in Plainfield, New Jersey
Our dynamic Harry Stout died in his sleep In his hotel suite in Plainfield, New Jersey; apparently taken unawares by death. His faith In tomorrow undaunted, it was to be another day in pursuing his course of continuing a life worth living; and throughout his career he seems never to have recognized defeat. Although late In life he found himself decidedly handicapped physically, he was never so mentally, and his mind proved equal to the occasion under all circumstances.
Born in Arizona. December 8, 1872, the family moved to Pennsylvania when he was but a youngster; and there, some twelve years later, in 1891, he was appointed to the Military Academy. Liberally endowed with intellect and energy, his cadet days were a series of well-balanced activities; free from care in class standing, he could well afford to participate in the various athletics and all else going to the making of a fully-equipped cadet. A corporal and then a sergeant in "B" Company, he was in turn a cadet lieutenant in "D" Company; while in athletic sports he played four years of baseball either second base or shortstop, and four years of football, as quarterback; the Academy records showing that he won letters on both counts–baseball and football.
In our Hundredth Night play, "Under Two Flags", Stout took the part of Harvey Howard, a "cit" and a villain, alias Charles Neville, Aide-de-Camp. Nothing like that would have been complete without Stout; although if my memory is correct and as a matter of interest, he was one of the two of the Class on furlough who wired regrets in waiving the opportunity to accompany the Corps to the World's Fair in Chicago in 1893.
Commissioned a second lieutenant upon graduation, he was assigned to the 6th Cavalry, at Fort Myer. There he married Miss Helen Craig, not only a popular, but a very popular, Cadet girl of our time at West Point, while her father Captain Craig was the senior Cavalry instructor and highly regarded by the Cadets. Quoting from the Washington Morning Times, December 29, 1896, in covering the wedding;
"A brilliant military wedding was celebrated at Fort Myer, Va., yesterday evening, the bride being Miss Helen Craig, only daughter of Captain and Mrs. Louis'A. Craig, and the groom, Lieutenant H. H. Stout, of the Sixth Cavalry, U.S.A. The ceremony was performed at the residence of the bride's parents, in the presence of only the immediate relatives of the young people. The house was beautifully adorned with palms and yellow roses, while the yellow of the cavalry was used entirely as the color scheme throughout the house. The Sixth Cavalry Band furnished the music, playing the wedding march very softly as the bride entered the parlor on the arm of her father. The groom and his best man, Mr. G. B. Grandin, of this city, awaited the coming of the bride with the officiating clergyman. Reverend D. J. Stafford, D.D., of St. Patrick's Church, Washingon.
"There were no bridesmaids, but Louis Craig, Jr., the six-year-old son of the house, held his sister's bouquet during the ceremony, which was performed under the crossed flags of the Sixth Cavalry and the United States government. The bride, who is a graceful and pretty brunette, was born under the same regimental colors in a tent in Arizona, less than twenty years-ago. The wedding gown was of heavy cream white satin, with plain trained skirt and youthful looking bodice of white chiffon, with girdle of white velvet and particularly stylish sleeves. No ornaments were worn, and the veil was fastened by two tulle rosettes. The band played Gounod's ‘Ave Maria' during the ceremony and other appropriate selections throughout the evening. In addition to the two large flags mentioned, the company guidons of the groom and the father of the bride were crossed at the end of the room, and in the hall were crossed sabers, with the cavalry trumpet and regimental colors surmounting them. A reception followed the ceremony, which was attended by all the officers and their families at the post,
and a number of personal friends from this city.
"Among the gueBts were: Mr. J. H. Stout, the father of the groom; Mrs. Malin and Mrs. H. M. Craig, the two grandmothers of the bride; Cadet Malin Craig of West Point, the Secretary of War and Mrs. Lamont, Colonel and MrB. Barry, Major and Mrs. Poole, Miss Poole, Miss Miles, daughter of the General of the Army; Colonel and Mrs. Sumner, Major Lebo, Captain and Mrs. Arthur, Captain and Mrs. Cheever, Major and Mrs. Car-lington. Colonel and Mrs. Weeks, Major and Mrs. Babcock, Captain and Mrs. Kendall, Major and Mrs. Hall, Lieut, and Mrs. Wilcox, Mr. and Mrs. Grandin and Miss Grandin, Lieut, and Mrs. Rhodes and Lieuts. Guignard and Fleming of the Fourth Artillery.
"The gifts were unusually handsome and numerous and included a very large assortment of silver and exquisite cut glass. Mr. and Mrs. Stout were driven to Washington after the reception, from which point they started on a honeymoon trip of two weeks, after which they will reside at Fort Myer"
From Fort Myer, in 1898, Stout went to Cuba, participating in the Santiago Campaign; and returning to the U.S. he was an instructor in mathematics for a short time at the Military Academy and assistant football coach, which tour terminated with his transfer to the Ordnance Department and subsequent change of station to Watertown Arsenal, in January, 1899. A few months later, in June, he was transferred to Benicia Arsenal; and from early in January, 1900, until he resigned from the Army, December 28, 1901, he was Inspector of Powder, California Powder Works, and Santa Cruz, California.
Entering civil life at San Francisco, he was General Manager of the Peyton Chemical Company until December 3, 1907. The next four years he was Consulting Engineer, General Chemical Co., at Bay Point, California. From there he moved to New York, where he was Constructing Engineer of the General Chemical Company for three years. From 1914 to 1917 he was Superintendent of the Nichols Copper Company in New York. For the next four years he was Superintendent of the Copper Queen Smelter of the Phelps Dodge Company at Douglas, Arizona, transferring to New York as Chief Metallurgist with the same company in 1921, and so continuing until 1933. Also In 1930, he Joined the Independent Consultant Engineering Office in New York, remaining with it until he retired from active business in 1936, while making his home at Ardsley-on-Hudson, New York.
The holder of some twenty patents in connection with methods of smelting and refining copper, one of Stout's contributions to industry in this connection is set forth in a paragraph quoted here from the June 1930 number of Mining and Metallurgy:
"In 1918 H. H. Stout, then superintendent of the Copper Queen Smelter, a man experienced in theoretical combustion, came to the conclusion that a reverberatory furnace should be constructed to burn the maximum amount of fuel in such a manner as to give the hottest possible flame that the refractory brick would stand. He therefore remodeled his oil burners so as to produce an Intense hot short flame, raised his arch in the skimming end and enlarged the uptake so as to give approximately 70 sq. ft. area. Dampers were closed until the furnace was up to smelting temperature and were then opened. The practical reverberatory men on the job predicted that slag would never be sufficiently liquid to skim and after smelting for some time it was impossible to skim, as the bath was frozen over at the bay and the operators called for help. Mr. Stout arrived, looked at the furnace and said, ‘I have provided outlet for burning plenty of fuel. Just put on three more oil burners; it is just a matter of burning sufficient fuel.' They got their burners on and in two hours everything was ready for skimming. A new reverberatory doctrine was evolved, namely, build your reverberatory to satisfy the principles of combustion and then dump in your charge. It does not make much difference how it goes in as long as it is uniformly fed at the rate it will smelt. This paved the way for the present tonnages of from 750 to 1,000 tons per furnace day. If one studies the changes in reverberatory construction as I have endeavored to outline them here it will be seen that there was a gradual awakening to open outlet areas so more fuel could be burned. One furnace I have described in 1912 had large outlets, and if they had but put on 2 or 3 more burners at that time they would not have had to reduce their outlet dimensions."
His time with the Phelps Dodge Company, in Douglas, however, was interrupted by his returning to the Army for active duty in World War I. Commissioned a Lieutenant Colonel in the Ordnance Department in 1918, he was Chief Ammunition Officer, 1st Army, at Souilly, in France, from October 28, 1918, to April 4, 1919; and in Washington after that, until he was honorably discharged April 21, 1919. For this service he has an official commendation by General Pershing; and Colonel Joseph S. Herron, a classmate, writes that Stout's mission with the 1st Army "was to gather up, sort, and classify all the artillery shells, gas shells, bombs, grenades, and shrapnel–American, German, British, French, and Belgian–of all calibres, live and duds, above ground or buried, used or new, shipping the good ammunition to the U.S.A. or the appropriate ally, and demolishing all duds and unusable projectiles by blowing them up either In place or in huge piles. The American sectors and areas covered a large part of the country from Chateau Thierry to Belgium, and from near Switzerland to the sea; and great dumps as well as scattered missiles reminded me of the pyramids and the sands of the desert. We have read about the dangerous jobs of the British in removing the fuses from buried duds and moving all the people to a safe distance, but Stout was doing that every day and often many times a day. They had to run for their lives when the explosions took place, if clouds of mustard gas, coming out of the dumps, and a shift in the wind took place, pursued them. The Job had to be done to the satisfaction of the French Government, in accordance with treaty obligations, and It was. No reclaimer, law suits, claims for damages, or criticism came out of the monster undertaking, thanks to Stout. Nor were any of his men Injured but one, who carelessly threw down some duds In violation of orders–a phenomenal record. Stout was one of God's noblemen."
Throughout his busy life, at no time did he lag In Class spirit. He was the Class representative, from the beginning, In the Installation of the Class window, "The Boy Christ in The Temple", in the Cadet Chapel. The window was duly dedicated at the ceremony on June 10. 1917, at West Point. A generous and consistent contributor to the Class fund, he was a, if not the, prime mover in our having a Class memorial tree; supporting the idea with a liberal contribution of funds. The tree, now well advanced in growth, a beautiful pink horsechestnut, planted in 1937, is in the vicinity of the Commandant's quarters, honoring Lieutenant Colonel Morton F. Smith and Colonel Jens Bugge, Jr., Class of 1895, who were Commandants when they died.
In 1940, Stout and Mrs. Stout moved from Ardsley-on-Hudson to Plainfield, New Jersey, making their home in an attractive suite in the Park Hotel; there to be near their son. Harry Howard Stout, Jr., now Colonel, and family–his wife and their two young sons.
At one period of their retirement, they were making seasonable visits to North Carolina, where appreciative friends write of them admiringly and miss them accordingly.
Mrs. Stout died April 9, 1944; and quoting from the New York Times of April 10, in connection with her death:
‘‘Plainfield, N. J., April 9–Mrs. Helen Craig Stout, wife of Colonel Harry H. Stout. U.S.A., retired, and sister of General Malin Craig, formerly Chief of Staff of the United States Army, died here today at her home, the Park Hotel, after a long illness. Her age was 67.
"Mrs. Stout, daughter of Major Louis A. and Georgianna Malin Craig of St. Louis, was born in April, 1877, in an army tent at Fort Huachuca, Arizona, while her father was pursuing Apache Indians. Major Craig was then with one of four troops of the Sixth Cavalry, which had been sent to establish a new army post on the Mexican border.
‘‘The only cradle the daughter ever knew was a hardtack box. Her childhood and youth were passed at Forts Huachuca, Wingate, Lowell and Bayard, all in the heart of the Apache country when Chiefs Natches and Geronimo were on the warpath. While at Fort Bayard she met General John J. Pershing, then a second lieutenant of the Sixth Cavalry, and formed a friendship which lasted until her death.
‘‘A long line of military and naval officers is to be found in Mrs. Stout's family. Her paternal grandfather was General James Craig of the Union Army, later a member of the House of Representatives from Missouri. Her mother's father was Doctor Joseph Malin. a Union Army surgeon. Mrs. Stout's father was graduated from West Point in 1874, her husband in 1895, her older brother, Malin, who was Chief of Staff from 1935 to 1939. in 1898; her younger brother, Louis A. Craig, now major general commanding the Twenty-third Army Corps, in 1913. and her son, Major Harry H. Stout. Jr., in 1922.
"Mrs. Stout was a member of the Colony Club of New York.
"Besides her husband, her son, and two brothers she leaves two grand-children."
Stout's death followed Mrs. Stout's by five years–almost to the day. He was buried with military honors in Arlington National Cemetery, where she and their infant firstborn, Malin. had preceded him. Deeply mourned, they have left a grievous break in our ranks; which nobody failB to realize.
–Frank Bingley Watson, '95.