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Wheaton J. Lane

November 13, 1902 – November 29, 1983

HAMPTON — Dr. Wheaton Joshua Lane, 81, author, former instructor of American history at Princeton University and benefactor of Phillips Exeter Academy and the town of Hampton, died Tuesday, at the Medical Center in Princeton N.J.

He was born in Hampton, a descendant of early settler William Lane. He received his early education in Hampton schools, was graduated, in 1921 from Phillips Exeter and from Princeton in 1925. He earned a master’s at Yale in 1926 and a doctorate from Princeton in 1935. After teaching at New York University, Dr. Lane became an instructor in American history at Princeton. He served as a commander in the U.S. Coast Guard from 1941 to 1945. He recently endowed a chair in the music department at Phillips Exeter.

Dr. Lane’s major work was “Commodore Vanderbilt, an Epic of the Steam Age,” a definitive biography of the railroad pioneer. Published in 1942, the book won the Knopf Prize. He also wrote “From Indian Trail to Iron Horse; Travel and Transportation in New Jersey, 1620-1860.” published in 1939. In 1966, he was co-editor with Richard M. Huber of the New Jersey Historical Series commemorating the state’s tercentenary.

Members of the family include a sister, Leonore Lane Paneyko of Princeton, N.J. and two nephews, Stephen H. Paneyko of Princeton and Andrew L.Paneyko of New York City and London.

A service will be held at High Street Cemetery in Hampton Saturday morning. The Rev. Andrew Magnusson of the Hampton Baptist Church will officiate.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations in his name be made to the Lane Memorial Library of Hampton.

Wheaton J. Lane, 81

Retired Historian

Wheaton J. Lane, who taught American History at Princeton University, died Tuesday at Princeton Medical Center. He was 81 years old and a long time resident of Princeton. He maintained homes in Bar Harbor, Maine and his birthplace, Hampton, New Hampshire.

Mr. Lane graduated from Phillips Exeter Academy (N.H.) in 1921 and from Princeton University Phi Beta Kappa in 1925. He received his Masters Degree at Yale University in 1926 and his Ph.D at Princeton in 1935. He taught for several years at New York University and at Princeton University. Among his publications were From Indian Trail to Iron Horse (1939) and Commodore Vanderbilt (1942), for which Mr. Lane was awarded the Alfred A. Knopf Fellowship in Biography. He also co-edited the Tercentenary History Series for the State of New Jersey in 1966.

From 1941-1945 Mr. Lane served as a Commander in the United States Coast Guard. After World War II, he devoted himself to writing and philanthropic pursuits, most recently endowing a Chair at Phillips Exeter Academy. He was also an ardent tennis player.

Mr. Lane’s affiliations included The Links, Grolier Club, American Numismatic Society and Princeton Club of New York, The Nassau Club, Pretty Brook Tennis Club and Bedens Brook Club of Princeton, The Bar Harbor, Pot and Kettle and Harbor Clubs of Maine and The Franklin Inn Society of Philadelphia.

He is survived by his sister, Mrs. Leonore Lane Paneyko, and two nephews, Andrew Lane Paneyko and Stephen Hobbs Paneyko, all of Princeton.

The funeral service will be private in Hampton, New Hampshire, with a Memorial Service to be held at Princeton University Chapel on Saturday, December 10, 1983, at 2:00 P.M. .

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Lane Memorial Public Library in Hampton, New Hampshire.


Memorializing Dr. Wheaton J. Lane

WHEREAS, we have learned with great sorrow of the death of Dr. Wheaton J. Lane of Hampton, and

WHEREAS, having received his early eduction in Hampton schools, Dr. Wheaton J. Lane graduated from Phillips Exeter Academy in 1921 and from Princeton in 1925 and earned his Master’s at Yale in 1926 and a Doctorate from Princeton in 1935, and

WHEREAS, Dr. Wheaton J. Lane remained an avid supporter and provider of quality education throughout his long and distinguished career as a professor at New York University, an instructor in American History at Princeton and as a benefactor of Phillips Exeter Academy, and

WHEREAS, an accomplished author, Dr. Wheaton J. Lane’s most notable contributions included the Knopf Prize award winning biography “Commodore Vanderbilt, an Epic of the Steam Age,” the historical account entitled “Indian Trail to Iron Horse; Travel and Transportation in New Jersey, 1620-1860,” and for his co-authoring of the New Jersey Historical Series commemorating the State’s tercentenary, now therefore be it

DECLARED, by the Speaker of the House, that expressions of our heartfelt sympathy be extended to the members of the Lane family, and be it further

DECLARED, that a suitable copy of this Declaration be prepared for presentation to the Lane family.

/s/ John B. Tucker
Offered by Representatives Kenneth Malcolm and Beverly Hollingworth

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