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Haas, Dr. Nelson


    Dr. Nelson Haas, the efficient principal of the High School at Hackensack, is a son of Mathias Haas and Melinda Holgate, and was born at Chestnut Hill, city of Philadelphia, August 3d, 1838. His father was of German descent, a business man of strict integrity, who was, for

sixteen years, a member of the Common Council of Philadelphia. His mother was of Welsh origin, the daughter of a prominent and successful business man of the city, and for seventeen years a member of the State Legislature of Pennsylvania.

    Two of Dr. Haas's brothers founded the Hightstown Classical and Scientific Institute and the New Jersey Collegiate Institute at Bordentown, situated on a part of the old Bonaparte property. Mr. Haas began teaching at the age of seventeen, having been educated in the schools of his native city. In 1859 he went to Port Gibson, Mississippi, as teacher of mathematics and physics in the academy at that place, but returned North after two years, when he was appointed Deputy Provost Marshal of the Ninth District of Pennsylvania, under A. W. Bolenius, who was succeeded as Marshal by Thaddeus Stevens, Jr., during Mr. Haas's term of service. In the spring of 1865 he joined Company B, Ninth Union League Regiment, Philadelphia, as First Lieutenant. After a few weeks he was made commissary of the brigade, and remained in the service until the close of the war.

    Upon his return, Mr. Haas began the study of law in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, in the office of General William H. Miller, and was admitted as attorney in 1868. After a few months' practice at Harrisburg he removed to California, and opened a law office at Stockton, where, however, he had remained only a short time, when the death of his father caused his return East.

    In 1871 he was tendered the position of principal of Washington Institute, District No. 32, at Hackensack, N. J., and continued in that place twenty-four years. Upon the organization in 1895 of a High School for the entire town, Dr. Haas was made its principal, and, in 1897, the additional duties of supervising principal of all the schools in the township were assigned him, which two positions he still holds.

James Van Valen, History of Bergen County, New Jersey, 1900