Neilson Poe (American football)

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Neilson Poe
Neilson Poe.jpg
Mayo's Cut Plug football card of Neilson Poe, issued 1894
Born: October 1, 1876
Baltimore, Maryland
Died: September 22, 1963(1963-09-22) (aged 86)
Princeton, New Jersey
Career information
Position(s) Halfback
College Princeton
Career history
As coach
1919–1963 Princeton (Assistant)
As player
1895–1896 Princeton Tigers
Military career
Allegiance United States United States
Service/branch United States Army seal U.S. Army
Years of service 1917-1918
Rank Lieutenant
Unit 93rd Infantry Division
Battles/wars World War I
Second Battle of the Marne
Awards Distinguished Service Cross
French War Cross

Neilson Poe (October 1, 1876[1] – September 22, 1963)[2] a.k.a. Net Poe was a football player for the Princeton Tigers. He played in the Princeton backfield in 1895 and 1896, and even later returned to coach football at the school. He was also one of the Poe brothers, six siblings who were celebrated football players at Princeton University from 1882 until 1901. Neilson graduated from Princeton in 1897.[3]

During World War I, Neilson served in the United States Army infantry as a lieutenant. In 1917, at the age of 41, he reported for officers training, located in Plattsburg, New York. In 1918, Neilson took part in the Second Battle of the Marne, during which his commanding officer was killed. During the battle he was wounded, but still took command of his fellow soldiers and safely entrenched them for 24 hours. He suffered a bullet wound to the stomach and several shrapnel wounds. He spent the rest of the war hospitalized and was later awarded the French War Cross and the Distinguished Service Cross.[4]

After the war, he returned to Princeton to serve as an assistant coach from 1919 until his death in 1963. He resided during those years in the Nassau Inn, room 24.[5]


  1. ^ "Princeton's Famed Net Poe Dies; Coached Wesleyan to Championship". The Hartford Courant. September 23, 1963. 
  2. ^ "Ex-Princeton Football Star Neilson Poe Dies At Age 87". September 23, 1963. 
  3. ^ "The Poe Brothers"
  4. ^ "Four Poes Fight Overseas; Princeton Football Family Busy Subduing the Hun" (PDF). New York Times. October 13, 1918. Retrieved 2010-10-21. 
  5. ^ Baltzell & Howard G. Schneiderman, Edward Digby (1994). Judgment and sensibility: religion and stratification. Transaction Publishers. ISBN 1560000481.