Delos D. Neer, Architect [1847-1917]
Delos D. Neer [†] was born in Charlottsville, (Schoharie County) New York in 1847. During the Civil War he served in the Union Army and participated in several battles, including the campaign of the Shenandoah Valley under the command of Phil Sheridan. Following the war he became an apprentice builder and earned journeyman carpenter status in 1868. He married in 1869 but his wife, Alfrelia, died in 1873 following the infant death of their two children. Neer moved to San Francisco in 1875, where he practiced his trade. From California he journeyed to Portland in 1879 and began a serious study of architecture. The following year he opened an architectural office in East Portland which proved to be successful. Besides the Benton County Courthouse, he designed several other county courthouses in Oregon including the Washington, Clackamas, and Lake County courthouses, and the Snohomish County courthouse in Snohomish, Washington. He was the architect of the Barr Block, one of Portland's early imposing business blocks. Neer designed many other buildings in Oregon and was active until his death in 1917.
† David W. Powers, III and Paul B. Hartwig, Park Historian, Oregon State Historic Preservation Office, Benton County Countyhouse, Corvallis, OR, nomination document, 1974/1979, National Park Service, National Register of Historic Places, Washington, D.C.