Usher, Nathaniel Reilly was born on April 7, 1855 in Vincennes, Indiana, United States. Son of Nathaniel and Pamela (Woolverton) Usher.
Graduated from the United States Naval Academy, 1875.
Ensign, July 18, 1876. Promoted through grades to rear admiral, September 14, 1911. Commanded Ericsson during Spanish-American War.
With General Board, Navy Department, 1903-1904. Bureau of Navigation, 1904-1906. Commanded St. Louis, 1906-1908.
Assistant to bureau of Navigation, 1908-1909. Commanded Michigan, 1910-1911. President Naval Examining and Retiring Boards, Washington, 1911-1912.
Commanded 4th division, Atlantic Fleet, 1912, 2d division, 1912-1913, 3d division, 1913. Commandant Navy Yard, Norfolk, Virginia, 1913-1914, Navy Yard, New York, 1914-1918. Appointed commandant 3d Naval District, 1914.