John Strong Newberry - Encyclopedia

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JOHN STRONG NEWBERRY (1822-1892), American geologist, was born at Windsor, Connecticut, on the 22nd of December 1822, and received a medical education at Cleveland, Ohio, taking the degree of M.D. in 1848. He completed his medical studies in Paris. His attention was early attracted to geology by collecting coal-measure plants from mines that had been opened by his father, and an acquaintance with Professor James Hall established his interest in the science. Hence while in Paris he studied botany under A. T. Brongniart. In 1851 he settled in practice at Cleveland, but in 1855 he was appointed surgeon and geologist to an exploring party in northern California and Oregon, and in 1857 his reports on the geology, botany and zoology were published. Between then and 1861 he was employed on similar work in the region of the Colorado river under Lieutenant J. C. Ives, and his researches were extended over a large area of previously unknown country in Utah, Arizona and New Mexico, the further results being published in 1876. During the Civil War he did important work as a member of the U.S. Sanitary Commission, his organizing capacity being specially marked during the operations in the Mississippi Valley. In 1866 he was appointed professor of geology and palaeontology at the Columbia School of Mines, New York, where he commenced the formation of a magnificent collection of specimens; in 1869 he was made state geologist of Ohio and director of the (second) Geological Survey there, and in 1884 palaeontologist to the U.S. Geological Survey. Four volumes on the geology of Ohio were published while he was director of the survey, his own reports being confined to the surface geology and to the coal-measures and their fossil plants. He devoted much labour to the study of Triassic, Cretaceous and Tertiary plants, and in particular to those of the Laramie stage. He also carried on researches among the Palaeozoic and Triassic fishes of North America. Among his other publications may be mentioned The Origin and Classification of Ore Deposits (1880). His work throughout was characterized by great care and conscientious study, and it was recognized by his inclusion in most of the learned societies of America and the Old World. He received the Murchison medal of the Geological Society of London in 1888, and was president of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (1867), of the New York Academy of Sciences (1867-1891), and of the International Congress of Geologists (1891). He died at New Haven, Conn., on the 7th of December 1892.

Memoir (with portrait) by J. J. Stevenson, American Geologist (July 1893).

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