Cripple Creek and Other Ventures
Published:January 01, 1952
During the next twelve years (1891-1903) this Harvard graduate, before he was forty, made the fortune which he kept and augmented during the remainder of his life. Leaving the Arkansas Survey in the summer of 1891, he made a trip to Montana with his brothers, who loved to “rough it” in the wilds. After journeying through Yellowstone Park with them, he continued his professional labors with observation trips to Butte, Phillipsburg, Cooke City, Leadville, and other western mining regions, for the avowed purpose of studying ore deposits.For five years he had lived and worked under all manner of conditions, with all kinds of men, and had been able to look at his profession from many different angles. As a result, he had made up his mind that ore deposits were his metier, and to the study of ore deposits he devoted the remainder of his life. During those long trips by boat in Texas and on horseback in Arkansas, he had been enabled, not only to do an excellent piece of work for his “employers,” but he had had that blessed opportunity for thinking things out that only solitude in the open can bring to all true lovers of nature. Among his associates in Philadelphia was a young man named Daniel Moreau Barringer, who had also acted as Penrose’s assistant on the Arkansas Survey. Barringer was three years older than Dick Penrose, having been born in Raleigh, North Carolina, May 25, 1860.
Figures & Tables
Life and Letters of R. A. F. Penrose, Jr.
When, in the summer of 1931, Richard Alexander Fullerton Penrose Jr., died in Philadelphia, he left his personally acquired fortune, amounting to approximately ten million dollars, to be divided equally between The Geological Society of America and the American Philosophical Society. As a memorial to its benefactor and as a picture of a period in the history of American geological science, this volume has been prepared by The Geological Society of America. Beginning with notebooks, diaries, and letters in the possession of the Society, and adding thereunto material slowly accumulated from his family, his friends, his associates, and acquaintances, the story of his life has been pieced together. For members of Penrose’s profession, the geologists, this account of his life should have particular interest, for it presents a picture of a period which is gone forever, a picture of conditions under which the early investigators in geology and the mineral industry labored and brought forth the principles and methods of later days, methods more scientific, perhaps, but, nevertheless, methods founded upon the efforts of those pioneers. If one is inclined to smile at the picture of the young man of the 1880’s sitting on a bluff above a Texas river, confronted with the problem of making a survey without knowing how to go about it, let him ask himself what he would have done, similarly unequipped and in hitherto unknown territory. Let the geologist of today, with his carefully prepared field equipment, ask himself just how well he would like to look forward to “living off the country”, as Penrose did in the early days in Arkansas. It speaks volumes for the stamina of any man to be able to confront uncomfortable conditions with the nonchalance which Penrose displayed. And how much more to his credit this is, when a man is endowed by birth, position, and economic security so that he need never have left the comforts of urban living in Philadelphia.