Mining in Arizona Territory
Published:January 01, 1952
The year 1895 marked a climax in the Penrose career. In January he reached the peak of his academic life, when a letter from William R. Harper, president of the University of Chicago, notified him that he had been promoted to a full professorship in economic geology in that institution. In December, the partners, Penrose and Barringer, together with John M. Brock-man began mining operations at what later became Pearce, Arizona, and Penrose was elected president of the company, known as the Common-Wealth Mining and Milling Company, which mined gold and silver in Cochise County, some 25 miles from the old town of Tombstone.Barringer had known Brockman as far back as the fall of 1891, and perhaps even earlier. In a report which Barringer made for Henry C. Butcher, of Philadelphia, dated September 18, 1891, he says, “As prearranged, I met Mr. R. L. Heflin at Deming, and with him went to Silver City, eight or nine miles south east of which the mine is situated. In company with Mr. Heflin and Mr. John Brockman, I spent three days upon the property and in the immediate neighborhood of the same.” He speaks of the exploratory work having been done by Heflin and Brockman, and in conclusion recommends the purchase of the property. This may, or may not, have been Barringer’s introduction to Brockman. In any event, Penrose was in Silver City in March and April of the following year and undoubtedly saw Brockman at that time, if not before.
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.