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Scott, Walter E. (ed.) / Wisconsin Academy review
Vol. 2, No. 1 (Winter 1955)

Hone, Vivien
Frederick T. Thwaites--geologist,   pp. 20-21


Page 20


20                         Wisconsin Academy Review
                FREDERICK T. THWAITES -GEOLOGIST
              A UW Retirement Profile by Vivien Hone,
                     Revised and Abridged
                               For FREDERICK T. THWAITES,
                             the professor "who knows
                             more about Wisconsin geology
                             than any other living man,
                             the July 1 official termina-.
                  .....  ~   tion of academic years is
                             treated as a rude intruder.
                             Though he has taught for 38
                             years, served a long curator-
                             ship of the UW Geology Museum,
                          | acted often as consultant,
                             .for years been in charge of
                             the well-drilling samplings
                             for the State Geological Sur-
                             vey, and, according to his
                             colleagues, "published on
                             virtually everything" includ-
                             ing "the best textbook on
                             glacial geology," there is
                             still much work to be done,
                             Prof. Thwaites makes apparent.
                               Prof. Thwaites began his
                             citizenship in Cenozoic time
Dec. 23, 1883. His birth at Madison, only a stonb's
throw from the UW campus, is the first entry in a life
record strongly identified with the Wisconsin scene.
     This only son of distinguished historian Reuben Gold
Thwaites and Jessie Turville Thwaites took his elementary
and high school instruction in Madison schools; spent his
early summers at the Turville homestead on Lake Monona and
later, for many years, dwelled permanently there. Trips
across the Atlantic were made more than once with his
parents, Prof. Thwaites recalls, but what seems more mem-
oz'able is an 1894 rowboat journey down the Ohio. With his
social historian father, the boy Frederick retraced the
river routes of the early French missionary priests. The
weeks afloat brought major contributions to the senior
Thwaites' monumental 73-volume "Jesuit Relations." For
the son they must have been the cementing of claims which
the out-of-doors had already made upon his devotion.
     When the time came for a university education, the
Turville Point lad enrolled at Wisconsin, his major sub-
Ject engineering, but horizons here seemed "too narrow-
ing" and in the Junior year were abandoned for those of


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