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THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

received during the day, and the inhabitants find it almost unbearable. Many sleep on the house-tops, and many more on the sidewalks in front of the houses, making their morning toilets in the open air. The houses are built of adobe or mud-bricks, with heavy walls and flat roofs, all of them but one story high. Taking everything into consideration, Yuma is not a place to have a summer residence in, however pleasant it may seem to one after a four weeks' journey over the Colorado Desert.

 

PROFESSOR JOHN W. POWELL.

PROFESSOR JOHN W. POWELL, better known as Major Powell, Ph.D., founder and director of the Bureau of Ethnology of the Smithsonian Institution, and present director of the United States Geological Survey, is a pattern of the American self-made man, and well illustrates in his life and achievements what may be accomplished with honest, steady adherence to a definite purpose. He was born at Mount Morris, New York, on the 24th of March, 1834, a short time after the arrival of his parents from England. His father was a Methodist clergyman, and was required to lead a very unsettled life. In his early childhood the family removed to Ohio; eight years afterward, to Wisconsin; and again, when he was fifteen years of age, to Illinois, where young Powell remained most of the time until the breaking out of the war.

It was during this latter period that his mental characteristics were developed. He was eager for knowledge, and used every opportunity to pursue such courses of study as were accessible to him, or appeared to be adapted to his case. He studied for a time at Illinois College, Jacksonville, and subsequently entered Wheaton College. Unable to attend school continuously, he alternated between teaching in the public schools and studying, and in 1854 he went to Oberlin to pursue a special course of two years.

From the first he was strongly attracted to the natural sciences, and particularly toward natural history and geology. He was fond of making collections, which he studied for their own sake. He commenced with botany, to which he has made some valuable contributions. Being much interested in nature, he acquired a roving disposition, and lost no opportunity of making scientific excursions, sometimes extending to long journeys. Having already made journeys on the Mississippi to St. Paul and across the State of Wisconsin to Mackinaw, in 1856 he descended the Mississippi River in a skiff and alone from the Falls of St. Anthony to its mouth, making collections, which he gave to the various museums of the State institutions. The next year he rowed from Pittsburg to the mouth of the Ohio,