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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 49.djvu/573

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SKETCH OF WILLIAM WILLIAMS MATHER.

When he had been one year at West Point as assistant professor, Lieutenant Mather married his cousin, Miss Emily Maria Baker. By this marriage he had three sons and three daughters.

After leaving the army Mr. Mather was for a short time Professor of Chemistry, Mineralogy, and Geology in the University of Louisiana, but before the close of 1836 Governor Marcy, of New York, appointed him, together with Ebenezer Emmons, T. A. Conrad, and Lardner Vanuxem, to make a geological survey of that State. Each of these principal geologists was assigned to one of four districts, into which the State was divided for the purpose. Mather had the first district, which comprised Washington, Saratoga, Schenectady, Schoharie, and Delaware Counties, and all that part of the State to the southeast of them. What this survey accomplished has been told by Dr. James Hall, in the Popular Science Monthly for April, 1883. The work of the survey lasted about seven years. During this time Prof. Mather made five periodical reports and a final report. This last forms a quarto volume of six hundred and fifty-three pages, with forty-six colored plates, being one of the set of volumes embodying the results of the survey and published by the State.

In 1837 a State Geological Survey of Ohio was projected and Prof. Mather was made chief geologist. This ill-fated project was killed after an existence of little more than two years by a spasm of economy which attacked the Ohio Legislature of 1839. Two annual reports had been presented, and were printed as State documents, and a report on the collections was made afterward, but there was no final report, and no provision was made for preserving papers, field-notes, and maps. A geological reconnaissance of Kentucky, authorized by the Legislature of that State, was made by Prof. Mather in 1838-'39, his report being issued as a State document. Both his appointment in Ohio and that in Kentucky had been accepted with the condition that they should not prevent the completion of his work in New York.

Colonel Charles Whittlesey has stated, in an article on the Personnel of the First Geological Survey of Ohio, that after the suspension of the Ohio survey, Mather bought a tract of several hundred acres, including the Pigeon Roost, north of the courthouse in Jackson County, and became a citizen of Ohio. He cleared a part of this land for a farm and built him a comfortable house on it. Afterward he and Prof. James Hall entered a large tract of Government land in the southern part of the same county, on which they erected an iron furnace.

When Mr. Mather settled in Jackson County, in 1841, it was impossible to obtain sperm oil there for domestic lighting. The only recourse of the family was to mold tallow candles, which was very unsatisfactory. In the following winter Mr. Mather