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Halver Straight

Halver Rufus Straight was born in El Paso, Illinois on August 24, 1884, the son of Ida Mary Tanner and Lee Smith Straight, proprietor of the Straight Brothers Company, a brick and tile works, and also a dealer in lumber and real estate. Halver earned his degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Illinois in 1907 and also attended Grinnell College in Grinnell, Iowa. He then worked for the rest of his career in the ceramics industry, first for the Straight Brothers clay products manufacturing company branch (later the Adel Clay Products Company) in Adel, Iowa. Active as an inventor, he patented 87 different tools and instruments used in clay manufacture, as well as other devices including a mechanical unloader for dumping carloads of grain. He established the Iowa Soya Bean Plant in Redfield, and founded the Straight Engineering Company.

Halver Straight married Ethel Lura Hoge (1885-1969) in Chicago in 1909. Children: Lee Hoge Straight (b. 1911), Dorothy Straight (b. 1915) and Elizabeth Straight (b. 1918).

He probably became interested in mineralogy and mineral collecting as an offshoot of his family's professional involvement in clay mineralogy and ceramics technology. While in college he took every available geology and mineralogy course. He also traveled extensively throughout his life and acquired many superb mineral specimens for his collection, which occupied a 20 x 35-foot room in the basement of his home. He also served a term as President of the Midwest Federation of Mineralogical Societies.

Straight had originally hoped that his mineral collection, along with that of his friend Mark Chance Bandy, would be displayed in a proposed museum addition to the Adel Public Library. When that plan failed, the Halver Straight Collection (numbering over 1,500 minerals and 600 fossils and artifacts) and the Bandy Collection were donated to the Central Iowa Mineral Society. The Society has an agreement with Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa to house and display the two collections on permanent loan in the Harvey Ingham science building. Bandy himself helped identify some of the minerals that were willed to the Society by Straight when he died in Adel on September 28, 1956.

University of Illinois Directory [Urbana-Champaign] (1916).
New Orleans Passenger Lists, 1820-1945 (March 1937).
Newspaper obituaries, Iowa News Service, September 29, 1956.
PETERSON, E. (2007) Personal communication. (Ed Peterson, past president of the Central Iowa Mineral Society and a Drake University graduate, is a retired science supervisor for the Des Moines Public Schools.)
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WILSON, Wendell E. (2019)
Mineralogical Record
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The Mineralogical Record - Halver Straight 43 x 70 mm (CIMS label)
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The Mineralogical Record - Halver Straight 43 x 71 mm (CIMS label)
The Mineralogical Record - Halver Straight 43 x 71 mm (CIMS label)
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