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William C. Casperson

William Clement Casperson was born in Greenwich Township, New Jersey on January 2, 1879, the son of Hannah Shuster and Jesse Mullen Casperson, a farmer. He married Marian Eliza Brown in 1902, and they had four children: Alice (1902/3), Jesse (1904/5), Clement (1905/6), and Elwood (1909). William was a Methodist minister in Hanover Township, New Jersey in 1910, and was employed as a real estate dealer in 1917-1920.

At least as early as the 1930s William had developed an interest in mineralogy, especially fluorescence. He advertised as the "New Jersey Mineral Exchange" in the April 1935 issue of Rocks & Minerals, offering minerals from New Jersey and Pitcher, Oklahoma, and also "fluorescent collections, large and small." The following month he added minerals from Joplin, Missouri and "a large stock of the finest zeolites that ever came out of the Paterson Disatrict." His Tri-State connection was the well-known Boodle Lane; Casperson billed himself as the "Eastern Headquarters for Boodle's Specimens." In 1936 he published an article in Rocks & Minerals: "A homemade fluorescent lamp").

In November and December of 1938 Casperson advertised what sounded like a close-out sale: "Prices reduced on entire stock of minerals, consisting of approximately 4,000 New Jersey—1,000 from other localities—500 fluorescent specimens." That was his last ad. He then took a position as (voluntary?) curator of the Paterson Museum mineral collection.

On Jan. 18, 1945 a meeting was held at the Paterson Museum to establish a new mineral society in New Jersey. Casperson acted as chairman; at a subsequent meeting on May 10th, The North Jersey Mineral Society was formed and William C. Casperson was elected President. (On Jan 9, 1947, the name of the organization was changed to the North Jersey Mineralogical Society.)

Casperson published another article in Rocks & Minerals in 1948 ("Heavy gravity minerals in the sands of Florida") and 1956 ("Heulandite and stilbite from Franklin, New Jersey"). He published Minerals of New Jersey (1952), while curator, and later published Fluorescence and Allied Radiation (1968), Exposition Press, New York, 81 p. (previously published as Fluorescence, What It Is). He was still curator as of 1953, but by 1957 he had retired.

William and his wife moved to Florida to live out their last years, and opened a mineral shop called "Casperson's." Labels indicate that the shop was in Micco, Florida, and they sold minerals and shells. They lived in the town of Sebastian near Vero Beach, Brevard County, Florida; he died there on April 5, 1970. His wife Marian lived for another 10 years, passing away in Brevard County in 1980.

US Federal Census 1880, 1900, 1910, 1920.
World War I Draft Cards, 1917-1918.
Social Security Death Index.
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[Citation format for this entry:
WILSON, Wendell E. (2019)
Mineralogical Record
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The Mineralogical Record - William C. Casperson William Casperson's first ad in the April 1935 issue of Rocks & Minerals.
The Mineralogical Record - William C. Casperson 45 x 51 mm,
Florida address, >1953.
The Mineralogical Record - William C. Casperson 50 x 63 mm,
Florida address, >1953.
The Mineralogical Record - William C. Casperson 56 x 48 mm,
Florida address, >1953.
The Mineralogical Record - William C. Casperson 41 x 63 mm,
Florida address, >1953.
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