James B. Cone
James Brewster Cone was born in Hartford, Connecticut on January 6, 1836, the son of Rebecca Daggett Brewster (1814-1890) and William Russell Cone (1810-1890), an attorney. He married Elizabeth Uhlhorn in 1863, and had two sons (Casper and Willian), but was not survived by either of them. James B. Cone received his early schooling at Dudley's School, Northampton, Massachusetts, and graduated from Yale in 1857 with BA and with an MA Degree in 1860 (his dissertation was entitled "Misdirected Efforts"). He completed his education in France, where he studied art. He served as a Trustee of several large and wealthy institutions in Hartford, and was Director of the Aetna National Bank and the Hartford Carpet Company. In 1900 his college fraternity listed him as a "Manufacturer" in their list of alumni.
The two James B. Cone labels we have in the collection appear to be George L. English labels cut off on the bottom, and replaced there by a new lower half reading "From the James B. Cone Collection, gift of William R. C. Corson, 1918." James B. Cone died in Hartford on March 20, 1918, and bequeathed his mineral collection to his sister Henriette's son, William R. C. Corson (1870-1945).
William Russell Cone Corson was born in the Flatbush area of New York City on February 18, 1870, the son of Henriette Hequembourg Cone (the daughter of bank president William Russell Cone) and Dr. Adam Clarke Corson (1839-1873), a physician. He attended Hartford Public High School, then graduated from Yale with a BA Degree in 1891. He worked for the Eddy Electric Manufacturing Company and various insurance companies in Hartford, Connecticut, eventually becoming President of the Hartford Steam Boiler and Inspection Company. He served in various public posts as well, including the Board of Water Commissioners, the Hartford Sewage Disposal Commission, and was a Trustee for the American School for the Deaf, the Wadsworth Athenaeum, and the Watkinson Library. He married Marion Fay Lyles of Brooklyn in 1891, and they had two daughters, Dorothy Lyles Corson, who married John M. Ellis, and Mildred Cone Corson. He died October 2, 1945, in Hartford.
Corson inherited the mineral collection of his uncle, James B. Cone (1836-1918), in 1918, along with the rest of his uncle's estate, and donated it to The Wadsworth Antheneaum. (Whether he collected minerals personally, or just passed on the collection, is unknown.)
The Wadsworth Atheneaum collection was eventually passed on to the Loomis Chaffee School in Windsor, Connecticut, where it was merged with other collections that had been obtained from notable Hartford-area collectors. Over the years, many mineral dealers including Ron Bentley, Phil Scalisi, David Crawford and Bill Metropolis, made exchanges with the school. In 2009 the school approached New York mineral dealer John Betts to handle the sale of the collection, consisting of about 5,000 specimens, mostly cabinet-size. Betts orchestrated the purchase of most of the collection by Richard Hauck on behalf of the Sterling Hill Mining Museum in Ogdensburg, New Jersey, and was then allowed by Hauck to purchase about 20 flats of specimens for himself (he later resold all but four of these through his website). A significant fraction of the collection was ultimately acquired by a notable New Jersey collector.
John Betts (2010) Personal communication.
CHAMBERLAIN, J. L. (1900) Universities and Their Sons. Vol. 4; Herndon Co., Boston.
CONE, W. W. (1903) Some Account of the Cone Family in America. Crane & Co., Topeka.
WATERMAN, E. F. (1940) Annual Report of the Connecticut Historical Society.
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[Citation format for this entry:
WILSON, Wendell E. (2019)
Biographical Archive, at www.mineralogicalrecord.com.]
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