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Elmer B. Rowley

Elmer Beals Rowley was born in Westminster, Vermont on May 17, 1909, the son of Minnie B. Beals and Harry C. Rowley, a house carpenter. Growing up in Westminster and Saxton's River, he was a Golden Gloves championship boxer and long-distance runner. Graduating from High School in 1928, he moved to Glens Falls, New York where he took a job with the Glens Falls Insurance Company; he retired from the company as assistant comptroller 40 years later. He married Marion Carolyn Strong in 1929, and together they had one son (Marion died in 1971).

Although he had collected miscellaneous minerals he found as a child, he began collecting seriously in 1933. By 1939 he had accumulated about 800 specimens, and by the late 1970s that number had grown to over 5,000 specimens, many of them used in teaching his courses. Remarkably, he had no formal training in mineralogy, but managed to teach himself. Ultimately he became one of New York's most respected (amateur) mineralogists, was elected a Fellow of the Mineralogical Society of America, and served as President of the Capitol District Mineral Club. For 13 years he taught adult-education courses in mineralogy, crystallography, gemology and geology at Glens Falls Senior High School in New York, under the auspices of New York University. He also served as a volunteer curator at Union College in Schenectady. He was a long-time, very active field collector who made many important discoveries throughout New York and documented them all carefully. His personal bibliography includes 17 publications, most of them dealing with the Adirondack region, and he also wrote the "Mineralogy" section for several editions of the Scientific Encyclopedia.

Elmer Rowley died November 22, 1992 in Queensbury, New York. He had donated his collection to the New York State Museum in Albany in 1979.

LAPHAM, D. M. (1971) Elmer B. Rowley: teacher, collector and mineralogist. Mineralogical Record, 2, 8, 15-16.
ROBINSON, G. W. (1993) In memoriam: Elmer B. Rowley (1909-1992). Rocks & Minerals, 68 (3), 183.
Social Security Death Index.
Vermont Birth Record, 1909-2008.
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