The Mineralogical Record
The Mineralogical Record - Join us on Facebook!  The Mineralogical Record - Sign up for our newsletter

Earnest A. Southwick

Earnest Alonzo Southwick was born November 24, 1875 in Riley, Kansas, the son of Annette Fairbanks and Aaron Southwick, a farmer, teacher, writer and printer. He finished school at age 13 and apprenticed himself as a printer's devil. When his six-year apprenticeship ended he moved to Butte, Montana in 1894 where he published newspapers, including The Butte Miner. He married Alice MacDonald in Butte in 1900, and they had two children: Earnest Jr. and Alice. He later lived in Great Falls (becoming President of the Great Falls Typographical Union), Whitefish (where he moved in 1905, publishing the Whitefish Pilot) and Libby, Montana where he moved to in 1909 and served for two years as mayor while editing and publishing the Western News weekly. Southwick was among the first people to operate a linotype machine, and was a prolific writer, publishingitems regularly in eight daily newspapers, five trade magazines and several special publications.

Southwick moved to Portland, Oregon in 1915, where he again published newspapers and became associated with the Columbia Printing Company, which he later took over and renamed the Southwick Press. In 1928 he sold the company and purchased a linotype plant, which he operated until retiring for health reasons in 1938. He died in Portland on July 26, 1939.

For most of his life he was an enthusiastic mineral collector, and built a large an interesting collection. He also contributed a number of articles to Rocks & Minerals in the 1930's. He advertised in Rocks & Minerals beginning in March 1936, offering agate geodes lined with quartz crystals from Antelope, Oregon, and later in 1937 expanding to include quartz crystal clusters, coprolites, various kinds of agates, Arizona onyx and other polishing-grade materials.

SANDERS, H.F. (1913) History of Montana. Chicago, Lewis Publ. Co.
ZODAC, P. (1939) Earnest A. Southwick. Rocks & Minerals, 14 (10), 324.
World War I Draft Registration records
To contribute more information please E-mail us at:

[Citation format for this entry:
WILSON, Wendell E. (2019)
Mineralogical Record
Biographical Archive, at]
Click on thumbnail picture to see larger image.
Number of labels found: 2 | Labels being viewed: 1 to 2

The Mineralogical Record - Earnest A. Southwick Earnest A. Southwick
The Mineralogical Record - Earnest A. Southwick 50 x 63 mm
Contents copyright © 2019 The Mineralogical Record, Inc. All rights reserved.  
Graphic design of this website by Wendell E. Wilson. Website programming by