Carl B. Anderson

1889 to 1983

Carl B. Anderson was born on September 6, 1889, in Nebraska City, Nebraska. He began his education at the University of Nebraska at Lincoln but transferred to the University of Washington, Seattle, where in 1912 he earned B.S. degrees in geology and mining engineering. During the fall of 1912, he entered graduate school at the University of Chicago. While attending graduate school, Carl worked for the Illinois State Geological Survey from 1913 to 1916. Because of economic circumstances, he left the University of Chicago in 1916, having completed all the requirements for a Ph.D. in geology except for a dissertation. He joined the Gypsy Oil Company, a division of the Gulf Oil Corporation, where he did mapping in Oklahoma and New Mexico. For most of his career, Carl worked in the oil industry as a consulting geologist or as a geologist for Gulf Oil. From 1937 until 1951, Carl was Gulf Oil's district geologist in Illinois with an office in Mattoon, Illinois. While in Illinois, Carl was vice president of the Illinois Geological Society from 1938 until 1941 and became its president in 1942.

While employed by the Survey, Carl did fieldwork, collected and analyzed the records and field data, and wrote the manuscript for Illinois State Geological Survey Bulletin 34, The Artesian Waters of Northeastern Illinois. Although all of the work was done by 1916, the report could not be published until 1919 because of the lack of funds. Carl was assisted in the field during the summer of 1914 by H. J. Weiland, Illinois State Water Survey. Analyses of water samples collected for the study were done by Dr. Bartow, Illinois State Water Survey.

In Bulletin 34, Carl recognized the importance of exact information about subsurface geology and discussed the accurate description of drill cuttings as one method for obtaining such information. He described in detail the costs, drilling methods, and specifications for the driller, well construction, and pump installation. Bulletin 34 provides a county by county compendium of the physiography; geology; underground waters; and the static head, chemical characteristics, and local supplies for Boone, Cook, DeKalb, DuPage, Kane, Kankakee, Kendall, Lake, LaSalle, McHenry, Will, and Winnebago Counties. The bulletin also contains extensive tables of mineral analyses of underground water and boiler analyses. Bulletin 34 is still widely used and cited.

Anderson married Clare DeWolf, the younger sister of Frank DeWolf, in 1917. The couple had a daughter, Carolyn, and a son, Dana.

Honored by: 
Thomas Johnson and David R. Larson.
Citation Contributed by: 
David R. Larson.