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William Embry Wrather. From U.S. Geological Survey Circular 1050. Courtesy of the U.S. Geological Survey.

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Wrather, William Embry (20 January 1883–28 November 1963), petroleum geologist and federal administrator, was born at Munford Farm, near Brandenburg, Meade County, Kentucky, the son of Richard Anselm Wrather and Glovy Washington Munford, farmers. He attended local schools before going to Chicago, Illinois, in 1898 to live with an uncle and work in his grocery while attending South Chicago High School. With savings from eighteen months’ employment with the Illinois Steel Company and a first-year scholarship, Wrather began training for the law at the University of Chicago in 1903. There geology professor ...