Mendenhall, Walter Curran
- Clifford M. Nelson
Mendenhall, Walter Curran (20 February 1871–02 June 1957), geologist and federal administrator, was born in Marlboro, Stark County, Ohio, the son of William King Mendenhall, a farmer, and Emma Pierce Garrigues, a schoolteacher; both parents were Quakers. Mendenhall lived with his maternal uncle’s family while attending high school in Portland, Oregon. Returning to Ohio, Mendenhall taught at a local school and then entered Ohio Normal (now Ohio Northern) University in Ada. While an undergraduate, he spent his summer months as a teamster-laborer (1892) and a geologic assistant (1894) with a U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) field party led by geologist Marius R. Campbell, a family friend and neighbor. After completing a B.Sc. degree in 1895, Mendenhall rejoined Campbell’s team to continue areal mapping and detailed studies of Appalachian coal fields. From 1895 to 1898 Mendenhall, promoted to assistant geologist in 1896, aided Campbell and his other geologists in mapping parts of Kentucky, Tennessee, and West Virginia for the folio ...