gdwit Cheodore ZDuAbe
JAMES R. UNDERWOOD, JR.
E DWIN THEODORE DUMBLE WAS NOT TRAINED ACADEMICALLY
as a geologist, yet his many outstanding contributions to
the profession made him widely accepted as a geologist
of the first rank. In his years as a man of science he formulated
and directed the third Texas Geological Survey (the Dumble
Survey), which was responsible for making known in consider-
able detail the geology of an area equal to one-twelfth of the area
of the United States at that time; he organized the first geological
department devoted to petroleum exploration; he was the first to
apply micropaleontology in the search for sub-surface structures;
and he published some seventy scientific papers during the thirty-
seven years in which he was active in his study of the earth. His
greatest contribution, however, may well have been the inspira-
tion and assistance which he provided for the younger men
under his direction. Certainly much of the professional stature
later acquired by the young geologists of the Texas Geological
Survey and of the Southern Pacific Railway Company's petro-
leum producing subsidiaries can be attributed to the thorough
and inspirational guidance of Dumble.
Dumble was born in Madison, Indiana, on March 28, 1852, the
first child of James Frederic and Mary Augusta Wherry Dumble.
Three months after the birth of E. T. Dumble, they travelled
by riverboat down the Ohio and Mississippi rivers and settled in
Galveston, Texas.1 His parents subsequently had four more chil-
dren: Alice (1855-1932), Eva (1859-1943), Minnie Maria (186o-
1942), and Frederic William (1862-1914).
Dumble's early interests were those typical of a boy fascinated
by nature: minerals and insects, especially butterflies, of which he
accumulated large collections. His initial education was acquired
iNorman Dumble, Sr., to J. R. U., signed statement, 1960 (MS. in possession of
Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 68, July 1964 - April, 1965. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101198/. Accessed July 6, 2015.