sidebar menu icon


EARGLE, DOLAN HOYE (1905–1973). Dolan Hoye Eargle, stratigrapher and economic geologist, was born in Richland County, South Carolina, on December 8, 1905. He attended high school in Columbia, South Carolina, and in 1921 enrolled at the University of South Carolina. In 1926 he graduated with degrees in geology, music, and Greek. After spending one year each in South Carolina, Cincinnati, and Cornell studying in graduate school, he stopped his studies because of the Great Depression. Eargle took his first job in 1929 at Pittsburgh Gas and Electric Company in New York state, where he worked in reconnaissance geology. In 1930 he married a woman named Mayre, with whom he had two sons. He was employed as a micropaleontologist in Tulsa at the Skelly Oil Company until 1931. Afterwards he served as a teacher and superintendent in rural public schools in South Carolina for three years. In 1934 he accepted a temporary position with the United States Geological Survey and in 1935 worked for the Soil Conservation Service. In 1942 he accepted a full-time position with the United States Geographic Survey.

By this time he had returned to graduate school and in 1946 received his M.S. from the University of South Carolina. Subsequently he traveled throughout the country for the USGS, mapping out Cretaceous sections of various states and working on the Cross-Florida Barge Canal project. In 1954 Eargle began exploring the surface uranium deposits of South Texas. He and Alice Weeks worked out a description of the circumstances that brought about the radioactive minerals, and their work made it possible to locate hydrocarbon accumulations. Eargle's mapping of the Tatum salt dome in Lamar County, Mississippi, for the Atomic Energy Commission helped to ascertain how safe the area was by determining its explosive potential; it also helped the AEC to prevent the leakage of radioactive gas. Eargle belonged to the American Association of Petroleum Geologists and the Geological Society of America. He was an avid student of classical music and often played the piano at services sponsored by his church for inmates of Austin State Hospital. He died on March 11, 1973, in Austin from complications following surgery.

Jules Braunstein, "D. Hoye Eargle (1905–1973)," Bulletin of the American Association of Petroleum Geologists 58 (March 1974).
Kris Ercums

Image Use Disclaimer

All copyrighted materials included within the Handbook of Texas Online are in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107 related to Copyright and “Fair Use” for Non-Profit educational institutions, which permits the Texas State Historical Association (TSHA), to utilize copyrighted materials to further scholarship, education, and inform the public. The TSHA makes every effort to conform to the principles of fair use and to comply with copyright law.

For more information go to:

If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond fair use, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.


The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.

Handbook of Texas Online, Kris Ercums, "Eargle, Dolan Hoye," accessed November 22, 2017,

Uploaded on June 12, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.