PATTON, LEROY THOMPSON

Kris Ercums

PATTON, LEROY THOMPSON (1880–1957). Leroy Thompson Patton, geologist, was born on December 5, 1880, in Fairpoint, Ohio, the son of Henry and Lauretta (Thompson) Patton. He spent most of his childhood on a farm in Kansas and returned to Ohio at the age of sixteen. After graduating from high school in St. Clairsville, Ohio, he received his B.A. from nearby Muskingum College, his B.S. from the University of Chicago, and his M.S. and Ph.D. from the State University of Iowa. After a number of appointments, including a teaching position at Muskingum College between 1918 and 1922, Patton moved to Texas as assistant geologist for the Bureau of Economic Geology at the University of Texas. After he had served briefly as technical advisor for the State Water Board in 1925 the State Board of Education chose Patton to head the department of geology at the newly formed Texas Technical College in Lubbock, Texas. For the next twenty-three years he supervised the program as it grew from one professor and ninety-one students in 1926 to twelve professors and 842 students by 1949. As administrator and teacher Patton pursued his work in Texas geology, writing extensively in the areas of stratigraphy, geomorphology, and petrology. He was a member of the Texas Planning Board in 1935–36. Soon after his arrival at Texas Tech he met Bertha Eubanks, a home economics teacher, and on August 20, 1927, they were married. They had two sons. Whether it was coaching fencing and boxing or leading summer field trips through mountain trails, Patton enjoyed a close relationship with all his students. He was a devoted Presbyterian and belonged to the Geological Society of America and the American Association of Petroleum Geologists. In 1951 he retired to his ranch near Abernathy to work on a number of textbooks still unpublished upon his untimely death, on June 22, 1957.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: 
G. C. Clark, "Leroy Thompson Patton (1880–1957)," Bulletin of the American Association of Petroleum Geologists 42 (March 1958). Lubbock Avalanche-Journal, June 23, 1957. Who's Who in the South and Southwest, 1950.

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

Handbook of Texas Online, Kris Ercums, "PATTON, LEROY THOMPSON," accessed February 21, 2020, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fpa67.

Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
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