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Marcus D. Pruett
(1908-1987)

Marcus Daly Pruett (no relation to Marcus Daly, famous mining man of Butte, Montana) was born in Whitehall, Jefferson County, Montana on November 11, 1908, the son of Anne E. Bray and Charles Jacob Pruett, a pioneering Montana prospector who discovered the Mayflower mine. He graduated from Whitehall High School in 1928 and enrolled at Montana Tech, while also starting work as a miner at the Elm Orlu mine in Butte. In 1930 he served a stint in the National Guard, and during the Depression he operated a small gold mine south of Whitehall. He returned to Butte in 1936 as a miner, and later was a sampler at the Tramway mine. In 1957 he was promoted to Anaconda's Geological Research Laboratory where he worked until retiring in 1972. The business card/specimen label at right indicates that, for a while at least, he lived in the Leonard Hotel in Butte.

Pruett collected worldwide minerals (Butte minerals in particular), and was a member of the Butte Mineral and Gem Club. In 1961 his mineral collection (crystallized minerals from 13 countries) was awarded the first prize in the Master's Division at the Northwest Federation Show in Walla Walla, Washington. It included silver from Mexico, sphalerite from Hungary, kyanite from Korea, bornite from England, proustite from Chile, dioptase from Africa, dyscrasite from Germany, crocoite from Russia, cinnabar from China, sulfur from Sicily, cassiterite from Bolivia and Azurite from France.

Pruett went on to win other awards for his fine collection. He took first prize at the National Shows in Spokane (1961), Des Moines (1962), San Antonio (1964), and Washington, DC (1967). In 1969, while living temporarily in Tucson, he again won the Master's Division prize for cabinet specimens, at the Tucson Gem and Mineral Show. Although primarily a collector of cabinet specimens, he was also a micromounter, and his micromount collection took third prize at the National Show in 1962.

Marcus Pruett died in Anaconda, Montana in September 5, 1987. The sale of his collection was handled by Oregon mineral dealer Walt Lidstrom.

References:
Social Security Death Index.
Various articles in Montana newspapers.
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[Citation format for this entry:
WILSON, Wendell E. (2017)
Mineralogical Record
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The Mineralogical Record - Marcus D. Pruett Marcus Pruett with his award-winning case of minerals in 1962.
The Mineralogical Record - Marcus D. Pruett Business card used as a specimen label, both sides shown, undated; 77 x 49 mm (Dan Evanich collection)
The Mineralogical Record - Marcus D. Pruett
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