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Wilbur J. Elwell
(1884-1978)

Wilbur J. Elwell was born September 24, 1884 in Danbury, Connecticut, the son of Eda and Daniel Elwell, a house carpenter. Wilbur and his Hungarian-born wife Pauline were married in 1906 and had one son, Kenneth, by 1910, when the census shows Wilbur working as a salesman in a grocery story in Danbury. By the time of the 1920 census, however, Pauline had left Wilbur and moved with Kenneth to Cleveland, Ohio where she was working as a housemaid to a private family. Wilbur was still in Danbury, sharing quarters with his cousin and working as a "floorman" for a garage. By 1930 he had moved back in with his parents in Danbury and was working as a watchman for a garage.

His first ad as a mineral dealer aooears in the first issue of Rocks & Minerals (September 1926). He had apparently been field-collecting intensively in Connecticut, for he was offering "wholesale bargains" on 300 lbs. of topaz from Trumbull, 25 lbs. of lithiophillite from Branchville, 9 lbs. of cyrtolite, and "many nice choice minerals from various localities in western Connecticut." He gave his address as 38 W. Wooster Street in Danbury. He occasionally wrote articles for Rocks & Minerals in 1936-1938. describing some of his many collecting trips. In fact, he states that over the previous 15 years (1922-1937) he had made 445 mineral collecting trips covering 21,415 miles, visisting localities in Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Vermont and New Hampshire.

In 1936 Elwell sold his mineral collection to Rocks & Minerals editor Peter Zodac. Whether he then started a new collection remains unknown. He died in Danbury, Connecticut in October 1978 at the age of 94.

Referenes:
Social Security Death Index
U.S. Federal Census 1900, 1910, 1920, 1930. ELWELL, W.J. (1936) A Mineralogical Trip Through Northern New York. Rocks & Minerals, 11 (2), 20.
ELWELL, W.J. (1937) Some Old Localities in Connecticut. Rocks & Minerals, 12 (9), 270-271.
elwell, W.J. (1938) Some interesting observances. i>Rocks & Minerals, 13 (1), 20.
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[Citation format for this entry:
WILSON, Wendell E. (2017)
Mineralogical Record
Biographical Archive, at www.mineralogicalrecord.com.]
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