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J. M. Boutwell papers on the Boy Scouts of America, approximately 1902-1953

 Series — Multiple Containers
Identifier: MSS 1647 Series 6

Scope and Contents

Contains papers relating to the involvement of J. M. Boutwell in the Boy Scouts of America, especially in Utah. Includes correspondence, newspaper clippings, participation charts, game and song sheets, membership cards, leadership training and tips, bulletins and other Boy Scout serials, administrative details (meeting/committee/conference details, programs, statistics and reports), events, and miscellaneous items, including a manuscript of the Okla Itanaha tribe brave initiation ritual. ca. 1902-1953


  • approximately 1902-1953


Conditions Governing Access

Open for public research.

Conditions Governing Use

It is the responsibility of the researcher to obtain any necessary copyright clearances. Permission to publish material from J. M. Boutwell papers must be obtained from the Supervisor of Reference Services and/or the L. Tom Perry Special Collections Board of Curators.

Biographical History

From the Collection:

J. M. Boutwell (1874-1968) was a geologist mainly in Utah, Arizona, Mexico, and Peru. He worked for the USGS for some time and consulted with many mining companies. He was also involved in community organizations such as the Boy Scouts of America and the Mayflower Society of Descendants.

John Mason Boutwell was born in St. Louis, Missouri, May 1, 1874, to Henry Thatcher, physician, and Helen Grace Willis Boutwell. Boutwell completed his preliminary education at Phillips Academy, attended Amherst College 1893-1894, and graduated with his A.B. in 1987, S.B. in 1898, and S.M. in 1899 from Harvard University. Meanwhile, from 1896 to 1900 he served as an assistant in physiography in the geology department at Harvard.

Boutwell joined the U.S. Geological Survey in 1900, and served as assistant geologist until 1904 and geologist until 1908. From then until his retirement in 1945, he practiced privately as a consulting mining geologist. He was also active in the field of financial investments, particularly in mining properties. He invested his own funds and advised others as well. Among the companies with whom he worked between 1908 and 1945, he was most actively involved with (served as geologist in charge for) Phelps, Dodge, and Company in Arizona and Mexico, 1908-1915, Green Cananea Copper Company in Mexico, 1908-1910, Cerro de Pasco Corporation in Peru, 1916-1919, and Silver King Coalition Mines Corporation in Utah, 1930-42. During the next two years (World War II), he was a consultant to the Metals Reserve Company of the Reconstruction Finance Corporation. Additionally, in 1933, he was in charge of the International Geological Congress visit to Utah, compiling and editing the guidebook for the state, arranging and conduction the field trips, and conducting evening discussion meetings.

Boutwell’s field covered geologic occurrences and origin of ore deposits and the influence of geologic structure and igneous masses on ore deposition. He was author of articles for technical journals and bulletins and of unpublished private reports for mine owners. Two of his outstanding publications were the U.S. Geological survey professional papers entitled “Economic Geology of the Bingham District,” 1905, and Geology and Ore Deposits of the Park City District,” 1912.

In civic affairs, Boutwell was active in the work of the Boy Scouts of America, serving at different times as a member of the National Council and of the executive committee of the Salt Lake Council. He was a fellow of the Geological Society of Americas the Washington (D.C.) Academy of Sciences, a charter member of the Society of Economic Geologists (president 1944-45) and the Mining and Metallurgical Society of America, and a member of the American Institute of Mining, Metallurgical and Petroleum Engineers, Seismological Society of America, American Association for the Advancement of Science, Washington Geological Society, Sons of the American Revolution, and Masonic order, Delta Upsilon, the Harvard clubs of Boston and New York City, and the Alta Club of Salt Lake City. He was a founder of the Utah chapter of the Society of Mayflower Descendants.

His religious affiliation was with the Unitarian church. In politics he was a Republican. Motoring, mountain climbing, and playing golf were his chief recreations, and in connection with the last-named he was one of the original members of the Fort Douglas Club of Salt Lake City. He was married twice; (1) in Lawrenceville, N.J., January 22, 1910, to Esther Miner, terminated by divorce in 1916; (2) in Pleasanton, California, September 28, 1922, to Ruth, daughter of local vineyardist Charles Louis Crellin. By his first wife he had one daughter, Jean Miner Boutwell, who married Joseph Barnett Paul. John M. Boutwell died in Salt Lake City, Utah, on March 2, 1968.


2 cartons

1 oversize folder

Language of Materials