Thomas Condon at age 80
Ballynafauna, near Fermoy, Ireland
a farm near Eugene, Oregon
|Cause of death||influenza|
|Resting place||Eugene Masonic Cemetery|
|Alma mater||Auburn Theological Seminary|
|Occupation||teacher, minister, geologist|
|Parent(s)||John and Mary Roche Condon|
Life and career
Condon arrived in New York from Ireland in 1833 and graduated from theological seminary in 1852, after which he traveled to Oregon by ship. As a minister at The Dalles, he became interested in the fossils he found in the area. He found fossil seashells on the Crooked River and fossil camels and other animals along the John Day River. Many of his discoveries were in the present-day John Day Fossil Beds National Monument. He corresponded with noted scientists, including Spencer Baird of the Smithsonian, Edward Cope of the Academy of Natural Sciences, Joseph Leidy, O.C. Marsh, and John C. Merriam, and provided specimens to major museums.
Condon was appointed the first State Geologist for Oregon in 1872. He resigned that post to become first professor of geology at the University of Oregon. Previously he was a teacher at Pacific University in Forest Grove.
In The Two Islands and What Came of Them, a geology book published in 1902, Condon wrote about two widely separated regions of Oregon that contain its oldest rocks, the Klamath Mountains of the southwest and the Blue Mountains of the northeast. The book attempted to summarize what was then known about the state's geology and to draw conclusions about its geologic past.
Condon Hall at the University of Oregon, which originally housed the geology department, was named for Condon, as were the Thomas Condon Paleontology Center at the Sheep Rock unit of the John Day Fossil Beds National Monument, near Dayville, Oregon, temporary Lake Condon, formed periodically by the Missoula Floods, and the Condon Fossil Collection of the University of Oregon Museum of Natural and Cultural History, which was founded by Condon in 1876. He is the namesake of Condon Butte in Lane County. Condon, Oregon, was named for a nephew of Condon.
- Clark, p. 2
- Clark, p. 437
- "Burials at Eugene Masonic Cemetery through 2010" (PDF). Eugene Masonic Cemetery. Retrieved June 28, 2011.
- Clark, p. 75
- Clark, pp. 190 and 238
- Cogswell, Philip Jr. (1977). Capitol Names: Individuals Woven Into Oregon's History. Portland, Oregon: Oregon Historical Society. p. 103.
- Orr, Elizabeth L.; Orr, William N. (1999). Geology of Oregon (5th ed.). Dubuque, Iowa: Kendall/Hunt Publishing Company. p. 13. ISBN 0-7872-6608-6.
- "Administrative Overview" (PDF). Oregon Department of Geology and Mineral Industries. July 1996. Retrieved February 18, 2012.
- Bates, Henry L. (March 1920). "Pacific University". The Quarterly of the Oregon Historical Society (Portland, Oregon: Oregon Historical Society) 21 (1): 1–12.
- Bishop, Ellen Morris (2003). In Search of Ancient Oregon. Portland, Oregon: Timber Press. p. 15. ISBN 978-0-88192-789-4.
- Teague, Ed (June 1, 2004). "Condon Hall". University of Oregon. Retrieved June 15, 2011.
- "Condon Fossil Collection". University of Oregon. Retrieved June 15, 2011.
- "Indians, Surveyors, Incidents Gave Names to Streams, Lakes and Mountains". Eugene Register-Guard. 4 January 1942. p. 5. Retrieved 23 April 2015.
- McArthur, Lewis A.; McArthur, Lewis L. (2003) [First published 1928]. Oregon Geographic Names (7th ed.). Portland, Oregon: Oregon Historical Society Press. p. 224. ISBN 9780875952772. OCLC 53075956.
- Clark, Robert D. The Odyssey of Thomas Condon (1989). Portland, Oregon: The Oregon Historical Society Press. ISBN 0-87595-200-3.
- Sheldon, Henry D. (1940). History of University of Oregon. Portland, Oregon: Binfords & Mort. OCLC 6382301.
- Notable Oregonians: Thomas Condon from the Oregon Blue Book
- Thomas Condon profile from the Oregon Cultural Heritage Commission
- Thomas Condon biography from the National Park Service