Charles Abiathar White (January 26, 1826 – June 29, 1910) was an American geologist born in Dighton, Massachusetts. White moved with his family to Burlington, in the Iowa Territory, in 1838. He returned to the east in 1847, where he married a childhood friend, Charlotte R. Pilkington (1902) and studied natural history and geology, meeting many American luminaries in those areas of study. He returned to Burlington in 1849 and, although fascinated by natural history, began studying medicine under S. S. Ransom. He completed further medical studies at Michigan University and Rush Medical College of Chicago (University of Chicago). He took a brief break from medical work to work under James Hall, State Geologist of New York, from 1862 – 1863. In 1864, he returned to Iowa, establishing a medical practice in Iowa City. He returned again to the field of geology when he was appointed head of the Iowa State Survey in 1866. Four years later, in 1870, lacking legislative support, the survey was terminated and White found himself unemployed. Around this time, he may have leveraged his work with the survey to issue a map of Washington Territory with J. H. Colton, a major New York map publisher. In 1873, he became a professor at Bowdoin College and relocated to Brunswick, Maine. In 1874, at the request of G. M. Wheeler, head of government surveys west of the 100th Meridian, he published a paleontology of that region. He joined the U.S. Geological survey of the Rocky Mountain Region, under Major H W. Powell in 1875. In the following year he was recruited by F. V. Hayden to compile a paleontological report of the Territories. When the Hayden Survey was suspended in 1879, White proceeded to become a paleontology curator at the U.S. National Museum. He subsequently served with the United States Geological Survey under Clarence King from 1882 to his retirement in 1892.



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