G. W. Esterly
G. W. ESTERLYDEPUTY AUDITORTREASURY DEPARTMENTWashington.April 20th, 1910.Mr. John Muir,Martinez, California.Dear University Friend:I have many thimes thought of writing you to renew our old-time Wisconsin University acquaintance, but, this time am resolved to act on that "suggestion".We were both school-mates and class-mates, though net intimately acquainted at Madison in the years 1861 and 1862 under Professor John W. Starling, professor Fuchs, and lastly though not leastly under Doctor Eara S. Carr, who was very greatly beloved by each and every member of his classes in Chemistry, Geology, etc. He later moved to southern Cal. and died there after I came here to the Treasury under President Mc. Kinley's first term. The doctor had two sons Jimme and "Ned"(?) the younger of which was a very great pet of every student there. I have lost track of both of them.You roomed in the old "North Building", and your room faced the cash overlooking the Capitol. One of my very own townsmen, George Cross, now of Fairbury, Nebraska, was either your very own room-mate, or he occupied an adjoining room. He wan in ill health the last heard from.Myself and all the other Whitewater boys roomed over in the N. W. corner of the "South Building," thus our rooms faced both the "Main" building, and the North Building. Eugene Conger was my room-mate and in the adjoining rooms including those directly above and directly below were Pitt Cravath, George S. Marsh, James Birge, & Charles Birge, all of Whitewater; rooming with those boys were George G. Green, now of Green Bay, [illegible]is. (where he has been practicing law very successfully for many years. Albert J. Rockwell then of Oconomowoc; Ashley Starkweather of Columbus; Court P. Larkin of Milwaukee, but, who has been practicing, law at Merrill, Wisconsin for a number of years; Willis C. Silverthorn, now of Wausaw, Wis., where he has been practicing law for many years, I believe that he has held the position of Judge up there for some years.Then again, soms of my other intimate class-mayes and associates there were Abe Poole of Beloit, Wis., who for many years last past has beenvery successful in business in Chocago; Levi Vilas of Madison, who became a very successful lawyer, but who died many years ago; James L. High, of Chicago, who was likewise most successful tyere in the law, but, who likewise died several lears ago; then there was C. P. Clauson of Broadhead; Henry (?) Fallows, a brother of Bishop Fallows, concerning which latter two students I have lost all trace. While there were of course many others these are all that I recall just at this moment. You will of course have a list of many [illegible]hers in your mind.I well remember calling on you in your rooms there on several ocasions, with my said friend George Cross, and you very kindly made practical demonstrations to accompanying friends of mine showing off to most excellent advantage your very own special combinations of an Alarm-Clock, having a Lamp-Lighting attachment, and also a Bed-ejecting Attmt.04746
John Muir #2.each and all of said attachments certainly worked to perfection! We were all then as since very sanguine that you surely would become famous; but, we all then thought it would however be in Mechanical lines instead.I have now forgotten the name of that young Proffessor who became enamored over your said Combination of very useful mechanical attmt' E the performances of which were almost human in their motions and accuracy, that he in his over enthusiasm in his anxiety to personally demonstrate your proposition immediately laid himself down on that most wonderful bed, but, unfortunately for himself, placed his head where his feet ought to have been. I am now wondering if that was not "Tutor Parkinson"?I always thought that it was your very own self who, before the Prof. came into that room changed the pillow from the head to the foot of that Pivoted Single-Bed; hence, when he trustingly and fearlessly laid him self out on it to try it, his enthusiasm having gotten away with his precautionary instincts, the results were than when your said most clever combination Alarm Clock "went-off", why, he too, instantaneoulsly "wentoff" head first on the floor, and the laugh has been on him ever since!It has this moment on second thought occurred to me that those two little boys referred to on the previous page as being "Doctor Carr's" were insted those of Doctor Butler, I had a very pleasant visit with Dr. Butler not many weeks before his lsst illness, a few years ago.My oldest son, George Max, has been operating in Alaska for 12 years; he has for a few years been managing a large hydraulic, placer-gold mining plant up the Copper River valley in the Chittitu dist. at Nisina. Four years ago I had ths pleasure of a trip from Seattle through the so-called "inside-route", [illegible]c, to Valdez, where I met my son and his wife, and we returned via the same route through "Icy Strait", "Glacier Bay", etc, etc. so that as those passages there were made by day-light we say your very own "MUIR GLACIER" thus by day-light, which event alone was worth the entire cost of the whole trip.What truly wonderful discoveries have since been made in Alaska in, Gold, Copper, Coal, Lignite, Fish, Tin etc, etc, since you made your discoveries there; and, it is to be presumed that the end is not yet.Do you ever get down here? If you should come again while I am here, I ask that you kindly let me know in advance of your coming, as, I would be pleased to have you come to my house for a visit.Trusting that you are enjoying good health and happiness, and, that at your convenience I may have the pleasure of hearing from you, I remain,Yours sincerely,[illegible]P. S.To better enable you to properly locate me in your mind's eye, I will explain that I was then, as ever since, quite lame in my left leg. In fact it was that disability that disqualified me from entering the army.04746
Washington [D. C.]
1910 Apr 20
Original letter dimensions: 26.5 x 20 cm.
Esterly, G. W., "Letter from G. W. Esterly to John Muir, 1910 Apr 20." (1910). John Muir Correspondence (PDFs). 4989.
Reel 19, Image 0313
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