Donald Clinton Barton


Donald Clinton Barton

Stow, Middlesex County, Massachusetts, USA
Death 8 Jul 1939 (aged 50)
Houston, Harris County, Texas, USA
Burial Houston, Harris County, Texas, USA
Plot Sec. I, Lot 181
Memorial ID 97628510 View Source
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Son of George Hunt Barton and Eva May (Beede) Barton.

Married Margaret Dunbar Foules on June 26, 1923.

Father of Ann Foules Barton.


Donald Clinton Barton died at Houston, Texas, on July 8, 1939, following his retirement from the office of president of this Association last March. He is survived by his widow, Margaret Foules Barton, his daughter, Ann Foules Barton, who continue to live in his home, "Bayou Pines," 1004 Shadder Way, at Houston, and his sister, Mrs. Helen Barton Eastman of Boston, Massachusetts. His death resulted from an acute attack of an infection of the sinuses which, in its chronic state, had afflicted him throughout the preceding two years. In his service to this Association Donald Barton surpassed all but a few of its members. In this respect he deserved to be ranked along with Sidney Powers, who likewise died shortly after his term as president of the Association. In other respects the careers of these two outstanding petroleum geologists parallel each other. Both were New Englanders. Both were educated at Harvard. Both held the coveted Sheldon travelling fellowship. Both came to the southwest for their life's work. Both fell early under the spell of close association with that young dean of petroleum geologists, E. L. DeGolyer. Both were impatient of outward form and ceremony, yet possessed of deepest spiritual convictions. Both were studious, discerning observers, who wrote much of their own observations and inspired fellow workers also to write. But above all else, both were stamped with that forthright intellectual candor which typifies the New England scholar.

How shall we describe this quality that characterizes so many of our scientists from New England? Van Wyck Brooks has defined it in The Flowering of New England:
A clear, distinct mentality, a strong distaste for nonsense, steady composure, a calm and gentle demeanour, stability, good principles, intelligence, a habit of understatement, a slow and cautious way of reasoning; contempt for extravagance, vanity and affectation; kindness of heart, purity, decorum, profound affections, filial and paternal."

Barton was born at Stow, Massachusetts, June 29, 1889, the son of George Hunt and Eva (Beede) Barton. His Puritan ancestry goes back on his father's side to Resolvit White, an older brother of Peregrine White, who came to America on the Mayflower. Barton attended Cambridge Latin School as a boy, completing the 5-year course in 4 years, and winning a scholarship bestowed upon the student who obtained the highest average grade for the whole course. His father, himself a geologist and, according to Alfred C. Lane, the first elected fellow in the Geological Society of America had been denied early schooling and had entered the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (where he subsequently became professor of geology) only after his 21st birthday. Conscious of his own early handicaps, he encouraged his son in his pursuit of an education. Before he was 10 years old, the boy attended his father on geological field trips, and while he was still in Latin School he enrolled in and passed with credit college courses in structural geology, historical geology, and mineralogy. Barton's mother, an early . . .

AAPG Bulletin
December 1939

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