Oregon Cultural Heritage Commission

Preface by the Author

The want which these pages attempt to supply is a popular rather than a scientific one. For years our general government has been publishing, through railroad surveys and the annual reports of the United States Geological Surveys, a large mass and wide range of geological information on the structure and history of our Western coast.

But this large body of information is so scattered that few have the time to collect enough of it to form a continuous unity of its history. Besides, there are many things in the geology of Oregon of lively interest to the young and the uninstructed, and running through them all are threads of a continuous unity that seems capable of a possible narrative form such as might increase the interest of the young.

An attempt to meet this double want, not with a fresh contribution to science, but with an attempt at picture making for the uninstructed, has led to the writing of these pages.
Thomas Condon
University of Oregon
Eugene, 1902

Characteristic Sayings of Professor Condon

The Holy Spirit is a scientific necessity, a constant emission from the Being of. God, affecting human character just as the sun affects the crude starch of an unripe peach, transforming it into sugar, and making the rich, luscious, perfected fruit. The human brain has been gradually evolved to prepare it to receive these rays of divine light, and the human spiritual life is but the crowning of preparation.

Sin is being behind in Gods plan of progress being like the tiger and the hog, when God wants all human beings to leave the animal nature behind.

God wants, commands you to use your own judgment in the light of this twentieth century, to tell you what is right and beautiful and true. I believe in inspiration as a living force now.
One of several volumes of different books of the New Testament was found in his room at the University, and in explanation he said: I like to have two or three of them scattered in my room, for nothing at all but for their fragrance.

The vision of things to be done may come a long time before the way of doing them appears clear, but woe to him who distrusts the vision.
Preface to the Second Edition

Since it has seemed best to the friends of this volume that in the second edition the original title be changed, a word of explanation seems necessary lest the many friends of the author fail to understand the innovation. There have always been those who felt that the title Two Islands might so easily be mistaken for that of a volume of romance or adventure as to seriously interfere with the distribution and usefulness of the work. But more important still, the original title places the greatest stress upon that link which, in the light of later exploration, has proven the most vulnerable point in the whole chain of reasoning. For it has been questioned whether the two oldest portions of land in Oregon were literally geographical islands. By referring to a publication* of the United States Geological Survey it will be seen that Doctor Diller has mapped the Siskiyou region as an island surrounded by a Cretaceous sea. But the island character of the Shoshone or Blue Mountain region has been seriously questioned.

If the reader will turn to any map of the United States he will find the Wasatch Mountains as part of the eastern boundary of Idaho, and if he is familiar with the mammalian life of the Eocene period, he will remember that Professor Marsh and others have described a wonderful and varied fauna of large mammals which lived on the borders of an old lake east of the Wasatch Mountains. In fact the mountains themselves formed the lofty western shore line of that Eocene lake, But of all this abundant life, not one well identified fossil mammal has been found in Oregon belonging to that Eocene epoch, The author of The Two Islands reasoned that the Oregon land must have been cut off from the Wasatch land by an intervening body of water.

The apparent absence of these fossil mammals from our Oregon Eocene is still an unsolved problem. Some authorities believe that the mammals beyond the Wasatch did live in Oregon, and think their fossil remains may yet be found. Therefore it seems best that this controverted question be not unduly emphasized by retaining the original title of the book. Fortunately this narrative of Oregons geological growth, with its rich store of scientific facts and its vivid picture of Oregons past, is not dependent upon the very subordinate question of whether the Land of Shoshone was in Cretaceous times entirely surrounded by water, or whether it was a bold and lofty headland jutting out from the Rocky Mountains. If one region be an island and the other a peninsula, still, the original treatment of the two sections, as given by the author, would remain unchanged, for the dynamic forces that produced them, the rocks of which they are composed, and the life upon their shores, were for ages virtually identical.
Ellen Condon McCornack 1910


A Sketch of the Author's Life

There was a limestone quarry near the home of Mr. Condon's childhood that must have made a deep impression upon his thoughtful mind, and shed the affectionate glamour of early association over his study of the rocks, for his interest in geology began with his childhood.

Fortunately for him his family left the old home in southern Ireland, and crossing the Atlantic, made their home in the city of New York. Here we find the future scientist an active wide-awake boy, full of life and with a strong appetite for knowledge. Some of his leisure hours were utilized in exploring the old Revolutionary fortifications near the city.

And occasionally he spent a half holiday hunting rabbits in the wilds of what is now Central Park. A few years ago, in speaking of those days of his boyhood, he referred to his study of algebra and then said: But when I took up geometry, it lifted me" to the clouds. I drank it in as a mental food. It seemed to be the pure, beautiful logic, the perfect chain of reasoning that appealed to his mind. At about eighteen years of age, he was working, studying, and teaching in Camillus, Skaneateles, and other places in central New York, where he finally entered The Theological Seminary at Auburn, while teaching in the evening school at the state prison there. The history of those years in the lake country of central New York would read like a romance of extreme interest. But in spite of all difficulties, he spent many leisure hours among the hills and quarries gathering fossils and studying the geological formation of the region.

But he had heard of the Whitman Mission in the far west, and had made up his mind to go as a home missionary to the Oregon country, and in 1852, with his young bride, he sailed in a clipper ship around Cape Horn for San Francisco. After a long and eventful voyage, they found themselves in the newly settled and unexplored Oregon.

Trappers had long known it as a land of furs; miners had known it as a land of gold; the early pioneer had found it a country with rich and fertile soil; but its scientific resources were still undiscovered. The questions that had dawned dimly upon his mind as he played by the stone quarry of his childhood, the questions that were kindled into life as he studied the fossils of central New York, the questions of the how and wherefore of creation must have come to him with new force as he looked out upon the fertile valleys, grand mountains and noble rivers of his new home.

But the activity of these first years left but little time for scientific research; for new homes must be built, land cleared, crops planted, schools started, churches organized, and hostile Indians subdued, and there were but few of these labors of pioneer life in which he did not take an active part.

After ten years of life in western Oregon, Mr. Condon, wishing for a more needy field, moved his family to The Dalles, then the head of navigation on the Columbia, the gateway through which all the rough, reckless mining population must pass on their way to the newly discovered gold fields of eastern Oregon, Here, too, was an army post from which men and supplies were sent to all parts of the northwest.

An army officer returning from an expedition against hostile Indians brought Mr. Condon his first eastern Oregon fossils, from the Crooked River country. These fossils aroused the keen interest of the student of nature, and in 1862 or 63, he obtained permission to accompany a party of cavalry carrying supplies to Harney Valley.They returned by way of old Camp Watson, on the John Day River, and here Mr. Condon found his first fossils, in the now famous John Day Valley.

These glimpses of this fossil field only served to make him eager for more, and as soon as the Indians had been subdued and it was safe to venture among those hills and ravines without an army escort, Mr. Condon spent his vacations exploring in the John Day country .On one of these trips he found and named Turtle Cove, which has since proved to be one of the richest fossil beds in the valley. He employed young men to spend their summers collecting the fossils exposed by the wear of winter storms. He made friends with the rough teamsters who drove the great government freight wagons from Fort Dalles to the army posts in the wilderness. As these teamsters returned with empty wagons they often brought a few rocks or a fine box of fossils for their new friend at The Dalles. In a few years Mr. Condon found in his possession a large quantity of valuable material that must be classified and described. But he was without scientific books, was thousands of miles from the great libraries and museums of the east, and far from other scientists with whom to confer.

Fortunately at this time the United States Government was making its famous geological survey of the fortieth parallel, embracing a strip of land one hundred miles in width, and connecting the geology of the great plains east of the Rocky Mountains with that of California and the Pacific Coast. One evening as this great work was nearing completion, Mr. Condon was delighted to learn that Clarence King, the leader of the survey, had reached The Dalles, and he lost no time before meeting this distinguished geologist. Mr. King was deeply interested in the pioneer discoverers account of Oregon geology, and the next day found him in the Condon home, studying the unique collection.

Not later than the spring of 1867, Mr. Blake, an eastern geologist, visited the cabinet at The Dalles, and on his return voyage carried with him a few specimens of fossil leaves originally from Bridge Creek in the John Day Valley. These were perhaps the first Oregon specimens to find their way to the Atlantic Coast. They soon fell into the hands of Dr. Newberry, of Columbia College, New York, who, being a specialist in fossil botany, longed earnestly for more. After talking with Clarence King, in Washington, and learning from him more of the Oregon geologist and his country, Dr. Newberry wrote Mr. Condon in 1869, and received in response a box of fossils of which he writes: I received your two letters with great pleasure. Since then the box has safely come to hand and that has given me still greater satisfaction, for I found it full of new and beautiful things which fully justified the high anticipation I had formed judging from your letters and the specimens brought by Mr. Blake.

In the autumn of 1870, Arnold Hague, also connected with the geological survey of the fortieth parallel, spent a month in Oregon, part of the time being at The Dalles in discussion over the geological problems of the Columbia River region. That this visit was a source of mutual pleasure, is shown by a subsequent letter in which Mr. Hague refers to his month in Oregon in 1870 as one of the pleasant memories of the past.
But a new era was dawning for the Oregon country. The first transcontinental railroad had touched the Pacific, and with it came many large parties of cultured tourists who, wishing to look upon the grand scenery of the Columbia, found themselves obliged to spend the night in The Dalles. In this way it often happened that late in the afternoon, a party of fifteen or twenty ladies and gentlemen would gather at the home of the Oregon geologist and spend a pleasant hour studying the life of past ages.

In 1870, Mr. Condon shipped his first boxes of specimens to the Smithsonian Institute at Washington, and from there they were sent to Dr. Leidy, of Philadelphia Academy of Sciences, for expert examination. The National Museum was glad to receive these new fossils from the Pacific Coast and promised its official assistance in every way possible.
A few months later, of this same year, Professor Marsh, of Yale College, wrote from San Francisco as follows: I have heard for several years a great deal of the good work you are doing in geology and of the interesting collection of vertebrate fossils you have made, and I intended during my present visit to the Pacific Coast to come to Oregon and make your acquaintance personally and examine your fossil treasures which my friends, Professor George Davidson, Clarence King, Mr. Raymond, and others have often wished me to see. And a little later, Professor Marsh writes urging that all fossils of extinct mammals be sent to Yale to be used by him in a work on paleontology, gotten out by the United States Government in connection with the survey of the fortieth parallel.

During these years, many Oregon fossils found their way to the educational centers of the east. If they were fossil leaves, they were sent to Dr. Newberry, of Columbia College; if shells, to Dr. Dall, of the American Museum of Natural History; if fossil mammals, to the Smithsonian, or to Marsh of Yale or Cope of Philadelphia. A few of these were sold, some of them were sent in exchange for eastern fossils, but most of them were simply lent in order that they might be classified and described by scientific experts.


In May, 1871, Mr. Condon published in the Overland Monthly, his paper on The Rocks of the John Day Valley. And in November of that year his article entitled, The Willamette Sound appeared in the same magazine. The latter was perhaps his favorite of all his geological writings. He felt that The Rocks of the John Day Valley might need revising after a more thorough exploration, but that The Willamette Sound would endure. Both of these papers are given in The Two Islands, published in 1902.

Dr. Diller, of the United States Geological Survey, has virtually accepted The Willamette Sound, and incorporated its substance in his report of the geology of northwestern Oregon, his only criticism being the suggestion that the waters of the sound were probably even higher than noted in the original publication. These two papers fairly represent Mr. Condons strength as a constructive geological worker. They indicate his ability to begin at ocean level and by means of mountain upheavals, marine and lake sediments, fossil leaves and bones, and volcanic outflows, to reconstruct and make wonderfully vivid the geological past of a new country.

From this time on, the sense of lonely isolation that had so hampered him in his work, gave place to the most cordial intercourse between the Oregon pioneer and distinguished scientists of the United States and Canada. In 1871, Mr. Condon had the pleasure of showing Professor Marsh and a large party from y the College through the new fossil field, and a little later Professor Le Conte of the University of California was introduced into the same John Day Valley. The latest scientific publications began to find their way into Mr. Condons library in exchange for information and material freely given to eastern workers. The stimulus of all this stirring intercourse by exchange, correspondence, or personal conversation with some of the most learned men of the age, was a great boon. Life in the strength of his manhood was full of buoyancy and joy, a grand opportunity for usefulness.

It gave Mr. Condon real pleasure to sit down beside a rough block of sandstone with only the corner of one glistening tooth in sight, to pick and chip and chisel until another tooth and part of the jaw were seen, to continue with careful skill until the beautiful agatized molars were laid bare, to work patiently on until there stood before him, no longer the shapeless mass of stone, but a fine fossil head to add its testimony to the record of the past But it gave him greater pleasure still, to work with rough, unpolished human character and discover the glint of gold hidden under the rough exterior. The book of nature was indeed fascinating, but did not appeal to him as did the work with men. He had the artists eye for seeing the beautiful in character and the enthusiasm of a sculptor for shaping rough, faulty human nature until its beauty reflected the Divine.

To many minds, these two lines of interest, the development of character and the study of nature would seem incongruous, but to him they were both Gods truth, the one the preparation, the other the culmination of Gods work. And yet, strange and unusual as is this combination of geologist and minister, it seemed exactly what was needed to equip one for usefulness thirty or forty years ago. For these were years of great stir in the scientific world.
The author of The Origin of Species and The Descent of Man had given his theory of evolution to the world. The grand truths developed by that galaxy of brilliant English writers, Spencer, Huxley, Tyndall, and others had been seized by materialists who were calling upon all thinkers to discard the Bible as out of date because not in harmony with scientific thought. Christian ministers were not scientists, and the principles of Higher Criticism, if thought of at all, were considered dangerous heresies against which to warn their people. To Mr. Condon, the theory of evolution presented to the human mind a wider conception of God than the world had ever known. It involved a plan of unthinkable grandeur; beginning with the smallest, simplest things, gradually unfolding into more complex life, often interrupted by some great upturning of nature, but never losing the continuity of purpose, the steady progress toward the culminating glory of all: the spiritual life of man.

To have all this new wealth of spiritual vision appropriated by materialists was a source of deepest sorrow. The storm, starting on the intellectual heights of Europe, was slowly traveling westward. A little later, magazines were full of the subject and materialism was creeping into college life with the claim that evolution was antagonistic to religion. The young men who studied science found few leaders so endowed as to interpret the beautiful adaptation of the doctrine of evolution to the spiritual life.

Mr. Condon saw that the old ramparts erected by theologians were no longer a safe retreat; that the church must be defended even by science itself, and he longed to help unfurl the Christian banner over this newly discovered realm of truth. He felt his most effective work could be done with his cabinet in shaping the immature minds of Oregons sons and daughters. This, with the growing educational needs of his family, finally led him in 1873 to take his place with the faculty of Pacific University at Forest Grove, and later in 1876 to accept the chair of Geology and Natural History in the State University.

In 1876, shortly after reaching Eugene, Mr. Condon, in company with a son of ex-governor Whiteaker, made a trip to the Silver Lake country in southeastern Oregon. Here they gathered a fine collection of beautifully preserved fossil bird bones, which were sent east to be described, but seemed too rare and valuable to be returned, for in spite of many efforts to recover them, they were finally lost to the rightful owner. Fortunately they had been previously examined and described by Dr. Shufeldt, an expert in the study of fossil birds, and to him we are indebted for much interesting knowledge of the ancient life of the region. This same locality has also yielded some of the finest specimens of fossil mammals in the state.
By this time, Oregon had passed out of its pioneer stage and was looking to a broader expansion of statehood, with all its hidden possibilities of industrial development. Men were asking, Have we coal in Oregon? How shall we utilize our gold-bearing black sands? Have we the right geological formation for artesian water? Have we cement rock, copper, or limestone? Letters on all of these and many other problems kept coming to Mr. Condon from near and from far. These questions and the investigation necessary for their answers resulted in his acquiring an extensive knowledge of the industrial problems of the state. If anyone wished to bore for artesian water his advice was asked. The discoverer of a fresh prospect for coal, copper, asbestos or marble, must send him a sample specimen and ask his opinion of its value, and he was always ready with a word of advice, a bit of encouragement or a needed caution.

All these years he had been glad to share his rapidly increasing knowledge with the people of the northwest. The old river steamers and slow moving trains of early Oregon often carried him to fill lecture engagements, and he was usually cumbered with many heavy packages of specimens and choice fossils to illustrate his subject. Sometimes the lecture would be before a cultured Portland audience; sometimes it was a course of lectures for some growing young college; or perhaps a talk to the farmers at the State Fair, upon the formation and composition of soil. But as the years passed, most of his time and strength were given to his teaching at the University, while his summer vacations were spent with his family at his Nye Brook Cottage by the Sea.

Oreodon Type Head
Here his life was almost unique, but it again brought him into the most friendly relations with many classes of people from all parts of the northwest. Sometimes there were formal lectures before a summer school, but more often there was an informal announcement that Professor Condon would lecture on the beach, perhaps near Jump-off Joe. And here his audience would gather around him in the shelter of the bluff or headland, some standing, some sitting on the rocks, others perched upon the piles of weather-bleached driftwood, while the children sat Turk fashion upon the dry, glistening sand. And he, with his tall alpenstock in his hand, his broad hat and loose raglan coat, made a picturesque figure standing in their midst.

Perhaps he talked of the three beaches, the one upon which they stood, and the two old geological beaches so plainly visible in the ocean bluff behind them. The banker, the college president, the physician from a distant part of the state, the young city clerk, the carpenter, the teacher of the country school, the farmer and his family taking an outing by the sea, even the high school boy, and the children, all listened with interest. And when the talk was over and all their questions had been answered, the motley gathering strolled leisurely away. But the rolling breakers at their feet, the hurrying scud and blue summer sky, all had a new significance as they pondered on the mystery of creation.

Or perhaps a geological picnic was planned up the beach to Otter Rocks. After a brisk ride of a few miles over the hills and along the beach, Mr. Condons carriage would stop, the other vehicles would group themselves around near by, and, standing in his conveyance, he would give a short talk on the geological formation of the particular cove or headland with its base of old sandstone full of fossil shells. Then the company would move on, and after a few more miles of delightful beach ride upon the hard sand near the breakers, they would leave their carriages, gather their picks, hammers and chisels, and spend an hour chipping fossils from the bluff or from the large boulders at its base. The next stop would be to lunch near Otter Rocks and explore the unique Devils Caldron or Punchbowl and the interesting beach beyond.
But the most common picture, the one that must make the Condon Cottage at Nye Brook an almost sacred spot for some, was the party strolling homeward from a morning on the beachespecially at low tide. They always stopped beside his cottage door to show their treasures to Mr. Condon. There were baskets, tin pails, and all sorts of packages filled with curios gathered on the morning walk; one had a rare shell-fish, another an unusual fossil, some had sea moss, others only a group of bright pebbles, while a few proudly exhibited their water agates. All had their eager questions and his kindly, helpful interest never failed; for if some child but left his cottage door with eyes large and shining with a new joy, because it had caught a glimpse of the beauty of knowledge, he was content. And so his summers passed.

Meanwhile he had been carrying on his original research work by taking trips to the southwestern part of the state, and was slowly filling out his geological map of Oregon.
Mr. Condons love for knowledge was not confined to natural science, for his interests were broad as the universe. To him, human history began with the men of preglacial age, and he sought eagerly for every ray of light that archeological research could throw upon the old Cave Dwellers of prehistoric times. He studied all primitive peoples, their religion, industries, and social development, and endeavored to trace their relationship to common ancestry. There were but few obscure nations of the world in which he was not deeply interested; he knew their past history, their present political condition and struggles for liberty .He prized the history of our Aryan ancestors and treasured their old Vedic hymns as among the first bright glimpses of the human soul in reaching out for its Creator. The religion, art, and literature of the Egyptians, Arabians, Persians, and Greeks were to him a source of great pleasure. He followed the lives of noted statesmen and was most enthusiastic in his admiration for the worlds true heroes. All great religious movements, including the higher criticism and the relation of science to religion were matters of absorbing interest. And yet there were but few who knew and loved Oregons trees, shrubs, and wild flowers so well as he.

In 1902, after passing his eightieth birthday, Mr. Condon published his The Two Islands, a popular work on the geology of Oregon, which, aside from its scientific value, will be prized for its clearness and simplicity of style and the subtle charm of his own personality as constantly revealed in its pages. It was not written for technical scientists, but for the larger circle of readers who love to catch such glimpses of the progress of creation. No, Mr. Condon was not a specialist, either by nature, inclination, or education. And it was well for the early development of Oregon that he was a true pioneer with a large appetite for all knowledge, a keen pleasure in imparting that knowledge to others, and a broad, sympathetic outlook into the needs of the Northwest. If he had been a specialist, be might have received more technical credit in the scientific world, for he discovered many new fossils and named but few. But what is the naming of a few fossils more or less, when compared with the grandeur of such a broad sweep of knowledge, permeated by such a beautiful spirit of helpfulness?

The pioneer work in this new and unexplored state, so remote from the great centers of learning, required just his type of mind; just his habit of first sketching in the broad outlines and then filling in the details with all their picturesque beauty. For as the artist works, he worked. A colleague .who wrought by his side has said of him, that instead of beginning with the minute details; and progressing towards the large facts of life, he always began with the broad outlines, the great principles of any subject, and worked down to its details.

After this active, eager life had passed and failing health gave him ample time for retrospective meditation, he realized that he had lived through a grand period of pioneer history and remarked, as he looked forward into the future in store for the rising generation, I do not know that I would exchange the rich chapters of my own life for all the future opportunities of these young men. For he was the pioneer geologist who, by his own original research, caught the first glimpse of Oregons oldest land as it rose from the ocean bed; he saw the seashells upon her oldest beaches; watched the development of her grand forests: saw her first strange mammals feeding upon her old lake shores; he listened in imagination to the cannonading of her first volcanoes and traced the showers of ashes and great floods of lava. He followed the creation of Oregon step by step all through her long geological history and then entered with enthusiasm into the industrial and educational development of her present life.

But above all, infinitely above all, he prized and labored for the noble character of her sons and daughters. Is it any wonder that his heart was full of gratitude to God for having guided him into such a rich heritage of life?

Ellen Condon McCornack 1910

The Following Selections Have Been Made From
Tributes, Incidents and Characteristic Sayings
Published in the Memorial Bulletin Issued
by the University of Oregon in 1907

Professor Condon is widely known as a scientist, but he was more than a scientist. He was by endowment a poet. His mental powers, uncommon in other respects, owed much of their splendid efficiency to that strong yet delicate imagination which lent a charm to all he did or said. It was nearly impossible for him to be commonplace, even for a moment. His utterances fell naturally into a unique form, gentle fancy investing with poetic atmosphere even the things of every day. Come in, he would say to his friend, when your cup is effervescing, and let us enjoy the overflow.
By living habitually in the higher reaches of thought his sensitive nature took on more and more attributes suggesting the sublime. He impressed one as not merely a scholar and poet, but a seer.
Joseph Schafer

The Rocky Mountain Nautilus

A lucky accident took me past Professor Condons door at the time when the case containing the Rocky Mountain Nautilus had just arrived from the Black Hills, and the venerable Professor invited me in to help him hurrah as he expressed it. But as the contents of the case were unpacked, and specimen after specimen, in an almost perfect state of preservation, came into view, he forgot the presence of others, forgot everything except the beauty and wonder of the opalescent objects that glowed in his hands, or the possibilities that the unwrapped packages might contain; and as he hovered over his treasures, laying one carefully here, another lovingly there, whistling all the while softly into his beard a little comfortable tune that defies reproduction, I thought that I had never before seen such enthusiasm, such rapt absorption as this man had in his work. He straightened up once and a rare smile lighted his face as he came over to me, and laying his hand on my shoulder, said, as if in explanation, Oh, the tune inside of me is too big for my whistle. He returned to his shells and I to my classroom, realizing that the message from the Black Hills must indeed have been of rare eloquence so deeply to move the soul of this high priest of nature.
Irving M. Glen

The Rock That Held a Tooth

In the valley of the great Columbia, a rock with tooth protruding was passed by careless men in quest of wealth until there came one with sympathetic vision who caressed the rock with loving touches and carried it away from its bed of mud, hardened into stone. With infinite care he chipped away the fragments of rock until the one tooth was joined by its fellows and there stood out in clear and perfect form the skull of the ancient horse. Even careless men now admired the beauteous sculpture of natures older days; but the inspired geologist bore his treasure to the summit of the hills, and by a subtle chemistry of the soul he clothed it anew with flesh, and from words strange to other ears he learned of the mighty lakes and forests, of the many horses and camels and of the herds of huge mammoths whose trumpetings drowned the voices of many roaring waters.

He looked away to the hills that once held those forests, to the river that drained those lakes to the sea, and then he looked up to the starlit dome above him and cried out with reverent love, Oh, God, Thou great Creator, lift my soul to greater light!
Edmond S. Meany



Professor Condon belonged to that rare type of teacher who takes the promising student into his heart, and gives him to drink from the wellsprings of his soul, and enchains his interest through the imagination, the perception of imminent law, and the mystic power of character over mind. Absolutely sincere, simple in life and manner, gentle and alluring in speech, Professor Condon was nevertheless one of the most courageous of men.

No visitor to the University in the days when Professor Condon was in the vigor of his beautiful old age can forget the enthusiasm with which he would conduct one from case to case in that wonderful room where he kept his fossils and taught his classes lecturing, explaining, glowing with joy over the beauty and the truth of science. It was a privilege never to be forgotten to hear him describe his collections. He would take up one specimen after another and handle them with all the tenderness of a mother caressing her child.

He taught with power and fruitfulness. Oregon is populated with his students who perpetuate in their lives the spirit of his deep earnestness and love of truth.
C. H. Chapman


Professor Condon was a student of history, and out of his large-hearted faith in mankind he inspired confidence in the future. In public speech his power was brilliant and rare. If the word eloquence be considered in its deepest significance and highest reach, it belonged to him. It was an eloquence which, like that of Webster, made the loftiest subject minister to the needs of today. More than all, he was a lover of his fellow men, and he was ever a participant in the joys and necessities of those about him.

No one within his sphere was external to his interest. He was a realist in recognizing the everyday problems of life that confront us all, and in counseling that they be solved with practical means that are available to common sense and industry. But, ah and here was a rare combination he was an idealist of the most delicate mould. His intellectual faculties, poised, calm, seemed ever in the light of his sympathies and warm emotions; his emotions, burning with a steady flame, seemed always controlled by his judgment. His rare imagination saw daily about him a new heaven and a new earth; his eyes were so kindly, and he looked right into your nature and always saw the best in you, and somehow his face and words were a blessing.

He seemed almost to belong to another age, with that stately courtesy that fitted him like a garment. He stood within the doorway of the home and gave the kindly, deferential, courtly greeting to all who visited him. The tender affection of his friends was sweet to him and the things eternal seemed just beside him;

Those who loved him can hear the slow, reverential tones of adoration as Professor Condon would pronounce the prayer of Moses, the man of God: Lord, Thou hast been our dwelling place in all generations. Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever Thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, Thou art God.
Luella Clay Carson