Johan August Udden Papers

MSS 17
4 linear feet (10 boxes)


Udden, Johan August, 1859-1932.


English, Swedish


There are no restrictions on the use of this collection.

Access points:

Augustana College and Theological Seminary (Rock Island, Ill.)--Faculty--Personal and professional papers.
Augustana College (Rock Island, Ill.)--Students.
College science teachers--United States.
Geologists--United States.

Finding aid prepared by:

Allison James, 2008.


Augustana College Special Collections
Thomas Tredway Library
639 38th Street
Rock Island, Illinois 61201

Custodial History
Biographical Sketch
Scope and Content
System of Arrangement
Container List
Related Materials


Original manuscripts and Lindahl letters deposited in the Denkmann Memorial Library by J.A. Udden on August 23, 1911.



Johan August Udden was born in Sweden in 1859 and emigrated to America with his family at the age of 2. He attended St. Ansgar Academy in Minnesota from 1873-1876, and received his Bachelor of Science degree from Augustana College in 1881. On August 27, 1882, he was married to Johanna Kristina Johneon. That same fall he accepted a teaching position at Bethany College, Lindsborg, Kansas. There he was a professor of natural science and geology from 1882 until 1888. He then returned to Augustana College to join the faculty and to teach in the same areas. He received his master's degree in 1889 at Augustana, and an honorary Doctorate from Bethany in 1900.

While at Augustana, Udden supervised the geology museum, which had been started by Josua Lindahl. Also, he was leader for the Weatherman's Club (1903) which was the forerunner of the Science Club at Augustana. In 1910, Udden left Augustana College for a permanent position in the Bureau of Ecology, Geology, and Technology at the University of Texas at Austin.

From 1899 to 1903, Udden worked as a special assistant to the Iowa Geological Survey. He was assistant geologist for the University of Texas Mineral Survey from 1903 to 1904. He worked as a geologist for the Illinois Survey from 1906 to 1911, and he served as special agent for the United States Geological Survey from 1906 to 1914.

Professor Udden was a member of the American Institute of Mining and Metallurgical Engineers, and a member of the Fellow Geological Society of America. King Oscar II of Sweden decorated him with the Order of the North Star in 1929. He was delegate to the 12th International Geological Congress, which met in Toronto, Canada, in 1913.

Dr. and Mrs. Udden had three sons, Jon Andreas, Anton David, and Svante Mauritz. Udden passed away January 5, 1932, in Austin, Texas.



The Biographical, 1916-1973 series contains an autobiography of J.A. Udden as well as notes on the Udden family. There are many tributes and memorials following his death, including the dedication of the Lindahl-Udden memorial on May 5, 1950. There are letters to members of Augustana alumni asking for pledges to establish an Udden Memorial Fund as well as a list of the faculty committee appointed to write a tribute. Also included is a biographical essay written by a history student at Augustana.

The Correspondence, 1879-1931 series contains letters between J.A. Udden and the Udden family, F.M. Fryxell and Joshua Lindahl as well as two folders of business correspondence.

The Research and Publications, 1873-1912 series contains Udden's publications from 1891-1924, including original manuscripts.

The Illinois Earthquake, 1909 sub-series contains Udden's observations of the earthquake that shocked Illinois on May 26, 1909. Also included are newspaper clippings about the event as well as maps of the affected area.

The Miscellaneous Manuscripts are Udden's notes, rough drafts, and charts (materials are not arranged due to their fragile condition).

The Academic, 1875-1913 and 1987 series contains speeches and lectures given by Udden at Augustana College. It also contains his grade book, 1875 commencement programs and information about his flying machine, the Rotopter.

The Artifacts series contains sieves used by Udden in his fieldwork.



Box 1
      Series I. Biographical, 1916-1973
Biographies, 1916 and undated
            Memorials and Tributes, 1932-1933, 1939
            Newspaper Clippings, 1932, 1947
            Biography by Augustana student Marianne Horn, 1973
            Photographs, undated
Box 2
      Series II. Correspondence, 1879-1931
            Family Letters, 1903-1918
            Family Letters, 1921-1931
            Letters from J. Lindahl, 1879-1889
            Letters from J. Lindahl, 1890-1906
            Letters to F.M. Fryxell, 1922-1931
            Business correspondence, 1894-Feb. 1904
            Business correspondence, Mar. 1904-1929
Box 3
      Series III. Research and Publications, 1873-1912
            Lists of published papers, 1891-1924
            Well logs and coal land chart, 1873
            Megalonyx Beds in Kansas, 1891
            A Geological Section Across the Northern Part of Illinois, 1893
            Contribution to a biography on Carl von Linne, 1895
            Dust and Sandstorms in the West, 1896
            Paleozoic Rocks explored by deep borings, 1896
            Loess as a Land Deposit, 1897
            Pine Creek Conglomerate, 1898
            Mechanical Composition of Wind Deposits, 1898
            A Geological Romance, 1898
            Sweetland Creek Beds, 1899
            Geology of Muscatine County, 1899
            Geology of Louisia County, 1900
            An Old Indian Village, 1900
Box 4
            Geology of Jefferson County, 1902
            Cyclonic Distribution of Precipitation, 1904-1906
            Proboscidian Fossils of the Pleistocene Deposits, 1905
            Fossil tracks in the Del Rio Clay, 1906
            Geology Sketch Brewster County (Part 1), 1907
            Geology Sketch Brewster County (Part 2), 1907
            Geology Sketch Brewster County (Part 3), 1907
            Geological Survey of Upper Rio Grande Embankment, 1907
            Structure of the Belleville-Breeze Area, 1908
            Artesian Wells in Peoria, 1908
            Geological Classification of the Waters of Illinois, 1909
            Structural Relations of the Quick Silver Deposit, 1911
Box 5
            Geology and Mineral Resources of Peoria (Part 1), 1912
            Geology and Mineral Resources of Peoria (Part 2), 1912
            Geology and Mineral Resources of Peoria (Part 3), 1912
            Geology and Mineral Resources of Peoria (bound), 1912
            Geology of Peoria, undated
            Sedimentary Rocks, undated
            Trip to the Black Hills, undated
            Mining Operations (Part 1), undated
            Mining Operations (Part 2), undated
            Rudiments of Invertebrate Paleontology, undated
Box 6
      Sub-Series: Illinois Earthquake, 1909
            Observations on the Illinois Earthquake, 1909
            Observations on the Illinois Earthquake continued, 1909
            Observations on the Illinois Earthquake (bound), 1909
            Newspaper clippings on earthquake, 1909
Maps, 1909

      Series IV. Miscellaneous Manuscripts
            Notes and Manuscripts, n.d.
            Notes and Manuscripts, n.d.
            Notes and Manuscripts, n.d.
Box 7
            Notes and Manuscripts, n.d.
            Notes and Manuscripts, 1910 and n.d.

      Series V. Academic, 1875-1913 and 1987
            Commencement Programs, 1875
            Lectures, 1890-[1900?]
            Speeches, 1897-1910
Rotopter: news and photographs, 1908 & 1987
            Grade book, 1913
Box 8
      Series VI. Artifacts
            5 metal sieves, c. 1900
Box 9
1 wooden sieve, c. 1900



MSS 16 Josua Lindahl papers; MSS 289 Udden Geology Club.

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