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William M. Courtis
(1842-1922)

William Munroe Courtis was born in Salem, Massachusetts (according to his 1916 passport application) on January 7, 1842, the son of Mehitabel Appleton and William Courtis, a merchant. He is a grandson of Ambrose Courtis and great grandson of William Courtis, through which his descendants can claim to be Sons of the American Revolution. He attended the Phillips Andover Academy prep school, then enrolled at Harvard College in 1864, studying at the Lawrence Scientific School for a year before spending three years at the Freiberg Mining Academy in Germany and graduating in 1868. He was trained as a mining engineer and worked as a clerk in a smelter in Stonewall, Virginia in 1870, which is perhaps where he met and married a woman named Lizzie (probably Elizabeth) Easton Folger in 1873.

Courtis was superintendent and general manager of many mines and smelting works in Michigan, Colorado, California, and New Mexico, and worked as a construction engineering for numerous employers over the years. He patented an improved mill apparatus for saving waste in mine tailings. Interested in the search for potash in the United States, he devoted 5 years and traveled 100,000 miles. Home: Highland Park, Detroit. He later worked in Silver City, New Mexico (1880) and was headquartered in Detroit, Michigan (1874-1920). F.A. Jones, in his New Mexico Mines and Minerals (1904), refers to William M. Courtis of Detroit as the source of analyses of water from the Gila Hot Springs in Grant County, New Mexico in 1904. In 1916 he traveled to South America to examine oil concessions.

William and Lizzie had four children: Stuart (1874), Walter (1878; he died of diphtheria at the age of 5), Reginald (1885) and Olga (1891), all born in Detroit. William died in Detroit on June 19, 1922.

References:
RICHARDSON, W. L. (1904) Harvard College Class of 1864 - Secretary's Report no. 7, p. 41-44.
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WILSON, Wendell E. (2018)
Mineralogical Record
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