Roswell Hill Johnson
Johnson & Huntley (1912-1915)
Johnson, Huntley & Somers (1915-1922)

      Roswell Hill (R.H.) Johnson was born in Buffalo, New York on October 9, 1877. R. H. started his prestigious academic career at Brown University in 1895, where he enrolled as a freshman at age eighteen. Only staying at Brown for one year, R.H. transferred to Harvard University, to continue his science studies for three years. Finishing his undergraduate degree at the University of Chicago, R.H. received a Bachelor of Science in 1900. Prior to graduation, R.H. married Mary Edith Simonds in 1899. During his time in Chicago, he taught science at Sioux City High School. In 1901, he left Chicago for Madison, Wisconsin, to partake in The University of Wisconsin's science graduate program. During his graduate studies, Johnson was an assistant professor of vertebrate anatomy at the University. Once R.H. received his Master of Science, he relocated to Cherry, Washington. There he was a biology instructor at State Normal School from 1903-1905. Since he had summers off due to teaching, R.H. spent the summer of 1904 at The University of California studying and participating in science related courses. From 1905-1908, Johnson worked at the Carnegie Institution at Cold Harbor, L.L., as an investigator for experiment evolution. While working at the Carnegie Institution, R.H. took courses at Columbia University to further his education.
      R.H.'s extensive knowledge of science, lead him to the oil and gas industry. In 1908, he began his geology career as a consultant in Bartlesville, Oklahoma. He stayed in Oklahoma until 1912, when he relocated to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Once in Pittsburgh, he started a consulting firm, with fellow colleague, L.G. Huntley, known as Johnson and Huntley. Along with working as a geologist in the oil and gas industry, Johnson was a professor of oil and gas geology production at the University of Pittsburgh. In 1915, the firm added an additional geologist, R.E. Somers, thus forming Johnson, Huntley & Somers. R.H. left Johnson, Huntley & Somers in 1922 to pursue a career at The University of Pittsburgh. R.H. was a professor at Pitt for twenty-one years, until 1934 when he was appointed a teaching position in The Social Hygiene Department at The University of Hawaii. Not only did he have a strong interest in oil and gas, R.H. also had a passion for eugenics. Along with his geological work, R.H. was also heavily involved in research and writing various papers on eugenics. R.H. passed away on January 17, 1967 in Los Angeles, California. He was survived by wife, Mary and their five children, Helen (b. 1902), Elizabeth (b. 1904), Roswell Jr. (b. 1909), Margaret (b. 1916) and Elliott (b. 1918).
      Throughout Johnson's professional career, he was involved with the following societies and/or firms: The American Association for the Advancement of Science, American Genetic Association, Eugenic Research Association, Pittsburgh Academy of Science & Art, American Institute of Mining Engineers, American Petroleum Institute, Institute of Petroleum Technologists, American Association of Petroleum Geologists, Geological Society, Delta Phi, Civic Club of Allegheny County and Engineers' Club of New York.

  • Principles of Oil & Gas Production, by Roswell H. Johnson and L.G. Huntley (1916)
  • Economic Geology, January 1910: "Theories of oil and gas accumulation; discussion"
  • Applied Eugenics, by Paul Popenoe and R.H. Johnson (1918)
  • Harvard University, Library of the Department of Mining & Metallurgy: Transactions of the American Institute of Mining & Metallurgical Engineers: "Resume of PennsylvaniaNew York Oil Field" (by R.H. Johnson & Stirling Huntley)
  • The Business of Oil Production by, Roswell H. Johnson, L.G. Huntley and R.E. Somers (1922)
  • Petroleum Development & Technology in 1925, Papers presented at symposiums of petroleum division (1926): Part II Production Engineering: Discussion on A Discussion on Some of the Factors Affecting Well Spacing (p. 46) , Discussion on Increasing Production by Shooting (p.110) , A Discussion on Increasing the Extraction of Oil by Water Flooding (p.129)
  • International Eugenics (1934)
  • Federal taxation of gas wells. Fifteenth annual meeting of the Natural Gas Association of America (1920)
  • Various oil papers (19151920)
  • Who's Who Publication; Who's Who in Engineering: 1922 (Edited by John W. Leonard; 1922, page 675)
  • Who's Who in Pittsburgh article (unknown Pittsburgh newspaper)
  • 1880, 1900, 1910, 1920 & 1930 United States Federal Census
  • World War I Draft Registration Card, 19171918
  • California Death Index 19401997
  • Harvard University Directory: 1913
  • Interview with Tom Angerman, November 5, 2009

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