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The David F. Hess Mineral Collection

The Dr. David Hess Collection
Geology Professor Emeritus Western Illinois University

We are pleased to announce the acquisition of the Dr. David F. Hess mineral collection.

In October of 2012 my wife, Vicki, and I travelled to Macomb Illinois, the home of David Hess and Western Illinois University, to pick up David’s mineral collection.  Since I have known and done business with David for many years, it was his desire to offer his lifelong collection to us, and we were thrilled to accept that offer!

David and Linda Hess, 2012

David, in his earlier years, spent much time in the field as a geologist.  As such, he had an eye for the geological minerals which represented a particular deposit or geological environment.  As a professor at Western Illinois University, he liked to augment his lectures with petrological rock specimens and the occasional representative ore specimen. He also purchased common and rare minerals from places he had visited or studied. The collection is modest in size and does not necessarily specialize in any particular locality or group of minerals.  He also purchased those random specimens, like the rest of us, which he couldn’t resist…wulfenite, gold, vanadinite etc.  

David Hess was born on August 17th, 1940 in Lebanon, Pennsylvania.  He attended the Conestoga High School in Berwyn, PA and graduated in 1958. Wasting no time, he pursued a geology degree at Franklin and Marshall College in Lancaster, PA graduating in 1962. Enthused about a career in geology he quickly enrolled in the geology graduate program at Indiana University - Bloomington, where he quickly earned a master’s and doctorate in Geology and Geochemistry in 1967. He continued post doctoral studies at Indiana University and honed his skills at electron microscopy, metallurgical alloys, and geochemistry.

In 1982, his life changed forever (for the better), when he married his sweetheart Linda Christine Nelson January 2.  And the rest as they say is history….sons Jeffrey and Bryan entered their lives in 1983 and 1987 respectively.

David took a position at Western Illinois University in 1966, where he taught everything from physical to historical geology and mineralogy.  He also taught optical mineralogy, crystallography, igneous and metamorphic petrology. During the summers he taught field camp in the Black Hills, SD and Idaho.  His research endeavors included the Precambrian geology, igneous and metamorphic petrology, western Illinois geology and hydrology, as well as invertebrate paleontology. He often used his expertise to consult industry on clay mineralogy, sedimentology, and petroleum geology.  David, now Professor Emeritus, retired in 2000.

David is well published in the natural history journals. Some of his more outstanding contributions include:

  • Geology of Pre-Beltian Rocks in the Central and Southern Tobacco Root Mountains, with Reference to Superposed Effects of the Laramide-age Tabacco Root Batholith, Hess, D. F. PhD Dissertation, Indiana University, 1967
  • Guidebook for Geology Field Trips: Pre-meeting and Post-meeting, North Central Section Geological Society of America, Hess, D. F. April 26-27, 1990, Macomb, Illinois
  • Geology Field Guidebook: Current Perspectives on Illinois Basin and Mississippi Arch Geology, Hess, D. F., Western Illinois University, 1990
  • Geodes:  Origin and Mineral Inclusions – presented at the 30th Mineral and Fossil show at Western Illinois University - Hess, D.F. and M.A. Sandstrom, 1998
  •  The Butterflies of Western Illinois, Sedman, Y. and David, D. F., Western Illinois University, Dept. of Bilogical Sciences. A quote from the State Journal Register of Springfield, Illinois July, 2010 sums it up: “Counting butterflies with Hess is like watching a “Planet Earth” documentary, with Hess providing the narration.”

David served his country in the armed forces as well as giving back to the mineral community with leadership positions in the Midwest Federation of Mineralogy (FM) and is a charter member in West Central Illinois Rock and Mineral Club. He is also a member of Geological Society of America, The Fluorescent Society, and Earth Science Association as president, and the Audobon Society.

David and Linda are enjoying retirement in Macomb, Illinois, a quaint, academic, and blue collar town of 22,000.

We hope you enjoy David's collection.

Wulfenite - Montana ~ D. Hess Collection Vanadinite - Montana ~ D. Hess Collection Mimetite - China ~ D. Hess Collection


Dec. 20, 2012



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