Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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KIMBALL, James Putnam, geologist born in Salem, Massachusetts, 26 April, 1836. He was educated at the Lawrence scientific school of Harvard, the universities of Berlin and Gottingen, and the Freiberg school of mining. Subsequently he followed a practical course in engineering, mining, and metallurgy at Freiberg, Saxony. On his return to the United States he became connected with the state geological surveys of Wisconsin and Illinois. He was professor of chemistry and economic geology at the New York state agricultural college at Ovid in 1861-'2, and then became assistant adjutant-general of volunteers, with the rank of captain. In this capacity he served during the civil war as chief of staff to General Marsena R. Patrick, participating in the campaigns of the Army of the Potomac. He afterward served on the general staff under McClellan, Burnside, Hooker, and Meade, successively. Failing health led to his resignation from the army in 1863, and then making New York city his residence he resumed the practice of his profession. In 1874 he became honorary professor of geology at Lehigh university, and thenceforth until 1885 resided in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania He was appointed in June, 1885, director of the United States mint, at the head of the bureau in Washington, under the control of which all the mints and assay-offices of the United States were placed in 1873. Dr. Kimball is a member of scientific societies, and was vice president of the American institute of mining engineers in 1881-'2. His publications, mostly on geological and metallurgical subjects, have been contributed to American and foreign technical journals, and also include his official reports to the National government as director of the mint.
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