William Boone Douglass

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William Boone Douglass was a lawyer, engineer, surveyor, genealogist, and founding President of the Boone Family Association. Earlier in his engineering career, he was active in New Mexico both as an engineer and as an anthropologist.

Born in Corydon, Indiana, USA on 30th June 1864, he was the son and eldest child of Judge Benjamin Pennebaker Douglass (teacher, merchant, attorney, and politician) and Queen Victoria Boone. He married Alvira Luckett (called Allie), daughter of Hiram and Amanda Luckett. They had 4 children, Marguerite Douglass; Dorothy Douglass; Maude Douglass and William Douglass

In the early twentieth century, U.S. Surveyor and anthropologist William Boone Douglass recognized ... the shrine on top of Redondo Peak during his restorative cadastral(1) survey of the Baca Location’s boundaries. In a subsequent publication of his observations of the shrine, Douglass reports that the Río Grande Pueblos of Jémez, Cochití, Santa Domingo, Zía, Sandia, San Ildefonso, San Juan, and Santa Clara make ritual pilgrimages to Redondo Peak. His account, therefore, stands as the first substantive statement of the traditional association of Native American peoples with the lands contained within the Valles Caldera National Preserve. Redondo Peak is sacred to various Pueblo peoples of New Mexico and, as a result, hiking and other recreational activities on the mountain are sharply restricted. The shrine and its immediate surroundings are closed to visitors.

He was a Boone descendant through his mother, Queen Victoria Boone. He and Mrs. Hazel Atterbury Spraker were very active in Boone research, and in the founding and operation of the Association.

1922 biography
Their residence is in Washington, D, C. Mr. Douglass is a United States Surveyor with offices at Sante Fe, New Mexico, his work being largely in that locality. He was appointed United States Cadastral Engineer, on July 1, 1818.

William Boone Douglass was a graduate of the School of Law of Georgetown University, from which he received the degree of Master of Laws in 1888; and was admitted to the bar of the Supreme Court of Indiana, and to the bar of the Supreme Court of the United States.

On August 14th, 1909, Mr. Douglass, then Examiner of Surveys of the General Land Office, discovered the World's greatest natural bridge, in southern Utah, which he named "The Rainbow Natural Bridge."

Upon his recommendation it was created a national monument by President Taft, and the pen with which the President signed the proclamation was presented to Mr. Douglass. In the government publication "General Information Regarding the National Monuments," Gov. Printing Press, 1917, page 1, he is officially credited with the discovery of this great bridge, which Theodore Roosevelt called one of the world's greatest wonders.

One adventure which Mr. Douglass had upon the occasion of this discovery, was a capture by Indians: an experience not uncommon among the early Boones, but very rare in the present generation. Accompanied by an Indian guide, Jim, he attended a secret midnight dance by the Navajo Indians, although the guide had tried to restrain him from going. A party of Paiute Indians were visitors at the dance, and upon discovering that a white man was a spectator they were greatly incensed at his intrusion upon the sacred ceremony. The Paiutes captured Mr. Douglass and planned to take his life, but were diverted from their purpose by the Indian guide Jim, who told them that Mr. Douglass was in the service of the United States and that his death would bring trouble upon them. After considering the matter from this point of view, his captors finally released him.

In New Mexico and elsewhere Mr. Douglass has conducted extensive scientific explorations, and has proven himself to be an archaeologist of much ability. He has made a particular study of the prehistoric homes of the Tewa and other Pueblo Indians of New Mexico, and the results of his research on this subject have been published by the government and by scientific associations. Some of his archaeological writings are; "Structural Orientation of Pre-Historic Indian Pueblos and Shrines"; "A World-Quarter Shrine of the Tewa Indians"; "Notes on the Shrines of the Tewa and other Pueblo Indians of New Mexico"; "The Land of the Small House People."

He is a member of the International Congress of Americanists, and is General Secretary of the National Park Association of New Mexico, an organization which has for its object the formation of a vast national park in the southwest for the preservation of its many natural beauties, its cliff-dwellings and other archaeological wonders. From "The New Mexico Journal of Education," March, 1916, we quote Mr. Douglass' own words on this subject: —

"If we are ever to know our country or its earliest people, here is the field where we must learn it. The great universities of the east, with their great wealth and their accumulated libraries, will overshadow us save in one thing; all must come to New Mexico to study mankind. The creation of this proposed national park is a national duty; not for the benefit of the United States alone, but rather as our contribution to the University of the World."

Children: —

*Marguerite Douglass, b. 26 Jan., 1891; m. Dr. George Sparr Luckett. She took two years at Cornell University. During the war she was technicist at the great ship-building yard at Philadelphia and made the tests for the purity of the water, milk, and food used by the workers in the plant. Res. Sante Fe, N. M., where Dr. Luckett is Chief of Preventable Diseases and Assistant Health Commissioner for N. M.

*Dorothy Douglass, b. 26 May, 1893.

*Maude Allie Victoria Douglass, b. 30 Aug., 1895; m. 25 Oct., 1916, Wilmer Wallace Hubert. She took two years in George Washington University; was a War-Worker during the war, and a volunteer nurse during the influenza epidemic of that time. Mr. Hubert enlisted as a volunteer, 326 Labor Battalion, in Washington, D. C., and was a sergeant with the army in France, at the close of the war. He is now head of the Income Tax Unit, Internal Revenue Bureau, Washington, D. C. No children.

*William Boone Douglass, Jr., b. 7 Apr., 1898; served in Great War as member of 472nd Engineer Corps of U. S. A. He enlisted as a volunteer, July 7, 1918, at St. Joseph, Mo., in 472nd Engineers, but seeing no chance to get "over sea" service, he secured a transfer to the Chemical Warfare Service, as he was specializing in chemistry at Cornell University, at the time of his enhstment. (His military services are recorded in the Cornell Class Book of 1920.) He was an instructor in the use of gas masks and the manufacture of gas bombs, having been given a special course of training in these subjects. He was listed for over-sea service when the war closed, and honorably discharged, 23 Dec, 1918. He wll be graduated from Cornell University in 1922. March 30, 1921, he was elected to Al-Djebar, an honorary society in the Department of Chemistry, Cornell University.

1. Cadastral Surveying is the sub-field of surveying that specialises in the establishment and re-establishment of real property boundaries. It is an important component of the legal creation of properties.

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