Eiler Henrickson ’43, Carleton College Charles L. Denison Professor of Geology emeritus, passed away on Dec. 10, 2009. Funeral services were held Friday, Dec. 18 at 11 a.m. at Northfield’s First United Church of Christ with burial at the Oaklawn Cemetery.
A three-sport, nine-letter athlete as an undergraduate, Eiler served as captain of the wrestling squad, played football and ran track. He was undefeated in dual wrestling meets and in tryouts for the U.S. Olympic team. Henrickson was elected to the Carleton College “C” Club Hall of Fame in its first such ceremony and in 1986 was named to the Minnesota Wrestling Hall of Fame.
Eiler taught geology at Carleton from 1946-87 and also coached the Carleton wrestling team for 12 seasons. In 1957 he led the squad to the Midwest Conference Championship, beating nationally ranked Cornell College for its first conference defeat in 26 years. He was called back to coach the 1975 season and again in 1984, at the age of 63. His academic career was even more spectacular. His 1949 discovery in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula of the first uranium in the United States outside the Colorado Plateau made the front pages of newspapers all over the world. His 41-year tenure at his alma mater included serving as department chairman, and emphasizing and implementing field trips for students as an integral part of their education. Annual student field trips to Alaska, his favorite place, were one of these accomplishments. Those field trips are still an important part of the geology major today.
The Sometime Geology Field Trip Band performs “Eiler’s Schottische” at the service of celebration and remembrance for Professor Emeritus Eiler Henrickson ’43 during Reunion 2010.
The performers were led by Tim Vick on fiddle, with additional fiddling by Reid Fisher ’80 and Miki Beavis ’11, along with accordionist Glenn Lee ’78. [This tune is an old traditional schottische which properly goes by another name (which we can never remember), but we’ve always called it Eiler’s Schottische because Eiler taught it to us in a campground on a geology field trip in the late 1970s. Eiler sang it to me numerous times while I transcribed it, and then we took the written notes and played it. – Tim Vick]
Videos by Aleshia Mueller ’01
Eiler Henrickson: A Gentleman Of Great Magnitude
A story of the life work and life passion of one Minnesota man, Eiler Henrickson. This short documentary discusses Eiler’s role as a geologist and his placement in the National Wrestling Hall of Fame.
Eiler Henrickson: A Wartime Geologist
The war rapidly depleted natural resources. Oil was needed for fuel, steel was needed for machines, and uranium was wanted for the Manhattan Project. This is a story of a geologist who found them all, and more. Minnesota’s Greatest Generation.