John “Brick” Elliott (1887-1980)
A geology and mining graduate of Stanford University, John “Brick” Elliott started and ended his career as an independent oil man, beginning his career with an oil company in Venezuela and later moving to San Francisco to sign on as one of Royal Dutch-Shell Company’s first geologists in the United States. He was an inventor and manufacturer of rotary core and wire line core drills.
After a fruitful career with Shell, Elliott accepted a position as associate professor of petroleum technology at Stanford University. Academic life allowed him the opportunity to perfect the design of core drills and later to launch his own drill manufacturing and petroleum companies. He also pioneered the use of airplanes in geologic map making.
After serving in WWII, Elliott moved to Austin to consult as a petroleum geologist. Throughout his career, he encouraged younger men to pursue the profession of geology and assisted in the advancement of many associated technologies within the industry. He was recognized by industry groups such as the American Institute of Mining, Metallurgical and Petroleum Engineers, International Petroleum Exposition and the American Association of Petroleum Geologists, where he served as vice president.
When Mrs. Elliot was about 90, she would write a check for $10,000 to the Foundation for scholarships in her late husband’s name. This went on until she was 103. Over the course of time, she had endowed the fund with approximately $120,000. In those days, that was enough for 5 scholarships. She loved having lunch with the students.