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Wortman Expedition to the Rocky Mountains (4th : 1894)



  • Existence: 1894 March - 1894 November

Historical Note

In 1894 the Wortman Expedition to the Rocky Mountains went to four distinct formations; the White River district, South Dakota; the Hat Creek Basin, Nebraska; the Uncompaghre Reservation, Utah; and Loup Fork formation, Kansas. (1, p. 13) The team discovered the last two horizons (of the twelve successive horizons of the west): Upper Green River Basin and Uinta Basin. (2, p. 21)

The expedition set out in March 1894 in the White River district. J. W. Gidley, O. A. Peterson, J. L. Wortman, Walter Granger and Tom Nelson set up camp in the badlands near the Cheyenne River through mid-July. Wortman, Gidley and Nelson spent 7 weeks in the Hat Creek basin. Then Wortman went to Loup Fork of Long Island, Kansas, working with Gidley and Granger through November 1894. (3)

Peterson, having been granted permission to work in the Uncompahgre Indian Reservation, worked in the Uinta Eocene of Utah from July until late September 1894. (3)

The 4th expedition into the Rocky Mountains procured about 640 fossil specimens, including several skeletons and an almost complete skeleton of large Rhinoceros. (1, p. 55)


(1) American Museum of Natural History Annual Report for 1894

(2) A provisional classification of the fresh-water Tertiary of the West. Bulletin of the AMNH ; v. 12, article 3. 1899

(3) Annual Report from VP 1894