John B. Parkinson, Professor from 1867-1872, participated in the California Gold Rush

One of the first professors in the Math Department was, in his youth, one of the many Americans lured to the wild west of California during the Gold Rush.  This article, from 1922, has Professor Parkinson recounting his adventures, but “in the spring of 1855, Professor Parkinson resolutely turn his mind from the thought of acquiring a vast fortune and began to think of returning to Madison to acquire an education which he felt was more important than easy wealth which he might have acquired in the California gold fields.”