Constance Eirich

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Eunice Grace Constance Eirich
BornOctober 14, 1888
Van Wert County, Ohio, USA
DiedMarch 3, 1973
Van Wert County, Ohio, USA
Resting placeWoodland Union Cemetery
Van Wert County, Ohio, USA
EducationUniversity of Michigan, Ohio Wesleyan University
OccupationTulsa Production Division of Old Gypsy Oil a subsurface geologist
Known forEducation and Career as Geologist
Parent(s)Rev. J. Conrad Eirich and W. Margaret Young

Eunice Grace Constance Eirich (October 14, 1888 – March 3, 1973), known professionally as Constance Eirich, was an American geologist from in Van Wert, Ohio.[1]

Birth and early life[edit]

Constance Eirich was born on October 14, 1888, in the county of Van Wert, Ohio, to her father, Rev. J. Conrad Eirich, and her mother, W. Margaret Young.[2] Her father was ordained as a minister of the Lutheran Church in 1865 by the Ohio Synod, and served in many different cities in Ohio.[3] Constance was one of eight children to her parents, though only her and three of her siblings survived into adulthood.[4]


She attended school at Van Wert High School. She pursued higher education at Ohio Wesleyan University and did her graduate studies at the University of Michigan attaining a master's degree and a bachelor's degree. She taught for two years in Michigan and wanted to continue[5] but near the end of World War I, she moved to Tulsa to begin her career in geology as a subsurface geologist.[6]

Personal life[edit]

Eirich was an avid member in her community and was the president of District 2 of the Ohio Federation of Women’s Clubs, which helped provide safe health facilities for everyone.[7] She was also a member of the National Council of Geography Teachers in May 1917, specifically in the Battle Creek, Michigan section, which was published in the Journal of Geography.[8]

Career and contributions[edit]

After working under the Gulf Oil Corporation for 34 years, where she was credited with major work in the findings of four oil pools. Constance was the first woman member of the Tulsa Geological Society and has probably found more oil with subsurface mapping than any other woman. She also became the first women to be acting chief geologist at her company, even though it was considered to be a man's job.[9] She thought it might be only temporary work, but the oil company expanded its operations and the duties filled by Eirich became so vital to the successful operation of geological department of the Gypsy, later the Gulf Oil Corp., that she continued at her desk and laboratory.[10]

Post career[edit]

Following her work for the Gulf Oil Corporation, Constance's retirement was announced by the Vice President, P.H Bohart, on October 1, 1952. In announcing the retirement, Bohart also brought attention to the fact that the reports created by Constance had led to the discovery of four new pools. She moved into her previously purchased home at 315 North Jefferson Street upon returning to her native county of Van Wert along with her long-time friend and former classmate Ruth Douglas. She continued to become an active civic leader in her participation as a member of the Van Wert City Council as well as a former president of the Van Wert County Historical Society. Her post-retirement activities also included active membership of St. Mark's Lutheran Church (Van Wert, Ohio, the Van Wert Woman's Club, the Garden Study Club, and the Van Wert County Farm Bureau. Her subsurface geological work for the oil company continued to be used throughout central Oklahoma and eastern Kansas in the following years after playing an essential role in the discovery of the four new oil pools.[11]

Oil pools[edit]

After Eirich’s retirement, it was announced that her contributions had led to the discovery of four oil pools. The first two were the Cheyarha and Garcreek oil pools in Seminole County, Oklahoma , which are now a part of the Earlsboro and North Earlsboro oil fields. These two oil fields are considered to be the two largest ones in Seminole County. The third oil pool Eirich discovered was Rosenwald in Okfuskee County, Oklahoma, which is now believed to be a part of the Morse oil field. The final oil pool she discovered is the East Payson pool in Lincoln County, Oklahoma , which was believed to be one of the first pools of the Oklahoma City Oil Field. This oil field is now the biggest in Oklahoma, and one of the biggest in the world.[12]


Constance died on March 3, 1973 at the age of 84, unexpectedly in her home. Her obituary was published on March 5 in a local newspaper, stating that, “The Fire Department’s emergency squad was summoned to the home by a neighbour, [but that she] was dead upon their arrival,”[13] After her death, Eirich's will set up scholarship funds at Wittenberg University, Ohio Wesleyan University and the University of Michigan, it also stated that all of her personal property would go to her friend Ruth Douglas.[14] Her will also left the board of directors at Wittenberg University an 80-acre farm section. The sale proceeds of the farm went towards a loan fund known as the Rev. John Conrad and Margaret Eirich Scholarship Loan Fund in memory of her parents. The remainder of the proceeds went to the Van Wert County Foundation, Inc. for a scholarship trust fund for deserving girls pursuing post secondary education.[15]


Before Eirich’s work, participation in Geology had been dominated by men. Constance was one of the first women geologists, and along with that, she was also one of the first to be a leader in the oil field industry. Her work opened the doors for many generations of women who came after her.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Constance Eirich". Retrieved 2017-10-12.
  2. ^ Chiles, Don (August 5, 2013). "Eunice Grace Constance Eirich". Find a Grave.
  3. ^ Chiles, Don (August 5, 2013). "John Conrad Eirich". Find a Grave.
  4. ^ Chiles, Don (August 5, 2013). "John Conrad Eirich". Find a Grave.
  5. ^ "Constance Eirich". Retrieved 2019-04-03.
  6. ^ "Eunice Grace Constance Eirich (1888 - 1973) - Find A Grave Photos". Retrieved 2017-10-12.
  7. ^ "Van Wert Times Bulletin Archives, Aug 7, 1962, p. 2". Retrieved 2019-04-09.
  8. ^ "List of Members of the National Council of Geography Teachers in May, 1917". Journal of Geography. 15 (10): 342–349. 1917-06-01. doi:10.1080/00221341708983723. ISSN 0022-1341.
  9. ^ Radler Hall, Dollie (May 24, 1965). "Women in Exploration". Tulsa Geological Society Digest.
  10. ^ "Constance Eirich". Retrieved 2019-04-04.
  11. ^ "Constance Eirich". Retrieved 2019-04-10.
  12. ^ "Constance Eirich Will - Van Wert Times Bulletin 19730403". Retrieved 2019-04-03.
  13. ^ Chiles, Don (August 5, 2013). "Eunice Grace Constance Eirich". Find a Grave.
  14. ^ "Constance Eirich Will - Van Wert Times Bulletin 19730403". Retrieved 2019-04-03.
  15. ^ "The Van Wert Times". Retrieved 11 October 2017.