J. (James) Basil Brian Eby (December 18, 1896 - 1 December 1980) was born in the Old Eby homestead, by a grist mill on a branch of Alloways Creek three miles northwest of the town of Littlestown, Pennsylvania.   In 1900 the Eby family moved to Baltimore, Maryland.
Early years and Education
Eby enrolled as an undergraduate at Johns Hopkins in 1915. The US involvement in WWI led to the establishment of reserve officer training programs at colleges through the US. Eby enrolled in this program. His ROTC duties caused him to miss his commencement for his B.A (geology) in 1918. With the end of WWI in November of 1918, all ROTC participants were commissioned as officers---Eby as first lieutenant--- for a 5 year hitch in the reserves. Eby took a job as a reporter for the Baltimore American in 1919 as he did not have sufficient funds to pay for graduate studies at that time. One of his lassignments as a reporter was to interview the President of Johns Hopkins, Dr. Frank J. Goodenow. Eby related his financial plight, but because his undergraduate performance was excellent Dr. Goodenow arranged a scholarship for Eby to continue his graduate studies in geology. Eby continued to work as a reporter for the Baltimore American until it became clear that the amount of work required to perform graduate work did not allow him to continue as a reporter.
From 1920 to 1925 Eby was engaged in graduate studies, but also worked at the US Geological Survey office in Wiseville, Virginia, studying coal-bearing deposits of Wise and Scott Counties, VA.. Eby's geologic mapping assignments included projects in Montana and Utah. He completed his Ph.D. in geology at Johns Hopkins in 1922 and continued working for the USGS. Eby married Varina Anne Davis in 1923.  In 1925, Eby left the USGS and joined Roxana Petroleum Company (a subsidiary of Royal Dutch Shell). Dr. Eby had the experience of working with members of the German geophysical contractor service company Seismos. Eby developed a strong professional relationship with the founder of Seismos, Ludger Mintrop, as well as with many of the employees of Seismos, including Friedrich Trapp, with whom he would correspond for many years.
In 1931 Eby left Roxanna-Shell to become an independent geologist. After two financially difficult years, Eby became a participant in a venture that would lead to the formation of Fifteen Oil Company in 1938, of which Eby was a founding shareholder. The company would continue to be successful until its assets were purchased by Tennessee Gas in 1960.
Biography 1961 
The seventh President (of the Houston Geological Society) was DR. J. BRIAN EBY, who served in 1930. He came to Houston in 1925 with the Roxana Petroleum Corporation (now the Shell Oil Company). In 1931 he went out on his own as an independent geologist and obviously has been quite successful. The most important geological developments with which he has been connected were that of Bay Marchand Salt Dome in Lafourche Parish, and Charenton Oil Field in St. Mary's Parish, both in Southern Louisiana. He has traveled extensively in Russia, Africa, Europe, Mexico and Canada in various geological capacities. At present he is connected with the Bradco Oil and Gas Company on a consulting basis. At this point it can be said that he is a very active civic worker, having served-as Chairman of the Aviation Committee of the Houston Chamber of Commerce, President of the Houston Museum of Natural History (now Natural Science), and in 1949 President of the Texas Academy of Science. He lives in a new home with his wife, Varina Anne, at 3460 Inverness in Houston.
- Eby, J. B. (1923), The geology and mineral resources of Wise County and the coal-bearing portion of Scott County, Virginia, Virginia Geological Survey, Bulletin no. 24 [617 p.]
- Eby, J. B. (1974) My two roads, Pacesetter Press, Houston.
- Houston Geological Society Bulletin 1960-1961, vol. 4, no. 4. December 1961