On this day in Alabama history: Naturalist was married

On this day in Alabama history: Naturalist was married
Autauga County native Eugene Allen Smith was a scientist and educator who was instrumental in the formation of the Geological Survey of Alabama and the Alabama Museum of Natural History. Smith was a faculty member of the University of Alabama and served several decades as state geologist. (From Encyclopedia of Alabama, courtesy of Alabama Department of Archives and History)

July 10, 1872

Professor, geologist and naturalist Eugene Allen Smith on this day married Jane Meredith Garland, the daughter of the president of the University of Alabama. Smith had come to the university the previous year as a 30-year-old professor of agricultural chemistry and mineralogy. He would devote his energies to the UA symphony, building the library collection and helping begin the athletics program. Smith pressured the Legislature to reactivate the state geologist position and was appointed to the job. He became familiar statewide, traveling by mule-drawn wagon searching for natural resources that could help develop industry. His work led to the opening of the Alabama Museum of Natural History, which he designed, and prompted permanent funding of the Geological Survey of Alabama.

Read more at Encyclopedia of Alabama.

For more on Alabama’s Bicentennial, visit Alabama 200.

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