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.