Geological Surveys.Kansas has had three different geological surveys. The first two were short and accomplished but little. The last, or present, survey has been in operation a much longer time and has accomplished correspondingly greater results.
The first geological survey of Kansas was authorized by an act of the state legislature in 1864. Section 1 of the act provided that the governor, with the consent of the senate, should appoint a state geologist, whose term of office should begin on March 1, 1864, and end on March 1, 1865. Section 2 provided that the state geologist should equip a proper laboratory, procure necessary assistants, and proceed to classify the rocks and soils of each county in the state; that he should visit and analyze the salt springs already discovered, and use due diligence in discovering others; and that he should investigate the coal formations and the other mineral deposits of the state by the various appliances known to the science of geology and mineralogy. Other provisions were made regarding submitting and publication of reports. Section 4 provided an appropriation of $3,500 for all the expenses and salaries, and the auditor of state was given authority to withhold such portions of this as in his judgment need not be spent. Section 5 provided that the state geologist should give a bond of $5,000 for the faithful and proper discharge of his office, a sum much larger than the entire amount appropriated. Section 6 provided that the governor might remove the state geologist for cause.
The governor appointed Prof. B. F. Mudge state geologist; Maj. Frederick Hawn, assistant geologist; Prof. G. C. Swallow, paleontologist; Tiffin Sink, chemist and meteorologist, and C. A. Logan, botanist. The first annual report of the survey appeared in 1866 and consisted of a pamphlet of 6 pages.
In 1865 the legislature passed a new act regarding the geological survey. It provided that the governor should appoint a state geologist whose term of office should begin on March 1, 1865, appropriated $7,500, and made provisions for reports. The governor appointed Prof. G. C. Swallow state geologist, and all the old assistants were reappointed. Prof. Mudge, however, was left off the survey entirely. The state geologist made a report that was published in pamphlet form (162 pages) in 1866.
Succeeding legislatures for a number of years failed to make appropriations for a geological survey, so that the state was without one from 1866 to 1895.
The third, or present geological survey, was organized as a branch of the State University in 1895 by the board of regents in accordance with provisions of law passed in 1889. It was first called the University Geologic Survey of Kansas, and was organized with Prof. Erasmus Haworth geologist; Prof. S. W. Williston, paleontologist; Prof. F. H. S. Bailey, chemist. A large number of students were employed as field assistants and much good work was done. The first large report, a volume of over 400 pages, was issued in 1897. This was followed by other reports, until at the present time (1911) a total of nine large volumes and a number of smaller ones have been issued.
In 1907 a new bill passed the legislature providing for the permanency of the survey, making the chancellor of the university ex officio director of the survey and providing that he shall appoint a state geologist who shall be a member of the department of geology of the university and who shall have direction of the immediate work of the survey. Section 3 of this bill provides that the state geologist shall prepare for publication and submit to the chancellor from time to time such reports on the geology of the state as he and the chancellor may consider advisable. Section 4 provides that the state printing board shall have printed 5,000 copies of each of the reports provided for in section 3.
At present all the clerical work of the survey is done by the regular clerical staff of the university, except that a special stenographer is provided. The number of assistant geologists varies greatly from year to year. They are chosen principally, but not entirely, from advanced students in the university and are given university credit for work done in the field.
It is the policy of the present survey to study the geology of the state by topics, rather than by counties or districts. It has already reported upon coal, oil and gas, lead and zinc, gypsum, and has made a number of short reports on other subjects. It has made an exhaustive study of mine explosions and is now (1911) erecting and equipping a large laboratory for testing the clays of the state.Pages 729-731 from volume I of Kansas: a cyclopedia of state history, embracing events, institutions, industries, counties, cities, towns, prominent persons, etc. ... / with a supplementary volume devoted to selected personal history and reminiscence. Standard Pub. Co. Chicago : 1912. 3 v. in 4. : front., ill., ports.; 28 cm. Vols. I-II edited by Frank W. Blackmar. Transcribed May 2002 by Carolyn Ward.
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