Organizing the Iowa Academy of Science in 1875

On August 27, 1875, a meeting of persons interested in the organization of a scientific association for the State of Iowa met at State University [University of Iowa]. This group consisted of C. E. Bessey, D. S. Fairchild, and J. K. Macomber, of Ames; Gustavus Hinrichs, W. C. Preston, and E. F. Clapp, of Iowa City; W. D. Middleton of Davenport; and A. G. Field of Des Moines. These men, together with Samuel Calvin of Iowa City, Asa Horr of Dubuque, C. C. Parry of Davenport, P. J. Farnsworth of CLinton, and J. E. Todd of Tabor, who were not present but had previously expressed their desire to join such an organization, became the charter members of the Iowa Academy of Science.

The constitution which was adopted at this time set forth as the purpose of the Academy "the promotion of Science, more particularly that pertaining to the State of Iowa". Fellows in the organization were to be limited in number to thirty and to "such persons as have done good scientific work". Provision was made that the Academy should hold at least two meetings a year-one in the spring at Iowa City, and one in the fall at such other place as might be designated. Election of officers resulted in the naming of C. E. Bessey, as president, W. D. Middleton, as vice president, and W. C. Preston, as secretary-treasurer.

Plans were made to hold the next meeting in Des Moines on the evening preceding the regular meeting of the State Medical Society in February, 1876. It was agreed that at this Des Moines meeting each charter member should be allowed to present the name of one candidate for membership.

From The Iowa Academy of Science by Jacob A. Swisher, July 1931. State Historical Society of Iowa.

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