What do Mark Twain, George Washington Carver, and President Harry Truman have in common? That’s right – they all called Missouri home! However, these are not the only interesting individuals from the Show Me State. Have you ever heard of George Clinton Swallow? Dr. Swallow served as Missouri’s first state geologist and MU’s first Dean of the College of Agriculture. In fact, Swallow Hall was renamed in his honor in 1930! How about General David Rice Atchison? General Atchison questionably claims to have served as acting President of the United States for 24 hours before Zachary Taylor was inaugurated in 1849!
Find these people and others in the newly digitized United States Biographical Dictionary and Portrait Gallery of Eminent and Self-made Men: Missouri volume, originally published in 1878 by the United States Biographical Publishing Company. As noted in the Preface, “this volume, containing about six hundred double-column pages of letterpress, interspersed with numerous fine steel portraits, durably and elegantly bound, will be deeply interesting to thousands of the best families of this· great and growing State.”
The title is accurate, unfortunately, and you will not find biographies of women in this volume. There are references to mothers, wives, and daughters and we learn, for instance, that The Rev. W. Benton Farr’s daughter, Cora H., “is one of the best female mathematicians in the State.”
Embrace part of Missouri’s history and find out about people who made contributions, both large and small, to our shared heritage though this title and many more in the MU Digital Library!