Ohio History Journal

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William Williams Mather was the first State Geolo-

gist of Ohio, and chief of the first Geological Survey of

the State. In this capacity he discovered and brought to

light a knowledge of the vast mineral resources of the

State. And the development of these resources has

brought untold wealth to Ohio and to the Nation. Who

was this man who was entrusted with such responsibility

by our great commonwealth? Why was he chosen for

this work? To answer these questions we must go back

to the conditions in Ohio of one hundred years ago.

At that time the science of geology had nowhere at-

tained anything like its present state of perfection. Very

little, indeed was known by anyone about the structure

of our country. The Geological Survey of New York

was then in progress, but its results had not yet been an-


The first information obtained by the citizens of

Ohio in regard to the geological structure and mineral

resources of the State was derived from the report of a

committee appointed under a joint resolution of the Leg-

islature, passed March 14, 1836, to report to the next

Legislature the best method of obtaining a complete geo-

logical survey of the State.

The committee appointed, did splendid work. They

submitted a plan for a general geological survey of the