History of Iowa From the Earliest Times to the Beginning of the Twentieth Century/4/Samuel Calvin
SAMUEL CALVIN is a native of Scotland, where he was born February 2, 1840. The first eleven years of his life were spent amid the scenes made famous by Walter Scott and later by Crockett. With his father's family he then came to America, remaining four years in Saratoga County, New York, then removing to Buchanan County, Iowa. Here he learned the trade of carpenter and joiner, devoting his summers to work and his winters to study and teaching. In 1882 he entered Lenox College, remaining until 1864 when he enlisted in the Forty-fourth Iowa Volunteers and served in southern Tennessee and northern Mississippi until the regiment was mustered out of service. Study was now resumed, to which was added teaching, first as instructor and later as professor of mathematics and natural history. In 1869 Professor Calvin was made principal of the Fourth Ward School of Dubuque where he remained until 1874 when he was elected Professor of Natural Science at the State University, succeeding Dr. C. A. White. At that time the professor of natural science was required to teach geology, zoölogy, physiology and botany. This wide field has been gradually divided among other professors and instructors until Professor Calvin occupied the chair of geology alone. He has been a constant investigator and contributor to the literature of his chosen specialty. He was one of the founders and remains one of the editors of the American Geologist, the oldest exclusively geological journal in America. He was one of the original fellows of the Geological Society of America and has long been a member of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. In 1890 he served as secretary of the geological section and in 1894 as vice-president of the association and presiding officer of the section. His address delivered in Brooklyn, attracted much favorable comment, both in this country and Europe. The degree of M. A. was conferred upon him by Cornell College and that of Ph. D. by Lenox College. In 1892 Professor Calvin was appointed State Geologist of Iowa, which position he has filled with marked ability as shown by the high standing the survey has attained at home and abroad.
“The economical results of the work are becoming more and more apparent and to Professor Calvin the State is mainly indebted for them. He will probably, however, be longest remembered and best known as the teacher of hundreds of men and women occupying important positions throughout the State.”