University of Nebraska, State Museum

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Erwin H. Barbour was born in Springfield, Indiana, on April 5, 1856. He received both his A.B. in 1882 and Ph.D. in 1887 from Yale University. He worked for the United States Paleontological Survey from 1882 to 1888 before becoming professor of natural history and geology at Iowa College in Grinnell, Iowa. In July 1891, he accepted the position of professor of geology and zoology at the University of Nebraska and became director of the State Museum. He remained a vital member of the university, community, and state for more than fifty years.

In 1891, Barbour made his first expedition to western Nebraska where he collected fossil and geological specimens and studied geological formations. This was the first of yearly expeditions to build the museum collection and to increase his knowledge of the state's natural resources. The author of more than 350 publications, Barbour wrote about such topics as paleontology, geology, and economic geology of Nebraska. He organized and served as the director of the Nebraska Geological Survey beginning in 1891 until 1921 when it became the Conservation and Survey Division of the University.

Barbour was responsible for preparing University of Nebraska exhibits for the 1896 Trans-Mississippi Exposition and award-winning exhibits related to education and natural resources in Nebraska for the Louisiana Purchase Exposition of 1904. He received numerous additional honors, including a medal from the U.S. Department of Agriculture for the best designed homemade windmill in 1904 and the Lincoln Kiwanis Club medal for distinguished service as a teacher, scientist, and citizen in 1935.

Active in his fields of research and in his community, Barbour was a member of several scholarly and civic organizations. He belonged to the Geological Society of America, the Association of American Museums, the Paleontological Society, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Nebraska Ornithologists Union, the Seismological Society, and the Nebraska Academy of Science. Barbour served on the school board, city park board, cemetery board, and city planning commission for Lincoln, Nebraska, and was chairman of the court of honor for the city's Boy Scouts. An artist who illustrated his own publications, Barbour designed mosaics for the Nebraska state capitol building and was a director of the Nebraska Art Association.

He was married to Margaret Roxanna Lamson in 1887 and they had one daughter, Eleanor Barbour. He died in 1947.

From the guide to the Erwin H. Barbour, Papers, Museum Photograph Series, 1889-1938

Eck Frank Schramm was born in DeWitt, Nebraska, on September 7, 1883. He received his A.B. from the University of Oklahoma in 1906 and M.A. in geology from the University of Nebraska in 1908. From 1910-1912 Schramm studied mining law at the University of Nebraska law college.

Schramm worked for the United States Geological Survey in 1905 and from 1907-1909, assisting with geological, topographical, water supply, and mineral resource maps in Texas and New Mexico and examining mines in Colorado, Wyoming, Montana, and the Dakotas. His work in the 1910s as a coal and mineral expert with the United States Forest Service and fieldwork with the Nebraska Geological Survey further provided him with practical experience he shared with his students. Beginning his career at the University of Nebraska in 1906, Schramm was appointed as an instructor in the Department of Geology in 1908 and was chairman of the department from 1934 until his retirement in 1951. Under his leadership the department developed a reputation for providing excellent instruction in petroleum geology. Schramm was a popular professor and maintained lasting relationships with many of his students, who continued corresponding with him throughout their careers. As well as teaching, Schramm continued to work as a geologist and mining engineer for various oil and mining companies and was Chief Geologist for the Union Pacific Coal Company from 1916-1917.

E.F. Schramm was the author of A preliminary report on the building stones of Oklahoma, Oil-shales of Wyoming, Mineral claims on forest reserves, Mineral lands of Colorado and Wyoming, The growth of the cement industry in Nebraska, and Oil possibilities in Nebraska, and co-author of Agate anti-cline of Sioux County, Nebraska and Deep Wells of Nebraska . He also wrote numerous reports to oil and mining companies as well as newspaper and magazine articles.

Schramm was a member of several scholarly organizations including the American Association of Petroleum Geologists, the American Association of Mining and Metallurgical Engineers, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Forestry Association, the American Society of Engineering Education, the Paleontology Society of America, and the Nebraska Academy of Science. He served as Grand Vice President of the geological fraternity Sigma Gamma Epsilon from 1917-1931 and Grand President from 1932-1938 and was editor of the organization's magazine, The Compass, from 1940 to 1950. Active in university affairs, Schramm was a faculty advisor to the Kosmet Klub, the Interfraternity Co-Operative Buyers Association, the Interfraternity Council, and Sigma Gamma Epsilon. He was also a member of the Student Union Board of Directors and the Interfraternity Alumni Advisors Board.

Schramm died February 28, 1967. Leaving generous endowments to the University and the state of Nebraska, he established fellowships in the Department of Geology and set aside over two-hundred acres of land for Schramm Park south of Gretna, Nebraska.

From the guide to the E. F. Schramm, Papers, 1907-1951

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
creatorOf E. F. Schramm, Papers, 1907-1951 University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Library
creatorOf Erwin H. Barbour, Papers, Museum Photograph Series, 1889-1938 University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Library
creatorOf Davis, E. Mott. Final salvage work at the Red Smoke site : investigations by the University of Nebraska State Museum in the Medicine Creek Reservoir area in 1953 / by E. Mott Davis. Colorado State University, Morgan Library
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Barbour, Erwin H., 1856-1947 person
associatedWith Barbour family family
associatedWith Cook family (Agate, Neb.) family
associatedWith Darton, Nelson Horatio, 1865-1948 person
associatedWith Davis, E. Mott. person
associatedWith Morrill, Charles Henry, 1842-1922 person
associatedWith Schramm, E. F. (Eck Frank), 1883- person
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Southern States
Florida
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Glacier National Park (Mont.)
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University of Nebraska (Lincoln campus)
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