Hovey, Edmund Otis, 1862-1924

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1862 September 15 - 1924 September 27

Biographical or Historical Note

abstract
Edmund Otis Hovey (born September 15, 1862, New Haven, Connecticut, U.S.—died September 27, 1924, New York, New York, U.S.), geologist and curator at the American Museum of Natural History, known for his studies of the volcanic eruptions of Mount Pelée, Martinique and La Soufrière, Saint Vincent.

Edmund Otis Hovey was born in New Haven, Connecticut on September 15, 1862 to parents Horace Carter Hovey and Helen Lavina (Blatchley) Hovey. E. O. Hovey shared an interest in geology with his father Horace, who, in addition to being a Presbyterian and Congregational minister, was a Fellow of the Geological Society of America and the author of a guidebook on the Mammoth Cave of Kentucky (1). After being educated in the public schools of Peoria, Illinois; Kansas City, Missouri; and New Haven, Connecticut, E. O. Hovey pursued his undergraduate education at Yale University from 1880 to 1884. Upon graduating with honors from Yale, Hovey served as a school administrator in Minnesota from 1884 to 1886 (2, 3).

In 1886, he returned to Yale as a graduate student and assistant in the Mineralogical Laboratory of Sheffield Scientific School, where he studied under James D. Dana and Samuel L. Penfield. His main area of study was geology, with minors in chemistry and mineralogy (3). Hovey’s dissertation was titled ''Observations on the Trap Ridges of the East Haven-Branford Region," and he received his Ph.D. from Yale in 1889. He studied under the petrographer Harry Rosenbusch in Heidelberg, Germany from 1890 to 1891. After returning to the United States, he served as principal of the Waterbury High School in Connecticut from 1891 to 1892, where he had previously served as assistant principal from 1888 to 1889 (1, 2).

In 1892 Hovey was appointed superintendent of the Missouri State Exhibit of Minerals for the Columbian Exposition to be held in Chicago in 1893 (2). His work on the exhibit contributed to his appointment on January 1, 1894 as Assistant Curator of the Department of Geology and Invertebrate Zoology (later, Department of Geology and Invertebrate Paleontology) at the American Museum of Natural History under Curator Robert Parr Whitfield (2). Hovey worked extensively with Whitfield on cataloging the type specimens of fossils in the collections of the Department of Geology (1). On January 1, 1901, Hovey was promoted to Associate Curator, and after Whitfield’s retirement due to failing health, Hovey became Curator of the Department on January 1, 1910 (3). He remained in the Curator position until his own death in 1924. In addition to his work for the Department of Geology, Hovey served as acting administrator of the museum for two brief periods (4). He also worked with the United States Geological Survey as an assistant in 1890, 1892, and 1902-1906 (3).

Hovey's main areas of scientific interest were volcanoes, earthquakes and meteorites. He traveled all over the world, taking photographs and collecting specimens from major geological events. He traveled to Portland, Oregon to bid on the Willamette Meteorite for the museum, and he traveled to Bisbee, Arizona, to study the geology of the Copper Queen Mine (3). Most notably, in 1902, he journeyed to Martinique and Saint Vincent for the eruptions of Mount Pelée and La Soufrière, returning again in 1908 and 1915. In addition, he traveled to Russia and Italy in 1898, to Mexico in 1905, and to San Francisco after the earthquake of 1906 (4, 5). Hovey's longest trip began in 1915, heading the museum's rescue effort for the members of the 1913-1917 Crocker Land Expedition. Due to ice conditions, Hovey was forced to spend two years in Greenland (4, 6).

Hovey was a productive writer and editor, with approximately 150 articles to his credit (4). His main publications were on meteorites; on the geology and petrography of the western Sierra Madre of Chihuahua, Mexico; and on the 1902-1903 eruptions of Mount Pelée and La Soufrière (3). He was instrumental in establishing The American Museum Journal (later Natural History) and served as its editor from 1901 to 1910. In addition, Hovey edited the Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences from 1908 to 1916 (4, 6). Hovey was a Fellow of the New York Academy of Sciences and a member of the American Institute of Mining Engineers (3). In addition, starting in 1907, he served as Secretary of the Geological Society of America (GSA), a position in which he was responsible for much of the society’s affairs until 1922, when he stepped down to focus on publishing his research (1, 6). Hovey also served as a delegate to eight International Geological Congresses between 1897 and 1923, as well as the Pan Pacific Scientific Congresses of 1920 and 1923 (3).

Hovey married Esther A. Lancraft on September 13, 1888 in New Haven, Connecticut. She was a graduate of Mt. Holyoke College and later served as president of its Society of Alumnae (3). She frequently traveled with Hovey, keeping detailed travel journals. Esther died on December 1, 1914 after a long illness. Their three children died prior to the age of two. Hovey married Dell G. Rogers on October 23, 1919, and their daughter Constance was born on February 3, 1921 (3). In the month before his death, Hovey had been working on an exhibit on the geology of New York City (6). He was about to embark on a field trip when he fell ill around noon on September 26, 1924 and died approximately twelve hours later on September 27, 1924 (1, 6). Hovey was survived by his wife Dell and daughter Constance.

Sources

    Library of Congress Name Authority File: nr2005008948
    (1) Kemp, James F. "Edmund Otis Hovey, 1862-1924." Natural History 24 (1924): 705-09.
    (2) Whitlock, Herbert P. "Memorial of Edmond Otis Hovey." The American Mineralogist 10, no. 3 (1925): 58-60.
    (3) Hovey, Edmund Otis. "Untitled Autobiography. Edmund Otis Hovey Records, 1902-1924. Mss .H682, Box 5, Folder 299." New York: American Museum of Natural History, 1923 or 1924.
    (4) Faughnan, Traci. "Finding Aid, Edmund Otis Hovey Records, 1890-1919. Mss .H683." New York: American Museum of Natural History, 2011.
    (5) “Expedition Authority File.” New York: American Museum of Natural History, 2016.
    (6) Berkey, Charles P. "Edmund Otis Hovey (1862-1924)." Science 60, no. 1564 (1924): 559-60.

Chronology

  • 1862 - 1924: United StatesExternal link Hovey lived and worked in the United States. Prominent locations include New Haven, Connecticut, New York, New York, Portland, Oregon, Bisbee, Arizona, San Francisco, Califormia, and Chicago Illinois.
  • September 15, 1862: Birth
  • 1880 - 1884: Undergraduate education at Yale University
  • 1884 - 1886: Work as school administrator
  • 1886 - 1889: Graduate Education at Yale University
  • 1888 - 1889: Assistant Principal of Waterbury High School
  • 1890 - 1891: Studies with Harry Rosenbusch in Heidelberg.
  • 1891 - 1892: Principal of Waterbury High School
  • 1892: Superintendant of Missouri State Exhibit of Minerals for the Columbian Exposition
  • 1894 - 1901: Assistant Curator of the Department of Geology and Invertebrate Zoology
  • 1898: RossijaExternal link (expedition site) Hovey performed scientific collection work in Russia.
  • 1898: ItaliaExternal link (expedition site) Hovey conducted scientific collecting field work in Italy.
  • 1898: Hovey Geological Expedition
  • 1901 - 1910: Associate Curator of the Department of Geology and Invertebrate Paleontology
  • 1907 - 1922: Secretary of the Geological Society of America (GSA)
  • 1908 - 1915: Lesser AntillesExternal link (expedition site) Hovey studied geological formations and volcanoes in the islands of the Lesser Antilles, particularly Mt. Pelee on Martinique and La Soufriere on St. Vincent.
  • 1908: Lesser Antilles Expedition
  • 1910 - 1924: Curator of the Department of Geology and Invertebrate Paleontology
  • 1913: PanamáExternal link (expedition site) Hovey performed scientific collection and photographic documentation in Panama.
  • 1913: Hovey Expedition to Central America
  • 1913 - 1917: Crocker Land Expedition
  • 1915 - 1917: GrønlandExternal link (expedition site) Hovey joined the Crocker Land expedition as part of a relief effort in 1915 and remained stranded in the Arctic for two years.
  • 1915: Hovey West Indies Expedition
  • September 27, 1924: Death

Terms

localDescription
enhanced
localDescription
affiliated person
place
Lesser AntillesExternal link
(expedition site)

dates: 1908-1915

Hovey studied geological formations and volcanoes in the islands of the Lesser Antilles, particularly Mt. Pelee on Martinique and La Soufriere on St. Vincent.
place
HeidelbergExternal link
Hovey studied in Heidelberg, Germany.
place
GrønlandExternal link
(expedition site)

dates: 1915-1917

Hovey joined the Crocker Land expedition as part of a relief effort in 1915 and remained stranded in the Arctic for two years.
place
Costa RicaExternal link
(expedition site)

dates: 1913

Hovey performed scientific collection and photographic documentation in Costa Rica.
place
PanamáExternal link
(expedition site)

dates: 1913

Hovey performed scientific collection and photographic documentation in Panama.
place
RossijaExternal link
(expedition site)

dates: 1898

Hovey performed scientific collection work in Russia.
place
ItaliaExternal link
(expedition site)

dates: 1898

Hovey conducted scientific collecting field work in Italy.
place
United StatesExternal link
dates: 1862-1924

Hovey lived and worked in the United States. Prominent locations include New Haven, Connecticut, New York, New York, Portland, Oregon, Bisbee, Arizona, San Francisco, Califormia, and Chicago Illinois.

Related Corporate, Personal, and Family Names

org:memberOf
Crocker Land Expedition (1913-1917)
associated dates: 1913-1917

At AMNH, Hovey acted as Chairman of the Committee in Charge for the Expedition. In 1915 he also led the relief efforts on the ship the George B. Cluett.
org:memberOf
Hovey Expedition to Central America
Hovey led this expedition to study geology in Panama and Costa Rica.
org:memberOf
Hovey Geological Expedition
Hovey led this collecting expedition to Russia and Italy.
org:memberOf
Hovey West Indies Expedition
Hovey returned to study changes in the volcanoes of Mt. Pelee and Soufriere.
org:memberOf
Lesser Antilles Expedition
Hovey led this expedition to collect and study volcanoes and geological structures, notably Mt. Pelee and Soufriere.
employedBy
American Museum of Natural History
associated dates: 1894-1924

From 1894 until his death in 1924, Hovey worked as a curator of geology at the American Museum of Natural History.
employedBy
American Museum of Natural History. Department of Geology and Invertebrate Paleontology.
associated dates: 1901-1924

Hovey served as the Associate Curator of the Department of Geology and Invertebrate Paleontology from 1901 to 1909 and Curator of the Department from 1910 until his death in 1924.
employedBy
American Museum of Natural History. Departments of Geology, Mineralogy, Conchology, and Marine Invertebrate Zoology.
associated dates: 1894-1900

Hovey served as Assistant Curator of the Department of Geology and associated departments from 1894 to 1900.
mentorOf
Dana, James Dwight, 1813-1895External link
associated dates: 1886-1889

Hovey earned his Ph.D. in geology while working under James D. Dana and Samuel L. Penfield at the Sheffield Scientific School of Yale University.
Geological Society of AmericaExternal link
associated dates: 1907-1922

As a long-time Secretary of the Geological Society of America, Hovey was responsible for much of the society's affairs.
spouseOf
Hovey, Dell Geneva Rogers
associated dates: 1919-1924

Edmund Otis Hovey's second wife. Served as the assistant curator of the Springfield Museum of Natural History. E. O. Hovey was survived by Dell and their daughter Constance.
spouseOf
Hovey, Esther Lancraft, 1863-1914External link
associated dates: 1888-1914

Edmund Otis Hovey's wife. She frequently traveled with him, keeping detailed travel journals. Their three children died before the age of two. Esther Hovey died in 1914 after a long illness.
parentOf
Hovey, Helen Lavina (Blatchley), 1830-1915
Edmund Otis Hovey's mother.
parentOf
Hovey, Horace Carter, 1833-1914External link
Edmund Otis Hovey's father. A minister by profession, but also a serious amateur geologist and Fellow of the Geological Society of America. Author of a guidebook on the Mammoth Cave of Kentucky.
mentorOf
Penfield, Samuel Lewis, 1856-1906External link
associated dates: 1886-1889

Hovey earned his Ph.D. in geology while working under James D. Dana and Samuel L. Penfield at the Sheffield Scientific School of Yale University.
mentorOf
Rosenbusch, H. (Harry), 1836-1914External link
associated dates: 1890-1891

After completing his Ph.D., Hovey studied under the petrographer Harry Rosenbusch in Heidelberg, Germany.
colleagueOf
Whitfield, R. P. (Robert Parr), 1828-1910
associated dates: 1894-1909

Hovey worked with Curator R. P. Whitfield in the Department of Geology and associated departments until Whitfield's retirement and appointment as Curator Emeritus in 1909. The two researchers worked together extensively on cataloging the type specimens of fossils in the collections of the Department of Geology.
Yale UniversityExternal link
associated dates: 1880-1884

Hovey earned his undergraduate degree at Yale.
Yale University. Sheffield Scientific School.External link
associated dates: 1886-1889

As a graduate student at Yale, Hovey worked in the Mineralogical Laboratory of the Sheffield Scientific School, where he studied under James D. Dana and Samuel L. Penfield.

Related Resources

creatorOf
Edmund Otis Hovey West Indies field photograph albums
associated dates: 1897-1911

Creator: Hovey, Edmund Otis, 1862-1924 Extent: 7 boxes (10 photograph albums (approximately 2,293 photographic prints)) Repository: AMNH Special Collections, PPC .H683
creatorOf
Edmund Otis Hovey photographs
Creator: Hovey, Edmund Otis, 1862-1924 Extent: 1 box (approximately 120 photographic prints) Repository: AMNH Special Collections, PPC .H6838
creatorOf
Edmund Otis Hovey Bisbee, Arizona photographs
Creator: Hovey, Edmund Otis, 1862-1924 Extent: 1 box (1 photograph album (80 photographic prints)) Repository: AMNH Special Collections, PPC .H6836
creatorOf
Edmund Otis Hovey United States field photographs
Creator: Hovey, Edmund Otis, 1862-1924 Extent: 2 boxes (4 photograph albums (712 photographic prints)) Repository: AMNH Special Collections, PPC .H6832
creatorOf
Edmund Otis Hovey postcards
Creator: Hovey, Edmund Otis, 1862-1924 Extent: 2 boxes (approximately 400 photographic prints) Repository: AMNH Special Collections, PPC .H6834
creatorOf
Edmund Otis Hovey Mexico and Arizona field photographs
associated dates: 1905-1906

Creator: Hovey, Edmund Otis, 1862-1924 Extent: 4 boxes (8 photograph albums (approximately 879 photographic prints)) Repository: AMNH Special Collections, PPC .H6831
creatorOf
Edmund Otis Hovey Panama field photographs
associated dates: 1909-1913

Creator: Hovey, Edmund Otis, 1862-1924 Extent: 1 box (101 photographic prints) Repository: AMNH Special Collections, PPC .H6839
creatorOf
Edmund Otis Hovey Soufrière Volcano, St. Vincent Island field photographs
Creator: Hovey, Edmund Otis, 1862-1924 Extent: 1 box (19 photographic prints : b/w) ; 5 x 7 in. Repository: AMNH Special Collections, PPC .H6835
creatorOf
Edmund Otis Hovey Australia, Tasmania, New Zealand and vicinity field photographs
Creator: Hovey, Edmund Otis, 1862-1924 Extent: 1 box (2 photograph albums (176 photographic prints)) Repository: AMNH Special Collections, PPC .H6833
creatorOf
Edmund Otis Hovey records, 1890-1919
associated dates: 1890-1919

Creator: Hovey, Edmund Otis, 1862-1924 Extent: 4.5 Linear Feet (9 boxes) Repository: AMNH Special Collections, Mss. H683
creatorOf
Edmund Otis Hovey scrapbooks and correspondence
associated dates: 1891-1915

Creator: Hovey, Edmund Otis, 1862-1924 Extent: 1 box Repository: AMNH Special Collections, PPC .H6837
creatorOf
Edmund Otis Hovey papers, 1902-1924
associated dates: 1902-1924

Creator: Hovey, Edmund Otis, 1862-1924 Extent: 22.75 Linear Feet (15 boxes) Repository: AMNH Special Collections, Mss .H681-.H682
creatorOf
Scripts of image titles for motion picture film title cards, 1919-1923
associated dates: 1919-1923

Creator: Hovey, Edmund Otis, 1862-1924 Extent: 1 Linear Foot (1 box) Repository: AMNH Special Collections, DR 134
creatorOf
Crocker Land Expedition field photographs, circa 1913-1917
associated dates: 1913-1917

Creator: Crocker Land Expedition (1913-1917) Extent: 0.25 Linear Feet (1 box) Repository: AMNH Special Collections, PPC .C76
subjectOf
George B. Cluett Auxiliary Schooner in Greenland photographs
associated dates: 1915-1916

Extent: 1 box (35 photographic prints) Repository: AMNH Special Collections, PPC .I67
subjectOf
Crocker Land Expedition papers, 1907-1922
associated dates: 1907-1922

Creator: Crocker Land Expedition (1913-1917) Extent: 10 Linear Feet (23 boxes) Repository: AMNH Special Collections, MSS .C76
American Museum of Natural History Photographic Print Collection
Creator: American Museum of Natural History Repository: AMNH Special Collections

Written by: Michele Wan
Last modified: 2019 August 7


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