Charles N. Gould

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Charles N. Gould

Charles N. Gould

“Coming to Oklahoma before statehood stimulated in Dr. Gould a keen interest in Oklahoma history. He never missed an opportunity to weave some Oklahoma history into his scientific articles and field trips.”
Mildred Armor Frizzell


Regarded as the “Father of Oklahoma Geology,” Charles Newton Gould was born in Ohio in 1868 and began his teaching career in Kansas in 1888. He graduated from Southwestern College in Winfield, Kansas, and the University of Nebraska in 1906. Gould taught his first course in geology at the University of Oklahoma in 1900 and remained there as Professor of Geology until 1911. In 1908, Gould was appointed by Governor Charles Haskell to become the first director of the Oklahoma Geological Survey until 1911 and returned to the Oklahoma Geological Survey as its director in 1924. He worked for the National Park Service from 1935 to 1940 and published over 251 geological reports. Dr. Gould is the author of such books as Oklahoma Place Names, Geography of Oklahoma, Travels of Oklahoma, and his 1946 autobiography, Covered Wagon Geologist.

Fun fact

Dr. Gould is famous for many firsts in Oklahoma, of which the Chronicles of Oklahoma detailed in an article in 1960 – he made “the first geological reconnaissance trip across Oklahoma in a covered wagon, as provided by the Oklahoma Territorial legislature; he published the first article on the general geology of Oklahoma Territory, in the Oklahoma Territorial Geological and Natural History Survey (the first scientific publication issued by the University of Oklahoma); he started the first University field trips in geology to the Arbuckle Mountains; he started the underground water resources study of Oklahoma in 1903, and was the fourth geologist to enter the consulting practice in Oklahoma.”

Oklahoma connections

Gould came to Oklahoma as a professor at the University of Oklahoma in 1900.









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