June 22, 2007
John Branner was appointed state geologist in 1887. Under his direction, the state’s first post-Reconstruction geological survey was conducted. The report, which eventually spanned fourteen volumes, created some controversy with its exposure of fraudulent gold strikes in southwest Arkansas. Though many called for his dismissal, he did not leave the office until it was abolished in 1893. He left the state to become the president of present-day Stanford University.