June 24, 1887
John Casper Branner began serving as state geologist for the Arkansas Geological Survey, beginning the Tennessean’s association with Arkansas. Branner organized the state’s first post-Reconstruction geological survey. At that time, central Arkansas was rife with reports of gold and silver discoveries in the Ouachita Mountains, which contributed to the state legislature’s interest in establishing a geological survey. Branner was state geologist until the state legislature abolished the position on March 16, 1893. Branner’s tenure was noted for a high standard of professionalism, and he made significant contributions to the economic and geologic resources of Arkansas that lasted for decades.