In top-flight condition when born on a farm near Ft. Collins,
Colorado, December 14, 1878, I, Eugene D. Emigh, the subject
of this autobiographical sketch, have been “doing nicely”
the age of ten years, I moved with my family to Cheyenne,
Wyoming, and graduated from high school there in 1898. Further
education has consisted of a course with the Sprague Correspondence
School of Law; of independent studies in preparation for Weather
Bureau promotional examinations; and also of reading of scientific
and professional literature from 1898, year of my entry into
the Bureau, until the present.
service with the Weather Bureau began at Cheyenne, Wyoming,
under Mr. Walter S. Palmer and his assistants, first Harry
B. Wren, then Lawrence H. Dangerfield. My title upon entering
the Bureau at Cheyenne was Messenger Boy, initial salary $25.00
assignment to Topeka, Kansas, in October 1901, came promotion
to Observer at $840.00 per annum. My stay there ended in December
1902, with a transfer to Dodge City, Kansas, as Official in
Charge. This relatively easy assignment afforded opportunity
for study and general relaxation. One tornado hit near town,
but that is another story. Otherwise, nothing happened.
assignment to Baltimore, Maryland, as First Assistant at the
age of 26 brought responsibilities and opportunities of a
flattering degree of importance. Dr. Oliver L. Fassig, who
was Section Director in Charge, left Baltimore on the Zeigler-Fiala
Relief Expedition to the Arctic, April 15, 1905, just 15 days
after my arrival to assume duties as First Assistant. The
entire responsibility for management of the station was in
my hands from that date on, although Mr. Charles F. Von Herrman,
Dr. Cleveland Abbe, Sr., and Dr. Oliver L. Fassig served nominaly
in charge for brief periods, during which their attention
was devoted almost entirely to special projects not involving
association with these men was a great privilege. I remember
with particular pleasure that erudite, but simple and lovable
character, Dr. Cleveland Abbe, then advanced in years and
nearly blind, but working energetically on the revision of
the final text for his scientific writings. Frequent visits
in the Abbe home by Dr. Charles F. Marvin (Chief of Bureau
from 1913 until the early 1930’s) were so delightful
to all of us who shared them.
Baltimore I went to Charlotte as Official in Charge in October
1909, and thence to Augusta in Charge in January 1910.
the Augusta assignment came my initiation into river and flood
problems. No workable scheme for the prediction of flash floods
in the Savannah River had been previously devised. Furnishing
helpful advice on this problem were two Engineers, H. T. Cory
of Colorado River fame, and A. L. Dabney, who came to Augusta
to plan the levee there. From that time to the present, engineers,
especially those of U.S. Engineers Department and of the U.S.
Geological Survey, with whom we have had association, have,
through their valuable suggestions, helped us in the Weather
Bureau to develop a scientific technique for flood predicting.
serving in August more than 23 years, I was transferred to
Montgomery in August 1933, and for many months thereafter
devoted almost full time to a revision of the flood forecasting
schemes for the Oostanaula, Etowah, Coosa, Tallapoosa, Cahaba
and Alabama Rivers. These studies and investigations are still
carried on when opportunity permits or new phases of the work
the personal side, there is Mrs. Emigh (who was Maud M. Morley
of Cheyenne, Wyoming, until June 1902). Also four sons and
one daughter. One of them is now Colonel Harry B. Emigh, Pacific
war veteran, graduate of Colorado Agricultural College, now
at Ft. Bragg; another Lieut. Colonel James M. Emigh, who served
1 ½ years on faculty of Command and General Staff School
at Ft. Leavenworth, a graduate of Colorado Agricultural College,
with one year subsequently at Harvard School of Business Administration
at present in Washington, D.C.; Eugene D. Emigh, Jr., a graduate
of Harvard, is a business man in New Haven and Hamden, Connecticut.
Captain Wilbert J. Emigh, also a Harvard graduate, is with
the Army Air Forces Training Command in Fort Worth, Texas;
and Corporal Ellen I. Emigh of the WAC, graduate of Augusta
Junior College, is in Tuscaloosa, at Northington General Hospital.
main hobby is BELONGING. To substantiate this statement, a
few of the organizations in which I have membership, are:
American Association for the Advancement of Science; American
Meteorological Society; American Geophysical Union, Meteorology,
Hydrology; Southern Association of Science and Industry, (Chairman,
Alabama Membership Committee); Alabama Academy of Science,
(Chairman Committee on Membership and Activities).
“The BREEZE”, Vol. 2, No. 7, August 10, 1945.