NOAA History Banner
gold bar divider
home - takes you to index page
about the site
noaa - takes you to the noaa home page
search this site
white divider

arrow Stories and Tales of the Weather Service
arrow Personal Tales

eugene d emigh offical in charge wbo montgomery alabama

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” ever since.

At 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.

My 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 per month.

With 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.

My 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 station management.

My 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.

From Baltimore I went to Charlotte as Official in Charge in October 1909, and thence to Augusta in Charge in January 1910.

With 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.

After 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 need attention.

On 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.

My 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).

In: “The BREEZE”, Vol. 2, No. 7, August 10, 1945. Pp. 2-3.

- Top of Page -

Publication of the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), NOAA Central Library.

Last Updated: June 8, 2006 9:24 AM

Privacy Policy | Disclaimer