David Dale Owen

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David Dale Owen
David Dale Owen
Born (1807-06-24)24 June 1807
New Lanark, South Lanarkshire, Scotland
Died 13 November 1860(1860-11-13) (aged 53)
New Harmony, Posey County, Indiana
Occupation Geologist
Spouse(s) Caroline Charlotte Neef
Children Col. Alfred Dale Owen (1841)
William Herschel Owen (1847)
Nina Dale Owen (1849)
Anna Owen
Parent(s) Robert Owen and Caroline Dale

David Dale Owen (24 June 1807 – 13 November 1860) was a prominent American geologist. He conducted the first geological surveys of Indiana, Kentucky, Arkansas, Wisconsin, Iowa and Minnesota.[1][2]

David Dale was the third son of Robert Owen, a Welsh reformer who moved to the United States and established a social experiment at New Harmony, Indiana, where David Dale also lived. It is likely that David Dale became interested in geology because of his father's partnership with geologist William Maclure. His first geological work was as an assistant mapping the geology of Tennessee, in 1836. He was appointed the first geologist for the State of Indiana (1837–39). He led surveys of the Upper Midwest as a U.S. geologist in 1847-1850, and worked as the State Geologist of Kentucky in 1854–57; he was appointed State Geologist of Arkansas in 1857, continuing as the Kentucky geologist without pay. He returned to Indiana as state geologist in 1859–60.[3]

His granddaughter was author Caroline Dale Snedeker.

Owen died November 13, 1860, at the age of 53.

While in Arkansas, Owen drew the first known picture of a natural rock formation in Natural Steps, Arkansas.

Drawn in 1859 by David Dale Owen of the Natural Steps



  1. ^ Brief biography of David Dale Owen
  2. ^ Owen, David D. (1852). Report of a Geological Survey of Wisconsin, Iowa, and Minnesota; and Incidentally of a Portion of Nebraska Territory, Made under Instructions from the United States Treasury Department. Philadelphia: Lippincott, Grambo. 
  3. ^ Indiana Geological Survey History
  4. ^ MacFarlane Clan & Families Genealogy: Pedigree for Anna Carolina Dale
  5. ^ Biography of John Campbell