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Francis Huntington Snow

Scientist, educator. Born June 29, 1840 Fitchburg, Massachusetts. Died September 21, 1908 Delafield, Wisconsin.

Francis Huntington SnowA native of Fitchburg, Massachusetts, Francis Snow received a doctoral degree from Williams College. In 1866 he accepted a chair of mathematics and natural science at the state university in Lawrence. A student of botany, zoology, entomology, and climatology, Professor Snow found the opportunities for study in Kansas in the late 19th century attractive and rewarding. As a result, during his more than 40 years at the University of Kansas, he turned down numerous offers from prestigious eastern schools.

Traveling throughout the West, Snow collected thousands of species of plants, animals, and insects, and eventually established a natural history museum on the university campus. The museum, which came to be identified with one of Professor Snow's most successful students, Lewis L. Dyche, exhibited numerous varieties of American flora and fauna.

Snow believed that no students should be excluded on grounds of either race or gender. The university charter called for a women's branch and men's branch, however Snow discouraged this. KU became one of the first co-ed colleges in the nation.

The state entomologist and active in professional societies, Snow was elected chancellor of the university in 1890. In addition to these many responsibilities, Snow declared war on the pesky chinch bug, a campaign that proved beneficial to regional farmers. Snow resigned the chancellery in 1901 because of ill health. Seven years later, at the age of 68, he died at Delafield, Wisconsin.

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Entry: Snow, Francis Huntington

Author: Kansas Historical Society

Author information: The Kansas Historical Society is a state agency charged with actively safeguarding and sharing the state's history.

Date Created: May 2011

Date Modified: June 2011

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