CHARLES W., SHANNON, A.M.
Vol. 5, p. 1855-1856
Charles W. Shannon, A.M., is known as a prominent figure in educational and scientific circles in Oklahoma. He has been an able and popular instructor in geology at the university of Oklahoma, and is now director of the Oklahoma Geological Survey, with office in the library building of the University at Norman, Cleveland County.
Mr. Shannon is a scion of one of the sterling pioneer families of the fine old Hoosier State, of which he himself is a native son. He was born in Tipton County, Indiana, on the 3d of August, 1879, and is a son of Alexander and Elizabeth J. (FOSTER) Shannon, both of whom were born and reared in that county. Alexander Shannon passed virtually his entire active life as one of the representative agriculturists in the vicinity of Tipton, the county seat. He was born in the year 1855, and died at Brazil in 1910. Elizabeth J. Shannon was born in 1858 and died in 1906. Both Mr. and Mrs. Shannon were devoted members of the United Presbyterian Church, in which he served as deacon and trustee. Of the children, C.W. Shannon of this review is the eldest; Herbert died in babyhood; James Vinton wedded Miss Grace POLING of Bloomington, Indiana, and both are now missionary teacher in a school maintained under the auspices of the Presbyterian Church on the Island of Hainan, China.
The lineage of the Shannon family traces back to staunch Scotch-Irish origin and the original American representatives settled in Virginia in the colonial era of our national history.
Mr. Shannon acquired his early education in the public schools of his native state, where he was graduated in the high school at Tipton as a member of the class of 1900. During the ensuing spring and summer he was a student in the University of Indiana at Blooming-Bryan School in Tipton County. During this time he continued his studies in the university by attending the spring and summer sessions. He finally completed a full academic course in the university, in which he was graduated as a member of the class of 1906, and from which he received at that time the degree of Bachelor of Arts. The following year he received the degree of Master of Arts from his alma mater. He has since taken effective postgraduate studies in the University of Indiana, specializing in geology and other branches of science.
In 1902, at Bloomington, Indiana, was solemnized the marriage of Mr. Shannon to Miss Mary E. PINKERTON, who was born and reared in Indiana, and who is a daughter of the late Charles Pinkerton, a representative merchant at Muncie for many years prior to his death.
From 1907 to 1911 Mr. Shannon was teacher of science in the high school at Brazil, Indiana. During this time he was also in the employ of the Indiana State Geological Survey, in connection with which he covered and made specific reports from seventeen different counties.
In September 1911, Mr. Shannon came to Norman, Oklahoma, and assumed the position of field geologist for the Oklahoma Geological Survey. He served a few weeks in this capacity and was then appointed instructor in geology at the University of Oklahoma. After teaching one semester he resumed his position in connection with the Geological Survey of which he has been the director since January 1914. His work in this office has been carried forward with utmost efficiency and discrimination, and will prove of enduring value to the state from both a scientific and a utilitarian standpoint.
Mr. Shannon is a valued and influential member of the Oklahoma Academy of Science, of which he served three years as president. He is also a member of the Indiana Chapter of the Sigma Xi fraternity, a national scientific organization whose membership is confined to those college students and graduates who have achieved independent scientific research work. He is a democrat in his political allegiance, and is a member of the board of education of Norman. Both he and his wife are zealous members of the
Presbyterian Church, in which he was a teacher of the Young Woman's Christian Association class of the Sunday School until January 1, 1916, when he was elected supervising superintendent of the Sunday School. He also serves as one of the trustees of the church.
Mr. and Mrs. Shannon are prominent and popular factors in the leading social activities of Norman, the principal educational center of the state, and both are specially appreciative and loyal as citizens of this vigorous young commonwealth. They have two children - Gayle L., who was born May 1, 1906, and Viola Ruth, who was born Nov. 19, 1914.
SOURCE: Thoburn, Joseph B., A Standard History of Oklahoma, An Authentic Narrative of its Development, 5 v. (Chicago, New York: The American Historical Society, 1916).
Transcribed by Earline Sparks Barger, January 2001.