AUGUST F. FOERSTE - A GEOLOGICAL PIONEER

Portrait of August F. Foerste probably taken during the early 1930’s
 
August Foerste was the first person to describe in detail the many varied fossils found in the bedrock in the Centerville area. As a school boy he lived in Dayton, and explored the Hills and Dales area of Oakwood, and made an extensive plant collection.
 

After graduating from Central High School, Dayton, he taught in a one-room school house in Centerville, Schoolhouse Number 2 from 1883-1886 (shown on right). During that time he collected fossils from the Allen Quarry that is now flooded and is a private fishing club.

 

He started to describe the geology and fossils of the Dayton area when he was still only an undergraduate at Denison University, Ohio. He published his research in a journal that he helped establish and edited.

 

 

The illustrations on the right show examples of fossil cephalopods that Foerste studied. Examples of cephalopods living in today’s oceans include octopus, squid, cuttlefish, and the Nautilus.

 

 

Schoolhouse Number 2, Centerville as it looks today. It is here that Foerste taught for 3 years. Today it is a private residence.

 

Foerste lived most of his life in Dayton. This is one of the houses he lived in on Wroe Avenue, Dayton. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Foerste taught at Steele High School in Dayton for 38 years. When he retired he was offered a Professorship at the University of Chicago    a rare event for a high school teacher to be offered such a post on retirement! He declined . . Instead he spent the last few years as a Research Associate at the Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D. C. During a trip back to Dayton at Easter, 1936, Foerste died. He is buried at Woodland Cemetery.

Foerste’s tablet, Woodland Cemetery, Dayton.

 

 

Sources - Centerville Historical Society Publication.

 

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