Nebraska Authors

Samuel Aughey

Born 1831-01-12 Milford, PA (USA)

Died 1912-02-23
Juniata County, PA (USA)

Mifflintown, PA (USA)
Saint Stephens Lutheran Cemetery

Aughey was professor of natural science at the University of Nebraska from 1871-1883/4. He helped found the Nebraska State Historical Society and the Nebraska Academy of Sciences, serving as the Academy's first President. Although he published practical work on soils, geology and various agricultural concerns, many of his publications were more concerned with promoting settlement in Nebraska than with factual accuracy. He was a strong proponent of the "rain follows the plow" doctrine that farming the land increases the rainfall on that land, a then popular but entirely false idea. He also speculated in real estate promotions and in his own ideas about the presence of coal in Nebraska. His speculations led to a scandal in 1883 that eventually forced his resignation from the University.

The on-line Encyclopedia of the Great Plains has a longer and more detailed biographical sketch of Aughey.
The on-line history of the University of Nebraska has a page titled "Aughey's Scandals."
The Nebraska State Historical Society has hosted a page describing Aughey's contribution to the control of grasshopper infestations in the 1870s.

Places Lived

Juniata County, PA
Milford, PA
Codorus, PA
Gettysburg, PA
Lionville, PA
Blairsville, PA
Dakota City, NE
Lincoln, NE
Spokane, WA

Author Of

  • Nonfiction


Sciences; Birds--Nebraska; Ornithology; Geology; Soil Science; Agriculture; Scientists; Scandals


Pennsylvania College
Divinity Degree, 1858, Lutheran Theological Seminary College, Gettysburg, PA


Ordained Lutheran Minister
Taught as Professor of Natural Sciences at the University of Nebraska, 1871-1883
Mining Engineer

Places Worked

Various churches in Pennsylvania
University of Nebraska, Lincoln, NE


The Renovation of Politics. A Discourse Delivered in St. Paul's Evangelical Lutheran Church, Lionville, Chester County, Pa., On the Evening of January 4th, 1861. 1861.
Notes on the Nature of the Food of the Birds of Nebraska. 1878.
Sketches of the Physical Geography and Geology of Nebraska. 1880.

We appreciate corrections and additions to our information about authors, but please read the following guidelines and caveats carefully.

  • The Nebraska Authors database is based on publicly available sources. Unless you are the author contacting us in person, it helps us if you cite the source or sources of your information. We cannot include unsourced information in the database.
  • We may be appreciative of information we choose not to include in the publicly available database.
  • To include an image on an author profile, please send jpg attachment to nebraskaauthors@lincoln.ne.gov. A photo-release agreement is required before the image will be published on this site.
  • Because of the way we are staffed, expect corrections or additions to take time, sometimes up to three months.
  • While we initially included some actual links to external URLs in the database, we will in the future no longer provide functioning links. We will instead record the presence of specific external materials in language that we hope will help intelligent users find it themselves. Web rot, in which actual materials remain online but undergo changes in their URLs, is too demanding in terms of staff time for us to hope to keep external links current.

Please copy, fill out the form below, and email it to heritage@lincoln.ne.gov to suggest a change.

Samuel Aughey

Do you have corrections for the above information or other information to add?:

(e.g. Author is buried in Fremont, not in David City / Also wrote for the Daily Nebraskan during her time as a student)