Carney, Frank (1868–1934)

By: Vivian Elizabeth Smyrl

Type: Biography

Published: 1952

Updated: September 11, 2019

Frank Carney, geologist and teacher, was born in Watkins, New York, on March 15, 1868, the son of Hugh and Esther R. (Beahan) Carney. He graduated from Starkey Seminary in Eddytown, New York, in 1887 and was an instructor in mathematics and history at that institution until 1891, when he entered Cornell University. He received a B.A. degree from Cornell in 1895 and a Ph.D. in 1909. He worked his way through school, serving at various times as principal of Starkey Seminary, instructor at the Keuta Institute, assistant and instructor in the Cornell geology department, and vice principal of Ithaca High School. In 1904 Carney became head of the department of geology and geography at Denison University in Granville, Ohio; he remained there for thirteen years and built a very successful program. He was chief geologist at the National Refining Company at Columbus, Ohio, in 1917 but returned to academics in the fall of 1928. He taught for one year at Texas Christian University before moving to Waco to become head of the geology and geography department at Baylor University. Under his management the department grew to be the largest science department at the university and one of the strongest geography centers in the state. Carney held membership in numerous professional organizations, including the Geological Society of America, the Association of American Geographers, the Ohio Academy of Science, the American Institute of Mining and Metallurgical Engineers, and the Texas Academy of Science. He published more than forty articles in professional journals and was in great demand as a speaker. He married Mary Ellen Keegan on November 26, 1890, and they became the parents of five children. Carney was a Mason, a Shriner, a member of the Baptist Church, and an independent in politics. He died in Waco on December 13, 1934, and is buried there in Oakwood Cemetery.

Proceedings of the Geological Society of America, 1934. Who Was Who in America, Vol. 2.

  • Education
  • Educators
  • Sciences, Agriculture, and Engineering

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.

Vivian Elizabeth Smyrl, “Carney, Frank,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed May 25, 2022,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

September 11, 2019