BYBEE, HALBERT PLEASANT
BYBEE, HALBERT PLEASANT (1888–1957). Halbert Pleasant Bybee, geologist and teacher, the son of William Lawson and Martha (Kessler) Bybee, was born on January 7, 1888, on a farm just outside of Rochester, Indiana. He attended Shellbark Grade School and Talma High School and received a B.S. from Rochester College in 1908. He was subsequently principal of Richland Center Township High School for a year before becoming a science instructor at Clinton College in Kentucky. He enrolled in Indiana University in 1911 and was awarded a Ph.D. in 1915. On September 1, 1914, he married Ruth Woolery. They had four children. Bybee became an instructor in geology at the University of Texas that year. In 1916 he was promoted to adjunct professor. The following year he began the university's first summer camp in geology. In 1925 his son, Henry, drowned. Bybee afterward took a job with Dixie Oil Company in West Texas. While in San Angelo he helped organize the West Texas Geological Society and served as president in 1927.
When the Board for Lease of University Lands was formed in June 1929, Bybee assumed the position of geologist in charge. In 1936 he returned to the faculty at the university and for the remainder of his career served in both positions. During World War II he taught Company D, Texas Defense Guard, at Camp Mabry. Known as "Doc" to his students, Bybee trained and influenced hundreds of geologists. In 1954 he helped establish the Geology Foundation, which administers the Hal P. Bybee Memorial Fund. Bybee belonged to the American Association of Petroleum Geologists, of which he was made a life member in 1952 and an honorary member in 1956, and numerous other geological societies. He was active in the Boy Scouts and the Kiwanis Club and was a Baptist deacon for forty years. He died in Austin on March 30, 1957.
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The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.Handbook of Texas Online, Kris Ercums, "Bybee, Halbert Pleasant," accessed December 04, 2016, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fby09.
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