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TAFF, JOSEPH ALEXANDER (1862–1944). Joseph Alexander Taff, geologist and engineer, son of Albert G. and Tirzah (Patterson) Taff, was born at Ten Mile, Tennessee, on November 20, 1862. He studied chemical engineering at the University of Arkansas and took a B.S. degree in geology at the University of Texasqv. Taff assisted in the Geological Survey of Arkansas, 1888, and the Geological Survey of Texas, 1889–94. He was assistant and geologist for the United States Geological Survey, 1894–1909, and geologist and consulting geologist for the Southern Pacific Railway Company, 1909–32. From 1932 to 1937 he was consultant geologist for the Associated Oil Company and Tidewater Associated Oil Company. Taff's works on geology included Reports on the Cretaceous Area (Texas) North of the Colorado River (1892), Geology of the McAlester Coal Field (1899), Geology of the Eastern Choctaw Coal Field (1900), Preliminary Report on the Camden Coal Field of Southwestern Arkansas (1900), Chalk of Southwestern Arkansas (1902), The Southwestern Coal Field (1902), The Arbuckle and Wichita Mountains in Indian Territory and Oklahoma (1904), Coal Lands in Oklahoma (1910), and Geology of East Central Oklahoma (1914). Taff married Mary M. Leverett; they had five children. He died at his home in Palo Alto, California, on March 8, 1944.


Who's Who in Engineering: A Biographical Dictionary, 1941.


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

"TAFF, JOSEPH ALEXANDER," Handbook of Texas Online (, accessed November 28, 2015. Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.