The Prime Movers

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The motivation of modern amateur astronomy has evolved from all quarters. Although it has roots in greatly varied circumstance it has always the commonality of some profound childhood experience. So it was with Professor Burleigh S. Annis. Prof. Annis was born in the state of Maine in 1859.

In so far as can be deduced from the minutes of the Barnard Astronomical Society it was an experience in Norfolk, Virginia some twenty eight years prior to his coming to Chattanooga that cultivated his life as a teacher and astronomer. He related meeting professional astronomers observing a total solar eclipse. Among those present were Professors Pickering and Goodwin from Harvard University. Also present were Judge Oliver Wendell Holmes (son of the poet) and Mary Proctor the distinguished and gifted daughter of Professor Richard Proctor the astronomer.

Professor Annis resided in the community of Lookout Mountain. He chaired the first fifty eight meetings of the society until his sudden death of a heart attack on January 23, 1930 as he and his family were returning home from a music concert at the Memorial Auditorium in Chattanooga. He was succeeded protempore on February 18, 1930 by the distinguished educator Dr. J. Park MaCallie.

Next — Mr. Oscar Langston