The General Assembly passed "an act to provide for a Geological survey and Mineralogical survey of the State" on March 22, 1873. The governor was "authorized and required to appoint a State Geologist "who shall be a person of competent scientific and practical knowledge of the sciences of geology and mineralogy." The geologist and his two assistants were to undertake "with as much expedition and dispatch as may be consistent with accuracy, a thorough geological, mineralogical, and chemical survey of the State." The purpose of the survey was to "discover and examine all beds or deposits of ore, coal, flora, and such other mineral substances as may be useful or valuable." The results of the survey were to be made available at the county clerk's office of each county where such resources were found. The General Assembly made an initial appropriation of ten thousand dollars for the survey.
Geologists William B. Page, Phillip N. Moore, Charles J. Norwood, and John Robert Procter, who served under the direction of Nathaniel Southgate Shaler, director and principal geologist of the Kentucky Geological Survey. Proctor became director of the Survey from 1880 to 1892, and Norwood served as director from 1904 to 1912. Norwood Family Photographs, Kentucky Historical Society Collections.