Updated: Sep 15, 2020
Satisfaction, affluence, prosperity, leisure. Financial independence. Confidence. Gratitude, contentment. In 1882, Annie Montague Alexander and her family moved to Oakland, California. She never graduated college but became central to the development of evolutionary biology and paleontology in the early 20th Century. Alexander used her inheritance to travel, collect, and educate. She began funding Dr. Merriam's expeditions on the condition that she be allowed to participate. She took part in fossil collecting expeditions to Fossil Lake, Oregon in 1901, to Shasta County, California in 1902 and 1903, and to the West Humboldt Range in Nevada in 1905. In 1906 she began to make monthly contributions to support UC Berkeley’s research in paleontology. In 1907, after a hunting trip to Alaska, she proposed the establishment of a Natural History Museum at the University and offered to support its collecting and research programs. The Museum of Vertebrate Zoology was established in 1908, and when State appropriations for its construction fell far short of forecasts, she made up the difference. She has two mammals, two birds, six fossils, and two plant species from different locations named after her. Alexander shared her life with Louise Kellogg for 42 years. Among other activities, the two ran a working farm together. She continued to finance expeditions and do field work throughout her life, celebrating her 80th birthday in the Sierra de la Laguna mountains.