Espy, Prof. James Pollard
The following data is extracted from David and Margaret Mitchell Genealogy.
James Espy, brother of Martha, the wife of James Mitchell, was born in Westmoreland County, Pa., May 9, 1785, and died at Cincinnati, Ohio, January 24, 1860. While he was yet an infant, his father moved to Kentucky, James studied at Transylvania University at Lexington, graduating in 1808 ; taught school, and studied law at Xenia, Ohio, and practiced there for a short time; but finally abandoned the profession and gave himself to teaching. It is said that he considered this a noble profession, and even in old age was fond of drawing out young students to talk over their lessons with him, both hearing them and asking them questions." In 1817 he became a teacher in the Franklin Institute, Philadelphia, and became known as one of the best classical and mathematical instructors in that city. During this time he began to study the phenomena of storms and delivered lectures upon his studies and discoveries. In 7840, he visited Europe and won great attention for his theories. In 1843, Prof. Espy was given a position in the U. S. War Department, where he instituted a service of daily weather reports, out of which the present signal service, or weather bureau, has grown into such prominence and usefulness. Like Morse with his telegraph he was most heartily would be most willing to encourage him a , soon as they discovered they had nothing to laugh at. Prof. Henry of the Smithsonian said that Prof. Espy should be regarded as the father of the present Signal Service (Weather Bureau) of the United States; his Theory of Storms having led the way to its establishment and present success." It is said that the charts now used in the service are identical (with some modifications) with those constructed by Prof. Espy, whose scientific sobriquet was the "Old Storm King." Prof. Espy gave study to other subjects and is the author of a treatise on the Will.
Source: David and Margaret Mitchell Genealogy