George Washington Carver was born in Diamond Grove, Missouri in 1864 on a farm owned by Moses and Susan Carver. In 1865, before the end of the Civil War, Mary, Carver’s mother and Carver were both kidnapped from the Carver Farm. Moses and Susan Carver sent out people to try and locate both Mary and an infant Carver. They succeeded in locating Carver in Arkansas, however his mother was never found. Carver was returned to Moses and Susan and he would live with them until he left to attend Neosho Colored School in Neosho, Missouri in 1876. In 1878, he would leave Neosho and travel to Fort Scott, Kansas where he would spend time roaming throughout Kansas and Missouri attending different schools and working temporary jobs.
In 1890 Carver enrolled at Simpson College to study music and art, just one year later he would transfer to Iowa State College. In 1894, Carver graduated from Iowa State College where he received a Bachelor of Agriculture degree and in 1896 he received a Master of Science degree in Agriculture, making him the first and at the time only African American with an advanced degree in agricultural science. On October 8, 1896 Carver would join Tuskegee Institute’s staff as the Director of Agriculture. In May of 1906 Carver initiated the Jesup Wagon with Thomas Monroe Campbell. The Jesup Wagon, which would eventually become the Movable School Bus, was used by Carver to go into the surrounding communities to teach poor farmers about nutrition, proper hygiene, crop rotation, and home decor.
In 1941, the George Washington Carver Museum opened on the campus of Tuskegee Institute. The museum showcased various paintings, knittings, experiments, and crops by Carver. Carver passed away on January 5, 1943 at the age of 79. Upon his death his entire estate, amounting to over $60,000 was bequeathed to the George Washington Carver Foundation.
Last updated: February 7, 2020