History of Iowa From the Earliest Times to the Beginning of the Twentieth Century/4/Charles E. Bessey
CHARLES E. BESSEY was born at Milton, Ohio, May 21, 1845. His education was obtained in the public schools, Seville and Canaan Academies in Ohio, Michigan Agricultural College and Harvard University. He has received the degrees of B. Sc., Ph.D., LL. D. He taught school from 1863 to 1869 and in 1870 was appointed instructor in Botany and Horticulture in the Iowa Agricultural College, in 1872 he was promoted to professor of the two departments, and from 1873 to 1880 was professor of Botany and Zoology. From 1880 to 1884 the chair of Botany occupied his entire time, save in 1882 when he was acting president of the college during the absence of President Welch. In 1884 he was elected to the chairs of Botany and Horticulture in the University of Nebraska and removed to that State. During Professor Bessey's term of service in the Iowa Agricultural College he aided in giving form to the general work of the institution, and assisted in formulating the plan and purpose of the Agricultural Experimental Stations established by act of Congress. He helped to draft the section of the law defining the work of the stations. In 1875 he began to advocate the laboratory method in the study of Botany, soon beginning its practice which has since been adopted in all colleges. The botanical laboratory at the Iowa Agricultural College was the second in the country, Harvard only preceding it. In Nebraska, Professor Bessey has successfully advocated the setting aside of two forest reserves in the sandhill region of the State, which were established by proclamation of the President of the United States early in 1902. Professor Bessey has occupied the chair of Botany in the University of Nebraska since 1891. He is the author of Bessey's Botany, widely used throughout the country as a text book in high schools and colleges.