Popular Science Monthly/Volume 74/March 1909/A Biographical History of Botany at St Louis, Missouri IV

Popular Science Monthly Volume 74 March 1909  (1909) 
A Biographical History of Botany at St Louis, Missouri IV by Perley Spaulding




ONE of the best known of the botanical collectors of this country who worked shortly after the middle of the last century was August Fendler. He, like numerous others, came to America from Germany in the late thirties. From 1864 to 1871 he lived at Allenton, Missouri, about thirty miles from St. Louis. While living at Allenton Fendler arranged the first botanical specimens in the herbarium which was just being started by Henry Shaw for his Botanical Garden. These numbered about 60,000 and consisted of the herbaria of Bernhardi and Eiehl, the latter containing a considerable number of local species. Because of his extensive and excellent collections, he became known to botanists and botanical institutions. While he was widely known by reputation, he seems not to have been well known personally, because of his excessive diffidence.

August Fendler[1] was born August 10, 1813, in the town of Gumbinnen, in eastern Prussia. When he was six months old his father died, and two years later his mother married again. His parents had but scanty means and his school training for a number of years could scarcely be called schooling. When about twelve years old he was sent to the Gymnasium, and was here for about four years, when his parents were obliged to take him from school because of financial troubles. He was apprenticed to the town clerk's office, and here began to think of traveling in foreign countries.

At the end of his apprenticeship he had an offer to accompany a prominent physician as his clerk in a journey of inspection along the Russian frontier of Prussia where the cholera was beginning to be feared. Fendler was soon in the midst of the cholera and remained for some time, returning home when the disease had abated. He now learned the trade of tanning and currying during the next two years. In the fall of 1834 Fendler was admitted to the Royal Gewerbeschule, but the strain upon his already frail health caused him to abandon it after finishing the first year with credit.

In the fall of 1835 he started with a knapsack upon his back from Berlin as a traveling artisan, passed through parts of Silesia, Saxony, to Frankfort, down the Rhine, and finally coming to Bremen. Early in the spring of 1836 he embarked for Baltimore, Maryland, arriving with but two dollars in his pocket. In Philadelphia he worked in a tannery

Fig. 13. Mr. August Fendler, at about the time he lived at Allenton, Mo.

for a time, then went to New York and worked at the lamp manufacturing business. The financial panic of 1837 caused this business to be closed in the spring of 1838.

Having made up his mind to go to St. Louis, he started as soon as possible. The easiest way was from New York to Albany by boat, thence to Buffalo by canal, to Cleveland by steamer, to Portsmouth on the Ohio River, and then down the Ohio and up the Mississippi by steamboat. This trip took thirty days.

In St. Louis, which had then about 13,000 inhabitants, he soon got employment, but decided to go to New Orleans because of the approaching winter. He left St. Louis about Christmas, 1838, on foot, with his knapsack on his back; he crossed the Mississippi and walked along through the thinly settled forests of Illinois, the cane-brakes of Kentucky, and a part of Tennessee, where he fell in with two others going to the same destination. At the mouth of the Ohio they joined in buying a skiff and set out for New Orleans in it. They soon were caught by a steamer going their way and they boarded her and abandoned their skiff. Upon arriving in New Orleans the talk about Texas decided him to go farther west^ and he arrived in Galveston in January, 1839. He stayed in Texas about a year and then returned to Illinois where he taught school for some time.

In the fall of 1841 he found an uninhabited island in the Missouri about three hundred miles above St. Louis, and he took up his solitary residence there. When the spring rise came it caused him to leave.

In 1844 he sailed for home, and while on this trip first learned that sets of dried plants might be sold. On his return to America and to St. Louis he began to collect and was aided by Dr. Engelmann in naming his specimens. He visited different parts of the country between Chicago and New Orleans for the purpose of collecting. Dr. Engelmann commended him to Dr. Asa Gray, and he was furnished with the authority to accompany some troops which were being sent to Santa Fé, so that he had free transportation for himself and luggage. He returned to St Louis in the fall of 1847. In the spring of 1849 he started on another collecting trip to the West. He was unsuccessful, having lost most of his stock of drying papers in a flood, and he was forced to return to St. Louis. Upon his arrival here he found that all of his large collections and notes and journals had been destroyed in the great fire which burned much of the business section of the city during his absence. In 1849 he embarked for Panama, and after four months again returned to Arkansas, and finally went to Memphis, where he went into business. In 1854 he went to Venezuela and collected for four years, during this time exploring alone mountain ranges which were scarcely known at that time. He made very large collections, which are of great value. He returned to Missouri in 1864 and bought a tract of land in the town of Allenton, about thirty miles west of St. Louis. This he began to clear and cultivate in company with his half-brother, who was half-witted, and who always was dependent upon him. Here he remained for seven years, with the exception of a month spent in the Gray Herbarium, assisting in its arrangement. During this time Mr. Letterman became acquainted with him, and from 1870 to 1871 they met two or three times a week and nearly every Sunday with green plants to be identified. He seems to have collected but little in the vicinity, but was very familiar with the plants of the general neighborhood. After clearing his land and putting up his house, mostly with his own hands, he spent most of his time writing a book. This is undoubtedly his "Mechanism of the Universe," which was unfortunately published at his own expense later. Failing health forced him to dispose of his farm and remove to another climate. In 1871 he sold the farm and left for Europe, intending to live there the rest of his days. He, however, returned and settled at Wilmington, Delaware, in 1873. While here he finished his book and published it. Repeated attacks of rheumatism compelled him to seek a warmer climate, and he and his brother went to the island of Trinidad. They lived at Port of Spain, landing in June, 1877; here the remainder of his life was spent in making botanical observations and collecting, especially among the ferns. Advancing age restricted his

Fig. 14. House built by August Fendler in Allenton, Missouri, and occupied by him during his residence here from 1864 to 1871. The small ell has been added by subsequent owners.

efforts to the immediate neighborhood, and when this was exhausted he did but little. His death occurred in November, 1883.

An appreciation of his work from one who knew him best follows:

It is needless to say that Fendler was a quick and keen observer and an admirable collector. He had much literary taste, and had formed a very good literary style in English, as his descriptive letters show. He was excessively diffident and shy, but courteous and most amiable, gentle and delicately refined. Many species of his own discovery commemorate his name, as also a well marked genus, Fendlera, a Saxifragaceous shrub which is winning its way into ornamental cultivation.[2]

Dr. F. Adolph Wislizenus came to America from Germany in 1835; he landed at New York and lived there for the next two years. In 1837 he went west, settling near Belleville, 111. Two years later he came to St. Louis and lived in that city practically all the rest of his life. He is not known to have performed any botanical work in the vicinity of St. Louis, but he is included in the present paper because of having made a very considerable collection of plants in New Mexico, Mexico, and other parts of the great American arid plain. This collection was

Fig. 15. Dr. Adolph Wislizenus; by permission of the St. Louis Academy of Sciences, from a photograph in their possession.

one of the first from the region visited, and is considered especially important because Dr. Wislizenus was one of the first to give an accurate, scientific account of the sections visited by him. This is especially true of Mexico, of which there were very erroneous and distorted ideas in the United States.

Dr. Frederick Adolphus Wislizenus[3] was born in 1810 at Koenigsee, in Schwarzburg-Rudolstadt, one of the numerous tiny German principalities of that period. He was the youngest of three children of a Protestant minister whose ancestors were said to have fled from Bohemia, victims of the religious fanaticism which resulted in the persecution of Hus and his followers.

Wislizenus studied medicine at the University of Jena in 1828, and later at Göttingen and Würzbürg. He was a member of the "Burschenschaft," but escaped arrest when that was broken up by the authorities. He followed his friend and teacher, the great clinician Schoenlein, to Zürich and there joined an expedition to aid Mazzini in his struggle against Austrian rule; but the Swiss troops disarmed them on the border so he was forced to return to his studies.

Wislizenus graduated in Zürich in 1834 and soon sailed for New York, where he began to practise his profession in 1835. Here he remained two years writing constantly for the German papers of the city. He then went west in 1837 and joined some of his fellow-exiles who had settled in St. Clair County, Illinois. In 1839 he came to St. Louis and immediately seized an opportunity to accompany an expedition of the St. Louis Fur Company for trading with the Indians. He thus went far into the Northwestern country towards the source of the Green Elver in the Wind River Mountains. When the expedition started to return he joined a band of Flat-head and Nez Percé Indians. He thus crossed the Rocky Mountains to Utah and went as far as Fort Hall, the most southern post of the English trading company. Here he could find no guide to take him to California, so he returned; crossing the Green and the south fork of the Platte, he followed the Arkansas to Missouri. During this trip he had no facilities for making scientific observations and collections, so it was wholly without any such results.

On his return to St. Louis in 1840 he resumed his practise of medicine He was identified with early efforts towards the establishment of an Academy of Science, and aided Dr. Engelmann in his efforts to found a botanic garden, and was an earnest worker in the Western Academy of Science. He soon gained a lucrative practice, but as soon as the opportunity offered he was again in the field. He joined a trading expedition to Mexico, well equipped this time with instruments and apparatus for scientific work. In Santa Fé they first learned of the war between Mexico and the United States, but Wislizenus obtained a pass and proceeded to Chihuahua, where he with other Americans was seized and imprisoned. He was sent to a small mountain town of the interior and there had ample opportunity to carry on his collecting and observations in the neighborhood during the winter. Upon the arrival of Col. Doniphan's troops in the spring he was released and accompanied them in a professional capacity until their disbanding at New Orleans in 1847, when he returned to St. Louis.

Senator Thomas H. Benton became interested in him and his experiences in Mexico, and finally was the cause of his being summoned to Washington and being requested to prepare for publication the results ot his investigations. His resulting "Memoir of a Tour to Northern Mexico in 1846 and 1847" was considered important enough so that the senate ordered 5,000 copies printed for distribution. This publication gave a good account of the country which was then much misunderstood and misrepresented, and resulted in correcting many erroneous ideas regarding that section of the American continent. It contained many very valuable data concerning the meteorology, geology, topography and botany of the region. Among the valuable results of this tour was a botanical collection containing many new plants which were classified and described by Dr. Geo. Engelmann, of St. Louis, who commemorated the valuable services of Wislizenus to science by applying his name to a new genus, Wislizenia, as well as to several of the new species of the collection.

Wislizenus again returned to St. Louis from Washington upon the completion of his report, and served faithfully during the cholera epidemic of 1849. As soon as this was over, however, he went to Constantinople in 1850 to bring back with him as his bride, Miss Lucy Crane, a sister-in-law of Hon. Geo. P. Marsh, whom he had met while in Washington. After visiting his old home in Thüringen and the large cities of the Old World, the two returned to the United States. Leaving his wife with her friends in the east, he went to Panama and California in search of a more desirable location. But he again returned to St. Louis and finally settled down permanently. He was one of the founders of the St. Louis Academy of Science and an active worker and one of the officers of the St. Louis Medical Society and of the Western Academy of Sciences. He was for many years president of the German Medical Society of St. Louis. His barometrical observations and his botanical and mineralogical collections, together with his memoir, are distinct additions to science. He was interested in meteorology from 1858 till his death, and in 1861 he commenced to study the atmospheric electricity with the belief that this would be of value in connection with meteorology. He discontinued this study, however, upon arriving at the conclusion that it was valueless in this connection—a fact which is now generally acknowledged. His last days were spent in seclusion, he being closely confined to the house by his infirmities and the loss of his sight. He died on September 22, 1889, in his eightieth year.

In 1851 there began a most important movement for the advancement of botany in St. Louis.[4] In that year, Mr. Henry Shaw, while on his last visit to Europe, first conceived the idea of establishing for himself a country estate on lines similar to those of many of the large English ones. In fact he had already started to build a home in the country district west of St. Louis;

This idea of a large private estate seems to have soon become changed to that of a botanical garden, for in 1857 he commenced active operations to this end. He even at one time planned a grand school of botany with all the appendages and equipment necessary for a college of botany. This was modified in its first inception, but has been carried out to a degree. Very soon he built a botanical museum, bought herbaria and built greenhouses in which tender and exotic plants might be grown, while the grounds themselves were planted with many of the more hardy species. In 1859 he secured the passage of an act of the Missouri state legislature enabling him to deed or will to a board of trustees such property as he might wish, to be used for the maintenance of the Missouri Botanical Garden, as he prophetically named it. In 1885 he founded the Shaw School of Botany in connection with Washington University of St. Louis and provided for very close relations between the school and the garden. The estate deeded for the use of the garden was valued at about one million two hundred and fifty thousand dollars. This has increased very materially in value with the rapid rise in real estate in and about St. Louis. From the small beginnings of a private estate, the garden has developed until there were in cultivation in 1906, over seventeen thousand species and varieties of living plants; fifty-five thousand books and pamphlets in the library, including a very fine collection of pre-Linnæan works, and five hundred and sixty thousand sheets of dried specimens. The garden has issued eighteen annual reports, and is in exchange relations with nine hundred institutions interested in botany, gardening, horticulture or forestry. The library is one of the finest of the botanical libraries of the world, and all resources of the garden are placed at the free disposal of those capable of using them. Thus Mr. Shaw's life-work has reached its fruition, and a fitting memorial is rising steadily to more and more impressive proportions.

Henry Shaw[5] was born in Sheffield, England, July 24, 1800. He was the eldest of four children. His father was a manufacturer of grates, fire irons, etc., and owned a large establishment. Henry's early education was obtained at Thorne, a neighboring village, and his favorite place for study was an arbor in the garden. He was later transferred to Mill Hill, about twenty miles from London. This was termed a "dissenting" school, but was also considered one of the best private schools in the Kingdom. He remained here about six years, leaving probably in 1817, thus finishing his schooling. He studied while here considerable Greek, more Latin, more than the average amount of mathemathics, French, and undoubtedly German, Italian and Spanish. With this scholastic training he began to assist his father at the home establishment for a year, after which he accompanied him to Canada. In this same year, 1818, his father sent him to New Orleans, mainly to investigate cotton raising. He stayed in Louisiana but a short time, as he did not like the climate nor were there financial inducements for his doing so. He was now his own master and decided to go north and try his fortune in the then small and remote French trading post known as St. Louis. He accordingly embarked upon the Maid of New Orleans, and after a long and tedious voyage landed at St. Louis on May 3, 1819.

Fig. 16. Henry Shaw; from a watercolor painting at the Missouri Botanical Garden, by permission of the Director.

He began business on the second floor of a building which he found for rent, and for a time lived, cooked and sold his small stock of cutlery in this one room. The capital with which he bought his first stock of goods was furnished by his uncle. While Mr. Shaw's main object at this time was to make money, and while he denied himself many youthful enjoyments, he still did not thus deny himself beyond reasonable limits.

He had been succeeding in business, and when the balance sheet for 1839 was struck it showed to his own great surprise a net gain for the year of $35,000. His figures were gone over again and again until there could be no doubt of the fact. It seemed to him that "this was more money than any man in my circumstances ought to make in a single year." Accordingly, the following year, when opportunity offered, he closed out his business. At this time he was forty years of age, physically and mentally unimpaired, and vigorous, a free man, and the possessor of $250,000, equivalent to more than $1,000,000 at the present time.

In September 1840, Mr. Shaw made his first visit to Europe, stopping on his way at Rochester, New York, where his parents and sisters resided. He took an extended tour on the continent and, returning to St. Louis in the autumn of 1843, arranged his affairs for another absence in Europe. This lasted for about three years, during which time he visited all of the accessible European localities, together with Constantinople and Egypt. A journey to Palestine was prevented by the prevalence of the plague in that country.

Early in 1851 his last trip abroad was made, the first World's Fair being then held in London. While on this visit the idea first occurred to him to make a garden of his own, modeled after those which are so well known upon the great private estates of England. Mr. Shaw returned in December, 1851; the mansion at Tower Grove had been finished in 1849, and the one on the corner of Seventh and Locust streets was then being built. After this time he was in St. Louis, with the exception of short summer vacations at the Atlantic coast or the northern lakes. Seemingly a man of leisure, he was really a very busy man for the next thirty years, and was never an idler until compelled to be.

In 1857 the late Dr. Engelmann, who was then in Europe, was commissioned by Mr. Shaw to examine botanical gardens and to obtain such suggestions as he might think of value. About this time a correspondence was begun with Sir William J. Hooker, Director of Kew Gardens, who wrote on August 10, 1857:

Very few appendages to a garden of this kind are of more importance for instruction than a library and economic museum, and these gradually increase like a rolling snowball.

Accordingly, Mr. Shaw in 1858-9 erected a building for this purpose. The selection of books was entrusted largely to Dr. Engelmann in consultation with Hooker, Decaisne, Alexander Braun and others of his botanical friends. At the same time Dr. Engelmann urged upon Mr. Shaw the purchase of the herbarium of the recently deceased Professor Bernhardi, of Erfurth, Germany, which was offered at a very small price. Hooker wrote January 1, 1858:

He [Engelmann] tells me of the herbarium of the late Dr. Bernhardi, of Erfurth, which he expects to buy for St. Louis. That ought to be a good commencement for the more scientific part of the establishment. . . . The state ought to feel that it owes you much for so much public spirit, and so well directed.

Mr. Shaw has told that he at one time planned a grand school of botany, with residences for the faculty, laboratories, etc., opposite the main gate; but he abandoned the project because of the advice of Dr. Asa Gray.

In 1866 Mr. Shaw secured the services of Mr. James Gurney from the Royal Botanical Gardens of London, whose practical experience and faithfulness contributed very largely to make the Garden and Tower Grove Park what they are to-day. Mr. Shaw, however, never abandoned his personal supervision, and he thus spent the last twenty-five years of his life perfecting what he had begun. Until the summer of 1885 he had not been out of St. Louis, except to drive out to dine with a friend, for about twenty years. At this time the hot weather caused a failure of his usual good health, and he went to northern Illinois and Wisconsin for some time. He returned much improved and resumed his accustomed avocations with renewed vigor.

On the twenty-fourth of July, 1889, he received numerous visitors who congratulated him upon the beginning of his ninetieth year. Although weak, he was able to meet them in the drawing-room, and his mind was as clear as ever. This, however, was his last public appearance. Fig. 17. Mr. Geo. W. Letterman. An attack of malaria resulted in his death on August 25. On Saturday, August 31, he was laid to rest in the mausoleum which had been already prepared in the midst of the garden which he had created—not only for himself, but for all succeeding generations.

Mr. G. W. Letterman is one of the few persons who have worked upon botany in the vicinity of St. Louis during their whole lifetime. Mr. Letterman has worked especially in Missouri, but is also very familiar with the plants of the region included in eastern and northern Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas and Indian Territory. He has accumulated a very large herbarium, in which the flora of St. Louis is represented probably better than in any other private herbarium.

George Washington Letterman,[6] the son of John and Charlotte (Blair) Letterman, was born near Bellefonte, Center County, Pennsylvania, of a family which had lived for three generations in Pennsylvania, his father being of Dutch, and his mother of Irish descent. From the public school he entered the State College in Center County, but left before graduation to join the Union Army, in which he enlisted as a private; serving until the end of the war he was mustered out of the service with the rank of captain of volunteers. After crossing the plains to New Mexico in 1866, he returned to Pennsylvania, and then going west again to Kansas, with the idea of becoming a farmer in that state, he finally, in 1869, settled in Allenton, Missouri, a railroad hamlet about thirty miles west of St. Louis. Here Mr. Letterman taught in the public schools uninterruptedly for twenty years, and then for two years served as superintendent of schools in St, Louis County. Shortly after settling in Allenton Mr. Letterman met August Fendler, the botanist, who had a farm at this time in the neighborhood. This meeting with Fendler stimulated his interest in plants, especially in trees, and led to an acquaintance with Dr. Engelmann, for whom Letterman made large collections of plants in the neighborhood of Allenton, with many notes on the oaks and hickories. In 1880 he was appointed a special agent of the Census Department of the United States, to collect information about the trees and forests of Missouri, Arkansas, western Louisiana and eastern Texas, and later he was employed as an agent of the American Museum of Natural History in New York, to collect specimens of the trees of the same region for the Jesup collection of North American woods. The distribution of the trees of this region before Mr. Letterman's travels was little known, and much useful information concerning them was first gathered by him. Of his numerous discoveries species of Vernonia, Poa and Stipa commemorate the name of Letterman.

The above account is taken verbatim from Sargent's "Silva of North America," as it is the only authentic account of Mr. Letterman's life available. Mr. Letterman still lives at Allenton, Missouri, and is carrying on his botanical work. From the accounts of those in a position to know, his herbarium is very large, and at the present time probably contains as complete a representation of the St. Louis flora as any other, with the possible exception of the Eggert collection, which, however, can hardly surpass it. Mr. Letterman is connected with the local botanical societies, and is well known by the botanical workers of the city.

One man who has left an enduring impression upon botany, although his life work was along other lines, was Dr. Charles Valentine Riley.[7] Dr. Riley was born at Chelsea, London, September 18, 1843. His boyhood was spent at Walton-on-Thames, where he became acquainted with W. C. Hewitson, the author of a work on butterflies. This acquaintance undoubtedly turned his inclinations towards entomology. He studied for three years in the school at Dieppe and afterwards at Bonn. His teacher at the latter place urged him to study art at Paris, but this was not done. At the age of seventeen he emigrated to Illinois and when about twenty-one went to Chicago as reporter and editor for the Prairie Farmer. He was for six months in an Illinois regiment during the latter part of the Rebellion. He attained such success as an entomologist that he was made State Entomologist for Missouri in 1868, and he held this office until 1877, when he went to Washington in the government service. During this period he and his assistants. Miss Mary E. Murtfeldt and Mr. Otto Lugger, worked out two cases of the relation of insects to plants which are of more than ordinary interest.

In 1863 there were first noted in France the ravages of the American Phylloxera upon the tender European varieties of grapes. These injuries became so serious that in 1872 the trouble was known not only in France, but in Portugal, Switzerland, Germany and England, and the entire grape and wine industry of Europe was threatened with annihilation. Riley became much interested in the problem of controlling the pest and finally hit upon the plan of grafting the susceptible European varieties upon roots of the resistant American species. This simple expedient undoubtedly saved the grape industry of Europe and also incidentally prevented a tremendous loss of money.

The second case was one of purely scientific value and interest. Dr. George Engelmann had noted that the character of the pollen of Yucca indicated that pollination of the flowers must be accomplished by some kind of an insect. Riley took up this hint and finally, with the aid of his assistants, discovered that the pollination was actually performed by the Pronuba and Prodoxus moths. This line of work was continued for twenty years, and a series of publications upon it issued at various times during this period.

Incidentally his work was of interest to botanists in many other cases, but these two seem especially noteworthy. He won an enviable reputation among entomologists the world over. He died the latter part of the year 1895.

Because of her botanical work, as well as her association with Dr. Eiley in working out the pollination of Yucca and other problems. Miss Mary E. Murtfeldt deserves mention. In 1885 Professor S. M. Tracy, then of Columbia, Missouri, published a list[8] of the plants of the state. In this list one finds many species from the vicinity of St. Louis credited to "Murtfeldt" as their collector. These specimens were collected by Miss Murtfeldt not long before the publication of the "Tracy" list and are still in her possession, forming a collection of about 500 numbers. Miss Murtfeldt's first scientific work was in botanical lines, but this later changed to entomology, her botanical knowledge being indispensable in following out the life histories of new or little known insects upon their host plants. Many of her later botanical specimens are of much interest from the entomological standpoint and were prepared for that purpose alone. Miss Murtfeldt is well known among entomologists for her work, which has been mostly of this nature.

In 1874 Mr. Henry Eggert, as he was known, came to St. Louis, went into business, and began the study of the local flora and the formation of an herbarium which probably represented the flora of that vicinity at the time of his death, the best of any in existence. Eggert came to America from Prussia when about thirty years of age; he had already collected and studied the plants of different sections in Europe, and his work about St. Louis seems to have been simply a continuation along similar lines to that already done in Europe. Although he lived in St. Louis and in later years in East St. Louis, he seems to have been somewhat of a hermit, and was not understood, or even comparatively well known, by his neighbors. He seems to have been an enthusiast upon botany, and his botanical collection was apparently his one luxury and hobby.

Heinrich Karl Daniel Eggert[9] was born March 3, 1841, in the town of Osterwieck, Prussia. He was educated at a seminary in Halberstadt, and became a teacher in the public schools of the neighboring

Fig. 18. The Eggert House in East St. Louis, Illinois; practically as it was at the time of the death of Henry Eggert.

city of Magdeburg. He early became interested in the study of plants, and before leaving Europe he had made botanical collections in the Harz Mountains and on short journeys to Kreuznach and in Bohemia. Dissatisfied with the small salary of a German school teacher, Eggert came to America in 1873, and for a few months worked on a farm in southern New York. From New York he went to St. Louis, where he remained for a number of years and then removed across the river to East St. Louis, where he lived the rest of his lifetime.

The first work which he seems to have taken up in St. Louis was that of carrying papers for the local press. He carried papers for about twenty years, handling both a morning and an evening one. He worked early and late, never sparing himself and always living by himself in a secluded manner. Comparatively few persons ever saw the interior of his house, and still fewer were on really friendly terms with him, as we ordinarily use that phrase. While he had but little to do with his neighbors he never seems to have had any enemies.

Eggert's first start in making more money than usual was at the time of the great outbreak of the American Phylloxera in the vineyards of Europe, destroying immense numbers of the vines and threatening the entire wine and grape industry of Europe. It was finally discovered that the American native grapes might be used as stocks upon which to graft the more susceptible European varieties, so that a vine was obtained which had roots of the American resistant species with the top of some desirable but susceptible European species. This work resulted in an immense demand for the seed of some of our native species of grapes. Eggert's knowledge of botany led to his being recommended as a suitable person from whom to get these seeds. For at least two or three years he made a business of collecting and selling them to foreign countries. The business was quite remunerative and in the proper season he is said to have made several hundred dollars a month in this way. He seems to have kept up his carrying of papers at the same time. At first he carried them on his back, taking immense loads in a bag slung over his shoulder. As his business grew he bought a horse and wagon and still later he employed others, so that at one time he conducted a considerable business of this kind. He never relinquished his botanical work, and in early days he collected specimens for sale to botanists and for use in colleges and schools, thus making some little money. In later years his left arm and hand became affected with a partial paralysis which he attributed to his severe work in carrying such heavy weights of papers slung over that shoulder. His money he invested in farms and similar property, and he succeeded in amassing considerable property. In his personal habits he was always very frugal, his only luxury seeming to have been his botanical collecting. In 1896 he sent to Germany for his nephew, August Eggert, and turned his greenhouses over to him to run. This nephew lived more or less intimately with him. Mr. Eggert was always of a peculiar disposition, apparently being constantly in fear of some attempt upon his life. He had hallucinations in which he thought every one had designs upon his life, and these became worse as he grew older. His mind was undoubtedly unbalanced, and on the night of April 18, 1904, he shot himself with a revolver.

As mentioned above, Eggert early learned botany and collected extensively all of his life. He collected assiduously all around St. Louis for a considerable distance, and his collection probably represented the flora of this district better and more completely than any other ever made. He also went on collecting trips to various parts of Missouri, Illinois, Arkansas, Alabama, Tennessee and Texas, and the southeastern states. He seemed to possess a genuine love for botany, and his determinations seem to have been, as a rule, correct beyond the ordinary. He was a charter member of the Engelmann Botanical Club, and was its first vice-president. He was also a member of the International Association of Botanists, and was made one of its vice-presidents.

Personallly, he seems to have had no enemies; he always remembered an injury, either real or fancied, and was unstinting in his expression of dislike for those who had in any way incurred his displeasure. His love of botany and his fine herbarium made him well known to the local botanists, yet he never seems to have been on really intimate terms with many of them. He was always ready to exchange specimens of rare plants or local species, and his herbarium was thus greatly enlarged by exchange from other countries as well as from all parts of the United States. During early days he collected specimens for the purpose of selling them, but as he grew older he could rarely be induced to sell his specimens, preferring to exchange.

His herbarium at his death was estimated to contain about 60,000 specimens, and was considered very valuable. It was acquired by the Missouri Botanical Garden, and is at present being incorporated with the herbarium of that institution as rapidly as possible. His herbarium is especially valuable for the reason that it was the basis of a local flora published by Eggert in 1891 under the title "Catalogue of the Phænogamous and Vascular Cryptogamous Plants of the Vicinity of St. Louis, Mo." His preface is characteristic and self-explanatory, so that it may well be given:

Since[10] the publication of Mr. Geyer's catalogue of the Plants of Illinois and Missouri, about 1842, no other effort has been made to publish a list of plants growing in the vicinity of St. Louis but my own partial lists of species found in former years. I hope my present catalogue of Plants growing in a radius of about 40 miles around St. Louis will be welcome to botanists until a local flora is published.

Since 1874 I have systematically looked over the ground in all directions, so that very few plants will have escaped my observation; but as I could only go out one day at a time, in places too far off from railroads, there still may be found something new. Railroads also will bring new immigrants from other legions when some of our own plants may have vanished, so that it will be a very important matter for later botanists to know what in former years was growing here. This idea mostly led me to have this catalogue printed.

With the exception of a few plants reported to me by Mr. Letterman, of Allenton, Mo., all plants are collected by myself. The catalogue contains nearly 1,100 different species and varieties, so that St. Louis need not be ashamed of her flora.

This catalogue of Mr. Eggert's is by far the best and most nearly complete list of our plants which has yet appeared. Besides the above mentioned catalogue, a number of small lists of desiderata were distributed to Eggert's correspondents for a number of years. Aside from these he published absolutely nothing, so far as now known. Exact localities were not given either in his lists or upon the labels accompanying his specimens, but he is known to have kept a note-book in which all such data were given. This note-book disappeared during the changes following his death, and thus much valuable and intimate knowledge of our flora was lost. As mentioned above, his entire herbarium is now in the possession of the Missouri Botanical Garden, where it will receive the best of care and will be accessible to all botanists desiring to use it.

One of the more recent collectors who have worked in and about St. Louis, especially upon the fleshy fungi, is Dr. N. M. Glatfelter.

Dr. Noah M. Glatfelter was born in York County, Pennsylvania, on November 28, 1837. He lived on a farm until he was seventeen years of age, when he began teaching school. He finished seven terms, and during the time attended successively the York County Academy, Lancaster County Normal School, and Franklin and Marshall College at Lancaster, Pa., for two thirds of the sophomore year. He then commenced the study of medicine with Dr. John L. Atlee, of Lancaster. In 1863 he attended the medical lectures at the University of Pennsylvania, and graduated from the Fig. 19. Dr. N. M. Glatfelter; about 1900. same institution in 1864. He then received a commission from President Lincoln as Assistant Surgeon of United States Volunteers. In 1867 he left the army in Dakota territory. Ever since that time he has practised medicine in and near St. Louis.

About 1889 Dr. Glatfelter commenced collecting the herbaceous plants in the vicinity of St. Louis and obtained specimens of most of the species of the district. This herbarium is still in the collector's possession. From 1892 to 1898 he gave special attention to the willows of St. Louis, and contributed papers on the venation of Salix, on Salix hybrids, on Salix longipes and on the relations between Salix nigra and S. amygdaloides.

In 1898 he became interested in the collection and study of the Hymenomycetes. This has led to the accumulation of about five hundred species, making quite an exhaustive collection of these fungi. This work is being continued and has already resulted in the discovery of a number of species new to science, several of which have been named in honor of their discoverer. This material has been submitted to Professor Chas. H. Peck, so it is authoritatively named.

In 1906 a list of this collection was published by the St. Louis Academy of Science.[11] The specimens are mostly in Dr. Glatfelter's private herbarium. Collecting has also been done in Pennsylvania in 1899, 1905 and 1900, and somewhat in other states. The herbaceous herbarium has been increased by exchanges, so that it numbers over 4,000 species. Dr. Glatfelter is a member of the local botanical societies and is still collecting the fleshy fungi, to which he is giving most of his attention.

The more recent botanical workers of St. Louis we find grouped into two distinct bodies; the staff of the Shaw School of Botany, and of the Missouri Botanical Garden, and the investigators of the Mississippi Valley Laboratory of the United States Department of Agriculture. In the former group, which has existed for the longer time, the following persons should be mentioned: Dr. William Trelease, director of the Missouri Botanical Garden since the death of Mr. Shaw, and also professor of botany in the Shaw School of Botany. Besides administering the affairs of these two institutions, and bringing them to their present development and efficiency, he has published many scientific papers; the earliest ones were concerned with fungi and various plant diseases; then the pollination of flowers was taken up; and of late years his work has been in the systematic revision of certain groups, such as the genera Acer, Rumex, Yucca, etc. Under his management the botanical garden has issued eighteen annual reports of scientific material, which have given that institution a name for scientific research, although it can hardly even yet be said to have fairly emerged from the preparatory stage of its development. Associated very closely with Doctor Trelease since 1891: is Mr. H. C. Irish, who has had general charge of the grounds, greenhouses and outdoor planting. Mr. Irish has published papers on horticultural subjects, including a scientific revision of the genus Capsicum, and of the "garden bean," and has in preparation another extensive paper along similar lines. Mr. C. H. Thompson has been connected with the garden for a number of years, and is engaged also upon scientific investigations. Dr. J. A. Harris, librarian of the garden, has published a number of scientific papers, and is engaged upon others, in the preparation of which the extensive and excellent library facilities of the garden are being fully employed. Others who have been connected with the garden staff, and who are now well known scientifically, are Dr. L. H. Pammel, Dr. H. J. Webber and J. B, S. Norton, all of whom worked more or less upon the fungi of the locality while at the garden. Dr. S. M. Coulter, assistant professor of botany in the Shaw School of Botany, has, ever since coming to St. Louis, been working upon ecological problems.

The second group of botanists is a small one, of whom the following have been more or less intimately connected with the local work being carried upon the flora of the vicinity: Dr. Hermann von Schrenk, in charge of the Mississippi Valley Laboratory until its removal to Washington in 1907, has published a number of scientific papers dealing with the diseases of forest trees and of timber. Some of these were worked out from material collected around St. Louis, either partially or entirely. Dr. von Schrenk continues his work at St. Louis, having severed his relations with the United States Department of Agriculture upon the removal of the Mississippi Valley Laboratory from St. Louis to Washington. Drs. G. G. Hedgcock and Perley Spaulding, assistants of Dr. von Schrenk, were also engaged upon problems relating to the diseases of fruit and forest trees. All three have collected the fungi of the vicinity, and have been intimately connected with the botanical activities of the place.

Besides the above workers should be mentioned Mr. John Kellogg, long employed by the garden, who is very familiar with the local flora, and has a very good private herbarium; Dr. N. L. T. Nelson, who is collecting the mosses of the vicinity; Mr. 11. M, T. Hus, who is collecting the algæ; and numbers of others who have collected in the locality at various times.

  1. Canby, W. M., Bot. Gaz., 9: 111-112, 1884; 10: 285-290, 301-304, 319-322, 1885.
    Gray, Asa, Amer. Jour. Sci. and Arts, 3d series, 29: 169-171, 1885.
    Sargent, C. S., "Silva of North America," 12: 123-124, 1898.
  2. Gray, Asa, Amer. Jour. Sci. and Arts, 3d series, 29: 169, 1885.
  3. Engelmann, Geo. J., Trans. St. Louis Acad. Sci., 5: 464-468, 1890.
    Sargent, C. S., "Silva of North America," 6: 94, 1894.
    Wislizenus, F. A., "Memoir of a Tour to Northern Mexico," 1-141, 1848. Pop. Sci. Monthly, 52: 643. 1808.
  4. Trelease, Wm., Mo. Bot. Garden Report, 1: 84–90, 1890. Plant World, 5: 1–4, 1902. “The Academy of Science of St. Louis,” Pop. Sci. Monthly, 62: 118–130, 1903. “The Missouri Botanical Garden,” Pop. Sci. Monthly, 62: 193–221, 1903.
  5. Dimmock, Thos., Mo. Bot. Garden Report, 1: 7-25, 1890.
  6. Sargent, C. S., "Silva of North America," 13: 79-80, 1902.
  7. Howard, L. O., Proc. Soc. Prom. Agric. Sci., 17: 108–112, 1896.
  8. Tracy, S. M., "Flora of Missouri," Mo. State Hort. Soc. Report (Appendix), 1-106, 1885.
  9. Sargent, C. S., "Silva of North America," 13: 51-52, 1902.
  10. Eggert, Henry, "Catalogue of the Phænogamous and Vascular Cryptogamous Plants in the Vicinity of St. Louis, Mo.," 1-16, 1891.
  11. Glatfelter, N. M., "Preliminary List of Higher Fungi Collected in the Vicinity of St. Louis, Mo., from 1898 to 1905," Trans. Acad. Sci. St. Louis, 16: 33-94, 1906.