GLEN PARKER VAN ESELTINE

Photo of Glen Van Eseltine

Glen was born October 21, 1888, in Syracuse, New York. He graduated with an AB degree from Syracuse in 1913. He served as aid in the U.S. National Herbarium in Washington from 1913 to 1915, became assistant in the Office of Foreign Seed and Plant Introductions of the U.S. Department of Agriculture in 1915 and served in that capacity until 1919 when he became assistant botanist. During World War I, he was active in food work for the U.S. Department of Agriculture. In 1922, he returned to Syracuse, following a period of ill health, and taught in North High School in that city until 1927, when he joined the staff of the New York State Agricultural Experiment Station, Geneva, New York, as associate in research and botanist. He was on the faculty of the Syracuse University Summer School in 1926, 1928, and 1929.

His professional work was in the field of taxonomic botany, especially that dealing with economic and horticultural plants. He was the author of numerous government publications on botanical subjects, contributor to scientific journals, and the co-author of the Beans of New York, the Sweet Corn of New York, and the Cucurbids of New York in the series of vegetable books published by the Experiment Station.

He held membership in many professional and scientific societies, including the American Association for the Advancement of Science, of which he was a fellow, the Botanical Society of America, the Ecological Society of America, the American Society for Horticultural Science, the Society of Sigma Xi, and Sigma Phi Epsilon. He was elected to the Washington Biologists’ Field Club in 1915.

Glen always took an active part in the local communities in which he lived. In Geneva, he was president of the Eaton Bird Club and the Geneva Chapter of the Izaak Walton League. It was through his efforts that the Geneva Garden Club, which he also served as president, was organized and the flower shows established. He was a member of the North Presbyterian Church of Geneva, an honorary member of the Canandaigua Botanical Society, chairman of the scout advancement committee of Geneva, and secretary of the University Club.

He was married to Florence M. Lamb of Meridian, New York, on September 9, 1915, and they had three children: Robert L., William P., and Dorothy. Glen passed away suddenly at his home on November 14, 1938, from a heart attack.

To do nothing more than to place on record the achievements and activities of Glen would be to miss so very much. It was his quiet, kindly helpful, uplifting spirit that brought him so many friends, and the high standards of daily living and the search and appreciation for better and finer things coupled with it that gained him the respect of his colleagues and drew youth to him. No request for help or advice in professional work or in the handling of problems involving human relations was ever denied.