The University of North Carolina Herbarium
has catalogued to date about 70 specimens collected by William
Fox. Most specimens are from North Carolina, and were collected
between 1945 and 1951. As databasing of the entire collection
continues, no doubt more of Fox's specimens will be found. Fox
served as the Curator of the North Carolina State College Herbarium
from 1947 to 1952.
Anonymous. 1952. SABC President killed
in accident.CASTANEA 17(4): 166-167.
In a shocking accident at Raleigh on November
13, William Basil Fox, assistant professor of botany at North
Carolina State College, and president of the Southern Appalachian
Botanical Club, was killed when a .22 rifle was accidentally discharged.
He was 37 years of age, and among the most promising young botanists
of the East.
Dr. Fox was born at Talcott, W. Va. [West
Virginia], July 20, 1915, and attended grade schools in Summers
County, W. Va. He received a B.S. degree from West Virginia University
in 1939 and an M.S. in 1940 from the same institution. His Ph.D.
was from the University of Iowa in 1942. During the war he was
an instructor in radar in the U.S. Air Force, from 1942 to 1945.
After the conclusion of hostilities he served as assistant agronomist
at the Agricultural Experiment Station of Washington, at Pullman
(1945-1946). He received his appointment to the staff of North
Carolina State College in 1946.
In addition to this club, which he was
serving as president, he was a member of the Botanical Society
of America, the American Society of Plant Taxonomists, the Association
of Southeastern Biologists, and the North Carolina Academy of
Science. He had published numerous articles on the flora of North
Carolina, and and studied the Leguminosae of Iowa, West Virginia,
and North Carolina. He had just returned from a botanical expedition
to Baja California.
He was married in 1944 to Helen Lee Hensleigh,
who survives him. They had only one child, Stephen.
Dr. B. W. Wells, of the botany department
at North Carolina State College, said, "It has been a terrible
blow to all of us here for Bill was universally held in the highest
regard. His course in dendrology was second to none and as curator
of the Herbarium he had enlarged it and increased is efficiency
far more than any other contributor had done. Bill will be almost
Dr. P. D. Strausbagh, under whom he studied
at West Virginia University, commented: "In all of his work,
he was enthusiastic, persistent, patient, and thorough. Back of
his quiet, self-effacing manner there was a strength of character
and forcefulness of industry that became so clearly apparent in
his altruistic outlook and rich achievement."
For more information and a photo of William
Basil Fox, please visit the North Carolina State University Herbarium's
webpage detailing the history of that institution: www.cals.ncsu.edu/botany/ncsc/history.htm.
For more information about William Basil
Fox's widow, Helen Lee Hensleigh Wenger (1922 - ), please see
Partial list of publications:
Fox, William Basil. 1942. The Leguminosae
in Iowa. Ph.D. Thesis, University of Iowa, Iowa City.