John Marshall Grant
(6 May 1849 – 25 February 1934)
The University of North Carolina Herbarium
has catalogued 55 fungal specimens and 99 bryophytes collected by John
Marshall Grant, who usually signed his labels “J. M. Grant.” As more of our collection is catalogued
and databased, no doubt more
specimens which he collected will be found. NCU’s mycological collection is available
in a searchable database at http://mycoportal.org/portal/index.php , and our bryophytes are available in a searchable
database at http://bryophyteportal.org/portal/ . It is
possible that NCU has vascular plants collected by Grant, but our Washington
State holdings have yet to be catalogued.
Other herbaria which curate J. M. Grant’s
specimens include Cornell University (CUP), Field Museum (F), Farlow
Herbarium of Harvard University (FH), Iowa State University (ISC), Miami
University of Ohio (MU), New York Botanical Garden (NY), Oregon State
University (OSC), Purdue University (PUR), State University of New York
(SYRF), United States National Fungus Collection (BPI), University of
California, Berkeley (UC), University of Florida (FLAS), University of
Georgia (GAM), University of Illinois (ILL), University of Michigan (MICH),
University of Washington (WTU), University of Wisconsin (WIS), and University
of Wyoming (RMS).
Typical label in John Marshall Grant’s
Marshall Grant’s spouse, Cyrena Jane Brown, was
born in 1858 and died in 1934.
According to the 1900 U.S. Census, they had six living children –
among them Roy, Leslie, Vernon, Lloyd, Grace Gertrude (1878-1972) and another
daughter who became Mrs. Sanders.1
John Marshall and Cyrena Jane Grant
are buried in Evergreen Cemetery in Everett, Snohomish County, Washington.1
George Neville (1936)
John Marshall Grant – Botanist.
The Washington Historical Quarterly.
John Marshall Grant, pioneer
of Washington and amateur botanist, died at his home near Marysville on
February 25, 1934, in his 85th year. He was born in Sugar Creek township, Stark
County, Ohio, on May 6, 1849, the son of Michael and Susan (Carr) Grant, and the sixth of eleven children of whom he
was the last survivor. Nominally, he
was educated at the local public school.
At the age of nineteen he left home to become a school teacher in
Jackson township, Indiana for “$1.66 per day and board.” In 1870 he moved to Nebraska where he
became a farmer and carried the mail and express for the Wells-Fargo Company
from Odessa to Loop River during the Platte Indian uprising.
In 1878 Mr. Grant came to
Washington and settled across the bay from Fort Steilacoom in west central
Pierce County. In 1880 he moved to
Tacoma where he established a nursery business and built one of the first
greenhouses in that city. In 1890 he
moved to Port Angeles, staying there for five years before going to Sequim
where he lived for about twenty-five years.
He left Sequim in 1920 and moved to Montesano, lived there three
years, on Whidbey Island for four years, and finally
to Marysville in 1927.
As it is with almost all
naturalists, Mr. Grant’s interest in botany and other branches of natural
history was evident at an early age.
He has recorded in a diary that when he was a small boy he
surreptitiously left his bedroom at night to go out to collect specimens of
“bugs and rocks.” It seems that his
“father did not approve of his boy wasting his time on such things.”
The first definite record
of Grant’s botanical activities in Washington was in 1880 when he collected
seeds f various native trees and sent them to
nurseries in eastern United States and in Europe. C. V. Piper, in his Flora of Washington (Contr. U.S. Nat. Herb. 11, 1906) states that
Grant sent some specimens to the Gray Herbarium of Harvard University,
“collected in the Olympic Mountains in 1889.”
However, many specimens labeled “Olympic Mountains” actually came from
low elevations near Sequim.
Intermittent collections of vascular plants, mosses, and fungi were
made at various localities in western Washington until 1925 when Grant made a
special collection of flowering plants on the north side of Mount Rainier for
the Herbarium of the University of Washington. After 1925 he did very little collecting.
Grant’s specimens have
been distributed to various herbaria, and to private collectors, throughout
the world. He corresponded with and
exchanged specimens with botanists in nearly every part of the earth. Apparently he never published any account
of his discoveries but almost any monographic or distributional study
concerning western American botany includes his name in the citation of
collection data. He belonged to that
small but important group of naturalists who lay the foundation for the more
spectacular work of the specialist.
1. John Marshall Grant. Find A Grave Memorial #133856997. http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin//fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=133856997 accessed on 11 January 2017.