Liriodendron tulipifera flower

The University of North Carolina
A Department of the North Carolina Botanical Garden



Collectors of the UNC Herbarium
Compiled by Carol Ann McCormick, Curator, NCU

Edward Willet Dorland Holway
(1853 – 31 March 1923)3


The University of North Carolina Herbarium (NCU) has catalogued about 100 specimens collected by Edward Willet Dorland Holway, who usually signed his specimens as “E. W. Holway” or most frequently, “E. W. D. Holway”. As our microfungi collection is currently being catalogued and it is very likely that more specimens collected by Holway will be found. All fungal specimens, both microfungi and macrofungi, can be searched at

Other herbaria that curate Holway’s mycological specimens include the Ada Hayden Herbarium at Iowa State University (ISC); the Arthur Fungarium at Purdue University (PUR); the Bell Museum of Natural History (MINN); the Bernard Lowy Mycological Herbarium at Louisiana State University (LSUM); Cornell Plant Pathology Herbarium (CUP); Farlow Herbarium of Harvard University (FH; fungi & lichens); Field Museum of Natural History (F); Gilbertson Mycological Herbarium at the University of Arizona (ARIZ); Illinois Natural History Survey (ILLS); Miami University Willard Sherman Turrell Herbarium (MU); New York Botanical Garden (NY); New York State Museum (NYS); Oregon State University Herbarium (OSC); United States National Fungus Collections (BPI); University of Wisconsin-Madison (WIS); University of Michigan (MICH:  fungi & lichens); Wilhelm G. Solheim Mycological Herbarium (RMS); University of Illinois (ILL); Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University (PH; lichens); and University of Nebraska at Omaha (OMA:  lichens).

Edward Willet Dorland Holway

Holway was born in Lenawee County, Michigan and moved “in infancy in the prairie covered wagon” to Winnieshiek County, Iowa.1  He married Effie Aiken (? – 1917) in 1877, and together they had two daughters.  By profession Holway was a banker (rising from teller to cashier then to vice-president) of Winneshiek County State Bank in Decorah, Iowa.1,2 

Upon retirement in 1904, he moved to Minneapolis, Minnesota and he donated his library and herbarium of 19,000 specimens to the University of Minnesota (MINN).  He was given the rank of Honorary Professor of Botany and studied Uredineae, plant rusts.  “Evidence of the superlative proficiency he acquired in [microscopy and photography] is found in a publication by the University of Minnesota Press entitled Holway’s North American Uredineae.  It appeared in five sections from 1905 to 1924, containing the history, description and distribution of 181 species with 54 plats, 11” X 8”, each showing six lithographed photographs of spore groupings, most of them magnified five hundred times the natural size.”1 

Mountaineering became a hobby in 1901 when Holway went to the Canadian Rockies during a particularly hot summer in Decorah, Iowa.  “For the joy of mountaineering he always returned to the Canadian Rockies, particularly to the glaciated peaks of his “beloved Selkirks” in the Big Bend of the Columbia River.  There he made the first known ascent of several peaks… [A] mountain rising over ten thousand feet near the crossing of the 118 degree west longitude and 51 degrees 30 minutes north latitude bears on map no. 237a of the Geological Survey of Canada the name of Mt. Holway. His name is also used for a stream discharging at last into the North Illecillewaet River.  His annual papers, contributed from 1909 to 1918 to the Canadian Alpine Journal, vols. II-IX, made important extensions to the knowledge of the Big Bend region. ”1  Mount Holway has an elevation of 2,679 meters and is located near Revelstoke in British Columbia.  It is the 533rd highest peak in British Columbia.  Nearby peaks include Mt. Sissons, Mt. Anstey, Phogg Peak, Sorcerer Mountain, Mount Baal, and Bridgeland Peak.4

Holway married Mary E. Mortenson in 1918 and they collaborated on the last volume of his North American Uredineae. 

The genus Holwaya is named in E. W. D. Holway, while the genus Holwayella is named for Mary Mortenson Holway in recognition of her work on South American fungi. “The descriptions of new species of fungi bearing the name “Holway” as discoverer or describer, totaling hundreds, were published in several scientific journals, mostly in English, some in German…  A few early examples are cited here: 

Holwaya gitantea (Peck) Durand, [collected] 1883, in Iowa
Uromyces holwayi Lagerheim, on Lilium superbum, 1889, Ann Arbor, Mich.
Puccinia holwayi Dietel, on onion, 1893, in California
Uraecium holwayi Arthur, on hemlock, 1906 (1933), in Alaska
Ravenelia holwayi Dietel, 1894, in Texas
Uropyxis daleae Dietel & Holway, 1897, in Mexico
Prospodium holwayi Jackson, in Feb., 1922 in Brazil” 1

E. W. D. Holway died in Phoenix, Arizona as he was planning a trip to Ecuador.  His ashes were spread in the Asulkan Valley of the Canadian Rockies.1 

After E. W. D. Holway’s death in 1923, Mary put together 25 sets of 700 species each for distribution to herbaria as the exsiccati Reliquiae Holwayanae.  Two were sent to Japan, five to Germany, one to Stockholm, Sweden, one to the British Museum, twelve in the United States, and four were retained by Mary Mortenson Holway.1


PUBLICATIONS (incomplete list):
Ellis, J. B. and E. W. D. Holway (1885)  New fungi from Iowa.  Journal of Mycology 1: ?-?. [Describes 15 new species of fungi collected by Holway in vicinity of Decorah.]
Holway, E. W. D. (1905)  The North American Uredineae.
Holway, E. W. D. (1906)  The North American Uredineae.
Holway, E. W. D. (1907)  The North American Uredineae.
Holway, E. W. D. (1913)  The North American Uredineae.
Holway, E. W. D. (1924)  The North American Uredineae. [completed by Mary M. Holway]

1.  Dearness, J.  1946.  E. W. D. Holway, 1853-1923:  A Banker’s Avocations.  Mycologica 38(3)  :  231-239.
2. accessed on 5 November 2015.
3.  Butters, F. K. 1924.  Edward W. D. Holway.  Botanical Gazette 77(1):  115-116.
4. accessed on 5 November 2015. 



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University of North Carolina Herbarium
CB# 3280, Coker Hall
University of North Carolina
Chapel Hill, NC 27599-3280
phone: (919) 962-6931

Last Updated: 15 September 2016