Liriodendron tulipifera flower

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


Collectors of the UNC Herbarium
Information compiled by Carol Ann McCormick, September 2007

Francis Eugene McDonald
(23 February 1860-1920)

The University of North Carolina Herbarium has catalogued approximately two dozen plants collected by F. E. McDonald. All were collected in Illinois. As databasing of the collection continues, more specimens collected by him may be found.


The following is from Chase, Virginius H. (1920) Francis Eugene M'Donald. Rhodora 22 (260): pages unknown.

FRANCIS EUGENE MCDONALD was born at Wyanet, Illinois, Feb. 23, 1860. The family moved to Peoria in his childhood and he received his education in that town. After completeing his school days, F.E. McDonald took up the study of law under Judge Bigelow. He stood third in a class of twenty-six and was admitted to the bar, January 8, 1883. He had taken the law course because his mother wished it, but controversies and quarrels were so absolutely contrary to his nature that he never could bring himself to practice his profession.

On account of the illness of his father, who was in the railway mail service, he took his place for some months as railway mail clerk between Galva and Quincy, Ill., and in 1884 was given a regualr appointment between Rock Island, Ill., and St. Louis, Mo., which he held up to the time of his death.

As a child he greatly admired a little "herbarium" prepared by his mother in her school days, but just how great his admiration for it was she never realized until she thoughtlesly gave it away. Before many years he began to collect and prepare herbarium specimens for himself, and by the time he was married, Sept. 25, 1890, to Miss Ida Trine of Chicago, he had a large local collection. He added to this by exchange with all the best collectors in the country, until at the time he sold it to the University of Illinois, about 10 years ago, it numbered over ten thousand specimens.
The following excerpt is from p. 390 of Mohlenbrock, Robert H. (1982) Illinois Solanaceae in the Missouri Botanical Garden Herbarium and Biographical Sketches of Some Collectors. Annals of the Missouri Botanical Garden 69(2): 382-392.

FRANCIS EUGENE MCDONALD (1860 - 1920), born in Wyanet, Illinois, moved at an early age to Peoria where he resided for the remainder of his life. Although he studied law and was admitted to the bar on January 8, 1883, he was not excited about the legal profession. When his father became ill, McDonald took his place as a railway mail clerk, a position which became permanent in 1884 and which he held until his death. McDonald collected plants as a hobby, mostly in the Peoria area.


   Curriculum in Ecology                 North Carolina Botanical Garden               Biology Department
      Curriculum                               North Carolina                                 UNC
       In Ecology                              Botanical Garden                   Biology Department

University of North Carolina Herbarium
CB# 3280, Coker Hall
University of North Carolina
Chapel Hill, NC 27599-3280
phone: (919) 962-6931
fax: (919) 962-6930

Last Updated:12 November 2012