EXCERPTS FROM Bonar, Lee (1956) Elizabeth
Eaton Morse. Mycologia
In the death of Miss Morse on November 13, 1955, at Berkeley,
California, after prolonged illness, the Mycological Society lost a member
who had given many years of her life to collecting and studying fungi.
Miss Morse was born at Framingham, Massachusetts, December 31,
1864. After graduation from Ashland,
Massachusetts, High School in 1882, she taught in elementary schools for
seven years before entering Wellesley College where she received her diploma
from the School of Art in 1891. Then
followed more teaching – three years in Castle School,
Tarrytown-on-the-Hudson, eight years in Winchester,
Massachusetts, as Art Instructor in Murdoch High School and as supervisor in
the town schools. The next twenty
years she taught and supervised in the New York City Schools (Morris and
Theodore Roosevelt High Schools)… In 1924 Miss Morse returned to Wellesley
College and in 1926 was awarded the Bachelor of Arts Degree with a major in
Botany. She often said that her love
of the study of plants had its beginning in her childhood on the farm so this
change from art to botany is not surprising.
In 1926 Miss Morse came to my [Lee Bonar] office in Berkeley saying
that she was on a summer vacation and desired to study Cryptogamic
Botany... and I made suggestions as to how she might carry out her desired
program. A short time later I began
receiving letters and shipments of fungi from Yosemite National Park where
she had settled for the summer.
Returning to Berkeley at the end of the summer, Miss Morse decided to
retire from teaching, stay in California and devote herself to the study of
fungi which had become her all-pervading interest. She continued to maintain Berkeley as her
home for the remainder of her life.
She registered as a part-time graduate student at the University of
California and was provided working space in the attic of the Botany
Building. She soon had all the
available tables covered with specimens for study and display and began to
contribute mycological notes to newspapers in the hope of stimulating
interest and gaining contact with other collectors. Although she was registered as a part-time
graduate student for some time, Miss Morse was not a candidate for a higher
degree. As a guest of the Department
of Botany, however, she was provided with storage and work space for more
than twenty years…
regularly spent her summers on collecting trips, and these covered areas in
the western states form the Mexican border to Rainier National Park, with one
trip to Alaska, one to Hawaii, and the summer of 1935 in Maine. Her displays of fungi, campfire talks for
tourists, etc. were common incidents in campgrounds and parks that she
visited. Although her interest was
primarily with the macroscopic fungi, she collected myxomycetes,
lichens, mosses, and some flowering plants…
Miss Morse’s very extensive mycological collections were distributed
by herself or according to her instructions.
The first large unit is deposited in the Herbarium of the University
of California at Berkeley [UC]; the second is in the National Fungus
Collection at Beltsville, Maryland [BPI].
Smaller sets have been deposited in the New York Botanical Garden
[NY], Wellesley College [WELC; transferred to NY in 1988] and the California
Academy of Sciences [CAS], while miscellaneous collections have been sent to
various places over the world.
Elizabeth E. (1929)
Trailing the sierra puffball.
Sierra Club Bull. 14: 61-63,
(1930) A new
chanterelle in California. Mycologia 22:
study of the genus Podaxis. Mycologia
25: 1-33, ills.
(1935) A new
27: 96-101, ills.
(1941) Geaster limbatus: a new variety. Mycologia
33: 139-142, ills.
(1941) A new
western Pholiota. Mycologia 33:
(1941) A new
polypore in Washington. Mycologia 33:
(1941) Podaxis pistillaris II. Mycologia
of a new Tricholoma. Mycologia
35: 573-581, ills.
western discomycetes, Gyromitra esculenta, Helvella
Mycologia 37: 414-424, ills.
A. H. and Elizabeth E. Morse (1947) The genus Cantharellus in the western
United States. Mycologia
39: 497-534, ills.
Elizabeth E. (1948)
Variations in Montagnites arenarius (DC).
Mycologia 40: 255-261, ills.