never successful at finding things I searched for; always found something
else and then stumbled on the thing I wanted when I was not looking for it.”
Almon N. Rood, as quoted by Ernest W. Vickers
in “The pinnatifid spleenwort in north-eastern
Ohio,” Fern Bulletin 18(1): 4.
The University of North Carolina Herbarium has
only a few specimens collected by Almon N.
Rood. The Harvard Herbaria database of
botanists lists other herbaria holding Rood’s specimens as:
Truman G. Yuncker Herbarium of DePauw
University, Greencastle, Indiana
GH Gray Herbarium of Harvard
University, Cambridge, Massachusetts
KE Tom S. & Miwako K. Cooperrider Herbarium
of Kent State University in Kent, Ohio
MSC Michigan State University in East
OS Museum of Biological Diversity
of Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio
YOU Youngstown State University in
Rood with youngsters at a 4-H Camp, undated.
Photo courtesy of Dorothy Rood Jacobs.
Almon Nicholson Rood was born in Braceville,
Trumbull County, Ohio (USA) on 17 February 1876. He was married to Pearl Augusta Waters
(1875 – 1943) and together they had two children, Nolan Waters Rood (1903 –
1986) and Velma M. Rood (1909-1987).
The Roods were millers by trade. Franklin Auran
Rood (Almon’s father) and his cousin, Franklin Wahl
Rood, bought a grist mill from Eli Barnum, the brother of P.T. Barnam. Almon eventually took over the mill from his father and
bought out his cousins’ shares in the business.
Almon Rood had many interests including botany and geneology. He was
primarily self-taught, though he did attend Hiram
College (Hiram, Ohio) for a
Almon N. Rood died in Warren, Trumbull County, Ohio on 5
October 1964 at the age of 88. The
Rood family gave his botanical collections (4,000 herbarium specimens and
3,000 seed specimens) to The Tom S. and Miwako K. Cooperrider Herbarium of Kent State University (KE), and the University also purchased Rood’s library.
Mr. Rood was clearly a well-respected naturalist
and enthusiastic botanical collector.
He had herbarium labels custom printed “FROM THE Herbarium of Almon N. Rood Phalanx, Ohio.” Rood corresponded with other naturalists
and academic botanists.
In August, 1908, a specimen of
Club Moss was received from Mr. Almon N. Rood, of
Phalanx, Trumbull County, Ohio, with the interesting information that he had
found it early in the fall of 1907, growing on the perpendicular face of
rocks at Nelson Ledge, Portage County, Ohio.
After puzzling over this plant for some time, Mr. Rood sent a specimen
to a prominent botanist in the East and was informed that it was [Lycopodium] Selago L. The plant was growing on cliffs of
“sub-carboniferous conglomerate,” the height of the cliffs being not over 75
feet and the surroundings in general were not such as would be expected in a
locality harboring L. Selago.
On August 18, 1908, Prof. L.S.
Hopkins [Kent State Normal School, now Kent State University] and Mr. Roscoe
J. Webb [1875-1925, resident of Garrettsville, Ohio], acting under direction
of Mr. Rood, found a considerable colony of the plant at the first locality,
Nelson Ledges. On the 23d of August,
1908, Mr. Rood and Supt. F.N. Barber, of Crafton, Pa., discovered a second
locality for the Club Moss on conglomerate cliffs at Woodworth’s Glen, in
southern Portage County, Ohio, there being here quite a number of the plants
and many of the plants being in inaccessible locations.
The writer has examined a
number of these plants and there can be no doubt that they represent true L. lucidulum porophilum first described as a species by Lloyd and
Underwood, and ranging from Newfd. And Quebec to
Wisconsin and southward to Alabama and the Carolinas. [This taxon is now known as Huperzia porophila.] The
specimens we have examined clearly point to a subordinate relationship to Lycopodium lucidulum Michx. Rather than to a distinct specific identity… The plant is being critically studied by
Prof. L.S. Hopkins from whom we may expect a more detailed report.
Jennings, Otto E. (1909) Some new or otherwise noteworthy
plants from Ohio. The Ohio Naturalist
9 (4): 440-442.
The Nelson Ledges were incorporated into Kennedy-Nelson Ledges State Park in 1949.
Unfortunately, the population of Huperzia porophila discovered there by
Rood is no longer present. “I have checked our files and Ohio herbarium records
and the only known report or specimen from Nelson-Kennedy Ledges is by Almon Rood.* A number of
botanists, including myself have visited this park and have not rediscovered
the population. Portions of the ledges have been degraded by rock
climbing and it’s possible the population no longer occurs there. All
modern records for H. porophila (1970 to
present) have been from southern Ohio,” says Rick Gardner, Botanist with the
Ohio Department of Natural Resources.
KE11010 Lycopodium lucidulum
Lloyd & Underwood. Portage County,
Ohio: Rocky side of ravine,
Woodworth’s Glen. A N Rood #684
The “Prof. L.S. Hopkins” in the above except is Lewis Sylvester Hopkins (1872-1945), a botanist at Kent State Normal School (now
Kent State University) in Kent, Ohio.
According to Cara Gilgenbach, Head of
Special Collections & Archives at Kent State University Libraries,
“Hopkins was among our earliest faculty members appointed, in 1913 when
classes were first held on the Kent campus (we were founded in 1910, but no
buildings for classrooms were ready until 1913). He was appointed Head of the Department of
Biology, a post he held at the Kent State Normal School (later Kent State
Normal College) until 1920. Also, he
served as the school’s first men’s basketball coach.” Hopkins earned
his B.A. in Psychology and the Science & History of Education from
Antioch College in 1899. He taught
science and served as principal in several high schools in Ohio and
Pennsylvania before assuming his post at Kent. He was a member of the American Association
for the Advancement of Science, the Botanical Society of Western
Pennsylvania, the Torrey Botanical Club, and the Ohio Academy of
Science. He was a member &
secretary of the American Fern Society, and curator of the Society Herbarium
(Kent State Normal School Catalog, 1915). According
to the Harvard Herbaria database of botanists, L.S. Hopkins’ herbarium
specimens are now held by OS (Ohio State University), BR (National Botanic
Garden of Belgium) and NY (New York Botanical Garden).
Roscoe J. Webb (1875-1925) was a frequent
co-collector of Rood’s. Ralph W. Dexter writes, “Roscoe J. Webb of
Garrettsville, Ohio, wrote to a fellow naturalist, Almon
Rood, on 17 January 1922 that, “I suspect that the Evening Grosbeak came to
Warner’s, ‘six miles from Youngstown.’” [Ralph W. Dexter (1968) Incursions of the
Evening Grosbeak in Northeastern Ohio, 1860-1967. Bird-Banding 39(4): 306-309.]
Ernest Waters Vickers (1869 – 1 October
1960) was another botanical colleague of Rood’s. Vickers was born in Mahoning County, Ohio,
and in the 1920 US Federal Census, his profession is listed as “section hand
-- railroad.” By the 1930 Census, his
profession is listed as “botanist -- Park.”
Vickers was a frequent contributor to The Wilson Bulletin, an
ornithological publication. The
Harvard Herbaria database of botanical collectors notes that Vicker’s specimens are held by YUO.
To date, only one publication by Rood has been
found; perhaps others exist. Many of
Rood’s collections are cited in a series of John H. Schaffner’s
publications on the flora of Ohio.
Schaffner, John H. [date?] Additions to the Revised Catalog of
Ohio Vascular Plants I. Papers of the
Department of Botany, The Ohio State University, No. 319:
64. Lycopodium inundatum L.
Bottom of abandoned stone quarry, Braceville
Twp., Trumbull Co., Almon N. Rood [ p. 288]
68. Selaginella rupestris (L.) Spring. Rock Selaginella. Newell Ledge, Nelson Twp., Portage Co. Almon N. Rood,
R.J. Webb, and E.W. Vickers [p. 288]
145.1. Scirpus heterochaetus Chase. Pale Great Bulrush. In a swamp, Mantua Twp., Portage Co. Almon N. Rood [p. 289]
187. Mariscus mariscoides (Muhl.)
Twig-rush. Cedar Swamp,
Champaign Co. Wm. C. Werner. Mantua Twp., Portage Co., Almon N. Rood. [p. 289]
305. Carex cryptolepis Mack. Small Yellow Sedge. Mantua Twp., Portage Co. Almon N. Rood and
R.J. Webb. [p. 289]
333.1. Bromus altissimus Pursh. Tall Brome-grass. Braceville Twp.,
Trumbull Co. Almon
N. Rood. Painseville,
Lake Co. Wm. C. Werner [p. 289]
599.1. Juncus greenei Oakes and Tuck. Green’s Rush. Abundant in low, wet swale. Phalanx, Trumbull Co. Almon N. Rood.
1214. Crataegus brainerdi Sarg. Brainerd’s Hawthorn. Farmington Twp., Trumbull Co. Almon N. Rood [p.
Schaffner, John H. Schaffner
[date?] Additions to the revised catalog of Ohio vascular plants III. Papers from the Dept. of Botany, The Ohio
State University, No. 363.: 297-303 >>
35b. Dryopteris cristata intermedia. Edge of swamp. Braceville,
Trumbull Co. Almon
220. Carex deweyana Schw. Dewey’s Sedge. “Dry soil, top of rocks.” Nelson Ledge, Nelson Twp., Portage CO. Roscoe J. Webb. Received from Almon
288.1. Carex sprenglii Dew. (C.
longirostris Torr.) Long-beaked Sedge. “Dry soil, top of rocks.” Nelson Ledge, Nelson Twp., Portage Co. Roscoe J. Webb. Received from Almon
384. Danthonia compressa Aust.
Flattened Wild-oat-grass. Braceville Twp., Trumbull Co. Almon N. Rood.
594. Juncus balticus Willd. Baltic Rush. Mantua Twp., Portage Co. R. J. Webb and Almon
alnifolium Marsh. Hobblebush.
Windham Twp., Portage Co. R.J.
Webb, L.S. Hopkins and Almon N. Rood.
2282.1. Hieracium floribundum Wimm. and Grab. Smoothish Hawkweed.
From Europe. Warren Twp.,
Trumbull Co. Almon
Schaffner, John H. [date?].
Additions to the catalog of Ohio vascular plants for 1915. [full
citation?] pp. 104 >>
324. Poa debilis Torr. Weak Spear-grass. Phalanx, Trumbull County. Almon N. Rood.
427. Panicum philadelphicum Bernh. Philadelphia Panic-grass. Phalanx, Trumbull County. Almon N. Rood.
N. (1913 ) Juncus monostichus in Ohio.