Liriodendron tulipifera flower

The University of North Carolina
Chapel Hill Herbarium
A Department of the North Carolina Botanical Garden


Collectors of the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill Herbarium (NCU)

Mary Cloyd Burnley Stifler
(7 November 1876 – ca. 24 August 1956)

Information compiled by Carol Ann McCormick, October 2015
and updated April 2018 with information from Randell Jesup

The University of North Carolina Herbarium has catalogued 23 specimens collected by Mary Cloyd Burnley Stifler, who went by “Cloyd” and used “C. B. Stifler” on labels. As cataloguing of our collections continues, perhaps more will be found. Stifler collected fungi in in the 1930’s and 1940’s from various locations around Bradenton, Manatee County, Florida, from Lake Geneva, Walworth County, Wisconsin, and from Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore. She sent many to Dr. William Chambers Coker and Alma Holland Beers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill for identification or confirmation of her identifications.

Mary Cloyd Burnley Stifler
photograph courtesy of Randell Jesup

Besides the University of North Carolina Herbarium (NCU), other herbaria that curate fungal specimens collected by C. B. Stifler include:  the Ada Hayden Herbarium of Iowa State University (ISC); Field Museum of Natural History (F); the New York Botanical Garden (NY); United States National Fungus Collections (BPI); University Herbarium, University of California, Berkeley (UC); University of Florida Herbarium (FLAS); the University of Michigan Herbarium (MICH); and the University of Tennessee Fungal Herbarium (TENN).

Cloyd Stifler was also interested in lichens, bryophytes, and algae.  Herbaria that curate those specimens include:  Duke University Herbarium (DUKE: bryophytes); Field Museum of Natural History (F: bryophytes, lichens, algae); Missouri Botanical Garden (MO: bryophytes); New York Botanical Garden (NY: bryophytes); the University of Florida Herbarium (FLAS: bryophytes, lichens); the University of Tennessee Herbarium (TENN: bryophtyes); the University of Wisconsin-Madison Herbarium (WIS: bryophytes, lichens); and the University Herbarium, University of California, Berkeley (UC: lichens, algae). 

According to the Women’s Who’s Who In America (1914 ), Cloyd Burnley Stifler was born in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, on 7 November, 1876, the daughter of Sallie H. Updegraff Burnley and Charles W. Burnley.  She attended Williamsport Dickinson Seminary then earned her Bachelor of Arts from Goucher College (Maryland) in 1897.4  She earned a Masters degree (A.M.) from Women’s College of Baltimore in 1899.3  She was a fellow in chemistry at Bryn Mawr College in Pennsylvania (1897-1898), an instructor in chemistry at Vassar College in New York (1898-1908), and a research fellow in chemistry at Bryn Mawr College (1908-1909).1 

Randell Jesup writes, “Mary Cloyd Burnley Stifler was my step-great-grandmother *and* my great-great-aunt.  James Madison Stifler, II married Lucy Hannah Burnley, who died shortly after my grandfather, Francis Stifler, was born.  [On 28 July 1909] James Madison Stifler, II then married Lucy’s sister, Cloyd Burnley, and they had two more children, Lucy (29 May 1911- 1945) and Cloyd.”   

Cloyd Burnley Stifler was active in the Woman’s Baptist Foreign Missionary Society of the West1, but how and when she became interested in botany is unclear. 

By 1914, Cloyd, James and children had moved to 1029 Grove Street in Evanston, Illinois.5  Stifler’s 1937 and 1941 papers on fungi list her affiliation as “Chicago, Ill.” (1937) and “Department of Botany, University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois” (1941).  In April, 1942 there is a marriage notice of Miss Cloyd Stifler, “daughter of the Rev. and Mrs. James Madison Stifler of Wilmette” to John Bockover Johnson, Jr.6

“Mrs. Mary Cloyd Stifler was found dead yesterday at her residence after a neighbor had complained to police she had not heard from nor seen Mrs. Stifler for several days.  Mrs. Stifler was pronounced dead of natural causes by [Manatee] County Coroner Frank Schaub.  Mrs. Stifler, 315 16th Street West [Bradenton, Florida], was the widow of Rev. James Madison Stifler, who died here in April 1949.  The Stiflers came here in 1942 from Evanston, Ill. [Illinois].  Mrs. Stifler taught chemistry at Vassar, and received two chemistry fellowships to Bryn Mawr.  She later studied at the University of Chicago.  She was a charter member of the Manatee Business and Professional Women’s Club, a past president of the Manatee County Audubon Society, and was a member of the Manatee River Garden Club and of Hibiscus Circle.  She is survived by two step-children, Mrs. John B. Johnson, Jr., Milwaukee; and Francis M. Stifler, Devon, Pa.”2

Stifler Family, 1929
L to R:  Cloyd Stifler, James Madison Stifler III, Lucy Stifler, Francis Stifler,
Mary Cloyd Burnley Stifler, James Madison Stifler II
photograph courtesy of Randell Jesup


Stifler, Cloyd Burnley (1950)  The use of the microscope in the study of mosses.  Micor-Notes V (1):  22-28.
Stifler, Cloyd Burnley (1949)  Myxomycetes, Mycetozoa, or Slime Molds . Micro-Notes IV (3):  52-65.
Stifler, Cloyd Burnley (1941)  A new genus of Hypocreales.  Mycologica 33(1):  82-86.
Stifler, Cloyd Burnley (1937)  A new species of Tuberaceae for America.  Mycologica 29(3):  325-326. 
Kohler, E. P. and M. Cloyd Burnley (1910)  Reaction between unsaturated compounds and organic magnesium compounds.  XIII. Derivatives of cyclohexane.  American Chemical Journal  43(5):  412-417.
Kohler, E. P., G. L. Heritage, M. C. Burnley (1910)  The Friedel and Crafts reaction with chlorides of unsaturated acids. American Chemical Journal 44(1):  60-75.

1.  Leonard, John William (editor) (1914)  Woman’s Who’s Who of America:  A Biographical Dictionary of Contemporary Women of the United States and Canada.  New York:  The American Commonwealth Company.  Page 784.
2.  “Mrs. Stifler Dies; Widow of Minister” St. Petersburg Times.  Friday, 24 August 1956.
3.  Annual Program of the Woman’s College of Baltimore.  1901.  Baltimore:  The Lord Baltimore Press.  Page 17.
4.  Ninth Annual Program of the Woman’s College of Baltimore, 1897.  1896.  Baltimore:  The Friedenwald Co.  Page 16.
5.  Bryn Mawr College Calendar Register of Alumnae and Former Students.  1914.  Bryn Mawr College, Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania.  Volume VII, Part 1:  58. 
6.  Johnson-Stifler Wedding Rites Held in Suburb.  Chicago Tribune April 20, 1942, page 18.
7.  Pers. comm., email Randell Jesup to McCormick, 8 April 2018.





University of North Carolina Chapel Hill Herbarium (NCU)
CB# 3280, Coker Hall
University of North Carolina
Chapel Hill, NC 27599-3280


Last Updated: 13 April 2018