Ohio History Journal

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Some "Memoranda of the Locust

Some "Memoranda of the Locust

Season in Ohio 1855"






THE FIRST CHATTEL I ever remember buying at a public

sale was a bushel of books. This was in August 1931 at the

John L. West farm about three miles north of Hillsboro, in

Highland County, Ohio. The lot consisted of such choice items

as a history of the modern world (up to 1828), a volume of

funereal poetry, a running account of Greek mythology, and

an old-fashioned bound copybook containing a few pages of

farm accounts, then blank pages to page 251, where a hand-

written report began under the title quoted above. Being ama-

teurishly interested in biology at that time, I rather cherished

the latter volume for this part of its contents.

While enrolled as a graduate student in zoology at Ohio

State University, I attended the first general meeting of the

Columbus Entomological Society on October 13, 1936. Dr.

Herbert Osborn, dean of Ohio entomologists, spoke on "Some

Personal Experiences in Entomology; or Why I Became an

Entomologist." During his reminiscing he recalled occurrences

of seventeen-year locusts back before the turn of the last

century. After the meeting I talked with him about locusts

and mentioned the short sketch in the old copybook. He told

me such a "fragment" of Ohio entomological history should

be published.

I remembered Dr. Osborn's remark as I rediscovered the

sketch recently among some manuscripts that had been stored

for twenty-five years. Since it is now more than a century old,

* Rendell Rhoades is a member of the department of zoology and entomology

at Ohio State University.