Earl Lemley Core-1902-1984
Compiled by Roy B. Clarkson and Jesse F. Clovis
Biology Department, West Virginia University
reprinted from Castanea 50(1): 1-6.
In 1936 Dr. Earl Lemley Core was influential in establishing a new regional botanical club-The Southern. Appalachian Botanical Club-and served as editor for its journal Castanea for 35 years, from 1936-1971. Dr. Core's leadership in the endeavor gave strength, vitality, and credibility both to the organization and to the journal. However, this was only one of his many interests and accomplishments.
Dr. Core was born on January 20, 1902, at Core, West Virginia, the son of Harry Michael and Clara Edna (Lemley) Core. After graduating from Morgantown High School he taught in rural schools from 1920 to 1923. He then attended West Virginia University, earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1926 and a Master of Arts degree in 1928. In 1936, he received the Doctor of Philosophy degree at Columbia University; his dissertation concerned the systematics of the genus Scleria. He was granted an honorary Doctor of Science degree from Waynesburg College in 1957 and a similar honorary degree from West Virginia University in 1974. Other honors received by him were: member and past president of Phi Beta Kappa; Distinguished Professor at WVU in 1967; Meritorious Teaching Award of the Association of Southeastern Biologists in 1971; Order of Vandalia of West Virginia University in 1982; the Earl L. Core Arboretum of West Virginia University was named for him in 1967.
He was married to Miss Freda Bess Garrison, June 8, 1925 and they are the parents of four children, Ruth, Merle, Harry, and David.
He was active in the First Christian Church of Morgantown where he was former Chairman and member of the Official Board, the Board of Trustees, Elder, Sunday School teacher, lay-preacher, member of the Disciples Student Fellowship Board, and outreach minister to WVU students.
Dr. Core was a civic-minded person. He was a member and past president of the Kiwanis Club of Morgantown; was president of the Morgantown Public Library's Board of Directors; was a member of the Monongalia County Board of Education; served four years on the Morgantown City Council; and was Mayor of the City of Morgantown, for two years.
Dr. Core's professional life was devoted to teaching, research, and writing. He became an instructor at West Virginia University in 1928 and remained on the faculty there for 44 years. He advanced to assistant professor in 1934, associate professor in 1941, professor in 1942, and professor emeritus in 1972. He was chairman of the Biology Department from 1948-66, and curator of the Herbarium from 1934-72. During this time he had at least 9 Ph.D. students and around 30 M.S. students. He was a member of the summer faculty at Ohio State University in 1939-41, and of Concord College in 1961. He was named botanist for the Colombia Cinchona Mission, Bogota, Colombia, from 1943-45 and explored in the Andes Mountains for wartime sources of Cinchona for quinine.
As a teacher, Dr. Core provided inspiration for thousands of students over a period of 46 years. He taught courses ranging from freshman biology to graduate botany and systematics courses and history of biology.
The textbook "General Biology" by P.D. Strausbaugh, B.R. Weimer, and Earl L. Core, was a standard text for many years as was "A New Manual for the Biology Laboratory," by Core and Weimer.
He is the author of numerous botany books; "The Flora of West Virginia," a four volume series written with the late P.D. Strausbaugh, was his most extensive botanical work. Other botany books are "Flora of the Erie Islands," "Spring Wild Flowers," "Plant Taxonomy," " Vegetation of West Virginia," and "The Wondrous Year," a collection of weekly botanical writings he prepared for the Charleston (West Virginia) Gazette newspaper.
Dr. Core's interests also ranged to historical topics. Early in life, in 1937, he wrote "The Chronicles of Core," a history of his home community. "Morgantown Disciples," a history of the First Christian Church of Morgantown, appeared next in 1960. His historical interest blossomed in 1972 when, at the age of 70, he embarked on an extensive five-volume history of Monongalia County, West Virginia. The last volume of this classic history, "The Monongalia Story," was completed shortly before his death. Material from this history was published for over 12 years in a weekly column in the Morgantown Dominion Post newspaper.
Perhaps Dr. Core's greatest influence was with the persons with whom he had personal contact. He was truly a gentleman and a gentle man. His quiet demeanor and his sincere regard for his fellowman inspired and set a high standard for those who knew him.
Bibliography - Earl Lemley Core
(Hundreds of newspaper articles are not included)
- 1928. Ecological studies on Spruce Mountain. Proc. W.Va. Acad. Sci. 2:36-39.
- 1929. The plant ecology of Spruce Mountain, West Virginia. Ecology 10:1-13.
- 1930. Some additions to the Millspaugh checklist of West Virginia. Spermatophytes. W.Va. Acad. Sci. 4:38-48 (with P.D. Strausbaugh).
- 1931. Herbarium organization at West Virginia University. Proc. W.Va. Acad. Sci. 5:61-71.
- 1931. Common seed plants of the mid-Appalachian region. xxiv + 305 p. (with P.D. Strausbaugh and Nelle Ammons).
- 1932. Some aspects of the phytogeography of West Virginia. Torreya 32:65-71.
- 1932. Phymosia remota. Rhodora 34:142-146 (with P.D. Strausbaugh).
- 1934. Studies in the genus Scleria. Brittonia 1:239-243.
- 1934. The blister pine in West Virginia. Torreya 34:92-93.
- 1935. Contributions of Charles Frederick Millspaugh to the botany of West Virginia. Proc. W.Va. Acad. Sci. 8:82-93.
- 1936. The American species of Scleria. Brittonia 2:1-105.
- 1936. The botanical exploration of West Virginia. Proc. W.Va. Acad. Sci. 10:47-64.
- 1936. The type localities of some plants first described from West Virginia. Torreya 36:7-13.
- 1936. Additions to the Millspaugh checklist of West Virginia Spermatophytes. Proc. W.Va. Acad. Sci. 9:29-31.
- 1937. Spring foray to Blackwater Falls and Spruce Knob, West Virginia. Castanea 2:87-88.
- 1937. Joint trip with the Southern Appalachian Botanical Club in Southern New Jersey. Torreya 37:130-132.
- 1937. The genus Carex in West Virginia. Proc. W.Va. Acad. Sci. 11:29-43.
- 1938. Plant migrations and vegetational history of the Southern Appalachian region. Lilloa 3:5-29.
- 1938. Joint foray at Lancaster, Pennsylvania, June 15-19. Castanea 3:79-81.
- 1938. John Kunkel Small. Castanea 3:27-28.
- 1939. Gum Springs Bog. Castanea 4.7-8.
- 1939. Raymond H. Torrey. Castanea 4:6-7.
- 1939. A taxonomic revision of the genus Siphonychia. J. Elisha Mitchell Society 55:339-345.
- 1939. The flora of Roaring Plains, West Virginia. Proc. W.Va. Acad. Sci. 12:33-35.
- 1940. Spermatophytes new to West Virginia. Castanea 5:20-23 (with H.A. Davis).
- 1940. Notes on the mid-Appalachian species of Paronychia. Virginia J. Sci. 1:110-116.
- 1940. A catalog of the vascular plants of West Virginia. Castanea 5:29-68.
- 1939. The shale barren flora of West Virginia. Proc. W.Va. Acad. Sci. 14:27-36.
- 1940. Travels of Asa Gray in western Virginia, 1843. Rhodora 42:344-351.
- 1940. New plant records for West Virginia. Torreya 40:5-9.
- 1941. A new species of Paronychia from Mexico. Madrono 6:21-22.
- 1941. Butomus umbellatus in America. Ohio J. Sci. 41:79-85.
- 1941. The North America species of Paronychia. Amer. Midl. Naturalist 26:269-397.
- 1941. Notes on some West Virginia plants. Castanea 6:86-88.
- 1941. Additions to the catalogue of the vascular plants of West Virginia, 1. Proc. W.Va. Acad. Sci. 15:73-76 (with H.A. Davis).
- 1942. The genus Scleria in extra-tropical South America. Lilloa 8:535-544.
- 1942. Additions to the catalogue of the vascular plants of West Virginia, II. Proc. W.Va. Acad. Sci. 16:35-40 (with H.A. Davis).
- 1943. Botanizing in the higher Alleghenies. Sci. Monthly 57:119-125.
- 1944. A new manual for the biology laboratory. John Wiley & Sons, Inc. New York (with B.R. Weimer). 216 p.
- 1944. West Virginia grasses. W.Va. Agric. Exp. Sta. Bull. 513. 96 p. (with Earl E. Berkley and H.A. Davis).
- 1945. Two new species of Scleria from the upper Amazon Valley. J. Wash. Acad. Sci. 35:322.
- 1945. The hollies of West Virginia. Castanea 10:57-60 (with Nelle Ammons).
- 1945. The dogwoods of West Virginia. Castanea 10:88-91 (with Nelle Ammons).
- 1945. Huckleberries, blueberries and cranberries of West Virginia. Castanea 10:103-109 (with Nelle Ammons).
- 1945. Additions to the catalogue of the vascular plants of West Virginia, III Proc. W.Va. Acad. Sci. 17:27-30 (with H.A. Davis).
- 1945. On the need for revision of the International Code of Botanical Nomenclature. Castanea 10:116-119.
- 1945. The Southern Appalachian Botanical Club: Past and Future. Castanea 10:119-120.
- 1945. Ramps. Castanea 10:110-112.
- 1946. Wildflowers of the Appalachian shale barrens. Wild Flower 22:13-18.
- 1946. Woody plants of West Virginia in winter condition. 124 p., 269 figs. Edwards Brothers, Ann Arbor, Michigan (with Nelle Ammons).
- 1946. The gardens of Colombia. W.Va. Garden Club News 10: 10-12. 1945; 10: 14-15.
- 1946. The genus Scleria in Cuba. Mem. Soc. Cubana Hist. Nat. Felipe Foey 18:43-56.
- 1947. Scleria. In: Flora de Cuba, pp. 230-235.
- 1947. John Lewis Sheldon. Science 105:541.
- 1947. Additions to the catalogue of the vascular plants of West Virginia, IV. Proc. W. Va. Acad. Sci. 18:26-29.
- 1948. The flora of the Erie Islands. Franz Theo. Stone Lab. Countr. 9. viii + 107 p.
- 1948. Spring wildflowers. W.Va. Univ. Bull. Ser. 59, 4-2. 100 p. (Reprinted 1950 by W.Va. Conserv. Comm., iv + 100 p.).
- 1948. A syllabus of the Spermatophyta, 2nd ed. 145 p. West Virginia University, Morgantown.
- 1948. The genus Scleria in Colombia. Caldasia 5:17-32.
- 1948. Additions to the catalogue of the vascular plants of West Virginia, V. Proc. W.Va. Acad. Sci. 19:23-26 (with H.A. Davis).
- 1949. Man's first gardens. Garden Gleanings No. 8, 3; No. 9. 2, 3, 8, 9.
- 1949. Original treeless areas in West Virginia. J. Elisha Mitchell Sci. Soc. 65:306-310.
- 1950. Notes on the plant geography of West Virginia. Castanea 15:61-79.
- 1950. Botanizing in the northern Andes. Wild Flower 27:6-20.
- 1951. The New Arboretum, W.Va. Univ. Alumni Mag. 16. 4, 21, 22.
- 1951 Seleria tepuiensis Core sp. nov. Fieldiana 28:52.
- 1951. Joseph E. Harned. Castanea 16:78, 79.
- 1951. Danske Dandridge. Castanea 16:138.-142.
- 1952. Botanizing on Panther Knob, West Virginia. Wild Flower 28:35-38.
- 1952. The ranges of some plants of the Appalachian shale barrens. Castanea 17:105-116.
- 1952. Botany at West Virginia University, 1867-1900. Proc. W.Va. Acad. Sci. 24:72-78.
- 1952. Lawrence William Nuttall. Castanea 17:157-164.
- 1952. Some new or otherwise noteworthy plants from West Virginia. Castanea 17:165 (with P.D. Strausbaugh).
- 1952. Flora of West Virginia, Part 1. W.Va. Univ. Bull. pp. 1-274, (with P.D. Strausbaugh).
- 1952. The genus Scleria in Brazil. Rodriguesia XV(27):137-162.
- 1953. The Southern Appalachian Botanical Club. 1. History of the club and its journal, Castanea. Asa Gray Bull. n.s. 2:199.
- 1953. Pendleton County, West Virginia. Tribio 2:3-4.
- 1953. Flora of West Virginia, Part II. W.Va. Univ. Bull. pp. 275-570 (with P.D. Strausbaugh).
- 1954. Outline of the flora of West Virginia. W.Va. Bookstore, Morgantown, 150 p.
- 1955. Cranberry Glades Natural Area. Wild Flower 31:65-81.
- 1955. Plant taxonomy. Prentice-Hall, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey. 459 p.
- 1957. Scutellaiia ovata in West Virginia. Castanea 22:139-140.
- 1958. Flora of West Virginia, Part III. W.Va. Univ. Bull. pp. 571-860 (with P.D. Strausbaugh).
- 1958. Woody plants in winter. Boxwood Press, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. 218 p. (with Nelle Ammons).
- 1959. Biological investigations of Cheat Lake. Morgantown, West Virginia. 39 p. (with others).
- 1960. Articles on arbutus, bloodroot, calendula, boehmeria, cinquefoil, duckweed, fire- weed, Indian paintbrush, lungwort, meadow beauty, milkweed, oregon grape, ranunculus, smartweed, Solomon's seal, spurge family, toadflax. In: World Book Encyclopedia.
- 1960. Plant life of West Virginia. Scholar's Library. New York. 224 p.
- 1960. Articles on arboretum, botanical gardens, herbarium, plant keys, plant names, plant taxonomic literature. In: McGraw-Hill Encyclopedia-of Science and Technology.
- 1960. Morgantown Disciples. McClain Printing Co., Parsons, West Virginia. 229 p.
- 1961. The poisonous plants of West Virginia. W.Va. Dept. Agric. 91 p. (with John H. Rietz and William E. Gillespie).
- 1961. Articles on herbarium, Rhammales. In: Reinhold Encyclopedia of the Biological Sciences.
- 1961. General biology, 4th ed. New York, London. 555 p. (with P.D. Strausbaugh and B.R. Weimer).
- 1961. A new manual for the biology laboratory, 3rd ed. John Wiley & Sons, Inc., New York. 263 p. (with B.R. Weimer and R.B. Clarkson).
- 1962. Bibliography of West Virginia plant life. Scholar's Library, New York. 46 p. (with William H. Gillespie and Betty J. Gillespie).
- 1962. Terra Alta Biological Station. Castanea 27:57-59.
- 1962. The varieties of Rudbeckia hirta. Castanea 27:61, 62.
- 1962. The call of the wildflowers. West Virginia's first annual Wildflower Pilgrimage, May -18. W.Va. Conservation, May, pp, 1-3.
- 1963 Article on Widdringtonia. Encyclopedia Americana.
- 1964. Flora of West Virginia, Part IV. W.Va. Univ. Bull., pp. 861-1075 (with P.D. Strausbaugh).
- 1964. Flora of West Virginia, introductory section. W.Va. Univ. Bull., pp. i-xxxi (with P.D. Strausbaugh).
- 1965. The genus Sclaria in the Yucatan Peninsula. Wrightia 3:141-160.
- 1965. Scleria. In: Botany of the Guayan Highlands. Mem. N.Y. Bot. Gard. 12:54-69.
- 1966. Important stock poisoning plants in West Virginia. W.Va. Dept. Agric. Leaflet (with William H. Gillespie).
- 1966. Avoid poisonous plants. W.Va. Dept. Agric. Leaflet (with William H. Gillespie). 1966. Spring wildflowers. W.Va. Dept. Agric. Leaflet.
- 1966. Plants and animals of the Bible. In: Bible Study Helps, Supplement to World Bible 250D, pp. 36-42.
- 1966. Mid-summer flowers of field and meadow. W.Va. Dept. Agric. Leaflet.
- 1966. Perry Daniel Strausbaugh. Bull. Torrey Bot. Club 93:138-140.
- 1966. Vegetation of West Virginia. McClain Printing Co., Parsons, West Virginia. 217 p.
- 1966. Scleria. In: Flora of Texas, Vol. 1, pp. 383-391.
- 1967. Wildflowers of the Alleghenies. J. Alleghenies 4(l):I, 2-4.
- 1967. Natural history of the Cass Railroad. 36 p. (with others).
- 1967. West Virginia plants in autumn. W.Va. Dept. Agric. Leaflet.
- 1967. Ethnobotany of the Southern Appalachian aborigines. Econ. Bot. 21:198-214.
- 1967. Notes on West Virginia plants. 1. Eastward migration of Ambrosia bidentata. Castanea 32:192.
- 1968. Notes on West Virginia plants. II. Thelypteris simulata in West Virginia. Castanea 33:80.
- 1968. The range of Carex trichocarpa Muhl. Castanea 33:151, 152.
- 1968. Forest trees of West Virginia, 6th ed. 120 p. W.Va. Dept. Nat. Res. (with Roland L. Guthrie).
- 1968. The plants and animals of the Bible In Supplement to the Family Heritage Bible, pp. 20-27.
- 1968. West Virginia's blooniing schedule. Outdoor West Virginia, Part 1, March, pp. 30-33; Part 2, April, pp. 26-28.
- 1968. Common native shrubs of West Virginia. W.Va. Dept. Agric. Leaflet.
- 1968. The botany of Ice Mountain, West Virginia. Castanea 33:345-348.
- 1969. Blooming dates, West Virginia's flowering shrubs. Outdoor West Virginia, March, pp. 16-18.
- 1969. West Virginia grasses. W.Va. Dept. Agric. Leaflet (with James B. Newman).
- 1971. Silvical characteristics of the five upland oaks. Proc. The Oak Symposium, pp.19-22. N.E. For. Exp. Sta. USFS. Upper Darby, Pennsylvania.
- 1972. The granulose variety of the Virginia dragonhead-Dracocephalum virginianum L. (Physostegia virginiana (L.) Benth.) In: Notes & News. Castanea 37:301.
- 1974. The Monongalia story. A bicentennial history. Part I. Prelude, McClain Printing Co., Parsons, West Virginia. 484 p.
- 1975. The wondrous year. West Virginia through the seasons. Seneca Books, Inc., Grantsville, West Virginia. 208 p.
- 1975. Chronicles of Core, 3rd ed. McClain Printing Co., Parsons, West Virginia. 310 p.
- 1976. The Monongalia story. A bicentennial history, Part II. The Pioneers. McClain Printing Co., Parsons, West Virginia. 595 p.
- 1979. The Monongalia story. A bicentennial history, Part III. Discord. McClain Printing Co., Parsons, West Virginia. 667 p.
- 1980. Kalmia angustifolia in West Virginia. In: Notes & News. Castanea 45:217-218.
- 1982. The Monongalia story. A bicentennial history, Part IV. Industrialization. McClain Printing Co., Parsons, West Virginia. 667 p.
- 1984. The Monongalia story. A bicentennial history, Part V. Sophistication. McClain Printing Co., Parsons, West Virginia. 646 p.
- 1984. The Monongalia River. 149-152 pp. In: Rolling Rivers-an Encyclopedia of America's rivers (Richard A. Bartlett, Ed.). McGraw-Hill Book Co., New York. 398 p.