Green, Edward C. (Deceased)
When this biography was established for the Washington Biologists' Field Club book and this website, little was known about E. C. Green (including his full name) except the following: E. C. Green was born in the 1800s. E. C. worked as an entomologist for the Bureau of Plant Industry. E. C. became active in the Washington Biologists' Field Club in 1912. E. C. died on October 2, 1943. Biographical details concerning Edward Clarence Green eluded the Club’s chroniclers until April, 2015, when Larry Dorr, with assistance from Horace R. Burke and Stanley D. Castro, came up with the following information: The profession and employer of Edward Clarence Green when he became a member were noted in our records. A photograph of him sitting in front of the cabin on Plummers Island and showing a faint smile on his face survived when other information was lost or forgotten. When E. C. was elected to the Club he was an economic entomologist employed by the Bureau of Plant Industry in Washington, D.C. He remained in Washington until early 1913 and then was off to South America. Further investigation reveals that his professional career before his brief sojourn in Washington was devoted to horticulture, including orchards and small crop culture and their pests, and after almost exclusively to insect pests of cotton. E. C. (he signed documents with these initials and was invariably listed as “E. C.” in reports including the Club’s 1913 Members’ Book) was born on October 2, 1874, in Detroit, Michigan. His father had emigrated from England and his mother was born in Clyde, New York, a small town north of the Finger Lakes. He attended the Jefferson School in Detroit and the Cory School in Wayne County, Michigan and then matriculated at Michigan Agricultural College (now Michigan State University). E. C. received his BS in 1897 and after graduating was employed (1897–98) as a special assistant to the horticulturist at his alma mater in Kalamazoo. He then moved to Urbana, Illinois where he was an assistant (1899–1900) to Stephen Alfred Forbes, Illinois state entomologist. Concurrently he was recommended for a ten-month appointment as a laboratory assistant in Entomology at the University of Illinois with compensation of $50 per month. He must have been ambitious because he soon became chief inspector of nurseries and orchards (1900–02) for the state of Illinois, a position also based in the office of the state entomologist but one that involved travel throughout the state. E. C. moved from the University of Illinois to the Agricultural and Mechanical College of Texas (now Texas A&M University) in College Station where he was initially an assistant horticulturist and instructor in horticulture (1902–04) and subsequently associate professor (1904–07). During this period he focused on tomato, potato, and onion and bunch crops; much of this applied work done at the Troupe Sub-Station in Smith County to the northeast of College Station. In 1907, he resigned his professorship and accepted the position of pomologist in charge of South Texas Plant Introduction Investigations. This was a newly-created initiative in the Bureau of Plant Industry of the Agriculture Department, which had acquired extensive land and buildings belonging to the War Department at Fort Brown near Brownsville. Organizing this new agricultural station was a significant administrative challenge that E. C. seems to have successfully met. He remained in Brownsville through 1911 when he was either transferred or seconded to the Bureau of Plant Industry in Washington, D.C. As noted above, his time in Washington was brief. E. C. left the city in April 1913 for Rio de Janeiro where he arrived in late May. In Brazil, E. C. served as the director (1913–15) of a dry-land cotton station at Coroatá, Maranhão. This position was on a contract with the Brazilian government. It appears that while in Brazil he was on extended leave from the Bureau of Plant Industry and for many years he continued to be listed in Bureau publications as a “collaborator” in the Foreign Seed and Plant Introduction section led by David Fairchild. After the first contract that E. C. had with the Brazilian government expired he may have worked briefly for a Brazilian railroad, but by December 1915 he was on home leave. He either renewed or secured a new contract with the Brazilian government and became superintendent (1915–17) of the Serviço do Algodão in the Ministry of Agriculture in Rio de Janeiro. There was, however, a little problem on December 11, 1915, when E. C. was scheduled to sail from Brooklyn to Brazil to begin this new contract. He was denied boarding the ship because he did not have his passport on his person. E. C. claimed that the passport was in his trunk and that his trunk had already been loaded on board. A witness, however, claimed that he did not seem eager to return to Brazil and that he “told several different stories” regarding the passport. Eventually, and possibly through the intercession of Fairchild, he was issued a replacement passport and returned to South America. It was during the period of his second contract that E. C. perhaps made his most significant contribution to economic entomology when he discovered the pink bollworm (Pectinophora gossypiella) in Brazil. After he began his employment in Brazil, E. C. conducted a thorough survey of the cotton belt in Brazil looking especially for the boll weevil (Anthonomus grandis) and the pink bollworm. He found neither pest. However, in late 1916, while traversing the same country as before, he discovered that the pink bollworm had since his first survey become well established. The Brazilian infestation was attributed to the importation of non-fumigated seed from Egypt, where the moth infested the Egyptian cotton crop. E. C. compiled and published in 1918 an article on the introduction of this pest from Africa to South America. Leaving Brazilian government service, E. C. became for an unknown period of time a farmer, and buyer and seller of cotton in Natal, Rio Grande do Norte. Consular documents and ship passenger lists suggest that E. C. never relocated his family to Brazil. Initially he claimed Brownsville as his legal residence, but his wife and sons lived in Washington, D.C., and then Illinois. It is unclear when he returned definitively to the United States. He is known to have arrived in New York City from Pernambuco in April 1930 and he is listed in the 1930 census as residing in Urbana, where he was an “inspector” in a factory, the nature of which is not explained. While living in Brazil, E. C. sent various collections to the United States National Museum (now National Museum of Natural History) including living cacti from Rio Grande do Norte, marine shells from near Guimaraes, Maranhão, and insects from Natal. His natural history collections seem to have been incidental and none of them apparently were extensive. E. C. married Lydia Moore Hart in Urbana on June 17, 1901. They had two sons, William Edward (born 1902) and John Hart (born 1904). Edward Clarence Green died on October 4, 1943 in Urbana and is buried in Mt. Hope Cemetery in Chicago. In addition to being a member of the Washington Biologists’ Field Club, E. C. was a member of the American Association of Economic Entomologists, American Breeders Association, American Pomological Society, and American Society for Horticultural Science.