The University of North Carolina Herbarium has
only a few of William Clarence Legg's collections. Weldon Boone's A
History of Botany in West Virginia (1965, McLain Printing Company,
Parsons, West Virginia) states, "Many of [Legg's] interesting
collections of plants may be seen in the West Virginia University
Herbarium." Donna Ford-Werntz, the Curator of
WVA, reports that, with approximately 80% of their collection databased, 34 specimens collected by Legg have been
Rubus leggii was named by H. A. and Tyreeca
Davis in William Clarence Legg's honor (Davis, H.A. and Tyreeca
Davis. 1953. The genus Rubus
in West Virginia. CASTANEA 18(1): 1-31). "This species is dedicated to
the memory of the late William C. Legg, naturalist of Mount Lookout, Nicholas
County, West Virginia, whom we accompanied on several pleasant and profitable
field trips" (p. 27-28).
Core, Earl L.. 1952.
William Clarence Legg..CASTANEA 17(4): 167.
William Clarence ("Bill") Legg,
nationally known naturalist of Mt. Lookout, West Virginia, died on May 30,
1952, as the result of a Memorial Day automobile accident near Summersville.
He was born October 18, 1903.
He was a graduate of the Nicholas County
Schools and a veteran of World War II. He had been visited at his rural home
by naturalists from many parts of this county and from some foreign
countries. He supplied materials and specimens to numerous educational
institutions. Many of his plant collections may be seen at West Virginia
University. He provided materials and assistance for books of various nature
authors, including Don Echelberry of Long Island, N.Y.. Recently he had compiled notes for a book of his
At the time of his death he was making plans
for a scientific expedition to Central America.
At Mt. Lookout he operated a small-scale
nature-publishing house, "Twintiliana
Press", where he issued little pamphlets to distribute to his friends. A
sample is "Some Notes on Holly," published Feb. 5, 1947.
"This," he said, "is a very limited edition -- in fact, so
limited that it's about the same as talking to myself."
A selection from this illustrates his charming, informal style:
"A holly is a sort of 'apartment' for
myriads of insects. Some eat the leaf tissue between the leaf surfaces, some
eat the bloom, the leaves, berries and many of them eat each other. As Fabre
said, each is a guest, and in turn, the dish at the table of life. There's a
balance here as in all of Nature and the little black fly, Phytomza ilicis,
whose grub mars the holly leaf with its mine would increase this damage many
fold were it not for a certain little wasp (Braconid,
it seems) that preys on the fly. And I've seen this little wasp devoured by a
larger insect (apparently a Dolichopodidae),
which keeps its long abdomen curled up underneath itself. Conflicting with
man's interest, ilicis is considered
harmful, the other one beneficial, but there's no such distinction in Nature.
They each fit the niche that they were adapted for. Like the hawk or an owl,
they both fit perfectly in the niches they were created for. They know no
other way than the beak and claw way so the gun has never 'educated' them to
a man's way.
What has a hawk to do with holly? My alibi for
this dissertation is probably that bugs eat holly, chickens eat bugs and
hawks eat chickens."