The University of North Carolina Chapel Hill Herbarium
(NCU) has catalogued 17 vascular plant specimens and 8 fungal specimens
collected by Paul W. Titman. As
cataloging continues it is very likely that more specimens collected by him
will be found. A frequent co-collector
was fellow Tar Heel E. Gibbes Patton, who also went on to teach botany. All NCU’s fungi can be searched at mycoportal.org;
our vascular plant specimens from the Southeastern United States can be
searched at sernecportal.org.
Paul Wilson Titman’s parents were Paul Abram
Titman, a depot agent for the Southern Railroad, and Mary Elsie Wilson
Titman. He grew up in Lowell, Gaston
County, North Carolina.1 In
1940 Titman was an undergraduate at the University of North Carolina at
Chapel Hill and lived at 108 Hillsboro [Hillsborough] Street in Chapel Hill.2
I went to
Chapel Hill and began to work in the atelier of the art department under the
leadership of Russell Train Smith, the chairman of the department. One of the requirements was that one take a general botany course in the education spread. I was happy to do so because of my lifelong
interest in plants… I still remember the first day of class, when a very
distinguished, slim, elegant, white-haired, rosy-faced man, with a clipped
white moustache came in and in a deep South Carolina accent introduced
himself as William
Chambers Coker. He also
announced that this was the last time he was going to be teaching the
introductory course. I soon found that
his approach to life mirrored my own aspirations. To put it into terms of my present
perspective, he regarded botany as an humanity, a
manifestation in the middle of all kinds of thought processes… He [the art
advisor] went to Boston and I went to Botany.6
Titman earned a B.A. from the University of
North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1941, then enlisted
in the United States Army in October, 1942.
He served in Military Intelligence, and was awarded a Bronze Star for
his service.3, 4
Paul Wilson Titman
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill 1940 Yearbook
Titman returned to UNC-Chapel Hill and earned a Masters degree in Botany under Dr. J. E. Adams in 1948;
the title of his thesis was “Studies in the woody anatomy of the family Nyssaceae.” In
1953 Titman earned a Ph.D. in botany from Harvard University; the title of
his doctoral thesis was “Studies of long and short shoot growth in Cercidiphyllum.” Cercidiphyllum is
the sole genus in the family Cercidiphyllaceae, and
there are only two species, both commonly called “katsura.” The foliage of Cercidiphyllum japonicum
and Cercidiphyllum magnificum
resemble redbud, Cercis,
to which they are unrelated.5
Titman joined the faculty of Chicago Teacher’s
College, which later became Chicago State University, in 1955.
Paul W. Titman died on May 18, 2000 in
Chicago. He is buried in Edgewood
Cemetery in Lowell, North Carolina.4
Paul Wilson Titman’s
Draft Registration Card, ca. 19412
Partial List of Publications:
Titman, Paul W. and Ralph H.
Wetmore. 1955. The growth of long and short
shoots of Cercidiphyllum. American
Journal of Botany 42(4): 364-372.
Titman, Paul W. 1953. Studies of long and short shoot growth in Cercidiphyllum. Ph.D. Thesis, Harvard University,
Titman, Paul W. 1949. Studies in the woody anatomy of
the family Nyssaceae. Journal of
the Elisha Mitchell Scientific Society 65(2):
Titman, Paul W. 1948. Studies in the woody anatomy of the family Nyssaceae. M.A.
Thesis, Botany Department. University
of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Paul Wilson Titman’s gravestone
in Edgewood Cemetery, Gaston County, North Carolina4
Sources used for this
1940; Census Place: Lowell,
Gaston, North Carolina; Roll:
T627_2915; Page: 16A;
Enumeration District: 36-55. Ancestry.com. 1940 United States Federal Census
[database online]. Provo, UT,
USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc.
2. The National Archives at Atlanta,
Georgia; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; North Carolina World War II Draft
Registration Cards; Record Group:
Records of the Selective Service System, 1926-1975, RG 147; Box: 369.
U.S. WWII Draft Cards Young Men, 1940-1947 [database
online]. Lehi, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2011.
3. Pers. comm., Nicole Wallace,
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Alumni Records. 6 September 2017.
4. Find a Grave https://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=38021736&ref=acom accessed on 6 September 2017.
5. “Cercidiphyllum.” Wikipedia.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cercidiphyllum accessed on 6 September 2017.
6. Joslin, Mary Coker. 2003.
Essays on William Chambers Coker, Passionate Botanist. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Library and Botanical Garden Foundation, Inc.
Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Pages