GCRL Alumni Association

Field Botany Course, 1937

(Dr. G. E. Williams found the following article and picture archived at Delta State University and submitted it to the GCRL Alumni Association on 6-26-98.)

In August, 1937, Mr. R. L. Caylor gave Botany students a big surprise. He offered a Field Botany Course on the Gulf Coast after summer school closed. One of the photos shows the DSTC (Delta State Teachers College) bus with the students and staff on its way to Poplarville Junior College. We spent two or three days at the Junior College. During the mornings, we collected plants while it was cool. During the warm afternoons, we classified and mounted our plants. This was a very interesting experience.

Mr. Caylor hired the Junior College cook to accompany us to the Methodist Camp Grounds in Biloxi where we rented a cabin for our visit there. (Seashore Assembly Campground)

We spent about eight to ten days collecting and mounting plants that we collected there. Students worked hard and seemed to enjoy the trip very much. One day of this trip was spent on Cat Island. We collected plants there and some animal life. Of course, students received college credit for the course. So far as I know, this was the first off-campus course offered by Delta State for college credit.

Mr. Caylor urged me to take this trip with them for the purpose of collecting marine life for Delta State. I was very lucky. Since I had a camera, a gun, field glasses around my neck and State and Federal permits to collect non-game birds and wild animals, I was given a one-time trip out on a shrimp boat by the union. I collected about a half barrel of marine animals for Delta State. I spent two days and two nights with the shrimpers. Jasper Lapresto, my taxidermist, was with me on this trip. I made numerous pictures of the activities of this trip. I hope the pictures help tell my story.

Melbourne Miller

Small boy in front - Caylor's son.
2nd row standing - 4th from left - R. L. Caylor
Front row - 3rd from left behind boy - Melbourne Miller (author of this article)
2nd from right - Jesse S. White

(Note: Dr. Richard L. Caylor was Director of GCRL from 1948 - 1952)