On October 23, Columbus Audubon rededicated a Persimmon tree at Green Lawn Cemetery in honor of one of CA’s founding members, Edward Sinclair Thomas.
Like many of us today, Dr Thomas developed a passion for nature as a child thanks to his mother’s interest in wildflowers and his father’s enthusiasm for birds. He became a well-educated young man, earning a law degree from The Ohio State University. Even though he was practicing law, his love of nature was not to be denied. In 1922, he began writing a weekly column for the Columbus Dispatch focusing on educating lay people on the biological and geological history of the Columbus area. Thomas would go on to write the popular column for fifty-nine years! In 1931, he left his law practice to become Curator of Natural History for the Ohio Archeological and Historical Society. He also was chairman of the Columbus Metropolitan Parks District from 1945-1967.
Professor Nature Bug, a comic strip he began in 1958 with artist, John Hazlett, brought scientific concepts to a younger audience. (As a child, I was captivated by this very column when my grandmother would read it to me.) He continued writing for the newspaper until his passing in 1982.
Dr Thomas was a scholar, authoring more than fifty research papers. His greatest impact was in his scientific outreach, with 3,000 newspaper articles, books and other publications! Through his writing and public speaking, he influenced several generations of Ohio citizens by making scientific concepts accessible and more easily understood by all.
Thank you, Edward Sinclair Thomas!
Sheila M. Fagan is a member of the board of directors of Columbus Audubon. Also in attendance at the tree dedication ceremony were Amy Boyd, Columbus Audubon President, and Randel Rogers, Executive Director of the non-profit Green Lawn Cemetery Association and long-time Columbus Audubon member.
If you are at Green Lawn and want to see the Edward S Thomas tree,