Date: 7/3/17 8:33 am
From: Bill Whan <billwhan...>
Subject: [Ohio-birds] Contact for Scioto County's Bannons needed
I am looking for an informant about Mrs. G. W. Bannon (the initials
probably are those of her husband, as women had incomplete identities in
the nineteenth century), a scion of the famed Bannon family in Scioto
County. Ms. Bannon was known, among other things, for her skill in
collecting and preparing bird specimens, for which she was honored with
an Ohio medal in 1888 for a large exhibit of bird specimens displayed in
that year's Ohio fair. Among them was one of a passenger pigeon, and
I've heard rumors that she had even prepared a mount of a whooping
crane, that may or may not have been included in her submission.
Her display may have been returned to Portsmouth or gone as a gift to
the Ohio Archaeological and Historical Museum, which had gained support
from the State by 1888. That museum was the beginning of the OSU Museum
bird collection, which possesses an example of the whooping crane,
without documentation, as well as a number of passenger pigeons without
data. If any of these were Bannon's birds, it would be important to
learn more about them.
Was Bannnon's display returned to Scioto County, or did it
all go to the new Ohio collection? Had she collected the birds in Ohio?
The Ohio collection was assembled by J. M. Wheaton and Oliver Davie, who
had probably seen the crane along with Bannon's other work at the fair.
OSUM possesses a number of passenger pigeons without data, and a
whooping crane equally unidentified. Bannon's name seems not to be
associated with any specimen at the Museum, but where did her collection
go? Information from Scioto County could help to honor this forgotten
contributor to Ohio ornithology.
Bill Whan
Columbus

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