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Renowned Botanist Memorialized in Chattahoochee

  • Written by 
Angus Kemp Gholson Jr Angus Kemp Gholson Jr

The United Methodist Church in Chattahoochee was filled to overflowing Saturday as Angus K. Gholson, Jr. was remembered in an impressive memorial service.

Gholson, Chattahoochee’s most famous citizen when it comes to botany and the natural sciences, was born in the city in 1921 and passed away on January 15 of this year. He had grown up in the Apalachicola River valley, had left to serve his county as an Air Corps officer flying missions over Europe during World War II, and returned to finish his education at the University of Florida.

Angus Gholson found his niche with the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers, practically in his own back yard. He worked for and eventually retired from the Lake Seminole project, with the last years as manager. During this time he began to study the flora of Lake Seminole and, more importantly, that of the Apalachicola River Valley. His collections became famous, and Gholson became world renowned, with scientists and environmentalists and just commonly curious folk calling on him with regularity.

Gholson’s knowledge, his stories and his reputation as a true Southern gentleman brought more folks to his doorstep. They trailed behind him alongside the river and through the fields, peering at large and small plants, with three of the plants eventually being named for him: Liatris gholsonii, Carexs gholsonii and Hymenocallis gholsonii.

His collection went, several years ago, to the University in Gainesville. And on his passing his mortal remains went there, also, so that he could still be of use to science, in death as he had been in life.

And the trails and the park in the river town of Chattahoochee, built alongside ravines and streams, will still exist for the future. They will be the memorial to Angus Kemp Gholson, Jr., and the park and the trails will bear his name, as befitting the man who cared for them intensely and taught others to do the same.

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