Frederick Dixon Chester was born in Haiti on October 8, 1861, to an English mother and an American father. He attended Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri, and graduated from Cornell University with a Bachelor of Science degree in 1882. Chester married Emma Sherwood in 1883. The couple had at least one child, Romola Gertrude Chester, possibly the Gertrude identified as a collector of insects in his catalog. Chester became a professor of agriculture and geology at Delaware College, now the University of Delaware, in 1885 and received his Master of Science degree from Cornell University in 1887. He worked at the Delaware Experiment Station in the 1890s and was the first American to study soil bacteria. Chester was the director of the Delaware State Bacteriological Laboratory from 1899 to 1907 and was a founder of the Society of American Bacteriologists. He published numerous scholarly works, including The Chemical Functions of Certain Soil Bacteria (1900) and A Manual of Determinative Bacteriology (1901). Chester died on January 1, 1943, in Brooklyn, New York.
American Society for Microbiology, Center for the History of Microbiology, “Biographical Notes on the Society of American Bacteriologists Charter Members: Frederick Dixon Chester” https://www.asm.org/index.php/71-membership/archives/8125-chester-frederick-dixon (accessed May 8, 2017)
The Morning News. Wilmington, Delaware, January 5, 1943, p. 2
Brown, John Howard, ed. Lamb’s Biographical Dictionary of the United States, Vol. 1. Boston: James H. Lamb Company, 1900.
Knowledge: A Weekly Magazine Supplementing All Cyclopedias, Vol. 1, June-December 1890. New York: John B. Alden, 1891.
U.S., School Catalogs, 1765-1935, Cornell University, 1898 (accessed via Ancestry.com on May 8, 2017)
New York, New York, Death Index, 1862-1948 (accessed via Ancestry.com on May 8, 2017)
Pennsylvania (State). Death certificates, 1906–1963. Series 11.90 (1,905 cartons). Records of the Pennsylvania Department of Health, Record Group 11. Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania (accessed via Ancestry.com on May 8, 2017)
Federal Census for 1900 (accessed via Ancestry.com on May 8, 2017)
Information derived from the collection.
This volume contains Frederick D. Chester’s research notes on insects collected between 1890 and 1895 in Delaware.
Chester organized his research on the left-hand pages of this volume, with columns for the insect’s catalog number (starting with 268), the date collected, the Latin name of the species, the location of collection, the collector, and the number of specimens gathered. The right-hand pages have corresponding notes about the collection when applicable. For example, insect number 270 consisted of one larval specimen, identified as “Aquilus ruficollis, Fabr.,” and was collected on March 10, 1890 in Seaford, Delaware, by Charles Wright. Chester also noted that the specimen was “taken from a gall upon Blackberry cane.”
Chester collected most of the specimens himself, although a number of men and women assisted him. While most of the specimens were collected in Newark, Delaware, Chester also listed specimens found in Dover, Seaford, Wilmington, and Ashland, Delaware. Chester often provided more specific information regarding where the specimen was collected, such as “near woods along Pomeroy R.R.,” in “College Oratory on window,” and “on apple tree in Mr. Scott’s orchard.”
The volume is bound with marbled paper over boards. There is an oval label with beveled corners on the front cover that reads “Catalogue of Insects” in black ink handwriting. It has wove pastedowns and flyleaves. The volume contains 49 leaves of lined, wove paper with handwritten text in black ink.