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headquarters. Henry was almost thirty-seven years old, with a trim, youthful physique
and thinning hair combed straight back without a part; photographed a year later on a
picnic, sitting in the grass beside his wife and infant son, John, he looked happy.
Henry's research at the Range eventually yielded lengthy publications on California
ground squirrels, Tulare kangaroo rats, desert cottontails, red-tailed hawks, and west-
ern rattlesnakes, as well as shorter accounts on other vertebrates, totaling fifteen in sci-
entific journals and three in livestock periodicals. Among them, a 1949 analysis of snake
populations set new standards for reptile field studies, and he won the Ecological Soci-
ety of America's prestigious George Mercer Award in 1950 for an eighty-four-page treat-
ise in American Midland Naturalist about ground squirrels on grazing lands 3 —made
even more satisfying because that manuscript had been rejected by the society's own
Ecological Monographs.
Work went well, but dissension between supervisors in the Fish and Wildlife Service
and the Forest Service led to Henry's being transferred. In May 1947 the Fitches jour-
neyed to a housing project in Leesville, Louisiana, where he would work on bobwhites,
mourning doves, nine-banded armadillos, cotton rats, and white-tailed deer in a Nation-
al Forest. Virginia was pregnant with Alice and used their personal car for the trip, while
Henry drove the government vehicle with little John at his side. Within a year he'd fin-
ished an ecological study of armadillos; he began cruising roads to monitor snake activ-
ity, but that research ended with one last major move. Thanks to an earlier professional
association, the family would settle close to the geographical center of North America,
about halfway between Utica, New York, and Medford, Oregon.
E. Raymond Hall was one of Joseph Grinnell's earliest Ph.D.s and so accomplished a
mammalogist that M.V.Z. retained him on staff. Grinnell died unexpectedly in 1939,
however, and a few years later, when former fellow student Alden Miller took the helm,
Hall left in a huff to establish a similar program at his undergraduate alma mater. As
director of the University of Kansas Museum of Natural History, he established M.V.Z.-
like traditions of specimen-based research, careful attention to field notes, and gradu-
ate education, as well as a personal reputation for eccentricities. Hall enforced style
preferences on all museum publications, insisting, for example, that nouns never modi-
fy other nouns. One was to write “mounds of gophers” rather than “gopher mounds”
for the tillage of burrowing rodents, which some colleagues sarcastically said implied
heaps of carcasses!
K.U. had owned a one-square-mile tract northeast of Lawrence since 1910, and Hall
persuaded the chancellor to allocate it for teaching and research. Henry had first met
the director at M.V.Z. and enjoyed a Nevada summer course with him. Hall was im-
pressed with the younger man too, especially on field trips, and familiar with his Hast-
ings and San Joaquin Range work—he considered him a “competent, effective teach-
er and good lecturer” and noted that “students in the laboratory quickly recognize he
is possessed of exceptional information and industry.” Hall was even more effusive in
terms of research, referring to Henry as “erudite, honest, exceptionally productive, and
excellent in the field,” and in the summer of 1948 hired him as instructor in ecology and
superintendent of the new reserve. After living in campus housing for almost two years,
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