HEMPHILL, Henry

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Henry Hemphill (1830-1914). Photo courtesy MCZ.

HEMPHILL, Henry (1830-1914), Delaware-born malacologist who came to California in about 1864 where be made friends with R. E. C. Stearns who mentored Hemphill in the study of mollusks. As early as 1875 and continuing into the 1890s, Hemphill published catalogues of shells “collected and for sale by Henry Hemphill, San Diego, California.” He collected plants on Santa Catalina Island in 1875; on Santa Barbara, Anacapa and Santa Cruz islands in 1901; and San Miguel islands around the turn of the century, collecting both mollusks and lizards, as well as plant specimens. Hemphill was a mason by trade and many of the old San Diego brick buildings are his handiwork. He lived most of his life in his own brick-built house on Third Street, surrounded by his collections. Long a widower, when nearing 80, Hemphill moved to Oakland, California to live with his only daughter.

Henry Hemphill (1830-1914) was the last survivor of a group formed of enthusiastic collectors of the day that in addition to Hemphill included botanist Albert Kellogg (1813-1887), naturalist William George Washington Harford (1825-1911), C. D. Voy, Robert Edward Carter Stearns (1827-1909) and others.

At the time of his death Hemphill’s collection contained an estimated 60,000-70,000 specimens of 12,000 to 15,000 species. Hemphill died in of arsenic poisoning Oakland on July 24, 1914 at the age of 84. His collections can be found at both Stanford University and the California Academy of Sciences, as well as in large museums around the world. The genus of slugs, Hemphillia, was named in his honor by W. G. Binney.


Henry Hemphill = [1852] Martha Elizabeth Prescott

  • 1. Charlotte Hemphill (1855-1920) = [1883] Abel Hosmer (1848-1934)
1. Edna M. Hosmer (1886- )
2. Jennie Charlotte Hosmer (1888-1983) [SS#549-66-2663]
3. Hazel Ruth Hosmer [Murphy] (1893-1971) [#SS549-66-7588] = [1917] Daniel William Murphy


Hemphill collected on:

  • Anacapa Island (1901)
  • San Miguel Island
  • Santa Barbara Island (1901, 1905)
  • Santa Catalina Island (1875)
  • Santa Cruz Island (1901)

Hemphill's Anacapa Island plant collections are among the first plants known to have been collected on the island.

https://ucjeps.cspace.berkeley.edu/ucjeps_project/public/publicsearch/



Island Collections~
ISLAND COLLECTOR INSTITUTION DATE NUMBER SPECIMEN
Anacapa Island H. Hemphill UC 1901 JEPS-42592 Marah Plants
Anacapa Island H. Hemphill UC January 1, 1901 UC-107742 Epilobium canum Plants
Anacapa Island H. Hemphill UC 1901 UC-110311 Atriplex californicum Plants
Anacapa Island H. Hemphill UC 1901 UC-133352 Malacothrix saxitalis implicata Plants
Anacapa Island H. Hemphill UC 1901 UC-134386 Sonchus oleraceus Plants
Anacapa Island H. Hemphill UC January 1, 1901 UC-134755 Isocoma menzeisii sedoides Plants
Anacapa Island H. Hemphill UC January 1, 1901 UC-135384 Artemisia californica Plants
Anacapa Island H. Hemphill UC 1901 UC-141120 Frankenia salina Plants
Anacapa Island H. Hemphill UC 1901 UC-141666 Calystegia macrostegia macrostegia Plants
Anacapa Island H. Hemphill UC 1901 UC-12896 Eriogonum grande grande Plants
Anacapa Island H. Hemphill UC 1901 UC-445129 Mimulus aurantiacus parviflorus Plants
Anacapa Island H. Hemphill UC 1901 UC-78855 Heliotropium curassavicum Plants
Anacapa Island H. Hemphill UC 1901 UC-80852 Lotus scoparius Plants
Anacapa Island H. Hemphill UC 1901 UC-82588 Astragalus miguelensis Plants
Anacapa Island H. Hemphill UC 1901 UC-82521 Eriogonum arborescens Plants


ISLAND COLLECTOR INSTITUTION DATE NUMBER SPECIMEN
San Miguel Island Henry Hemphill SDMNH n.d. SDMNH-11153 Batrachoseps pacificus Herps
San Miguel Island Henry Hemphill SDMNH n.d. SDMNH-11154 Batrachoseps pacificus Herps
San Miguel Island Henry Hemphill SDMNH n.d. SDMNH-11155 Batrachoseps pacificus Herps
San Miguel Island Henry Hemphill SDMNH n.d. SDMNH-11200 Elgaria multicarinata Herps
San Miguel Island Henry Hemphill SDMNH n.d. SDMNH-11360 Elgaria multicarinata Herps
San Miguel Island Henry Hemphill MVZ n.d. MVZ-6314 Batrachoseps pacificus Herps
San Miguel Island Henry Hemphill MVZ n.d. MVZ-6315 Batrachoseps pacificus Herps
San Miguel Island Henry Hemphill MVZ n.d. MVZ-6316 Batrachoseps pacificus Herps
San Miguel Island Henry Hemphill MVZ n.d. MVZ-6317 Batrachoseps pacificus Herps


ISLAND COLLECTOR INSTITUTION DATE NUMBER SPECIMEN
Santa Barbara Island H. Hemphill UC n.d. UC-172325 Camissonia cheiranthifolia cheiranthifolia Plants
Santa Barbara Island H. Hemphill UC January 1, 1905 UC-174190 Lasthenia gracilis Plants



In the News~

September 3, 1887 [Coronado Mercury]: The San Diego Society of Natural History met at their rooms on Sixth Street last evening. Dr. Cleveland presided. The minutes of the previous meeting, held November 12th, 1886 were read and passed. The following letter was read:

San Diego, Cal., June 3rd, 1887. D. Cleveland, Esq. — Dear Sir: Your note of yesterday is at hand. I am happy to say the shells are completed and in cases at the Society's rooms. The collection is a general one and from all parts of the world, and contains 1036 species and varieties, moulded in 1036 trays. I have not had time to verify all the species by comparison with specmens in my own collection or reference to authorities in every case, but they are sufficiently correct for present purposes, and any errors or mistakes can be corrected in the future. It has taken all my leisure time the past four months to prepare and mount the collection and I trust it may prove of some service to the members of the Society interested in the study of shells and the animals that inhabit them as well as attractive to those who look at them simply as objects of curiosity or beauty. I hope be able to add materially to the collection in the future. Very truly yours, Henry Hemphill

At the meeting of Directors held August 16th, it was resolved that —

Whereas Mr. Henry Hemphill has donated to the Society a large and valuable collection of shells, and has also given a great deal of his time to their arrangement and classification in our cabinets; now therefore be it
Resolved, That we tender Mr. Henry Hemphill the thanks of this society for his valuable donation, and for his services and time spent in connection with it.
Resolved, That we recommend the election of Mr. Henry Hemphill to a life membership in this society in grateful appreciation of his gift.
Resolved, That a copy of these resolutions be presented to Mr. Hemphill by the Secretary.”


October 14, 1899 [SF Call]: “Almost a centenarian. Oakland, Oct. 13. —Uriah Hemphill, one of the earliest settlers of this city, died today at his home, 949 Chestnut Street, at the advanced age of 97 years. Deceased was a native of Wilmington, Del., and came to the coast in the pioneer days. By occupation he was a baker and for many years conducted a bakery on lower Broadway, but he has not been actively engaged in business for some time. He leaves a son, Henry Hemphill.”