HORNUNG, John Albert

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John Albert Hornung (1872-1930)

HORNUNG, John Albert (1872-1930) was a German taxidermist with interests in zoology, ornithology and geology. He and his German wife, Elizabeth, moved to the United States in 1893, and were naturalized as citizens in 1898. In 1914, Horning collected materials for the Panama Pacific Exposition of 1915 in San Francisco. He was hired as an excavator at the La Brea Tar Pits in Los Angeles in 1915. Hornung assisted ornithologist Arthur C. Bent in working on sections of the geographic distributions of birds for Bent’s Life Histories of North American Marsh Birds. He began working at the Los Angeles County Museum of History, Science and Art in 1916.

An undated Bald Eagle skull [UCLA 42038] from “Santa Barbara Island(s)” carries a tag of Dr. John A. Hornung. No further data accompanies the skull. One slip lists “Island” singular and another lists it in the plural, however Hornung is known to have visited Santa Barbara Island on June 15, 1908 and May 29-June 2, 1920. March 29, 1914 a male Bald Eagle was collected on Santa Cruz Island at Scorpion Ranch by Dr. J. Hornung [LACM 5953]. This study skin was part of the collection of Frank S. Daggett, first director of the Los Angeles County Museum of Natural History in 1912.

George Willett announced Hornung’s death at a Cooper Club meeting on December 30, 1930: “Although Dr. Hornung was not a Cooper Club member, the Cooper Club should know that all science has suffered a great loss in the death of this conscientious, painstaking worker” [Condor 33(1):83 March 1931]. Hornung died of a stroke at age 58. His wife, Elizabeth, outlived him by six years, leaving $18,905 in “forgotten money,” which went to the State of California. They had no children.

Hornung collected on:

  • Santa Barbara Island (1908, 1920)
  • Santa Cruz Island (1908, 1913, 1914, 1917, 1918, 1938)



Island Collections~

Anacapa

1914


Santa Barbara Island

1920 LACM birds


Santa Cruz Island

3/6/1906 LACM herps

1913 LACM birds

1914 LACM birds

1917 LACM birds

11/29/1917 LSUMZ birds

1918 LACM birds


ISLAND COLLECTOR INSTITUTION DATE NUMBER SPECIMEN
Santa Cruz Island J. A. Hornung LACM n. d. LACM-30301 Ovis Mammals
Santa Cruz Island J. A. Horning USNM December 14, 1913 USNM-416580 Empidonax hammondii Birds
~ trip ~
Santa Cruz Island J. A. Hornung LACM April 19, 1914 LACM-000808 Peromyscus maniculatus Mammals
Santa Cruz Island J. A. Hornung LACM April 22, 1914 LACM-000807 Peromyscus maniculatus Mammals
Santa Cruz Island J. A. Hornung LACM April 25, 1914 LACM-000818 Peromyscus maniculatus Mammals
Santa Cruz Island J. A. Hornung LACM April 30, 1914 LACM-5359 Uta stansburiana Herps
~ trip ~
Santa Cruz Island J. A. Horning MLZ November 20, 1914 MLZ-66327 Corvus corax Birds
Santa Cruz Island J. A. Horning UCLA n. d. UCLA-4471 Corvus corax Birds
Santa Cruz Island J. A. Horning UCLA November 23, 1914 UCLA-4472 Corvus corax Birds
Santa Cruz Island J. A. Hornung UCLA November 27, 1914 LACM-3498 pilogale gracilis amphiala Mammals
Santa Cruz Island J. A. Hornung UCLA November 28, 1914 LACM-3480 Urocyon littoralis santacruzae Mammals
Santa Cruz Island J. A. Hornung UCLA November 28, 1914 LACM-3481 Urocyon littoralis santacruzae Mammals
Santa Cruz Island J. A. Hornung UCLA November 28, 1914 LACM-3482 Urocyon littoralis santacruzae Mammals
Santa Cruz Island J. A. Hornung UCLA n. d. LACM-30092 Urocyon littoralis santacruzae Mammals
~ trip ~
Santa Cruz Island J. A. Hornung LACM November 26, 1917 LACM-000430 Urocyon littoralis santacruzae Mammals
Santa Cruz Island J. A. Hornung LACM November 27, 1917 LACM-000327 Peromyscus maniculatus Mammals
Santa Cruz Island J. A. Hornung LACM November 28, 1917 LACM-000328 Peromyscus maniculatus Mammals
Santa Cruz Island J. A. Hornung LACM November 28, 1917 LACM-000330 Peromyscus maniculatus Mammals
Santa Cruz Island J. A. Hornung LACM November 29, 1917 LACM-000329 Peromyscus maniculatus Mammals
Santa Cruz Island J. A. Hornung LACM November 30, 1917 LACM-000333 Peromyscus maniculatus Mammals
Santa Cruz Island J. A. Hornung LACM November 30, 1917 LACM-000334 Peromyscus maniculatus Mammals
Santa Cruz Island J. A. Hornung LACM November 30, 1917 LACM-000332 Peromyscus maniculatus Mammals
Santa Cruz Island J. A. Hornung LACM December 1, 1917 LACM-000331 Peromyscus maniculatus Mammals
~ trip ~
Santa Cruz Island J. A. Hornung LACM November 27, 1918 LACM-000441 Urocyon littoralis santacruzae Mammals
Santa Cruz Island J. A. Hornung LACM November 28, 1918 LACM-000458 Peromyscus maniculatus Mammals
Santa Cruz Island J. A. Hornung WFVZ November 28, 1918 WFVZ-4053 Aphelocoma coerulescens Birds
Santa Cruz Island J. A. Hornung CUMV December 2, 1918 CUMV-126528 Colaptes auratus sedentarius Birds
Santa Cruz Island J. A. Hornung UMMZ December 2, 1918 UMMZ-126528 Colaptes auratus sedentarius Birds



In the News~

December 31, 1930 [SBNP]: “Science loses a valuable man. With the death of Dr. John A. Hornung, zoologist of the Los Angeles County Museum, the Pacific Coast loses from the ranks in science a pioneer character whose valuable contributions to posterity will long remain to keep his name and works alive in the minds of Californians. When Los Angeles was little more than a pueblo, Dr. Hornung was making collections of mammals, birds and reptiles in Southern California for eastern and foreign museums. One of his most interesting collections was won notable praise in the Panama-Pacific exposition of 1915. This display, consisting of a group of California birds in their natural environments, was entirely his work…”