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Hill Country natural history authority dies in England


On this day in 1929, Howard George Lacey, rancher and naturalist, died in Bournemouth, England. He was born in Wareham, Dorset, England, on April 15, 1856, to aristocratic parents who sent him to private European schools; he earned a B.A. degree from Caius College, Cambridge. He immigrated to the United States at the age of twenty-six and settled in Kerr County, Texas. In 1882 he purchased land on Turtle Creek, seven miles southwest of Kerrville, where he ranched for almost forty years. He gained wide recognition as a breeder of Angora goats, but his greatest fame came from his interest in natural sciences. His studies, observations, and collections of Hill Country flora and fauna ensured his reputation as an authority on the natural history of the region. Lacey published little, but he corresponded with natural scientists in Europe and throughout the United States and frequently entertained internationally known naturalists and scientists at his ranch. In addition, he worked in close contact with the Smithsonian Institution, the British Museum of Natural History, the Audubon Society of America, the American Ornithological Union, and the National Geographic Society. In recognition of Lacey's contributions to the field of zoology, three small mammals were named for him. In 1919, in ill health, Lacey sold his ranch and returned to England. His collection of specimens was donated to the Witte Museum in San Antonio.

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