Lacey, Howard George (1856–1929)

By: Rebecca J. Herring

Type: Biography

Published: 1952

Updated: March 1, 1995

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Howard George Lacey, rancher and naturalist, 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 (primarily with the American Ornithological Union), 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 -Peromysus pectoralis laceianus, P. boylie laceyi, and Reithrodontomys laceyi. 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. It is not known if Lacey married, or if he had children. When he died on March 5, 1929, in Bournemouth, England, his obituary listed only one sister and three brothers as surviving him.

Bob Bennett, Kerr County, Texas, 1856–1956 (San Antonio: Naylor, 1956; bicentennial ed., rev. by Clara Watkins: Kerr County, Texas, 1856–1976, Kerrville, Texas: Hill Country Preservation Society, 1975).


  • Peoples
  • English
  • Ranching and Cowboys
  • Science
  • Scientists and Researchers

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.

Rebecca J. Herring, “Lacey, Howard George,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed September 19, 2021,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

March 1, 1995