Reighard, Jacob, 1861-1942

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Professor of zoology at University of Michigan, director of the zoological laboratory, and museum of zoology.

From the description of Jacob Ellsworth Reighard papers, 1887-1942. (University of Michigan). WorldCat record id: 34420440

Jacob Ellsworth Reighard, professor of zoology at the University of Michigan, was born at LaPorte, Indiana, July 2, 1861, the son of John D. and Mary Hulburt Reighard. Reighard attended the public schools at LaPorte, Indiana, entered the Literary Department of the University of Michigan in the fall of 1878, and graduated with the Ph.D degree in 1882. Following his graduation he taught for three years in Indiana and Massachusetts. During the last two years of this period he was a private student of Dr. E.L. Mark of Harvard University. After this he spent a year at Michigan in the study of medicine.

He began his teaching career at Michigan in 1886 when he was appointed Instructor in Zoology. During the absence of Professor Joseph B. Steere he served as Acting Assistant Professor, 1887-88, and was made Assistant Professor of Zoology in 1889. Jacob Reighard was directly responsible for many changes in the character of zoology courses. To the old group of courses dealing with the systematics and natural history of various animal groups, he added Vertebrate Dissections, Histology of Vertebrates, Elements of Biology (Animal Life), and Embryology, each of which required laboratory work as well as the usual lectures or recitations. Beginning in 1889 the zoological courses were listed in two groups in the catalogue, "General Zoology" Systematic taught by Professor Steere, and Animal Morphology given by Professor Reighard. In 1892 Professor Reighard was made Professor of Animal Morphology; his department was separated from the old department and was known as the Morphological Laboratory.

Professor Reighard spent the year 1894-95 in study at the University of Freiburg, Germany. After his return in 1895 his title was changed to Professor of Zoology and Director of the Zoological Laboratory and the Museum of Zoology. The museum position he retained until 1913. He continued as Director of the Zoological Laboratory until 1925 when he relinquished the active directorship, retaining his professorship until his retirement as professor emeritus in 1927. In 1936, after the close of his active career, the University of Michigan conferred upon him the honorary degree of Doctor of Science.

With Professor Frederick C. Newcombe and Dr. George P. Burns of the Department of Botany, Professor Reighard was a cofounder of the University of Michigan Biological Station on Douglas Lake in Cheboygan County in 1909 and was its first Director. Professor Reighard's contribution to the development of the research function of the Museum of Zoology during his directorship, 1895-1913, was stated thus by his successor: "During this time the museum was made up of a number of collections under the direction of the heads of several teaching departments. It is largely due to Professor Reighard that the Museum of Zoology did not become an adjunct to a teaching department but was an independent research department of the University. Professor Reighard directed the scientific work of the Michigan Fish Commission for the years 1890-1895 during which time a number of important research projects were carried through to completion. Although for lack of support this series of investigations came to a close in 1895, the present Institute for Fisheries Research of the Michigan Department of Conservation probably should be considered to be "the delayed outgrowth of the scientific work which he did for the Michigan Fish Commission" some decades earlier.

For the years 1898-1901. Professor Reighard was in charge of the Biological Survey of the Great Lakes conducted by the U.S. Fish Commission, and for some years beginning in 1917 he directed important researches on the food fishes of the Great Lakes. As an outgrowth of the latter and possibly indirectly as the result of his own earlier work on the Great Lakes came the establishment in Ann Arbor of the Great Lakes Laboratory of the U.S. Bureau of Fisheries (now the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service).

Professor Reighard held membership and served as officer in various scientific organizations including A.A.A.S. (vice president of Section F, 1910), American Society of Naturalists, American Society of Zoologists (vice president of the eastern branch and president of the central branch in 1903), the Ecological Society of America, American Fisheries Society (president, 1915), and the Michigan Academy of Science (president, 1900). He presided at two sessions on Animal Behavior at the International Zoological Congress at Boston in 1907. For some years he served as trustee and member of the Executive Committee of the Marine Biological Laboratory, Woods Hole, and was a member of the Board of Scientific Advisers of the Michigan Geological and Biological Survey.

Professor Reighard was always interested in the improvement of methods and in the application of new methods to zoological research. An expert photographer, he described methods of photographing embryos, of photographing breeding fishes in their natural habitats, and of photographing coral-reef fishes by means of a submerged camera which he devised. His book on the "Anatomy of the Cat" written with H.S. Jennings has had extensive use in anatomical laboratories and was revised by Dr. Rush Elliott in the 1930's with the collaboration of Professor Reighard.

In the later years of his active career, increasing deafness caused Reighard to learn speech reading. His interest in helping others, afflicted with the same infirmity, led him to translate a number of German papers on this subject and to prepare several original papers, some of which are still in manuscript form. This work and the completion of manuscripts on breeding habits of fishes occupied much of his time after his retirement.

Jacob Reighard was responsible for the development of modern zoological teaching and research at the University of Michigan. Through his teaching, his researches and his leadership in zoological organizations he exerted a marked influence upon zoology in the United States. Reighard died February 13, 1942 in Ann Arbor, Michigan. [This sketch is an edited version of the memorial read before the Faculty Meeting, College of Literature, Science, and the Arts, April 6, 1942, and was compiled by George R. La Rue, Peter Okkelberg, and John F. Shepard.]

From the guide to the Jacob Ellsworth Reighard Papers, 1887-1942, 1890-1920, (Bentley Historical Library University of Michigan)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
creatorOf Jacob Ellsworth Reighard Papers, 1887-1942, 1890-1920 Bentley Historical Library
creatorOf Reighard, Jacob, 1861-1942. Jacob Ellsworth Reighard papers, 1887-1942. Bentley Historical Library
creatorOf Phelps, Jessie, 1870-1957. Jessie Phelps papers, 1832-1951. Bentley Historical Library
creatorOf Earle Wilbur Dow papers Bentley Historical Library
referencedIn Goddard, Edwin C. (Edwin Charles), 1865-1942. Edwin C. Goddard papers, [ca. 1884]-[ca. 1940]. Bentley Historical Library
referencedIn William B. Provine collection of evolutionary biology reprints, 20th century. Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections, Cornell University Library.
creatorOf Okkelberg, Peter Olaus, 1880-. Peter O. Okkelberg papers, 1910-1950. Bentley Historical Library
referencedIn Harry Burns Hutchins Papers, 1879-1930 Bentley Historical Library
referencedIn University of Michigan Faculty and Staff Portraits, ca. 1860-ca. 1960 Bentley Historical Library
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Abel, John Jacob, 1857-1938. person
associatedWith Adams, Charles C. (Charles Christopher), 1873-1955. person
associatedWith Agassiz, Alexander, 1835-1910. person
associatedWith Amateur Fencers League of America. corporateBody
associatedWith Angell, James Burrill, 1829-1916. person
associatedWith Bailey, L. H. (Liberty Hyde), 1858-1954. person
associatedWith Baker, Frank Collins, 1867-1942. person
associatedWith Barbour, Levi L. (Levi Lewis), 1840-1925. person
associatedWith Birge, E. A. (Edward Asahel), 1851-1950. person
associatedWith Bumpus, Hermon C. (Hermon Carey), 1862-1943. person
associatedWith Burrows, Julius C. (Julius Caesar), 1837-1915. person
associatedWith Cattell, James McKeen, 1860-1944. person
associatedWith Clark, Hubert Lyman, 1870-1947. person
associatedWith Clements, William L. (William Lawrence), 1861-1934. person
associatedWith Cobb, Frank Irving, 1869-1923. person
associatedWith Conklin, Edward Grant, 1863-1952. person
associatedWith Davenport, Charles Benedict, 1866-1944. person
associatedWith Dean, Bashford, 1867-1928. person
associatedWith Dewey, John, 1859-1952 person
associatedWith Dow, Earle W. (Earle Wilbur), 1868-1946. person
associatedWith Forbes, Stephen Alfred, 1844-1930 person
associatedWith Fordney, Joseph W. (Joseph Warren), 1853-1932 person
associatedWith Gage, Simon Henry, 1851-1944 person
associatedWith Gilman, Daniel Coit, 1831-1908 person
associatedWith Goddard, Edwin C. (Edwin Charles), 1865-1942. person
associatedWith Harvey, E. Newton (Edmund Newton), 1887-1959 person
associatedWith Hay, Oliver Perry, 1846-1930 person
associatedWith Herrick, Francis Hobart, 1858-1940 person
associatedWith Hubbard, Lucius L. (Lucius Lee), 1849-1933 person
associatedWith Hubbs, Carl L. (Carl Leavitt), 1894-1979 person
associatedWith Hutchins, Harry B. (Harry Burns), 1847-1930 person
associatedWith Jenks, Jeremiah Whipple, 1856-1929 person
associatedWith Jennings, H. S. (Herbert Spencer), 1868-1947 person
associatedWith Johnston, John Black, 1868-1939 person
associatedWith Jordan, David Starr, 1851-1931 person
associatedWith Kellogg, John Harvey, 1852-1943 person
associatedWith Lane, Alfred C. (Alfred Church), b. 1863 person
associatedWith Langley, S. P. (Samuel Pierpont), 1834-1906 person
associatedWith Larue, George R. (George Roger), b. 1882 person
associatedWith Lillie, Frank Rattray, 1870-1947 person
associatedWith Loeb, Jacques, 1859-1924 person
associatedWith Lombard, Warren P. (Warren Plimpton), 1855-1939. person
associatedWith Mark, E. L. (Edward Laurens), b. 1847 person
associatedWith McMillan, James, 1838-1902 person
associatedWith Meyer, Adolf, 1866-1950 person
associatedWith Michigan Historical Collections corporateBody
associatedWith Michigan. State Board of Fish Commissioners. corporateBody
associatedWith Morgan, Thomas Hunt, 1866-1945 person
associatedWith Mosher, Eliza, 1846-1928 person
associatedWith National Conference on Race Betterment. corporateBody
associatedWith Okkelberg, Peter Olaus, 1880- person
associatedWith Osborn, Henry Fairfield, 1857-1935 person
associatedWith Peabody, George Foster, 1852-1938 person
associatedWith Pearl, Raymond, 1879-1940 person
associatedWith Phelps, Jessie, 1870-1957. person
associatedWith Pingree, Hazen S., 1840-1901 person
correspondedWith Provine, William B. person
associatedWith Putnam, Frederic Ward, 1839-1915 person
associatedWith Ruthven, Alexander Grant, 1882-1971 person
associatedWith Shull, Aaron Franklin, 1881-1961 person
associatedWith Smith, William Alden, 1859-1932 person
associatedWith Stockard, Charles Rupert, 1879-1939 person
associatedWith United States Fish Commission. corporateBody
associatedWith University of Michigan corporateBody
associatedWith University of Michigan. Biological Station. corporateBody
associatedWith University of Michigan. Dept. of Zoology. corporateBody
associatedWith University of Michigan. Dept. of Zoology. corporateBody
associatedWith University of Michigan. Museum of Zoology. corporateBody
associatedWith University of Michigan. Zoological Laboratory. corporateBody
associatedWith Wenley, Robert M. (Robert Mark), 1861-1929 person
associatedWith Whitman, Charles Otis, 1842-1910 person
associatedWith Woodward, Robert Simpson, 1849-1924 person
associatedWith Worcester, Dean C. (Dean Conant), 1866-1924 person
Place Name Admin Code Country
Manistee River (Mich.)
Manistee River (Mich.)
Great Lakes (North America)
Great Lakes.
Fur trade
Fur trade
Underwater photography
World War, 1914-1918
World War, 1914-1918
World War, 1914-1918


Birth 1861-07-02

Death 1942-02-13



Ark ID: w6sn45dg

SNAC ID: 26384528