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July 20, 2017

Concerned About Trees’ Death, In 1917 Martha Davis Donated

Farm With Huge Virgin Oak Forest

By Seth Slabaugh

The (Muncie) Star Press

Farmland, IN (AP) - Martha Davis died in the summer of 1917, leaving a 385-acre farm that included a virgin oak forest to Purdue University.

The bequest required Purdue to preserve the trees and wildflowers as a bird sanctuary and example of a native Hoosier forest. The gift prohibited hunting and commercial timber cutting and named the woods the Herbert Davis Forestry Farm.

Worried about the extinction of plants and animals as Indiana’s landscape was changing from forests to farms, Davis was serious about saving the woods. She specified that if the conditions of her gift to Purdue were broken, ownership of the property would transfer to the Methodist Missionary Society at 150 Fifth Ave., New York City, for safe-keeping.

Davis inherited the site from her father, a wealthy Delaware County farmer, school teacher and brick mason. She married Lewis Davis, a Farmland physician, in 1874. The couple had a son, Herbert, aka Herbie, in 1876.

The Herbert Davis Forestry Farm at Perdue

Music, painting, religion, nature, travel, social events and her son were among Davis’s passions, according to a letter written by a descendant. The letter at the Randolph County Historical Society says Herbie had more toys than any kid in town. But he was ``never well’’ and died at age 19. Davis outlived not only her husband but her only child. The 52-acre virgin forest memorializes him.

It received national attention in 1975 and remains intact a century after she died. Purdue has left it alone.

Walking through the woods today ``gives you a sense of what it was like to have been in an old-growth forest when that was normative,’’ said Michael Doyle, an associate professor of history at Ball State University. ``I had no idea our community harbored such remnants. It’s difficult to imagine Indiana without corn and soybeans.’’

Doyle saw the woods in May, during a walk sponsored by the Delaware County Soil and Water Conservation District. He is attracted to the ``cathedral-like environment’’ of old-growth forests.

Tana Pittsford, a Delaware County 4-H leader, also took the walk, with her two grandchildren. She was surprised to see waist-high ash trees sprouting from the forest floor. News accounts had led her to believe Indiana’s ash trees ``had been completely wiped out’’ by an invasive beetle native to northeastern Asia. ``I thought ash trees were gone forever, but they’re coming back,’’ she said.

Some of the thousands of trees in Davis woods, north of Farmland in Randolph County, are now 300 to 400 years old.
The flat to gently rolling surface of the heavily farmed Tipton (Glacial) Till Plain across Central Indiana was mostly forested until the early 1800s, when clearing began for row crops.

``These tracts of relic forest that don’t really show strong imprints of humans are pretty rare,’’ said Michael Jenkins, an associate professor of forest ecology at Purdue. ``Davis woods was never cleared by humans. No one farmed it. It’s been left alone so long that it’s one of the best tracts of old growth in the Midwest.’’

The National Park Service designated Herbert Davis Forestry Farm as a National Natural Landmark in 1975, calling it ``the best old growth oak-hickory forest on the Tipton Till Plain and possibly one of the finest such forests in the eastern United States. The site contains exceptionally large individuals of several tree species.’’

There are about 600 National Natural Landmarks in the United States and American Territories, including the volcanic crater Diamond Head on the Island of Oahu, Hawaii; the Okefenokee Swamp in Georgia, and the Rancho La Brea tar pits in Los Angeles.

But like Davis woods, many other Natural Landmark sites have unfamiliar names because they are usually not primary tourist destinations, they may not be open to the public, they are often small, and they may be difficult to access, according to NPS. There are nearly 30 of them in Indiana, including the Ohio Coral Reef, Dunes Nature Preserve, and Wyandotte Cave.

Davis woods, 6230 N. Ind. 1, Farmland, is accessible to the public, but it lacks trails and you should call - 765-468-7022 - before visiting. It is part of the 703-acre Davis Purdue Agricultural Center, where research is conducted not only on old-growth timber stands but on crop diseases, weed control, insect prob?lems, drainage, and fertilizer applications in corn, soybeans, and winter wheat. The public is invited to a 100th anniversary event at the center on Aug. 31.

Purdue calls Davis woods the largest and oldest mapped forest in North America. In 1926, forestry professor Burr N. Prentice numbered, mapped, described, and tagged every tree on the property - about 7,000 - without the aid of computers.

``We have this incredibly long data set .that allows us to look back in time and see how the forest has changed,’’ Jenkins said. ``It also serves as a baseline to compare younger forests to, to kind of understand how those forests will look in the future.’’

Studies of Davis woods could help guide management of other forests, including accelerating the development of old-growth characteristics in second-growth hardwoods, he said. Management techniques that emulate natural forest disturbance and forest stand development have the potential to enhance biodiversity, ecosystem health and forest resilience, according to the U.S. Forest Service.

Forests like Davis ``are pretty large storage reservoirs for carbon,’’ vast amounts of which are released by the burning of fossil fuels, Jenkins said.

Though it was grazed by livestock before being donated to Purdue, the woods has been protected from grazing since then. Other disturbances in the past 100 years have included a seven-acre fire in 1971, Dutch elm disease, storm damage, and the invasive emerald ash borer, a jewel beetle fatal to ash trees. Uncontrolled wildlife, especially white-tailed deer, also can disturb the forest.

According to a Purdue management plan, the overstory of Davis woods is a mix of oak, hickory, beech, maple, walnut, ash and basswood.

Detail of Davis Forest trees

But as the large-diameter canopy trees, especially the oaks, begin to die out, the forest will convert to a climax forest of beech and maple, according to the management plan. Oak seedlings don’t grow well in heavy shade, Jenkins said, while seedlings of sugar maple are shade tolerant.

Beech-maple forests are thought to eventually dominate the Tipton Till Plain, except in lowland depression areas like the Davis woods, where wet soils that preclude agriculture tend toward oak-hickory forests, according to Purdue studies.

Jenkins co-authored a study published in 2014 that sampled standing deadwood and downed deadwood in the Davis woods.

Even after dying, trees continue to influence ecological processes and biodiversity. According to the study, deadwood provides ``regeneration substrate’’ for some plants, serves as habitat for insects, spiders, birds, small mammals, amphibians and fungi; contributes to soil development; mitigates erosion from slopes, and captures carbon and other nutrients.

Brad Rody, a district forester who led a tour of Davis woods in May, noted, `` We’re not getting the oak regeneration that we wish we could. It’s a common issue across the entire U.S. We’re not seeing those regenerate due to a lot of different things. There is no fire that’s out of control. Now, if there’s a whiff of smoke, we put out the fire. In some areas, oak regeneration is benefited by fire.’’

He described Davis as being in transition. ``We saw trees with a lot of damage to the upper crowns, open holes where limbs were broken out over time,’’ Rody said. ``As the overstory dies, it is then being replaced by the understory of maple, and now a vast amount of ash in the openings being created just because the ash trees died. So the sun can get to the floor. Everything around you is ash seedlings waist high. We see ash competing with maple seedlings. When so many maples and ash seedlings come up, young oaks get shaded out.’’

The fate of the new ash trees coming up is unknown. ``There is no way to tell if a second wave of emerald ash borer will come through when those ash trees get bigger,’’ Rody said. ``But the residual population (of the beetle) is not high enough to continue killing the young ones.’’

For places like Davis woods to remain intact, it required several things to come together.

The first is that the property was too wet to farm and couldn’t be drained because all of the surrounding water runs to it, Rody said. The second is that the family that owned it wanted to keep it in a natural state, ``and a lot of that comes down to financing. The Davis family must have been well-to-do or owned other woods that they could use to construct their first buildings.’’ Third, if Herbie had survived Davis, she might have handed down the farm to him, not to Purdue.

Having no direct descendants, Davis left a sister six lots in Farmland, jewelry, cash and household goods. She willed a 93-acre farm in Delaware County to ``Pekin University’’ in China to establish the ``Erastus and Julia Allegre Endowment Fund’’ (in the name of her parents, possibly related to missionary work). She also bequeathed an 80-acre Randolph County farm to her nephews and a 96-acre farm in Delaware County to her grand-nephews.

Woman Aged 59 Gives Birth To First Child

Albany, NY (AP) - During nearly four decades of marriage, Akosua Budu Amoako and her husband tried to have a child, without success. But last month, at age 59, Budu gave birth to her first child after fertility treatments.

The full-term 7-pound, 4-ounce boy was born June 15 at Bellevue Woman’s Center in Niskayuna, near Albany. He’s named after his father, Isaiah Somuah Anim.

``They’re doing super, very well,’’ Dr. Khushru Irani, who delivered the baby, told The Associated Press on Monday. The couple, he added, ``are so happy about the whole thing.’’

Budu said she and her 59-year-old husband, who live in Schenectady, had tried for years to get pregnant naturally after they married 38 years ago, but they eventually stopped trying.

The Budus and their baby boy

Then last year, after learning that a 60-year-old woman in the couple’s homeland of Ghana gave birth to triplets after fertility treatments, the couple, both medical professionals at a local hospital, decided to try once again to have a child.

Irani said he was apprehensive at first, noting the risks of complications that can arise from giving birth at such an advanced age.

``Initially, when I saw her, I’m saying no, it’s not a good idea for your health to have a baby at your age,’’ the doctor said. ``But they were very insistent and they wanted to try it out.’’

Budu underwent in vitro fertilization at an Albany-area clinic using her husband’s sperm and a donor egg. The entire process, from initial screening to successful fertilization, cost $20,000 and took about a year, the elder Amin told the newspaper.

``We haven’t gotten much sleep, but I feel fine and I think he already knows our voices,’’ Budu told the Times Union. The couple, who came to the United States in 2005, are naturalized U.S. citizens.

``And our son is born an American, and a New Yorker,’’ Amin said.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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This Week In The Civil War For June 22 And June 29, Monday, June 30, Is Deadline For NC Eugenics Victims To File, Great White Shark Population Is Surging Along East Coast, Shipwreck Hunter ‘99.9% Sure’ 17th Century Ship Found

Fulfilling Will’s Stipulations Is Bugging The Smithsonian, In The Rat Race In NYC, The Rats Appear To Be Winning, Toad Detour In Philly Helps Thousands Of Toadlets Live, Chubby Checker Asks For Hall Of Fame Induction ASAP!

Tests Confirm Donated Art Is Rembrandt Self-Portrait, Healthy Seniors In Study Seeking A Way To Block Alzheimer’s, NC’s 13th Amendment On Tour To Celebrate Juneteenth

Scientists Say Creating Embryo From Three People May Be OK, This Week In The Civil War, Staging Of The Wizard Of Oz Gives Inmates Hope & Purpose, Backyard Chickens: A Green Investment In Sourcing Food

This Week In The Civil War: Weeks of May 25 & June 1, Options For Honoring Beloved Pets When They Cross Over, Surprising DNA Test Links Kiwi To Giant Bird, 1000 Years Gone, Music Therapy Opens Windows Of Communication For Many, Woman Prowls Graveyards In Search Of Mysteries & Fun

Chicks With Picks: Climbers Find Power & Peace On The Ice, Robert E. Lee’s Former Land Is Now Arlington Nat’l Cemetery

Man Gently Works To Reverse Die-Off Of Honey Bees, Mad Men Style Drinking Cars Closing Down On Metro North, Oregon’s Gray Wolf, OR-7, May Have Found A Sweetie

Two Weeks In The Civil War: Overland Campaign & Sherman, Archaeologist Claims He’s Found King David’s Citadel, Blood Of Young Mice Helped Older Mice - Are We Next?!

Bees Are Disappearing, But Gardeners Can Help, Freed After 24 Years In Prison, Man Knows ‘God Has A Plan’, Yeah, It’s True. The Dude Has Had His Own Festival For Years

This Week In The Civil War: Fighting in Arkansas, Most Americans Still Question The Big Bang Theory, ‘What Would Abbie Think?’ Radical’s Presence Felt Today

This Week In The Civil War: Confederates Take Plymouth, Study Reveals Snacks May Help Avoid Marital Arguments, It’s Probably Just A Matter Of Time: 3D-Printed Heart

Descendants Of Civil War Battle Of New Market Sought By VMI, This Week In The Civil War: Raid On Fort Pillow, TN, 1964 World’s Fair Site Will Cost Millions To Restore

This Week In The Civil War: The Red River Campaign, 11 Ancient Burial Boxes Seized From Thieves, Music Program Puts Alzheimer’s Patients Back In Tune For A Bit

Noah, Opening Friday, Swirls Into A Strong Faith Market, Spring Time Is Puppy Time! How To Puppy-ize Your Life, This Week In The Civil War, Historically Vital Photos Of SC Slave Descendants New Home

Ethyl The Grizzly Loves Travel And Apple Orchards

The Grand Budapest Hotel: Wes Anderson’s Latest Is A Hit, This Week In The Civil War: Slaves Freed In Louisiana, Peerless Card Shark & Magician Richard Turner Is Totally Blind, The Debate Continues On Safety & Impact, But Vaping Is Gaining Acceptance & Growing

This Week In The Civil War: U.S. Grant Takes Charge, The Hard Part Is Digging The Hole: Backyard Pond Tips

Researchers Find Mexico’s Endangered ‘Water Monster’, This Week In The Civil War: Confederate Submarine, Bumblebees Are Getting Stung By Honeybee Sickness, New Exhibit Features Telegram From Elvis To His Parents

Hasty Dig At Camp Asylum, SC: The Developer’s Coming!, Backyard Bird Counters Reveal Snowy Owl Migration, Surgeon Who Invented Heimlich Maneuver: Remember It!

Saving The World’s Great Art: The Real Monuments Men, This Week In The Civil War: Sherman In Mississippi, Folkies Recall Opening For The Beatles At Carnegie Hall In ‘64

Hoffman’s Relapse & Death Is A Tragic, Common Outcome, This Week In The Civil War: Fighting At Morton’s Ford, VA, ‘Jar Nut’s’ Collection Of Bottles Is On Display In Spencer, NC

Monuments Men: 1,000 Years Of Culture Saved From Nazis, This Week In The Civil War: The Union Campaign, Film & Museum Reveal More Realistic View Of Bonnie & Clyde, IRS Is Working To Save Tax Payers Money Through EITC

2013 Was 4th Hottest Year On Record, Says NOAA, This Week in The Civil War, for week of Sunday, Jan. 26, Germans’ Longing For American West Births Documentary Play, What Do Fish Poo, Fresh Berries & School Kids Have In Common?

Making Of Lone Survivor Challenging & Controversial, This Week In The Civil War: Fighting In Tennessee, Archaeologist Seeks WWII DNA From Pacific Graveyards, Handyman Program’s ‘Angels’ Help Keep Seniors At Home

This Week In The Civil War, Originals Of The Star-Spangled Banner & Flag To Be Displayed, Our Universe At Its Infancy: Images From Hubble Telescope, 100 Years Later, The British Still Debate WWI’s Legacy

Music Therapy Organization Helps Vets Cope With PTSD, This Week In The Civil War: Winter Furloughs, Rare 1886 Michigan Lighthouse For Sale, Concern For Elves Prompts Iceland To Halt Roadway

This Week In The Civil War, New Survey Reveals US Dads Very Involved In Child Rearing, Dolphin Center Offers Course In Marine Mammal Care

Papers Stolen During Civil War Going Home To Virginia, New Vero Beach Dig: Ice Age Humans In North American?

This Week In The Civil War: Lincoln’s Restoration Plan, Oldest DNA By 100,000 Years Throws Science Into A New Era, Bird Lovers Seek Respect For Sweet Birds: Iowa Blue Chickens

Police Still Seeking Clues To TV Star’s 1957 Murder, Scrawny Stray Cat Becomes Media Star: Pete The Cat

Researchers Seek To Teach Computer Common Sense, This Week In The Civil War: Fighting In Tennessee, New Trend For Vets Helps Pets & Owners: Euthanasia At Home, Florida Archaeologists Carefully Ponder & Paw Mystery Site

President Kennedy Is Best Remembered In His Own Words, This Week In The Civil War: The Battle Above The Clouds, German Who Held Nazi-Era Art Trove Wants Collection Back, Fifty Years Ago, A Young Boy Sought To Comfort JFK’s Bugler

This Week In The Civil War: The Gettysburg Address, NC Student, A ‘Modern Hippie,’ Treasures His 1977 VW Bus, 1869 Account Of Yellowstone Was Disbelieved, Nearly Lost, Amazing Story Of 17th Century Gem & Its Princess Savior, BBB: Tips For Donating To Typhoon Haiyan Relief

2013 Meteor Crash In Russia Is More Likely Than Realized, This Week In The Civil War

This Week In The Civil War: Confederates’ Knoxville Move, Was The Exorcist A True Story? The Answer Remains Elusive, OK, Weather Nerds! Here’re Some Weird Sandy Facts, LA’s La Brea Tar Pits Mark 100 Years Of Excavations

Inspired By Hugo’s Wrath, SC Building Arts College Thrives, This Week In The Civil War, Evidence Found Of Yeti: Oxford’s DNA Analysis Irrefutable

Remembering The Civil War, Graves Spanning Decades Of Tragedy Featured On Hike, NC Twins Meet Biological Mother On Their 20th Birthday

In Debate Over Redskins’ Name Whose Opinion Matters Most?, ‘Appearance Isn’t Everything’ & Model Finds Attention ‘Creepy’

Texas Historical Commission Look For Old Socorro Mission, At 86, Man Continues Career As Mason: ‘I love to do it’

Burger King Seeks To Make Fries Less ‘Painful’, Pirate Ship Which Sank In 1717 Yields Valuable, Rare Booty, Miss Piggy Sets Up House With Kermit & Fozzie At Smithsonian

Beep Baseball Helps Blind Players Gain Confidence

Woman Loses 160 lb. In Two Years, Without Suffering, US Wind Farms Responsible For Dozens Of Raptor Deaths

Detroit Asserts Driverless Cars Are Only Eight Years Away, Beloved Irish Poet’s Final Words: “Don’t Be Afraid.”

Report Highlights Importance Of Increasing Fruit And Vegetable Access In North Carolina, Area Of Brain Where ‘Normal’ Memory Loss Occurs Is Found

Life After TV’s Smash Still Busy For Its Songwriters, Free Dogwood Trees For Joining Arbor Day Foundation, August, Back To School Sleep Habits: Tips For Getting Kids In Gear!

NOAA Features Live Ocean‘TV’ Through August 16, Amazing Mayan Frieze Is Found In Guatemala, New Film The Butler Bridges Decades Of Struggle For Blacks

Elvis Week Honored With Release Of Elvis At Stax, Agencies Now Track The Biggest Fish: Whale Sharks, Suburb Seeks To Reduce Deer Population With Birth Control

Tick-Killing Robot May Change The World - And Your Backyard, Research On Monogamy In Animals Yields Varied Results, Back To School Overview Of Cool Stuff For Kids!

Retired Professor Sweeps Village Streets For The Good Of All, Particle Bs Sighting Confirms Clue To Universe’s Origin, Native Artist Seeks To Redefine What It Is To Be An Indian

Chance Meeting At Auschwitz Leads To Understanding, High Point Man Recalls Days On Lone Ranger Radio Show, Monks’ Sand Mandala Tour Spreads Cultural Tolerance

Solar Powered Plane Finishes Historical Journey In NYC, Raising Butterflies Is Spiritual Medicine For SC Man, More People Are Donating Bodies To Science

Teaching Each Other How To Live, Inmates & Dogs Reform, Easy July 4th Dessert! Raspberry Coconut Pie, Freshly Made Lemonade With Fresh Berry Ice Cubes, Utah Man Submits Bigfoot Skull Fossil To Science For Exam

NC WW II Veteran’s Family Receives His Bible, Missing Nearly 70 Years In Europe, Greensboro Science Center Works 24/7 To Save Little Duke

Formerly Obese Man Will Cycle To The South Pole, Site Of Native American Chiefs In Virginia Is Now Protected, Infant Left In Phone Booth Grows Up & Seeks Birth Family, Yummy Hobby! Mushrooms In A Grow-Your-Own Kit

Search For First Web Page Leads To North Carolina, Myspace Is Reinvented (by Justin Timberlake) As A Home For Musicians, Artists & Writers, Keep It Down! New Products Help Soften Noise Sensitivity

Staying At Historic Inns Requires Some Homework - Do It!, Retired From ‘Real Jobs,’ People Embrace New Lives As Artists

Modern Home Classics: Noguchi’s Light Sculptures, Facial Recognition Technology To Stop Crime...Invade Privacy?

At 100, ACS Has Made Huge Strides In Reducing Cancer, Authors Seek To Align Horses With Owners’ Personalities, Honeybees Trained In Croatia To Find Land Mines

Dan Brown’s Very Latest, Inferno, Is An Engrossing Read, Man Hits The Road On Harley To Collect WWII Vets’ Stories, Fitzgerald’s Obscure Grave Garnering More Visitors Now

Sundance Takes A Look At Animal Moms On Mother’s Day, It’s All The Rage: Moms & Dads Taking ‘Stroller Hikes’

Britain’s Pinewood Studios Opens Its Branch In Atlanta, Fido Swallowed A Sock? That’ll Be Expensive And Maybe Fatal, Replica Of 8th Century Buddhist Caves Now On Exhibit

Planets With Life, “Goldilocks Planets,” Are Everywhere

A Place For Artists & Poets, Marked By A Big, Big Head, Woman Gets Book & Movie Deal After Self-Publishing On Amazon

Are You A Lilly Girl? It’s Hard To Resist The Sunny Lilly Lifestyle, NYC Pay Phone Project Features Neighborhoods’ Past

Everything You Need To Know About Backyard Chickens, History Buffs Gather To Mark 80th Anniversary Of Air Disaster, Hurricane Uncovers Sadness Of Unclaimed Patients’ Remains

Love Hummingbirds? Tips For Attracting These Tiny Miracles, Haiti Paints A Slum And Honors Artist Prefete Duffaut

PA Exhibit Features Local Reading Railroad Artifacts, Rite Of Spring Gives Right Of Way To Jersey Salamanders, Restoration Of Last Wooden Whaler Nears Completion

Stonehenge A emetery?, What’s A Rogue Taxidermist?“Cat” Grey Is, For Example

Community Helps Excavate Oldest Street In The US, For Fun & As Collectibles, Retro-Style Toys Remain Popular

Email, Text, Instant Message: Does Lack Of Response Bug You?

Re-enactors Skill At Acting Out History Has Dual Purpose, Team Retraces Shackleton’s Amazing 1916 Rescue, Virginia Volunteers Offer Chocolate & Hugs

Helping Kids & Adults Heal From Trauma: There’s No Clear Path, Cat Stars Of The Internet: How Did This Happen?

Shoah Foundation Produces Holograms Of Nazi Survivors, Museum Mounts Exhibit Of Ice Age Masterpieces, Family Restores Rare Airplane After ‘Coyote Chase’ Crash


 

 

 

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