Elsie Quarterman, Noted Ecologist, Once Resident of Ray City

Elsie Quarterman, Noted Ecologist, Once Resident of Ray City…

Or rather, the Ray City area.

As a young woman, noted ecologist and centenarian Elsie Quarterman’s home town was given as Ray City, GA.  At that time, the postal address of the Quarterman farm was Ray City, GA although the  farm was actually south of Ray City, GA across the county line in Lowndes County.

Canopy Roads of South Georgia notes, on June 9, 2014, “Aunt Elsie stepped over the final fence, dying peacefully at her home in Nashville, Tennessee, attended by her nephew Patrick and his wife Ann, as she had wanted.”  Canopy Roads has posted a more extensive sketch of her life at http://www.okraparadisefarms.com/blog/elsie 


Elsie Quarterman, 1931.

Elsie Quarterman, 1931 Pine Cone, Georgia State Womans College. The Quarterman farm was in north Lowndes County near Ray City, GA

Elsie Quarterman, a daughter of Alla Irene Peek  and David Sinclair Quarterman, was born 1910 in Lowndes County, Georgia.  Her father worked as a Superintendent of City Works for the City of Valdosta, GA and her early childhood was spent in the city, where her family resided at 115 Varnedoe Street. Her grandparents, Susan Evalyn “Susie” Sinclair and Thomas Quarterman, lived in a house on Hill Avenue.

Elsie Quarterman, high school student at Hahira, GA.

Elsie Quarterman, high school student at Hahira, GA.

Sometime around 1918-19 the Quarterman family removed from Valdosta to a  farm owned by Elsie’s father, located on Ousley road in Militia District 663 of Lowndes County.  Living at the farm house along with her parents and siblings were her Scottish grandmother, and grandfather who was disabled. In 1921, the Quarterman family moved again to a farm located on the Hahira road in Georgia Militia District 1307, the Cat Creek District of Lowndes County. Elsie attended high school at Hahira.  In the census of 1930, 19-year-old Elsie Quarterman is enumerated in her parents household on the family farm.

After high school, Elsie Quarterman attended Georgia State Womans College in Valdosta, GA (now known as Valdosta State University.) The 1931 Pine Cone, the college annual, gives her home town as Ray City, GA.  Elsie graduated from G.S.W.C. in 1932 with a Bachelor of Arts degree.

Elsie Quarterman, Georgia State Womans College diploma, 1932.

Elsie Quarterman, Georgia State Womans College diploma, 1932.

Elsie Quarterman later attended Duke University where she earned a Master of Arts in Botany, and a Ph.D. in Plant Ecology. After  achieving her doctorate, she joined the faculty of Vanderbilt University, and became the first woman to  chair a department of that institution. She became a noted pioneer in the field of ecology with important publications on southern hardwood and pine forests.

Amazon.com lists four books authored by Dr. Elsie Quarterman:

  • A summer check list of the vascular plants of the highland region (Publication – the Highlands Museum and Biological Laboratory) – Unknown Binding (1947) by Elsie Quarterman
  • Southern mixed hardwood forest: Climax in the southeastern coastal plain : U.S.A – Unknown Binding (1962) by Elsie Quarterman
  • Potential ecological/geological natural landmarks on the interior low plateaus – Unknown Binding (1978) by Elsie Quarterman

For more on the life of Elsie Quarterman and Quarterman family history, see Elsie Quarterman (1910-), Centenarian Ecologist

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  1. August 2, 2011 at 12:09 am

    […] Elsie Quarterman, Noted Ecologist, Once Resident of Ray City (raycityhistory.wordpress.com) […]

  2. June 9, 2014 at 3:47 pm

    […] “It goes back to when her dad left his job in waterworks in Valdosta and decided to buy a farm and moved the family there,” Patrick said. “Her mother and a family friend (Edna Winn Small) used to take Elsie with them when they went walking out in the woods. They were interested in finding and identifying flowers and plants.” […]

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