The Dashing Kansan - Lewis Lindsay Dyche: The Amazing Adventures of a Nineteenth-Century Naturalist and Explorer

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  • Several chapters in this biography of Lewis L. Dyche (1857-1915), taxidermist extraordinaire at the University of Kansas, creating force behind that university's museum of natural history, and Kansas fish and game warden, make reference to William Temple Hornaday, Chief Taxidermist at the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum. Dyche learned of Hornaday's expertise from a University of Kansas colleague who accompanied Hornaday on an 1886 Smithsonian expedition to Montana to collect buffalo specimens. Dyche wangled an invitation from Hornaday to study under him at the U. S. National Museum the next year; this began a 27-year relationship between the two as friendly rivals. Mention is made of Hornaday's clay-covered mannequin method of taxidermy and that he was an advocate of group displays.
  • He was instrumental in groundwork leading to the 1889 establishment of the National Zoological Park and was poised to play a central role there, but when Smithsonian Secretary Samuel P. Langley transferred control of the park to himself, Hornaday left the Smithsonian. He became a leader in the wildlife conservation movement and was instrumental in the foundation of the Bronx Zoo. Hornaday died in 1937 at the age of 82. The authors also mention that Smithsonian Secretary Alexander Wetmore was a student of Dyche at Kansas.


  • Dyche, Lewis Lindsay
  • Wetmore, Alexander 1886-
  • Langley, S. P (Samuel Pierpont) 1834-1906
  • Hornaday, William Temple 1854-1937
  • United States National Museum
  • National Zoological Park (U.S.)


Smithsonian Institution History Bibliography


Notice incorrect date at the top of Page 31 -- year should be 1886 instead of 1896.

Contact information

Institutional History Division, Smithsonian Institution Archives, 600 Maryland Avenue, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20024-2520,




  • Taxidermy
  • Zoos
  • Secretaries
  • National Zoological Park (U.S.)
  • Biography
  • National Zoological Park (U.S.)--Early History

Physical description

222 pages

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