Walsh, Benjamin Dann (1808-1869)
Benjamin Dann Walsh was born in Hackney England on September 21, 1808. He was the 5th of 13 children. Graduated from St. Paul's School in 1827, and Trinity College, Cambridge University recieving a B. A. degree in 1831, and an M.A. degree in 1834. Walsh was a scholar of ancient Greek language and literature. In 1833 he became a fellow of Trinity, where he resided for 12 years. Walsh left Cambridge and married Rebecca Finn setting sail for the United States and spent his remaining life in Illinois.
Darwin's one Illinois correspondent was an entomologist, largely self-trained, in the person of Benjamin D. Walsh, long resident in Rock Island. Mr. Walsh became the first State Entomologist of Illinois, but died in the year of his appointment; nevertheless he advanced government scientific activity.
Illinois' first state entomologist. He was an editor of entomological journals, a Rock Island alderman and lumberman. Walsh and his staff were often seen collecting bugs in town. Unfortunately, while pursuing his science, he was run over by a locomotive and lost a foot. He died shortly afterwards and his collection of 30,000 insects was sold to the state of Illinois. This collection was sent to the Chicago Academy of Sciences. In 1871, his collection was destroyed in the Chicago Fire. Fifty years after his death, the United States Entomologist declared Walshs' work as still authoritative and standard.
Burial: Chippiannock Cemetery Rock Island Rock Island County Illinois, USA
One taxonomic paper on ants in which two Lasius species were described.
- Walsh, B. D. 1863 . On the genera of Aphidae found in the United States. Proc. Entomol. Soc. Phila. 1: 294-311 PDF
- Sheppard, C.A. 2004. Annual Review of Entomology 29:1-25, bibliography, portrait.