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Locy, William A. (William Albert), 1857-1924

 Person

Dates

  • Existence: 1857-1924

William Albert Locy, a popular teacher, lucid writer, and indi-vidual devoted to the history of his subjects, was born on September 14, 1857, in Troy, Michigan. He was the son of Lorenzo Dow and Sarah Kingsbury Locy. He received a Bachelor of Science degree in 1881, a Master of Science degree in 1884, and an honorary Doctor of Science degree in 1906, all from the University of Michigan. In 1895 he was given the Doctor of Philosophy degree by the University of Chicago.

William Albert Locy, a popular teacher, lucid writer, and indi-vidual devoted to the history of his subjects, was born on September 14, 1857, in Troy, Michigan. He was the son of Lorenzo Dow and Sarah Kingsbury Locy. He received a Bachelor of Science degree in 1881, a Master of Science degree in 1884, and an honorary Doctor of Science degree in 1906, all from the University of Michigan. In 1895 he was given the Doctor of Philosophy degree by the University of Chicago.

Locy's teaching career began at the State Normal School, St. Cloud, Minnesota, where he was professor of natural science, 1885-1886. He then moved to Minneapolis for 1886-1887 where he served as director of biological instruction in the city's high school. From 1887 to 1896 Locy taught at Lake Forest University, Lake For-est, Illinois, holding professorships successively in biology, compar-ative anatomy, and animal morphology. For part of 1891 he was pro-fessor of physiology at Rush Medical College, Chicago. Moving to Northwestern in 1896 Locy served as professor of zoology and director of the zoological laboratory until his death on October 9, 1924. Locy also took graduate training at Harvard, under E. L. Mark, and did research at the Marine Biological Station, Wood's Hole, Mass., and at the Stazione Zoologica, Naples.

Locy's commitment to teaching is indicated by the fact that he supervised the elementary course in biology at Northwestern as long as he was at the University, and introduced courses on the anatomy and physiology of the cell, the central nervous system, and in the history of biology.

His doctoral thesis, “Contributions to the Structure and Development of the Vertebrate Head”, was a classic that provided the basis for later research by Locy and his students. Locy's research dealt with the development of the brain and cranial nerves, the development of the Nervus Terminalis, and the morphology of the spider. He contributed over two dozen substantial scientific papers.

Locy's historical interests grew, especially during the latter part of his career, and led directly to his three books, all soundly-based popularizations: Biology and its Makers (1908; Ger. trans., 1915; 3rd ed., 1922), The Main Currents of Zoology (1918), and The Story of Biology (1925), an expansion of Part I of Biology and its Makers.

Locy was an active member of several institutions and soci-eties. He served as a trustee of the Marine Biological Station, Wood's Hole, for a quarter of a century. He was a member of the American Zoological Society for many years (President, 1915), and a founder and first vice-president of the History of Science Section of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

On June 26, 1883, Locy married Ellen Eastman, daughter of Joseph Eastman, M.D., of Flint, Michigan. Among their children were John L., a salesman in Kansas City, Mo., and Francis Eastman, a 1st Lieutenant in the U.S. Navy.

Found in 1 Collection or Record:

William Albert Locy (1857-1924) Papers

 Collection
Identifier: 11/3/7/3
Abstract The William Albert Locy Papers are arranged in five main categories in three boxes containing twenty-one folders and one bound volume. The categories are: biographical material; correspondence; reprints; lecture and miscellaneous notes; manuscripts.