I. Ernest Walter Lindstrom


On November 8, 1948 the corn research world lost, in the death of Ernest Walter Lindstrom, one of its most ardent workers. Dr. Lindstrom was born of Swedish parents in Chicago, Illinois, February 5, 1891. He early broke from the city tradition with sojourns in the forest of the Rockies as a student forester. His A.B. was gained from the University of Wisconsin in 1914. Three years later he obtained his doctorate from Cornell University, his thesis being on "Chlorophyll Inheritance in Maize." The culmination of this work marked the beginning of a long line of R. A. Emerson men who were to contribute so much to plant breeding. The thesis itself opened new avenues to our understanding of chlorophyll action. Emphasis was laid on the significance of many genes in the control of economic characters.


A pilot in World War I, Lindstrom returned to the Genetics Department of the University of Wisconsin, where he remined as an instructor from 1918 to 1922. In 1922, Lindstrom was called upon to organize a department of Genetics at Iowa State College. To this position Dr. Lindstrom brought not only his skills, but also those of A. Cornelia Anderson of Waukesha, Wisconsin, whom he married in 1921. Six years of fairly uninterrupted work demonstrated research skills and administrative capacity of such high order that 1927 found the Lindstroms in Europe at the invitation of the Rockefeller Foundation. A year spent in assisting the Inter­national Education Board in selecting researches of European invest­igators worthy of their support, and in contacts with the leaders and advanced students making these researches, convinced Dr. Lindstrom that he himself wished to return to his own research. The eight years following were marked by attacks on previously untouched problems. Through his efforts Iowa State College got a reputation for active, sound genetic work. But Lindstrom's matured judgment was increasingly called upon in selecting key personnel, for methods of teaching and in choosing significant programs for research.


This background brought the almost inevitable step. In 1937, Lindstrom added the duties of Vice Dean of the Graduate School. His thought went to making education better, particularly in the Land Grant Colleges. But our country was not alone the gainer. In 1944‑45 he gave a year of his life in assisting the Colombian Government to establish a Genetics Department in their National University of Medellin.


Dr. Lindstrom is survived by his wife, Mrs. A. Cornelia Lindstrom, and three children, Eugene Shipman Lindstrom, Mrs. William M. Buck, and Rosemary Vaughn Lindstrom. In his time he served as member, secretary, vice president and president of our professional society. Characteristically, even near the end he looked to the future of his chosen field. Instead of flowers he requested that those who wished to commemorate his memory contribute to a fund for the support of a Genetic Library at Iowa State College. The far reaching response which this request has thus far received is significant of the high esteem in which Dr. Lindstrom was held by all his students and colleagues. In less than the allotted life span his has been a full career.


John W. Gowen