Date of this Version
Published in Transactions of the Nebraska Academy of Sciences, Volume 2 (1973).
When I recently undertook to pay tribute to Dr. Charles E. Bessey, I realized that appraisals of his long years of devoted, manifold services to Nebraska and the nation already had been written by qualified contemporaries. It soon became apparent that I could not add significantly to the two biographies by Raymond J. Pool, written in 1915, the year of Bessey's death, and in 1919, the University semi-centennial year, nor to the illustrated account, published in Nebraska History in 1953, of his sustained efforts culminating in fulfillment of his dream of establishing a man-made National Forest (Pool, 1915; 1919; 1953).
Hence I thought it better to interview or correspond with persons who had worked with him or been his students in order to learn what they considered most interesting about 'Professor' Bessey, as he was commonly designated.
The author greatly appreciates the generous aid given in preparing this presentation by all of those mentioned and others who were contacted.