Augustine Dawson Selby

Augustine Dawson Selby was born in 1859. He was a trained botanist who specialized in plant pathology, the study of plant diseases. His first professional accomplishment, at age 23, was to publish "A Study of Vascular Plants of Franklin County" in 1882, a copy of which remains in the Ohio State University library system.

This 1942 photo shows a farm building partially obscured by trees where today's Selby Park shelter house stands. Click the image to see the entire photo.

Selby's professional career was spent at The Ohio Agricultural Experiment Station, which was founded at The Ohio State University in Columbus in 1882. It then moved to Wooster, Ohio in 1894. That same year, A. D. Selby was hired as Ohio's first plant pathologist. In 1902 he was appointed botanist and chief of the new Department of Plant Physiology and Pathology, a position he held until 1923. In 1911, Selby served as the President of the American Phytopathological Society, and under his leadership, plant pathology research and extension fully took root in Ohio. Selby Hall in Wooster is named for him. Research and extension efforts in plant pathology grew on the Wooster campus throughout the first half of the 1900s.

A.D. Selby links

Selby's Rockcress (Arabis selbyi), a plant which Selby discovered during a 1901 trip to Colorado.

The history of the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center, where Selby was employed.

With an established career, Selby posessed the resources to acquire farm land. In the 1915 time frame A. D. Selby owned the farm lot that North, South and East Selby Boulevards are located on, as well as Selby Park. He also owned the lot adjacent to and just north of the present day park of roses at that same time.

Whether Selby was a land speculator, was farming or wanted to further his research I don't yet know. However, he died in 1924 and the land he owned was purchased by a real estate holding company, Dill & Dill. When Colonial Hills and Dales was finally platted in 1942, they reached back to Augustine Dawson Selby as a man of accomplishment who was associated with this land, and was worthy of having the development's main boulevard and community park carry his name.

Aerial view of Selby Park in 1947. Click image for the full aerial view of the development.