a native of France, came to his city and settled on a piece of land on the Gravois Road in South St. Louis, and began to collect botanical specimens.
Nicholas Riehl was born in Colmar, province of Alsace, France (now Germany), about 1808. His father's business was that of manufacturing cloth; not liking it, Nicholas sold it after the death of his father, and divided the estate. He took his share and traveled over much of Europe and America, coming as far west as St. Louis. Taking a liking to this part of the country, he returned to his old home and married. The two returned to St. Louis in the spring of 1836, and settled on a piece of ground on the Gravois Road in Carondelet, just outside the St. Louis city limits, and established a nursery. This is believed to have been the first nursery in St. Louis county, if not in the state of Missouri. The nursery business he carried on with success and profit until the time of his death in September, 1852. Riehl evidently collected botanical specimens some years before he came to this country, as specimens in his herbarium bear dates as far back as 1830, which were collected in the vicinity of Colmar. He also collected considerably in the vicinity of St. Louis in 1838. He had printed labels made for the collections made in this year, and they number not far from two hundred. Besides the specimens bearing the printed labels, there are many with incomplete labels which undoubtedly were collected here also. His entire collection was sold to Mr. Henry Shaw, who was at that time just starting to develop his botanical garden. The larger part of them were collected in Europe or were exchanged with European collectors. Mr. Riehl was a friend and admirer of Dr. George Engelmann, and was much interested in the work which he was doing. The Riehl nursery furnished Mr. Shaw the first trees which he planted in his newly started botanical garden.
In the forties Theodore C. Hilgard was collecting the native plants of the vicinity of St. Louis.
Theodore Charles Hilgard was born at Zweibrucken, Ehenish Bavaria, on February 28, 1828. His father, Theodore Erasmus Hilgard, was a lawyer, who in 1836 resigned from the Supreme Court of the province and emigrated with his family to America, settling on a farm near Belleville, Ill., which at that time was the home of many other educated Germans who for political reasons had preceded him. Theodore was the sixth of a family of eight. The schools being poor and few in number, Theodore with the other younger children received his primary education from his elder sisters and elder brother Julius,
- Information and photograph supplied by Mr. E. A. Riehl, of Alton, Illinois, son of Nicholas.
- This sketch is adapted with very slight changes from a manuscript kindly furnished by Professor Eugene W. Hilgard, brother of Theodore.