Department of Zoology
She actively sought biological materials from throughout southern Illinois, often traveling alone by train, then horse and buggy, and finally by foot. On these trips she typically carried a loaded pistol, but admitted she only used it once (to let a rabble of moonshiners know she wasn't easily scared away).
Dr. Steagall always seemed to bring the best out of her students; she became their favorite instructor, was senior advisor as well as Department Head for many years (1921-1938), and was chosen by the student body to be the first Honors' Day speaker. Both before and after her retirement from the University (at the age of 71), she collected regional wildflowers and transplanted them to her garden, traveled extensively, and remained active in community affairs. At her request, upon her death in 1945 she was buried beside her father near Hodgeville, where she spent her childhood.
Steagall Hall on the SIUC Campus (1350 Thompson Point Drive) is named in honor of Prof. Mary Minerva Steagall.
Last updated: 1-June-2017 / ghw