Mildred Gant Stites Reed

( 9 January 1912 – June 1967 )1

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Herbarium (NCU) has cataloged about 60 specimens collected by Mildred Gant Stites Reed. All were collected between 1933 and 1935, and most were co-collected with her spouse, John Frederick Reed. Most specimens in the NCU collection came as a gift from the Jesup Herbarium of Dartmouth College in 2002.  Her spouse, John F. Reed, an alumnus of Dartmouth College (A.B., 1933), had apparently given his herbarium to his alma mater.2

The Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University (PH), Indiana University (IND), Marshall University (MUHW), University of Colorado, Boulder (COLO), University of South Carolina, Columbia (USCH), University of Wisconsin, Madison (WIS) and Duke University (DUKE) also curate specimens collected by Stites Reed.  The Rocky Mountain Herbarium (RM) curates over 875 specimens collected by John Reed and Mildred Stites Reed.  It seems that she ceased collecting in 1950-1951.


Mildred Gant Stites Reed (1912-1967). NCU curates specimens collected while she was a graduate student in Botany at Duke University. Photo from “Chanticleer”, the 1933 yearbook of Duke University.

Mildred Gant Stites was born on 9 January, 1912 in Hopkinsville, Christian County, Kentucky.1  Her father, Francis Montgomery Stites (1868-1943), was a physician.4   Her mother, Mary Rodman Gant Stites (1873-1949), had nine children, with Mildred being the youngest.  Mildred’s siblings were Frank Montgomery Stites (1892-1988); Joseph Gant Stites (1893-1977); Mary Gant Stites (1894-1897); Henry Johnson Stites (1896-1975); James Rodman Stites (1898-1949); Charles Jarrett Stites (1901-1964); Elizabeth Stites (1903-1987); and John Stites (1905-1970).1 

In 1933 Mildred Stites served as the editor of “The Distaff”, a publication of the Woman’s College at Duke University.She graduated with an A.B. from Duke University in 1933.5   In  1934 Mildred Gant Stites married John F. Reed (1911-1997); at the time they were both graduate students at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina.Mildred Stites Reed earned a M.S. degree Duke University in 1935; her advisor was Dr. Hugo Leander Blomquist, and her thesis was entitled “A taxonomic and floristic study of the genus Cyperus in North America”.

Mildred Stites Reed died in 1967 at age 55 in Durango, Colorado.  From 1962 to 1970  her husband, John F. Reed, was President and Professor of Biology at Fort Lewis College, in Durango, Colorado. “He played a key role in moving the college from a two-year to a four-year institution and fostered its outreach to native Americans.”2 Mildred was survived by spouse John F. Reed and sons John, Robert, and James.1,2  She is buried in Greenmount Cemetery in Durango, La Plata County, Colorado.1  




Stites Reed, Mildred.  1935.  A taxonomic and floristic study of the genus Cyperus in North America.  M.S. Thesis, Duke University, Durham, North Carolina.

Stites Reed, Mildred. 1936. The genus Cyperus in North Carolina. Journal of the Elisha Mitchell Scientific Society 52: 295-306.


1. Find a Grave, database and images ( : accessed 12 September 2021), memorial page for Mildred Gant Stites Reed (9 Jan 1912–Jun 1967), Find a Grave Memorial ID 166184436, citing Greenmount Cemetery, Durango, La Plata County, Colorado, USA ; Maintained by World Wide Webber (contributor 48195008) .  Accessed on 12 September 2021

2.  Bliss, Lawrence C.  1999.  John F. Reed, 1911-1997. Bulleting of the Ecological Society of America.  80-1:  14-15.  Accessed on 12 September 2021

3.  Chanticleer.  1933.  Yearbook of Duke University, page 294.

4.  Year: 1930; Census Place: North Hopkinsville, Christian, Kentucky; Page: 22A; Enumeration District: 0001; FHL microfilm: 2340474.  United States of America, Bureau of the Census. Fifteenth Census of the United States, 1930. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1930. T626, 2,667 rolls. 1930 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2002.

5.  Personal communication, Amy McDonald, Assistant University Archivist, Duke University Archives, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library 13 September 2021.