Joseph Hicks Pyron

(17 September 1905 – 27 May 1987)3

The University of North Carolina Chapel Hill Herbarium (NCU) has only a few specimens collected by Joseph H. Pyron. Most vascular plant collections from the granite flatrocks in Georgia by Rogers McVaugh and Pyron are curated by the University of Georgia Herbarium (GA). Pyron attended the University of Georgia in Athens, earning an A.B. degree in 1928 and a M.S. in 1931.

A remembrance of Joseph H. Pyron by his colleague, Rogers McVaugh
Informal interview conducted August, 2005, by Carol Ann McCormick:

Joe Pyron was an ‘ole boy from south Georgia who was an instructor, just a few years older than me, at the University of Georgia. When we decided to do a flora of Georgia, he had a car, and we traveled a good many miles in it. He was rather fat, and had a difficult time climbing around all the steep places and rocks, but he stuck with it.

His mother [Martha “Mattie” Raines Hicks Pyron2] lived in Reynolds, near Fort Valley, in a large house with a pond. I remember one morning for breakfast we wanted fish, so they opened the gate in the pond dam, and just waited for the fish to come through. That was mighty good – fresh fish for breakfast.

His Aunt Kate, sister of his mother, was some sort of administrator at University of Georgia.

Joe was working on his Ph.D. at Duke, but never finished. I don’t know why.

Joe was a wonderful illustrator – he never had any formal training in it that I know of – but he was very talented. I did the text for the Ferns of Georgia [published in 1951 by the University of Georgia Press], and Joe did the illustrations, and they are just wonderful.

I don’t know why he left the University of Georgia, but after that he was very involved the American Camellia Society.


Mr. Pyron was enlisted in the United States Army from 4 December 1942 until 3 October 1945.3  His last residence was in Marshallville, Macon County, Georgia, and he died in May, 1987.1


Pyron, Joseph Hicks (1931)  Georgia Violets.  M.S. Thesis, University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia, USA.
McVaugh, R. and Joseph H. Pyron (1937). The distribution of Amphianthus in Georgia. Castanea 2: 104-105.
Pyron, Joseph H. and Wilbur H. Duncan (1939)  Vittaria lineata from Lincoln County, Georgia.  American Fern Journal 29(4):  142-145.
McVaugh, R. (1951) Ferns of Georgia. Univ. of Georgia Press, Athens. Illus. by Joseph H. Pyron.

1.  U.S., Social Security Death Index, 1935-2014 [database on-line].  Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc., 2015.  Original data:  Social Security Administration.  Social Security Death Index, Master File.  Social Security Administration.
2.  Payne Family Tree “Joseph Hicks Pyron” accessed on 19 March 2019.
3.  U.S., Department of Veterans Affairs BIRLS Death File, 1850-2010 [database on-line].  Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2011.  Original data:  Beneficiary Identification Records Locator Subsystem (BIRLS) Death File.  Washington, D.C., U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.