Frank L. DuMond

Frank L. DuMond was born December 6, 1897 in West Hurley, New York. In 1916 he received his high school diploma from Ulster Academy in Kingston, New York. After his days at Ulster, he entered Cornell University. In the five years he was at Cornell he earned a Bachelor of Science and a master’s degree in forestry. After his years at Cornell, he obtained a graduate fellowship at Yale University to conduct research, and received a master’s degree in forestry from Yale.

While at Cornell and Yale he spent summers working in a sawmill, lumber camp, and as a fire warden in Lolo National Park in Western Montana. In the Cornell Forestry Camp, in the Adirondacks, he helped fight a ground fire. He also worked as a timber cruiser in the High Sierras, in the California and United States Forest Service. He left the Forest Service after six months, with the rating of forest ranger. At Yale, his summer days were spent in a Boy Scout camp in Maine, working as the camp naturalist and ScoutMaster.

After graduating he became an instructor in forestry extension at Cornell for one year when he learned about an opening at the Kent Scientific Museum (which in June 1925 became the Grand Rapids Public Museum). In 1923 he became curator of education for the museum. He held that position until 1932, when he was made acting director. After two years in that job he became director, a position he held for 31 years, until he retired in 1965.

Aside from his duties in connection with the museum, he served on the boards of directors of the Historical Society of Michigan, the Kent County Chapter of the American Red Cross, the Grand Rapids Civic Theatre, and the Salvation Army Advisory Board. He was president of the Michigan Audubon Society for five years and is a past president of the Grand Rapids Camera Club and the Midwest Conference.

He is an honorary life member of the Midwest Museum Conference, as well as of the Grand Rapids Museum Association, Grand Rapids Engineer Club and Grand Rapids Historical Society. In 1952 the Dwight Lydell Chapter of the Izaak Walton League named him its “Man of the Year in Conservation.” In 1964 he received the Distinguished Service Award of the Grand Rapids Rotary Club and was named Ne gah – nee, which means “One – in – the – lead”, by the Chippewa Tribe of Mt. Pleasant. And in 1966 he received the Historical Society of Michigan’s Award of Merit.

A prolific writer, DuMond published “Tall Tales of the Catskills,” “An Introduction to the Birds of Michigan,” 47 articles in “Normal Instructor & Primary Plans,” published by Owen; five articles in the Camp Fire Girls Magazine, and three articles published in the American Association of Museums Museum News. For six years he wrote a regular Sunday feature for the Grand Rapids Herald and for six months, in 1933, he was editor of the junior department of the Michigan Sportsman Magazine.

In 1926 Frank married Margaret (Margie) Claire Thomas, who was born in Charlotte, Michigan, and majored in biology at what is now Western Michigan University. They had four children, Robert, Marion, Carolyn, and David. Frank died on September 16, 1989.