S2A3 Biographical Database of Southern African Science

Scherffius, Mr William Henry (agriculture)

Born: Date not known, Place not known.
Died: Date not known, Place not known.

William H. Scherffius, an American tobacco expert, qualified as Master of Science (MS). During 1905 to 1909 he wrote three important agricultural reports that were published as Bulletins of the Kentucky Agricultural Experiment Station: Corn. 1. A method of selecting seed corn. 2. A chemical study of the composition of a number of varieties of Kentucky corn (Lexington, 1905, No. 122, 35p); Tobacco. 1. Selection of seed plants and care of seed. 2. Improved methods of handling the crop. 3. Elimination of undesirable varieties (1907, No. 129, 15p); and Tobacco. 1. Cultivation. 2. Curing. 3. Marketting (1909, No. 139, 36p). With H. Woosley and C.A. Mahan he also wrote The cultivation of tobacco in Kentucky and Tennessee (Washington, 1909, 31p).

In April 1909 Scherffius was appointed chief of the Tobacco Division of the Department of Agriculture of the Transvaal Colony. He wrote an article on "Tobacco growing in the Barberton District" for the Transvaal Agricultural Journal (Vol. 8, 1909-1910), and a two-part article on "Cotton" (Ibid, 1909-1910, Vol. 8 and 9). After the formation of the Union of South Africa in 1910 he became chief of the Tobacco and Cotton Division of the Union's Department of Agriculture on 1 January 1912. Around that time he wrote two articles for the Agricultural Journal of the Union of South Africa, on "Sterilizing tobacco seed beds" (in two parts, 1911, Vol. 1 and Vol. 2) and "Cotton" (1912, Vol. 3). The government of Swaziland requested his assistance as a cotton expert in 1911. In 1916 he presented a paper on "Cotton" before the South African Association for the Advancement of Science (Report, 1916, pp. 187-190). Some years later he and J. du P. Oosthuizen wrote a book on Cotton in South Africa (Johannesburg, 1924, 207p). By 1926 Scherffius was manager of the Tobacco Corporation at Rustenburg.

List of sources:
Agricultural Journal (Union of South Africa), 1911-1912, Vol. 1-3, articles by Scherffius.

National Automated Archival Information Retrieval System (NAAIRS). . Documents relating to "Scherffius".

National Union Catalogue, pre-1956 imprints. London: Mansell, 1968-1980.

South African Association for the Advancement of Science. Report, 1916.

Transvaal Agricultural Journal, 1909-1910, Vol. 8 and 9.

Transvaal public service list, 1909.

Union of South Africa. Public service list, 1914.

Compiled by: C. Plug