Hubert Dana Goodale Papers

1 box (0.25 linear feet)
Call no.: MS 918
rotating decorative images from SCUA collections

An applied geneticist associated with Massachusetts Agricultural College and Mount Hope Farm, Hubert Dana Goodale made important contributions in poultry and dairy science.

The Goodale Papers contain correspondence written to Goodale, primarily by his friends and colleagues in poultry science, Al Lunn (Oregon Agricultural College), Loyal F. Payne (Kansas State), and John C. Graham (Mass. Agricultural College). Mixing both personal and professional content, the letters touch on academic life in post-World War I period and a variety of issues in poultry husbandry and genetics.

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Background on Hubert Dana Goodale

An image of: Brass mouse-head template used in genetic work at Mount Hope

Brass mouse-head template used in genetic work at Mount Hope

In the first half of the twentieth century, Hubert Dana Goodale became known for applying genetic theory to the practical problems of increasing production in poultry and livestock. Born in Troy, N.H., on June 5, 1879, the son of Rev. David W. and Mary L. Goodale, Goodale studied natural history at Trinity College (1903) and he was working as a poultry farmed (1907-1911) when he decided to return to higher education.

As a doctoral student at Columbia, Goodale was absorbed in research on the developmental biology of the salamander Spelerpes bilineatus, but took full advantage of the strength of the university by delving into the rapidly evolving field of modern genetics, also building a formative association with the Station for Experimental Evolution at Cold Spring Harbor. When he completed his doctorate in 1913, he characteristically put the theoretical knowledge he had gained to practical use when he accepted a position in poultry husbandry with the Agricultural Experiment Station at Massachusetts Agricultural College. In 1922, however, he left Amherst for a position as geneticist at Mount Hope Farm.

Owned by E. Parmalee Prentice and his wife Alta Rockefeller Prentice, daughter of John D. Rockefeller, Mount Hope was developed as a model experimental farm where advanced scientific research could be brought to bear on problems in modern agriculture. Known for its advanced dairy and poultry operations, the Farm grew under Goodale's direction into a highly productive center for applied genetics, particularly after Goodale introduced a "mouse house" in which he studied selection and inheritance among mice. Among his key contributions at Mount Hope was index breeding, a key method in which multiple traits are under selection are identified and weighted simultaneously to provide an assessment of breeding potential. Initially controversial, index breeding proved a success in practical application, bringing both scientific and popular acclaim for Mount Hope and Goodale.

Lauded as a pioneer in poultry science and for his contributions to increasing milk production, Goodale died at home in Williamstown on June 10, 1968, and was survived by his wife Lottie, brother Allen, and daughters Hazel Bullock and Marion Goodale.

Scope of collection

The Goodale Papers contain correspondence written to Goodale, primarily by his friends and colleagues in poultry science. Al Lunn, Loyal F. Payne, and John C. Graham. Mixing both personal and professional content, the letters touch on academic life in post-World War I period and a variety of issues in poultry husbandry and genetics.

Although it is not entirely clear how Goodale knew Lunn, Payne, and Graham, he seems to have developed a close friendship with each, perhaps growing out of professional acquaintance. Lunn was a 1912 graduate of Oregon Agricultural College (now Oregon State) and later member of the faculty in poultry science, as well as an extension worker and President of the Oregon Baby Chick Association and the national Poultry Science Association. His correspondence begins in the last year of the First World War when Lunn was in British Columbia helping to establish a program in poultry husbandry at the University of British Columbia for returning veterans. He returned to Oregon, but his dissatisfaction with university mis-administration ultimately left him to sever ties with academia and start his own poultry operation in Hailfax, Mass., in 1936.

A poultry scientist at Kansas State University and equally a friend, Payne was a less prolific correspondent than Lunn, but his letters carry more significant content on poultry husbandry and (to a lesser degree, genetics. The collection also includes a handful of newspaper clippings and ephemera relating to Payne and to poultry scientists John G. Graham and Frank A. Hays (both Massachusetts Agricultural College, Massachusetts State College, and UMass).


Graham, John G.: Correspondence
Folder 1
Graham, John G.: Testimonial dinner program and newsclipping
Folder 2
Hays, Frank A.: Biographical notice (reprinted from Feathered Fax)
Folder 3
Lunn, A. G.: Biographical notice
1953, 1978
Folder 4
Lunn, A. G.: Correspondence
Folder 5
Lunn, A. G.: Correspondence
Folder 6
Lunn, A. G.: Correspondence
Folder 7
Lunn, A. G.: Correspondence
Folder 8
Lunn, A. G.: Correspondence
1947, 1951
Folder 9
Lunn, A. G.: Let's Get Acquainted [pamphlet for poultry business]
Folder 10
Lunn, A. G.: Vigor [pamphlet for poultry business]
Folder 11
Mouse-head stencils (copper) used by Goodale in tracing genetic charts
Folder 12
Payne, Loyal F. Correspondence
Folder 13
Payne, Loyal F. Correspondence
Folder 14
Payne, Loyal F. Correspondence
Folder 15
Payne, Loyal F. Newsclippings
Folder 16
Prentice, E. Parmalee. Letter
Folder 17
Prentice, E. Parmalee, "Mount Hope and its dairy cattle," Agricultural History 20, 4
Folder 18
Quarter Century of progress in breeding dairy cattle. Part II, The new method of breeding for production. Williamstown, Mass. : Mount Hope Farm
Folder 19

Administrative information


The collection is open for research.


Gift of Marion P. Goodale, July 2011.

Related Material

SCUA also has a painted portrait of Goodale (37 1/2" x 43 1/2 ").

A larger body of Goodale's papers are located in the collections of the American Philosophical Society in Philadelphia.

Location of Originals

Lunn's correspondence is available only in photography: the location of the originals is not known.

Processing Information

Processed by I. Eliot Wentworth, July 2016.



Copyright and Use (More information )

Cite as: Hubert Dana Goodale Papers (MS 918). Special Collections and University Archives, University of Massachusetts Amherst Libraries.

Search terms


  • Massachusetts Agricultural College--Faculty
  • Mount Hope Farm (Williamstown, Mass.)
  • Payne, Loyal F. (Loyal Frederick), 1889-1970
  • Poultry--Breeding
  • Poultry--Genetics


  • Goodale, Hubert Dana, 1879-1968 [main entry]
  • Lunn, A. G. (Alfred Gunn), 1883-
  • Prentice, E. Parmalee (Ezra Parmalee), 1863-1955

Genres and formats

  • Stencils

Link to similar SCUA collections