Here in Lancaster County it is not easy to stay indoors. The fields, meadows, and creek banks of nearby farms seduce you away from your work and lure you from your responsibilities. Why be chained to your desk, when you could be wandering along the creek in search of crayfish?
We have a long history, here, of Lancaster Countians who wandered away from their "real work" to become renowned authorities in the natural sciences: biology, botany, and other studies of nature and the outdoors.
Henry Muhlenberg was a Lutheran pastor who strolled around his rectory in search of Lancaster's roadside sedges, weeds, and grasses ...and became a premier American botanist in the process.
And there was Samuel Haldeman, who was interested in anything that moved outdoors (and sometimes moved indoors): insects, spiders, mollusks, crustaceans... He became one of America's leading naturalists, presumedly at the expense of his family's iron and sawmill businesses.
The printer / biologist Jacob Stauffer is an illustrious member of this club of mostly-self-taught scientists who were distracted from their real work by Lancaster's creeping, crawling, swimming, flying wildlife. Jacob was a sometime-printer / a sometime-pharmacist, and a full-time artist and lover of the outdoors.
Jacob Stauffer, born in 1808, was always interested in art and nature, although his store-keeper father would not allow him to become a professional artist.
In 1830 Jacob brought the first printing press to the town of Manheim, Lancaster County. He probably printed the first newspaper in that town. By 1840 he moved his printing business to today's town of Mount Joy. It was the first printing press for that village, also.
In Mount Joy, Jacob also began printing lithographic prints, and introduced daguerreotype photography to this region.
Jacob became more and more involved in his passion for natural sciences. He corresponded with the leading American botanists and scientists, including Asa Gray of Harvard, Prof. Joseph Henry, and Prof. Edward Drinker Cope.
Jacob discovered several new species of fish including the Shield Darter (Etheostoma peltatum Stauffer, 1864), also known as Percina peltata (Stauffer, 1864), Here . (It's not much to look at; It basically looks like a big, brown minnow. But Jacob Stauffer's name is permanently attached to it.)
In 1865 the Philadelphia zoologist Edward Cope named a Central American tree frog for Jacob (an excellent, amphibious claim to immortality). Today this little frog is known as Hyla staufferi (Cope), or Stauffer's Treefrog. It is Here, fourth frog down, on the right side.