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Milton and Mary Trautman

Milton Bernhard Trautman (1899-1991), a self-taught student of natural history who became an internationally known ornithologist and ichthyologist, authored two books prior to his death, The Birds of Buckeye Lake, Ohio (1940) and The Fishes of Ohio (1957, revised 1981). Both books were considered models in their disciplines as they were meticulously executed. Milton was born in Columbus, OH, a sickly child. He attended elementary school, but by age 14 his illness prevented him from further formal education. Tutored by his parents, Milton developed a passionate interest in birds. During the next 17 years, despite his illness, he became quite skilled in his father's successful plumbing business and qualified as a master plumber. At age 29, following intestinal surgery, his health promptly improved. Museum curators James S. Hine and Edward S. Thomas, and professional zoologists and ichthyologists Edward L. Wickliff and Raymond C. Osburn, tutored Milton on field and library research and to write and publish the results. He was employed by the State of Ohio Department of Fish and Game from 1926-1934. Subsequently, he was appointed assistant curator of fishes in the Museum of Zoology at the University of Michigan and assistant director and research biologist for the Michigan Department of Conservation (1934-1939), research biologist at the Franz Theodore Stone Labroatory of The Ohio State University (1939-1955), curator of vertebrates in the Ohio State Museum of the Ohio Historical Society (1955-1970), and curator of birds in The Ohio State University Museum of Zoology (1070-1991). Milton received an honorary Ph.D. from the College of Wooster in 1951.

Mary Auten (1898-1986) met Milton in 1939 while attending an evening lecture at the F.T. Stone Labroatory on Gibraltar Island, Ohio. She was born in Rawson, Hancock County, Ohio, and was a graduate of nearby Bluffton College. Mary received a Ph.D. in entomology from The Ohio State University, and later became an assistant professor of biology at Ashland College. The Trautmans were married in 1940. Mary relinquished her college teaching career and research interests in entomology to devote her efforts to Milton's research on fishes, which led to the completion of both editions of his award-winning book, The Fishes of Ohio. Together, they published an Annotated list of the birds of Ohio in 1968.

In 1974, he Trautmans were the first husband and wife team to be inducted into the Ohio Conservation Hall of Fame, and they were the first team to be awarded Honorary Doctor of Science degrees by The Ohio State University in 1978.

In 2006, Ronald L. Stuckey edited and published Birds of Western Lake Erie: Documented Observations and Notes 1850-1980 by Milton Trautman, with the assistance of Mary (Auten) Trautman.