"J.L. Webb was the first assistant selected by Dr. A.D. Hopkins to work on western bark beetle problems. He was born near Bloomington, Illinois, April 9, 1878, and was educated in Iowa, Washington, and West Virginia; taking his B.S. degree from Washington State College in 1900 and his Masters degree from the University of West Virginia in 1902. Webb started the study of forest insects in 1900 while on a trip to the pine forests near Moscow, Idaho. Both the western pine beetle and the mountain pine beetle were studied.
About October 1, 1901, Webb was appointed a student assistant in the Bureau of Forestry of the U.S. Department of Agriculture and assigned to work under Dr. A.D. Hopkins at the University of West Virginia at Morgantown. This training was to fit Webb for the position of Forest Entomologist of the Phillipines. Webb spent the winter at Morgantown working on forest insects.
About May 1, 1902, Webb was promoted to Assistant Forest Expert and sent to the Black Hills of South Dakota to work on the Black Hills beetle. This probably was the first experimental work carried on by a United States government official. Various kinds of trap trees were tried and studies were made on the life history, parasites, predators and associates."