Fernow, Bernhard Eduard
- Terry West
Fernow, Bernhard Eduard (07 January 1851–06 February 1923), pioneer professional forester in North America, was born in the province of Posen, Prussia (now Poland), the son of Eduard Fernow, who opted for law and government service rather than managing the family estate, and Clara Nordman, the second of Eduard’s three wives. In his youth Fernow spent time with his uncle, Frederick Edmund Fernow, who managed the family property which included a large forest holding. At age nineteen, following secondary school and before beginning his classroom studies at the Münden Forest Academy in the province of Hanover, Fernow spent a year in practical woods work with the Prussian forest department. His forestry education was interrupted in 1870 by military service as an army lieutenant during the Franco-Prussian War. Before graduating from forestry school he met Olivia Reynolds, a U.S. citizen who had accompanied her brother during his university studies in Germany. Olivia was hired to teach Fernow English. When they became engaged and left for the United States in 1876, his family, expecting him to follow in his uncle’s footsteps, was upset at his departure. The couple married in 1879 and subsequently had five children....