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Chamberlain, William Isaac (11 February 1837–30 June 1920), agriculturalist and editor, was born in Sharon, Connecticut, the son of Jacob Chamberlain and Anna Nutting, farmers. When Chamberlain was only fifteen months old, his parents moved from Connecticut to Hudson, Ohio, where they purchased and maintained a 147-acre farm. He received an A.B. from Western Reserve College (located in Hudson) in 1859 and an A.M. from the same school two years later. For three years he taught Greek and Latin at Shaw Academy in East Cleveland, Ohio, then became a member of the Western Reserve College faculty teaching the same languages. In 1863 he became superintendent of the Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, schools, a position he held for two years, but with a decline in his health and his elderly parents needing more care Chamberlain resigned that position to teach languages at Western Reserve College and to maintain the family farm, which he had purchased in 1863. Also in 1863 he married Lucy Jones Marshall, daughter of publisher David Marshall, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. They had five children....

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Gresham, Newt (20 February 1858–10 April 1906), labor organizer and editor, was born Isaac Newton Gresham in Lauderdale County, near Florence, Alabama, the son of Henry Gresham and Marcipia Narcissa Wilcoxon, tenant farmers. The family moved to Kaufman County, Texas, in 1859 (though some sources claim they moved after the Civil War). After his parents’ deaths in 1868, Gresham lived with his older brother Ben....

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Polk, Leonidas LaFayette (24 April 1837–11 June 1892), farm editor and national president of the Farmers' Alliance, farm editor and national president of the Farmers’ Alliance, was born in Anson County, North Carolina, the son of Andrew Polk and Serena Autry, farmers. Although he would become a leader of the nation’s poor and militant farmers, Polk grew up in relatively affluent surroundings. His father’s ownership of 1,800 acres and thirty-two slaves placed him in the lower ranks of the planter class....

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Stockbridge, Horace Edward (19 May 1857–30 October 1930), agricultural chemist and editor, was born in Hadley, Massachusetts, the son of Levi Stockbridge and Joanna Smith. He grew up on the college farm of the Massachusetts Agricultural College (now part of the University of Massachusetts at Amherst), where his father was president and a prominent leader in American agricultural education. In 1878 Horace earned a B.S. degree from Massachusetts Agricultural College in a joint program with Boston University. In 1882 he traveled to Göttingen, Germany, where he earned his Ph.D. in agricultural chemistry under Wilhelm Henneberg in 1884. Upon his return to the United States, Stockbridge was married in 1885 to Arabella “Belle” Lamar, member of a prominent political family from Sumter County, Georgia. The couple eventually had eight children, only four of whom survived to adulthood....

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Henry Cantwell Wallace, c. 1922–1924. With a parrot resting on his left hand. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-USZ62-96673).

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Henry C. Wallace Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-USZ62-95943).

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Wallace, Henry Cantwell (11 May 1866–25 October 1924), farmer, editor, and U.S. secretary of agriculture, was born in Rock Island, Illinois, the son of Henry “Uncle Henry” Wallace, a Presbyterian minister, and Nancy Ann “Nannie” Cantwell. In 1877 he moved with his family to Winterset, Iowa, where his father began farming as well as writing a weekly agricultural column for the Winterset ...