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Downing, Andrew Jackson (31 October 1815–28 July 1852), nurseryman and landscape gardener, was born in Newburgh, New York, the son of Samuel Downing, a wheelwright turned nurseryman, and Eunice Bridge. His youthful experiences in the Hudson Valley inspired his later interest in landscape and architectural design. As Newburgh grew from village into small industrial city, and as farmers increasingly raised fruits and vegetables for urban markets, Downing’s career evolved from that of selling garden stock to the landscaping of grounds and the design of rural and suburban homes. And as the pace of urban growth accelerated, he became the most influential early advocate of spacious parks within cities and codified the suburban ideal for middle- and upper-class Americans....

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Andrew Jackson Downing. Engraving on paper, c. 1852, by John Halpin. National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; gift of T. Bragg McLeod.

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du Pont, Henry Francis (27 May 1880–11 April 1969), art collector and horticulturist, was born in Winterthur, Delaware, the son of Henry Algernon du Pont, an army officer and U.S. senator, and Mary Pauline Foster. After taking an A.B. at Harvard College in 1903, the young du Pont spent a number of years traveling throughout the United States and Europe, the du Ponts’ financial success having released him from career obligations. In 1914, however, his father asked that he take over the day-to-day management of the dairy farming operation at “Winterthur Farms,” the family farm in rural Delaware. Under du Pont’s meticulous direction the farm developed a nationally famous and prize-winning herd of Holstein-Friesian cattle, specimens of which were consistently voted among the best of breed in the country, serving as the foundation for many other registered Holstein herds throughout the United States. The spectacular success of the cattle herd, in combination with du Pont’s unusual willingness to experiment with innovative new practices in soil conservation and crop production, allowed Winterthur Farms to develop a reputation as the model of a modern American dairy farm....

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Waugh, Frank Albert (08 July 1869–20 March 1943), horticulturist and landscape architect, was born in Sheboygan Falls, Wisconsin, the son of Albert Freeman Waugh, a Civil War veteran and farmer, and Magdalena Biehler, a native of Alsace of German parentage. When Frank was two and a half years of age, the Waugh family moved to a 640-acre farm in McPherson County, Kansas. He studied horticulture and botany at Kansas State Agricultural College in Manhattan, earning an S.B. in 1891 and an M.S. in 1893. While in school, he worked variously as a country school teacher, a teamster and general maintenance person in the horticultural department, and a reporter and editor for newspapers and periodicals in Topeka, Kansas; Helena, Montana; and Denver, Colorado. Later he pursued additional graduate work at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, took special classes under Willy Lange at the Gaertnerlehranstalt zu Dahlen in Germany, and studied etching at the École des Beaux-Arts in Fontainebleau, France....