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Liberty Hyde Bailey Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-USZ62-12222).

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Bailey, Liberty Hyde (15 March 1858–25 December 1954), horticulturist and botanist, was born near South Haven, in Van Buren County, Michigan, the son of Liberty Hyde Bailey, Sr., a farmer and fruit grower, and Sarah Harrison. From childhood he was interested in nature, observing and making collections of plants and animals in the fields near his home. During his school days he came upon copies of Charles Darwin’s ...

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Blackstone, William (05 March 1595–26 May 1675), Anglican clergyman, horticulturist, and first European settler in what is now Rhode Island, was born in Whickham, Durham, England, the son of John Blackstone, a wealthy landowner and poultryman, and Agnes Hawley. At Emmanuel College, Cambridge, Blackstone (sometimes Blackston or Blaxton) took his B.A. in 1617 and his M.A. in 1621. He at once took orders in the Church of England....

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Bull, Ephraim Wales (04 March 1806–26 September 1895), horticulturalist, breeder of the Concord grape, was born in Boston, Massachusetts, the son of Epaphras Bull, a silversmith descended from a colonist who had come to America in 1635, and Esther Wales, the daughter of a wealthy family from Dorset, Massachusetts. A serious student, Ephraim won a medal for scholarship at the age of eleven, but since his father could not afford further education for him he was apprenticed to Louis Lauriat, a local chemist, to learn the craft of goldbeating—hammering gold into thin sheets for use in gilding—at the age of fifteen. After working for another goldbeater in Dorchester for a time, he opened his own business in 1826, and later that same year married Mary Ellen Walker, a relative of the president of Harvard. The couple had three children but separated in 1871....

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Luther Burbank With a view of his home, 1907. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-USZ62-108372).

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Burbank, Luther (07 March 1849–11 April 1926), horticulturist, was born in Lancaster, Massachusetts, the son of Samuel Walton Burbank, a farmer and brickmaker, and Olive Ross. Although Burbank’s family was of comfortable middle-class means, his formal schooling was modest, consisting of public school attendance until the age of fifteen, supplemented by part-time study during the next four winters at the Lancaster Academy. An important influence in his early life was his cousin Levi Sumner Burbank, who had been curator of geology at the Boston Society of Natural History and often took the youngster with him on local natural history excursions....

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Callaway, Cason Jewell (06 November 1894–12 April 1961), business executive, agriculturist, and developer, was born in LaGrange, Georgia, the son of Fuller Earle Callaway and Ida Jane Cason. His father was the founder of Callaway Mills, Inc., a highly successful cotton processing firm. He attended Bingham Military School in Asheville, North Carolina, followed by one year at the University of Virginia. He enjoyed a successful year at Charlottesville, but his father decided that he needed skills training. Therefore, he enrolled at Eastman School of Business in Poughkeepsie, New York. Young Callaway was given responsibility for Valley Waste Mills, a division of his father’s Callaway Mills. At age twenty he organized Valley Waste Mills into a great commercial success as a pioneering recycling operation. His achievements gained his father’s attention as well as that of other top managers in the firm, since the waste division netted more than $1 million in profits during the three-year period just before U.S. entry into World War I....

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Crockett, James Underwood (09 October 1915–11 July 1979), gardener and writer, was born in Haverhill, Massachusetts, the son of Earle Royce Crockett and Inez Underwood Crockett. After attending area public schools, he studied horticulture briefly at the University of Massachusetts. By 1935 he had moved to Long Island, New York, where he became an employee of Oak Park Nurseries, in East Patchogue. Four years later he moved again, this time to Texas, and became the superintendent of the Japanese Nursery Company in Houston. During his two years in Texas he studied horticulture part time at the state Agricultural and Mechanical College, now known as Texas A&M University....

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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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Fairchild, David Grandison (07 April 1869–06 August 1954), agricultural explorer and botanist, was born in Lansing, Michigan, the son of George Thompson Fairchild, a college professor and administrator, and Charlotte Pearl Halsted. Fairchild attended Kansas State College of Agriculture and graduated in 1888 with a bachelor’s degree in agriculture. He began his graduate work at Iowa State College (later Iowa State University), studying plant pathology under the guidance of his uncle, Byron D. Halsted. When Halsted accepted a professorship at Rutgers University in New Jersey, Fairchild moved east to continue his graduate studies....

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Garey, Thomas Andrew (07 July 1830–20 August 1909), citriculturist and land developer, was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, the son of Samuel Garey, a physician, and Margaret Wringer. Little is known about his childhood, except that his family lived in Hagerstown, Maryland, for several years, eventually moving to Iowa in 1847. By age twenty Garey was living in Independence, Missouri, at which time he left with a group of travelers bound for California. In the fall of 1850, however, Garey abandoned the group in Albuquerque, New Mexico, when he met Louise Josephine Smith, whom he married on 27 October 1850. The couple had seven children who survived infancy....

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Hansen, Niels Ebbesen (04 January 1866–05 October 1950), horticulturalist and plant explorer, was born near Ribe, Denmark, the son of Andreas Hansen, a mural designer and altar painter, and Bodil Midtgaard, who died when he was an infant. After remarrying, his father immigrated to the United States in 1872, and the following year Niels, along with his stepmother and his two sisters, joined the father in New York. Two years later the family moved to Des Moines, Iowa, where Niels attended public school, completing the first eight grades in five years. A precocious student, he finished the last two years of high school through a personal course of study with Iowa Secretary of State John A. Hull while working in his office. He graduated from Iowa Agricultural College (predecessor of Iowa State University) in 1887. After working for four years in private nurseries, he returned to the college as an assistant professor and completed the requirements for a master of science degree in botany and horticulture there in 1895....

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Logan, Martha Daniell (29 December 1704–28 June 1779), horticulturist, was born in Charleston, South Carolina, the daughter of Robert Daniell and Martha Wainwright. Her father had traveled from Barbados to Charleston in 1679 and had quickly become involved in the commerce of the region. He held the title of “Landgrave,” bestowed upon him by the Lords Proprietors, which permitted him to acquire 48,000 acres. In addition, he served two terms as lieutenant governor of South Carolina, having been appointed to the position by the Lords Proprietors. He died in 1718....

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Longworth, Nicholas (16 January 1782–10 February 1863), horticulturist and philanthropist, was born in Newark, New Jersey, the son of Thomas Longworth and Apphia Vanderpoel. His grandfather, also named Thomas, was a Loyalist at the time of the Revolution, an allegiance that caused the considerable Longworth property to be confiscated. With nothing but an impressive wardrobe that included six coats with four pairs of silk and eight pairs of woolen breeches, Nicholas Longworth turned west to make his fortune, arriving in Cincinnati in May 1804, when it was little more than a village. After a short period of reading law in the office of Judge ...

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Marshall, Humphry (10 October 1722–05 November 1801), nurseryman and botanist, was born in Chester County, Pennsylvania, the son of Abraham Marshall, a prosperous Quaker farmer, and Mary Hunt, daughter of one of the first settlers in Pennsylvania. With limited opportunities for education, the boy went to school only until his twelfth year, then worked on his father’s farm until he was old enough to be apprenticed to a stonemason....

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McFarland, J. Horace (24 September 1859–02 October 1948), printer, civic reformer, and rosarian, was born John Horace McFarland in McAlisterville, Pennsylvania, the son of George Fisher McFarland, a schoolteacher, and Adeline Dellicher Griesemer. Following the Civil War, the family moved to Harrisburg, where Horace’s father bought and operated the Riverside Nurseries, a large property along the Susquehanna River. When he was sixteen, McFarland started setting type for the ...

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Prince, William (1725?–1802), horticulturalist and nurseryman, was born on Long Island, in the colony of New York, the son of Robert Prince and Mary Burgess. A general traffic in seeds and seedlings across the Atlantic was accelerating during the eighteenth century; new types of flora were introduced to the British colonies, deliberate cultivation of American types garnered more attention, and many men of property experimented with different botanical specimens. Following this trend, Robert Prince founded the first Prince Nursery (by about 1737) at Flushing Landing, which would become one of two commercial nurseries on Long Island. This estate evidently contained trees and shrubs that Prince produced for his own use. William Prince opened the nursery as a commercial venture in about 1765 (the first known advertisement of the nursery appeared on 21 Sept. 1767), and it would remain the foremost nursery in the United States through four generations of Princes....

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Pursh, Frederick (04 February 1774–11 July 1820), botanist and horticulturist, was born Friedrich Traugott Pursch in Grossenhain, Saxony. The circumstances of his family and parentage have not been traced, although he had at least one brother, Carl August Pursch, who recorded biographical information concerning Friedrich. After completing a public school education in his home town, Pursh moved to Dresden, where he studied horticulture under the court gardener, Johann Heinrich Seidel. Lacking funds to pursue formal scientific training, Pursh obtained a position at Dresden’s Royal Botanic Garden, acquiring valuable experience and skills. In January 1799 he departed for the United States, where he worked briefly as a gardener near Baltimore. In 1802 or 1803 Pursh was placed in charge of “The Woodlands,” the famed botanical garden of William Hamilton near Philadelphia. During his years there Pursh benefited from contact with a number of eminent American botanists, including ...