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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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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....