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Bidwell, John (05 August 1819–04 April 1900), California pioneer, agriculturalist, and politician, was born on a farm in Chautauqua County, New York, the son of Abram Bidwell and Clarissa Griggs, farmers. The family moved to Pennsylvania and then Ohio. John was bookish, although he had only three winter months of schooling each year, at best. But he walked 300 miles to attend Kingsville Academy in 1836 and, after a year, was elected its principal. He returned home to teach, then went to Missouri to farm. There, a western trader told him of fertile California, a land of perpetual spring. So he helped organize a western emigration society....

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Calvert, Charles Benedict (23 August 1808–12 May 1864), politician and agricultural reformer, was born at the family plantation, “Riversdale,” in Prince George’s County, Maryland, the son of the Belgian-born heiress Rosalie Eugenia Stier and George Calvert, a lineal descendant of Maryland proprietors. Calvert’s grandfather Benedict was an illegitimate, although acknowledged, son of ...

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Dymond, John (03 May 1836–05 March 1922), planter, publisher, and politician, was born in Canada (exact location unrecorded), the son of Richard Dymond, a Methodist minister, and Anne Hawkens. During his early childhood Dymond’s family moved to Zanesville, Ohio, where he was educated in the local public schools and the Zanesville Academy before entering Bartlett’s College, a business school in Cincinnati. Following his graduation from Bartlett’s in 1857 he took a job as a clerk with his father, who had by that time established himself in the mercantile trade. He then toyed with the cotton manufacturing business in partnership with Homer White (trading under the name White & Dymond) before moving to New York City, where, on the eve of the Civil War, he took a job as a traveling salesman with a firm whose name has not survived. He returned to Zanesville on 3 June 1862 to marry Nancy Elizabeth Cassidy; they had six children....

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Hoffmann, Francis Arnold (05 June 1822–23 January 1903), German-American political leader, businessman, and agricultural writer, was born in Herford, Westphalia, Prussia, the son of Frederick William Hoffmann, a bookbinder, and Wilhelmina Groppe. Educated at the Gymnasium in Herford, he left home in 1840 to emigrate to the United States. He traveled first to Chicago, where he worked briefly as a hotel porter then took a position as teacher for a German congregation in Addison township, Du Page County, Illinois, west of Chicago. He also led hymns and read sermons in the church services. In 1841 he went to Michigan to study under clergy of the Lutheran Michigan Synod and was ordained. He returned to Addison to serve as pastor and also served other congregations in northeastern Illinois. In 1844 he married Cynthia Gilbert, a native of Ohio. The exact number of their children is unknown; four survived Hoffmann. He acquired citizenship by naturalization in 1846....

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Kinloch, Cleland (1760–12 September 1823), planter and legislator, was born in Charleston, South Carolina, the son of Francis Kinloch, a planter, and Anna Isabella Cleland, both of Scottish descent. His father’s death left Kinloch a ward of Governor Thomas Boone at age seven. The governor sent him abroad for schooling (which was very rare for South Carolina youths). He studied at Eton College in England and in Rotterdam, Holland, where, intending to be a merchant, he pursued commercial studies. The revolutionary war prevented his returning to the United States until after the South Carolina Confiscation Act of 1782, which fined his estate at 12 percent of its value. He planned to return to England, but the inheritance of his father’s Weehaw Plantation in 1784 led to his choosing the life of a rice planter instead. Subsequently Kinloch expanded Weehaw to 5,000 acres and made a number of major improvements. Apparently he was relieved of the fines, but his factor, John White, was trustee of his 300 slaves as late as 1790. On 15 April 1786 Kinloch married Harriet Simmons, the daughter of Ebenezer Simmons, Jr., and Jane Stanyarne. This union produced one child....

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Logan, George (09 September 1753–09 April 1821), innovative gentleman farmer and politician, was born at the family estate of “Stenton” near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the son of William Logan, gentleman farmer, and Hannah Emlen. He attended the Friends Public School from age eight to fourteen and continued his education in England from 1768 to 1771. After an apprenticeship to a Philadelphia Quaker merchant, Logan was allowed to pursue medicine and obtained the M.D. from Edinburgh in 1779. Having already become master of Stenton due to the recent demise of his parents, he returned to Philadelphia in 1780. He married Deborah Norris in 1781; they had three sons. Logan actively practiced medicine only briefly. By the mid-1780s he was devoting himself to making Stenton a model, scientific farm. Over time, for example, he conducted and reported on fourteen experiments to determine the best way to rotate crops. In 1793 ...

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Tilton, James (01 June 1745–14 May 1822), physician, politician, and agriculturist, was born in Duck Creek Hundred, Kent County, Delaware, the son of John Tilton, a farmer, and Comfort Roades. His father died when James was three. Seven years later his mother remarried, and he was sent to the school of the Reverend ...