Thursday, February 21, 2019

1896 W.W. Barnard Co.Garden Field & Flower Seed Catalog from Chicago

W.W. Barnard Co., 10 North Clark Street, Chicago, Illinois 

William Wilcox Barnard (1856-1921), son of William Barnard II, founded & operated the W. W. Barnard Seed Co. in the late 1800s. The company was taken over by Ralph Howe, when William W. Barnard moved to California for his health, where died in 1921. Ralph Barnard Howe, born in 1882, held a degree in agriculture from the University of Illinois. But the company did not survive the depression years. After graduating from Amherst College in 1845, William Barnard II headed west to homestead. He intended to settle in Iowa, but stopped in Chicago where he met Thomas Morgan who owned several thousand acres of land south of Chicago (now known as Morgan Park) Morgan convinced William Barnard II to settle near Chicago. In 1846, William Barnard II's parents & siblings joined him in Chicago to farm in the area that is now 49th Street & Vincennes Road. William Barnard II married Miranda Wilcox in 1852, & they had 4 children, Alice Sarah (1854), Mary Elizabeth (1855), William Wilcox (1856), & Emma Jerusha. (1859). William Barnard II eventually bought 160 acres in Longwood & built a home for his family at 101st & Longwood Drive. William Wilcox Barnard's grandparents Alice Emerson & William Barnard also came to Chicago from the Amherst, Massachusetts area. Barnard was a practicing physician for a time. Alice Emerson & William Barnard were married in 1819 & had 5 children, William Barnard II (1821), Elizabeth (1823), Daniel Emerson (1826), Alice Lucretia (1829), & Erastus Ames (1833).

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

1898 D. M. Ferry & Co Autumn Catalog from Detroit, Michigan

Dexter Mason Ferry was born in Lowville, New York, on August 8, 1833, but after his father's passing when Dexter was 3 years old, he & his mother moved to Penfield, New York. Dexter went attended school there & at age of 16 began working on a farm. In 1851, when Ferry reached 18, he began working for Ezra M. Parsons of Rochester, New York. In a short time, in 1852, Parsons helped Dexter get a job as an errand boy for S .D. Elwood & Company, a stationery firm in Detroit, Michigan. There he was soon promoted salesman, & later bookkeeper. With a formal education, experience as a laborer, & various aspects of business under his belt, Mr. Ferry, along with 2 partners, Milo T. Gardner & Eber F. Church, founded Gardner, Ferry & Church on April 1, 1856, when Dexter was not quite 23. In 1865, Ferry bought out Gardner & the company name was shortened to Ferry, Church & Company. Church retired 2 years later, & Dexter dropped his ex-partner's name. Ferry focused on quality & gained a reputation for selling superior seeds. He chose to only sell fresh seed with tested high germination rates. In 1879, Mr. Ferry absorbed the Detroit Seed Company & incorporated as D. M. Ferry & Co. The company grew, released new varieties of vegetables, & thrived. On New Years Day in 1886, fire demolished the company's warehouse at with a loss of nearly $1,000,000. Ferry quickly decided to purchase seed stock & 2 smaller seed companies, & were able to fill customer's orders. They constructed a new warehouse, & by 1890 were selling over $1,500,000 annually. By the early 1900s, the company's sales grew to over $2,000,000 yearly through mail-order catalog sales as well as placing seed racks to 160,000 retail outlets. D. M. Ferry died on November 10, 1907. The company merged with the California based seed company, C. C. Morse Company in 1930, to become the Ferry-Morse Seed Company. They relocated to Kentucky in 1959.

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

1898 Plant Catalogs from Conrad & Jones of West Grove, PA

Alfred Fellenberg Conard, (1835-1906)–West Grove, Pennsylvania–was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1835. He descended from German Quakers who were part of William Penn’s Colony in 1683. He worked on his father’s farm & learned the nursery business from Thomas M. Harvey. Conard formed the firm of Conard & Brother, but some time after 1862 he started a nursery business with Charles Dingee under the name Dingee & Conard. The business had two greenhouses & the establishment was known as the Harmony Grove Nursery. About 1867 the firm started propagating roses under a new system introduced by Antoine Wintzer. Conard conceived the idea of disposing of their rose stock through the mail. Their first catalog offered bedding plants, shrubbery, bulbs, seeds, & roses. About 1892 Conard separated from Dingee & along with Antoine Wintzer joined with S. Morris Jones in 1897 to become Conard & Jones Co. The new company continued with the growing & distribution of roses & flowering plants. As another specialty, they worked on the improvement of the canna. Conard died on December 15, 1906.