The Wayne County Agricultural and Horticultural Society ~ 1889


Jacob D. Hampton; Votaw. (Voice Of The Agricultural Worker?)
Benjamin Stratton; Richmond.
Thos. B. Morris; Richmond.
Daniel Bulla; Richmond.
John T. Morris; Richmond.
Miss Mary Parry; Richmond.
Walter S. Ratliff; Richmond.
Joseph C. Ratliff; Richmond (Life Member)
Wayne County Indiana Executive Committee Member: E.G. Hill, Richmond
J. W. Sliger, Richmond; C. C. Crocket, Richmond; Capt. C. B. Jackson, Centreville.


The horticulturists arriving on the early morning trains were met at the depot by Job. Ratliff, Benj. Stratton and President Stevens, of the Wayne County Horticultural Society.

We were escorted by their gentlemen to a large four-horse band wagon, provided for the occasion by the Wayne County Society. The wagon was loaded with twenty or more live horticulturists, to be driven for a hasty visit to the farms of the leading fruit growers about Richmond. On this trip we had the company of the veteran and esteemed horticulturist, G. W. Campbell, of Delaware, Ohio, Secretary of the Ohio State Horticultural Society. We drove west from Richmond, making hasty stops among the fruit growers. Our first stop was at the place of Sampson Boon. Mr. Boon being absent his good wife showed us about.

 We found his small fruits well cultivated. Crescent, Cumberland and Mount Vernon strawberries were looking well. Small trees of Keiffer pear and Robinson plum were showing considerable fruit. The next stop was at Edward Mathews. Here we found Gregg, Souheagan, Ohio, Pride of the West and other raspberries doing well. He considers Gregg the best for shipping. We were well pleased with the appearance of Pride of the West. It is a good, vigorous grower, hardy, productive, good quality, and early. He finds Cumberland, Indiana and Mount Vernon his best strawberries.

 Our next stop was at Richard Shute’s. Here we found quite a large plantation of blackberries, raspberries, strawberries, dewberries, etc., all thoroughly cultivated and perfectly clean. Snyder, Taylor and Ancient Britain blackberries were heavily loaded with fruit, and it was difficult to determine which should have the palm. These three are undoubtedly the best well tested varieties we have for our State. Ohio was his favorite raspberry; Crescent, Indiana, Cumberland were his best strawberries, ranking in the order named. Fay’s currant does well here. Cuthbert raspberry is profitable. A number of Lucretia dewberries were planted, but not old enough to produce much fruit.

 In our party was the genial and entertaining Timothy Nicholson, one of the Trustees of Earlham College (Friends) When we arrived at the college Timothy showed us through the commodious and well arranged rooms of the old and new buildings, including the laboratory, museum, etc., showing us that Earlham was well equipped for the higher educational work.

 We were next driven east of Richmond to the home of the late Mark Reeves, a man of wealth, who had a high appreciation of horticultural art, as was evidenced in this magnificent place. Here can be seen many rare as well as the more common ornamental trees and shrubs, so planted and arranged as to produce the most pleating effect. We were cordially met by Mrs. Reeves, who took an interest in showing us through the green-house, grapery and among the small fruits, etc. The English Morello cherries were heavily ladened with fruit here.

 We were next driven some distance east of the city to Nathan Garwood’s, the old home of our friend Benj. Stratton. This is a beautiful location 165 feet above Richmond, commanding a fine view of the country for miles around. New Paris, Ohio, three miles away, is in full view. The soil is what would be called a good BUgar tree soil. Bartlett, Seekle, Doyenne and other standard pears were loaded with handsome fruit. The Marlboro and Hansell make a good growth, and are esteemed highly, especially the latter, for its earliness and continuing so long in use. Souheagan is a favorite.

 While Pippin and Golden Sweet apples were heavily loaded with fruit. On our return to the city we stopped at the home of our veteran nurseryman friend, Thomas Morris, who gave us a hearty welcome and conducted us through the apple orchard, nursery, vineyard, and among the small fruits. His grapes were trained to rather high trellis and given plenty of room. Most of the leading varieties were represented. Concord, Ives, Moore’s Early, Worden, Brighton and Niagara were remarkably fine. On low, moist ground the Industry and Downing gooseberries and Fay currants were bearing good crops. The Warner pear is fruiting here. Thos. G. Longenecker, of Dayton, Ohio, joined us here, and was a valuable addition to the party.

 Leaving here we next drew up at the residence of Isham Sedgwick, in the suburbs of Richmond. Mr. Sedgwick is one of the firm of Sedgwick Bros., of woven wire fame. Mr. S.’s horticultural fancy runs in the direction of grapes. He has twelve or fifteen varieties trained on woven wire, which, by the way, makes an excellent trellis. The tendrils catch on the wire and there is no tying up. Many saw for the first time the Centennial, Faith, Francis B. Hays, Victoria and Empire State fruiting. We were shown through Mr. S.’s kitchen, which is the most conveniently arranged of anything we have ever seen in this line, convenient, comfortable, tidy, muUum in parvo.

 We made a very hasty call at the green houses of Hill & Co. Mr. Hill has been remarkably successful and has built up a very large business. They have twelve or more large green houses 100 feet in length. This business is largely due to the good business judgment, integrity and enterprise of Gurney Hill.

 From here we were taken to the Huntington House and served to an excellent dinner without charge. After dinner, with some additions to our numbers, making in all twenty-five persons, we were driven to the home of our marshal of the day, Joseph Batliff, a mile or so north of Richmond. Here we found a well kept farm and a nice young orchard of plums just coming into bearing. The orchard is composed mostly of European varieties, Washington, Jefferson, Gen. Hand, Lombard, German Prune, etc. German Prune and Lombard trees were especially heavy loaded with large, fine fruit.

 We continued our tour five miles north through an undulating well tilled farming country, until we pulled up to the well kept farm of our good friend Jacob D. Hampton. We were shown through the large orchard of friend Hampton, who is an extensive apple grower. The oldest orchard is forty-two years old, one of eighteen, and one recently planted. He cultivates and fertilizes well. Among summer varieties he finds the English Hagloe the most profitable. The tree is entirely hardy, having passed unharmed through the severe winters of ’80 and ’81. It is a uniformly good bearer; sells as well as Maiden’s Blush where known. Eighteen year old trees were bearing from ten to fifteen bushels each. Ripens last of August. Red Stripe, Benoni, Sum Pearmain, Golden Sweet, and Daniel are all profitable summer apples with him.

 Our return to Richmond by a different route took us past the small fruit farm of Geo. H. Lewis. Mr. L. cultivates well; everything was in good shape. Cuthbert is his best red raspberry, Crescent his most profitable strawberry. After a very pleasant and profitable day we were distributed among our horticultural friends in and about Richmond for the night.

 On the morning of the 14th, the State Society and Wayne County Society met in joint session on the magnificent grounds of Col. John F. Miller, Superintendent of the Pennsylvania R. R. Co.’s lines. These grounds are one-half mile north of Richmond and we think the finest private grounds in the State. In the native forest, near by, Mr. Miller has constructed a primitive log cabin and placed in and about it much of the furniture of log cabin days. On the porch of the cabin and in front, seats were arranged in the ample shade, and here our meeting was held. Three long tables seating fifty or more each were arranged near by, upon which the bountiful and elegant dinner was served. There was a long table on which was displayed grains, fruits, vegetables and flowers, many of which, deserve special mention. Among the newer varieties of fruits was the Olivet cherry, shown by Wm. Clark of New Paris, Ohio. This is a large, dark cherry of good quality, said to be productive.

Montmorency cherry by G. W. Clark, New Paris. This is a large, light red colored cherry of good quality, very productive and hardy. It attracted much attention.

Prunus Pissardi or Purple Leaved plum, by E. Y. Teas. Fruit medium sire, dark purple, of fair quality. This is the finest purple foliaged tree we have.

Industry gooseberry by Thos. Morris.

Agawam blackberry by Theo. F. Longenecker, Dayton, Ohio.

 Lucretia dewberry by Benj. Stratton and others that for want of space we can not mention. By 10 o’clock a large company had gathered and the meeting was called to order by the President, Dr. Furnas of Danville, who said, I believe we are now ready for business. I understand the Wayne County folks have something to say at this time.

Mr. Jacob D. Hampton then delivered the following address of welcome:

 ”Honorable President and worthy members of the State Horticultural Society, I rise on behalf of the Wayne County Society, and bid you welcome in this beautiful grove, so kindly furnished us by our friend, John F. Miller, for this occasion. Less than 100 years ago the Red man held undisputed sway on these hills and valleys, and pursued his game with his bow and battle-axe for the support of his squaw and papoose. Beneath these stately oaks and towering elms the brave young warrior wooed the dusky maiden in the twilight of evening in view of happier years.

 And not until 1805 was the print of the White man’s foot seen on what are now our rich and beautiful fields Well do I remember when the wilderness was the general, and the cleared land the exception. But it is reversed now. Other men have labored and we have entered into their labors. The first acres that were cleared by those worthy pioneers were dedicated for an orchard, the first fruits of which were hailed with delight by both young and old. Nearly all the fruit trees of that early day were furnished by Andrew Hampton and Cornelius Ratliff, who were as trustworthy, honorable men as this or any other country ever furnished. You and I have met here for the purpose of perpetuating their labors, the importance of which admonishes us that a few words fitly spoken, are like apples of gold in pictures of silver are more appropriate than eloquence on this occasion. So we repeat the words of welcome, and extend to you the right hand of fellowship in the noble work of horticulture.”


Joseph Ratliff. As the business of this meeting has been gone through, and there are some who would be glad to look over these grouns,  I move that we adjourn to meet at Wm. Parry’s on Saturday, August 11.

Meeting adjourned.

When the meeting adjourned there were probably 500 to 800 persons on the grounds.

We were entertained for a time with some excellent singing by the Richmond Glee Club, after which the company strolled over the picturesque and well kept grounds of our host. We have seen no private grounds in the State that are eqnal to these in extent, variety of scenery, interest and beauty. The site is naturally picturesque and inviting. Nature has been allowed her own way as much as possible, with touches of art here and there to add to the comfort and beauty of the place. Here is the handsome stone residence of the proprietor, with all modern improvements, almost hid among the foliage of trees and vines.

In front of the building is an open lawn with its carpet of green, with its drives and walks among beds of gorgeous foliage plants and beautiful flowers. These are skirted with clumps of shrubs, trees and vines, with inviting winding paths that lead through a maze of foliage and flowers to shady nooks and rustic Beats, where you may sit and drink in the beauty and perfume of the Eden about you. Here is the forest primeval, the tangle of vine and bush, and here the primitive log cabin with clapboard roof and weight poles, puncheon floor, capacious fire-place and stick chimney, crane, kettle and all. One window, one door with the latch-string out, rain-trough, ash-hopper, the well, oaken bucket and sweep, and other furniture of earlier times. There is a thickly shaded bluff running east and west through the place, from which cool springs of water run into numerous pools, where you may see the carp and handsome trout in their various stages of development.

It was amid these pleasant and beautiful surroundings that the Indiana Horticultural Society held its first summer meeting, which was pronounced by all to be an enjoyable and profitable occasion.


Local Gardeners.

Isham Sedgewick. The LeConte is about as handsome a tree as I have ever seen; pyramid-shaped and beautiful. Mine is grafted in a Fall Butter, and looks like it would take the tree; that one has not borne yet; it does not winter-kill. Mr. Lawrence has, at the fair grounds, LeConte pears on exhibition; he is engaged in fruit raising in Washington County, Florida.

Daniel Bulla. I have a seedling peach tree that bore this year for the first time for four or five years; it produced between four and five bushels, broke all the limbs down ; I think there was not room for another peach. It is a free-stone of good size and quality.

Benj. Strattan. The Wilson is an apple grown near Richmond by a man named Wilson. It is ripe now, is saleable, a good cooker, fine qualities, and a very promising apple.

Mordica Hadley. I have four Hoop apple trees, fourteen years old and healthy, but do not bear. They are on dry sugar-tree land. How can I make them bear?

Benj. Strattan. As a remedy for this, I knew of a man who took one-half of the bark off the tree from the limbs to the ground; the next year he took the other half off, new bark being formed in place of the old. 1 would think root-pruning preferable”something to check the growth. By trimming a cherry tree in August, I had a bountiful crop of cherries the next year.

Daniel Bulla, Richmond. Apples. Maiden’s Blush, Vandiver Pippin, Holland Pippin, Newton Spitzenburgh, Rawle’s Genet) Rhode Island Greening, Indiana Favorite, Rome Beauty and five varieties the committee could not name.

Jos. C. Ratliff, Richmond. Apples. Blue Pearmain, Sweet Russet, Maiden’s Blush, Ben Davis and two varieties, one supposed to be the Stark, and the other not known to the committee. Pears. Swan’s Orange, Flemish Beauty and Bartlet.

Abraham Gaar, Richmond. Apples. Maiden’s Blush, Red Sweet Pippin, Bellflower, White Pippin, Smith’s Cider, Roman Stem, Tulpehocken, Northern Spy, Gloria Mundi, Colvert, Fameuse, Indiana Favorite, Winesap and two varieties not known.

Samuel Dinsmore, Richmond. Apples. Delaware Red, Bellflower, White Winter Pearmain, and one name not known. Peaches. Three varieties, good specimens.

Jesse C. Stevens, Centerville. Apples. Twenty Ounce, Bailey’s Sweet, Ben Davis, Rome Beauty, White Winter Pearmain, Grime’s Golden, Rambo, Roxberry Russet, Indiana Favorite, White Pippin. Three varieties of crabs and Chickasaw plums. Also several varieties the committee could not name. Altogether it was a nice collection.

Isham Sedgwick, Richmond. Grapes. Lady Washington, Niagara, Frances B. Hayes, a white grape of fine quality; Perkins, Faith and Delaware.

Thomas B. Morris, Richmond. Pears. Kieffer and Garber Hybrid. Grapes. Brighton, fine large cluster; Pocklington, Concord, Worden, Diana and Catawba. The two above collections were remarkably fine, and were creditable to the growers.

James Beeson, Richmond. Prentiss grapes.

Henry Hatchler, Richmond. White Ann Arbor grape.

Gurney Hill, Richmond. White grape, quite large, name not known. The exhibit, taking it altogether, was one of much interest, as it contained so mainly varieties of fruit out of season, at our winter meetings.

Jesse  C. Stevens, Wayne County. When my old friend, John Conoly, at Centerville, had an old Roxbury Russet tree from which he could not get any apples for ten or twelve years, he finally gave it a heavy coat of manure, and the next season, and until that property changed hands, it never failed to raise good fruit. Another friend in my neighborhood had some one hundred and fifty to two hundred trees; these were utterly neglected; that property changed hand to William Bilka; he went in and tore out the old trees and hauled manure from the street car stables, and scattering it all over the ground, plowed it in the spring and sowed in oats. We held a fair in the Grand Opera House, and he produced as fine apples as I ever saw in the United States, and no others in the county. I have been interested in that orchard ever since, and he never fails to pick a large amount of fine fruit every year. He made a fine exhibition when we believed we did not have five bushels of apples in the county.

J. C. Ratliff, Richmond, Wayne County. I will bear Jesse Stevens’ statement out. It has borne as fine apples as you can find any where. As another illustration, I will refer to Thomas Morris, near Richmond, who took an old broken down orchard, and after working it over it seemed to take on a new lease of life, and had good fruit while we had but little. His system was to cultivate the rows as it were corn, breaking up the ground around the trees to the body, and manure, which seemed to revive the old trees to make them bear profitable crops of fruit.

A. Glenn. How old was the orchard when he put the manure on? J. C. Stevens. Twenty years old.

J. C. Stevens, Wayne County. I planted out several Tyson pear trees, Flemish Beauty and Clapp’s Favorite. Some of them I put a board on the southwest side, and those are bearing, while those we did not protect in this way are dead. I think it is done in August. Some are in favor of mulching while others are not. Prof. Budd, after returning from Russia, sent me about 125 trees. I find some of these trees bloom too soon in this climate. They would be in bloom before others commenced swelling the bud. I waited until the ground was frozen and then mulched them with corn stalks to keep them from thawing out too soon, hut the mice would interfere”they are always on hand. Mulching would not do in our country. Trees require some protection from atmospheric changes.

Thomas Morris, Richmond. I was going to remark that the Brighton has no rot at all. The Lady Washington is the worst; there is some on the Worden, and none on the Ives.

Mr. Sedgwick. Last year I had a very troublesome attack of the birds on the grapes, and I found the only way to get away with them was to get mosquito bar and hang on the trellis.

Benj. Strattan. I would like to make a remark in regard to the sacking. It pays me so well that I am going to put on 500 in my little patch, and I use a little sulphur and a little fine dry lime, so that I can sprinkle a little into each sack. I noticed a little fungus among the Prentice, and on that grape particularly I put the sulphur and lime in the sacks. There is no rot on any but the Prentice. I use a common paper sack, No. 1 Anchor, which was said to be the best. With a little experience, I find I can put on two or three where I could one before.

Mr. Sedgwick. Rot appears on the Duchess, Niagara, and on one we call Naomi; nowhere else, with me.

John Conley. I had a little vineyard, and I tried this experiment: I took twenty-four quart cans and filled them half full of sweetened water. The next day I got them half full of wasps or yellow jackets, that cut the skin, and then the bees suck the honey.

Mr. Buel, Richmond. I think I speak the sentiment of everybody when I say that I have spent a pleasant day, and we are indebted to Col. Miller and his family, but I believe in “giving honor to whom honor is due,” and there is a gentleman who is entitled to much credit for the success of this meeting, and I move a vote of thanks be given to the President of the Wayne County Agricultural and Horticultural Society, for his untiring zeal which is manifested in bringing together so many distinguished persons on this occasion, and I hope everybody will give a vote of thanks to Jesse Stevens, for making the meeting the grand success it is to-day. The motion was seconded and a vote of thanks given to Jesse Stevens.

I thank you for the compliment, but feel that I have only discharged my duties. (Jos. Ratliff, Benj. Stratton, and the good ladies should have been included in the vote of thanks.”Secretary.)

There may be subjects that we want to discuss that were left this morning, and I am authorized to state that through the kindness of our host, he has invited a party of friends, who will be here soon, to add to our entertainment. We are trying to entertain you as best we can until Col. Miller’s friends arrive.

I have the pleasure of introducing to you Miss Florence Wallace, of this city, who will recite to you “The Log Cabin in the Clearing.” The piece was well recited, and pictured vividly early days in Indiana.

The President. I will call attention to Benj. Stratton’s grape (exhibiting specimens).

Benj. Stratton. It ripens fully as early as the Concord; not as early as the Worden. ‘

The President. I think it will not be necessary to test it. As far as quality is concerned it is the Concord.

Samuel Thatcher was called ou to tell of his seedling grape, and said: I can’t give very much of a history of it. I do not know exactly what it is a seedling of. I have had seedlings of Niagara and of Concord; have raised a great many seedlings, and fruited perhaps a dozen. Among them was this one. It is a very strong grower and appears to be thoroughly hardy, as it has stood on trellis. It is now a little past its season. It has a large, very thick leaf, and bears a tolerably good crop. The grapes were not sacked; I thought it did more harm than good to sack grapes. Lady Washington ripened poorly when sacked.

The President. I made a proposition to Mr. Kingsbury when we were at Richmond that I would sack one hundred bunches if he would. “What is the result?

J. G. Kingsbury. I have not yet taken the sacks off.

Referring to Mr. Thatcher’s grape the President said : This is a good grape, better than the Pocklington.

The Secretary. Or the Niagara.

Benj. Stratton. I spoke at Richmond of having sacked five hundred bunches. All that I have brought here were in sacks. The Prentiss shows some signs of mildew; all the others are perfect. Late grapes do not ripen as well in sacks as without. But I would have had no Hartford if I had not sacked them. The Catawba don’t ripen as well out as in.

Isham Sedgwick. I have two grapes that are new, I think, to most of you. I got them of Geo. W. Campbell, of Ohio. One is the Faith. It is usually a little larger than the Delaware, but this year part of the grapes were killed out by frost, perhaps one-third of the grapes on a bunch. It is a rampant grower; I know of none more so. I set a vine of this variety in the spring of 1886, and this year it bore 560 bunches. It has this peculiarity: It ripened last year about August 7th, this year August 10th, and you see how they are now. They will stay on the vine until frost, and dry, not rot nor drop off. They have hung on until October.

Source; Annual report of the Indiana State Board of Agriculture: By The Indiana State Board of Agriculture; Vol. 30: 1889.

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