Thomas Meehan son William Meehan 1912

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Thomas Meehan
son William Meehan
1912 - HO OH OF THOS. MEE MEMORY Hi John Bartram...
HO OH OF THOS. MEE MEMORY Hi John Bartram Association Holds Annual Reunion in Garden -.- Life and Works of Distinguished Horticulturalist Reviewed by His Son aid Other Speakers reunion Tegi-ment. at anti-Lorimer 8.Inve6tiga-tioa Offi-ceis Pu-jo, Around an oak tree, planted in memory of Thomas Meehan, in Bartram's Park, overlooking the Schuylkill River, on its west bank, at Fifty-fourth street, about 100 members of the John Bartram Association gathered yesterday afternoon, making the honors to Meehan's memory the chief feature of their annual reunion. Addresses on the life of Thomas Mee han were delivered by his son, William Aleehan, Oglesby Paul and Professor Adolphe. Miller. Impromptu talks were given by Myra T. Dock and Miss Car- lotta Henning Brown. Frank : Bartram presided and Mrs. " Henry M. Chance, secretary, recorded the proceedings of me reunion. - . . Thomas Meehan was lauded by-the association as the founder of the small parks movement ' in Philadelphia,- by his success in inducing the city to purchase John Bartram's Garden and the ground pf Weccacoe Park. He was born in England in 1S26; at 14 made and published his first discovery in vegetable biology and produced the first - hybrid fuschia. He made so many scientific discoveries that the Royal Werneria Society of Edin-burg elected him to membership without his knowledge or application and without knowing that he was only a boy. Among his numerous observations was the trick of" the mother snake of swallowing her little ones for safekeeping, which at first brought forth a cartoon in the Garden Chronicle, which he carefully preserved and brought to America with him at the age of 22, when the fame of John Bartram's Gardens brought him to America. Works for Eastvrlck Another poor boy of like enthusiasm, Andrew M.. Eastwick, had resolved that when he grew up he would own Bartram's Gardens, and he did. and he made young immigrant Feehan its caretaker. .Eastwick had cast iron rules that no tree should ever be cut down in the Bartram Gardens without his consent, but while he was absent in Russia a terrific storm blew down a tree. Thomas Meehan after trying in vain to save it cut it away and Eastwick, receiving a letter from a friend, hurried home from Russia to demand explanations, and to gether they wept over that tree. Long alter Meehan founded his nurseries here he became a city legislator, editor and scientific leader in many lines. One of the chief things that' fired Meehan's desire to come to America vand Bartram's Garden was the discovery in the South by WiJliam Bartram of the tree he named Franklinia, but has since come to be known throughout the world's nurseries as Gordonia Pubescens. Its preservation and distribution was largely credited to Thomas Meehan. The only specimen in the Bartram Gardens has been destroved bv laborers. The large forest, the only one known, found by William Bartram, had been annihilated in a manner unknown. He said this tree was supposed to bfe a relative of the Japanese and Chinese camelias, that established itself in the South' in the agess when there was land connection between the Orient and America. Mr. Paul said that out of 200 cuttings only ten showed any signs pf life, so much was the lost descendant of ancient forests of it species disinclined to keep, up the struggle for existence. - . " v

Clipped from
  1. The Philadelphia Inquirer,
  2. 09 Jun 1912, Sun,
  3. Page 3

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