Harry Baker Humphrey (1873 - 1955)
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Biography1873 August 4, born in a log cabin on a homestead farm near East Granite Falls, Minnesota
1877 family moves to Oregon
1882 family returns to Minnesota, settling near Elk River
1895 enters University of Minnesota
1899 graduates, teaches secondary school
1901 marries Olive Agatha Mealey, a fellow student in botany
1903 enrolls for graduate work in what was then called Leland Stanford Jr. University; teaches marine biology at Hopkins Marine Biological Laboratory at Pacific Grove
1907 earns PhD from Stanford
1908 appointed professor of botany and plant pathologist in the Experiment Station at the State College of Washington at Pullman
1911 promoted to head of the department of botany and vice director of the experiment station
1913 appointed pathologist in charge of cereal disease investigations in the Bureau of Plant Industry, U.S. Department of Agriculture, eventually becoming principal pathologist
1918 initiated the cooperative barberry eradication campaign in North-Central states
1929 - 1943 editor-in-chief, Phytopathology , and the series Phytopathological Classics , for which, in 1937, he translated Tillet's (1755) dissertation on the smutting of wheat. .
1951 moved back to Los Altos, CA, where he and Olive renewed their acquaintance with Stanford
1873 A friend of his wrote Humphrey's entry in Makers of North American Botany, after Humphrey died. Besides the information above, he also said that
"To get across the Mississippi to high school he built a row boat. Lumberjacks broke the lock and sent the boat downstream. Another boat was built only to be carried away in a log jam. Not to be stopped, he built a third. Doing a man's work on the home farm much of the time and rowing or skating over the river to his classes, Harry succeeded in graduating in 3 years from Elk River High School, president of his class."
During his tenure as pathologist with the USDA, Humphrey conducted much research on the smutting of grains and was especially active in programs for breeding resistance.
He was known as "a friendly and energetic raconteur in English, French-Canadian, and Swedish."
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Harry Baker Humphrey (1961) Makers of North American Botany
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Selected PublicationsHarry Baker Humphrey (1961) Makers of North American Botany
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