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The founder of the Edwards Seed Company

The founder of the Edwards Seed Company

Date: February 10, 2018 | By Sally Rea

Edward E. Evans was born Nov. 4, 1863, in Warsaw, NY, where he grew up. He attended the State Normal College in Genesseo, NY. In his early days Edward studied telegraphy, but because of his health he had to give it up and live an outdoor life. He decided to come west, “hiking” through the states of Michigan, Minnesota, Dakotas, and Montana. He was attracted by the pine forests of the mid-west and studied the areas intensively. Edward spent many years in the study of agriculture, and used his talent and knowledge to advance the science of farming.

He wrote many articles on his cherished theme, conservation, during his 25 year residence in West Branch.

He was always working on the improvement of soils and seeds, doing many interesting experiments and developing many new varieties of plants; he was called the Luther Burbank of Michigan. Some of his developed varieties were soybeans, Rosenrye, vegetables and flowers. Edward gave seed for 50 of his varieties to the United States Department of Agriculture at Washington.

Mr. Evans was known as the pioneer seed man in West Branch. He started the first seed business and first elevator here. He was a big help to the farming community as he urged them to make use of selling their purer and cleaner seed for their planting purposes. He was always interested in the improvement of the farm products and took a special interest in the grains and alfalfa, using his own time and money to research them. He had the love and a better understanding of nature and the great out-of-doors.

Edward foresaw years ago the effects that our civilization would have on our forests, streams and lakes, and wildlife. It would soon be necessary to protect by legislation the fish, and game that was so preyed upon and so much waste at this time. Edward never held any public offices, he was always interested in the legislation in favor of conservation.

He married Miss Carrie M. Swan on Feb. 14, 1899. He died June 28, 1928, after a long illness.

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