John Stempien, a 2007 graduate of the MA public history program, is co-editor of the forthcoming The Liberty Hyde Bailey Gardener’s Companion: Essential Writings from Cornell University Press.
Liberty Hyde Bailey (1858-1954) grew up on a farm in Michigan before going on to become Dean of the College of Agriculture at Cornell University. He was chair of the Country Life Commission under President Theodore Roosevelt. Bailey authored more than seventy books and thousands of articles. He built a reputation as the Father of Modern Horticulture by developing what he called the “garden-sentiment”—the desire to raise plants for the sheer joy of it and for the love of the plants themselves. John Stempien and John Linstrom have compiled and edited “the best and most accessible garden writings of perhaps the most influential literary gardener of the twentieth century.”
John teaches history in Lowell, Michigan. He served as the first director of the Liberty Hyde Bailey Museum in South Haven, Michigan, from 2006-2012.