This gallery is dedicated to pioneers of the early agricultural experiment station in Virginia. Much of it currently focuses on those who worked with pest management, because we started with disciplines associated with our own department. Therefore, it is not a comprehensive record. This will change as new information is processed from the archives. Many of these individuals were responsible for saving a fledgling American agricultural industry during the Second Industrial Revolution (1870-1914).
William Bradford Alwood was an early pioneer of pest management and fruit culture. He was referred to by his peers during his era as father of Virginia horticulture, the savior of the Virginia fruit industry, and a worldwide expert in pomology, viticulture, enology, and pest management. At Virginia Tech he is regarded as the father of our horticulture and pest management disciplines and as one of the University's greatest scientists.
Chemist, Virginia Agricultural Experiment Station, 1889-1891
Entomologist, employed by the Crop Pest Commission in 1921. He was a leader in fruit pest management research in Virginia.
Henry Minor Magruder was both a critic and a friend of the newly organized land grant institution in Blacksburg. Over a period of four years he wrote a series of articles in the Southern Planter agricultural journal (1886 to 1890) criticizing the new experiment station at the Virginia Agricultural and Mechanical College. He eventually convinced the state board of agriculture to appoint him as superintendent of the farms at VAMC. His tenure was cut short when he died of a heart attack in June 1891.
Professor of Agriculture
Assistant to W. B. Alwood, Phillips was appointed assistant state entomologist and later state entomologist. Phillips did much work to assist Alwood in managing the San Jose Scale infestation in Virginia.
Dean of Agriculture and head of Horticulture during his tenure at VPI, Harvey Price (1874-1951) was trained by W. B. Alwood. Price was a local boy who made good, living in Longshop, Virginia during his years at VPI.
Professor of General Chemistry, Mineralogy, and Geology
Assistant Horticulturist at the Virginia Agricultural and Mechanical College in the 1890s. He resigned his position in 1892.
Director of the Agricultural Experiment Station from 1890 to 1891, William Dabney "Buttermilk" Saunders was a pioneer of dairy science in Virginia. Professor Saunders' amazing and dedicated career at Virginia Tech spanned two centuries and 55 years.
William Schoene was the acting director of the Virginia Agricultural Experiment Station (1914-16); Virginia State Entomologist from 1914 to 1935. He had the task of enforcing several pest laws that resulted in law suits and a long record of court cases.
Grover William Underhill (1888- ) was a professor of entomology at Virginia Tech 1918 to 1954. One of the interesting artifacts left to the Virginia Tech Archives was a radio talk entitled "Insect Menace to Log Cabins and Rustic Woodwork" that was given by Underhill on 17 September 1935.
C.E. Vawter, rector of the Board of Visitors. He was the first to be reappointed in 1890 to two consecutive terms (1889-1900). Vawter and another member of the Executive Committee of the Board, J. Thompson Brown, worked as a very powerful team - they brought a great deal of change to the Institute over the years.
Secretary to the Agricultural Experiment Station, 1887 to 1891. Appointed Secretary of the Faculty, July 1, 1891.