This section is from the book "The Gardener's Monthly And Horticulturist V22", by Thomas Meehan. See also: Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long.
This well known lover of Horticulture died at his residence at Roxboro, near Philadelphia, on the 13th inst., aged 62 years. For some years he has been in feeble health from paralysis, though naturally of a strong and vigorous frame.
He was descended from the old family of the Rodneys, famous in the history of the revolution, and before the war for the Union was at the head of one of the leading manufacturing establishments which had its chief support from the Southern States. Much of his wealth was devoted to gardening, and his home was celebrated for rare and beautiful plants, and the taste displayed in their arrangement. He was one of the leading supporters of the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society in its best days, was for many years its President, and it was chiefly through his exertions that the magnificent Horticultural Hall was built, - a building which is one of the boasts of the citizens of that great city. The idea of establishing the Gardener's Monthly wholly originated with him, and his money sustained it for several years, until it was able to go alone.
The breaking out of the war was a serious-blow to him. He had been extremely liberal with the Southern people, and extended to them heavy and extended credit. These debts due-him were all appropriated by the Confederate government, and was a serious blow to him, and which with the loss of the market, for his goods, gave him, financially, a blow from which he never recovered to any extent that would warrant him in devoting much to horticultural luxuries, though to the last he preserved a lively interest in all that was going on.
The idea of establishing the Gardener's Monthly originated solely from his love of the subject, and without the slightest idea of making any money by the venture.
At that time the leading horticultural magazine was issued at $4.00 a year, and he believed that horticulture would be served by a cheap serial, which, while being intelligent, should yet be able to reach the multitude where the higher priced periodicals did not go.
The war interfered somewhat with this plan, as it did with so many others, and the magazine had to change its course slightly; but it has been able to follow tolerably well, considering all things, in the path marked out by its generous founder, and the many thousands who in the past have enjoyed its pages, and the many whom we hope will for many years continue to enjoy them, will not forget to whose forethought they have the work.
Ever foremost in every good work for the benefit of his fellows, and for the good of his city, we feel sad at the thought that such as he must go so soon, and so many useless lives left behind; and yet it is only by comparison with the common run of mankind that we are able to see in such men as D. R. King, how much is lost by the death of such a husband, father, citizen and friend.