This section is from the book "The Gardener's Monthly And Horticulturist V24", by Thomas Meehan. See also: Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long.
The portrait of this distinguished man has become very familiar of late, but the future will be glad to look upon the features of one to whom it will certainly feel indebted ; for the work of the good man tells with more effect after he is gone than while living. As the Gardener's Monthly is almost always bound and preserved by subscribers, we are glad of the opportunity to place the portrait in the gallery of the future.
The Garden of January 28th, has an excellent likeness and sketch of the history of James Vick, whose successful career every American horticulturist takes a pride in. Mr. Vick was born at Kingston, near Portsmouth,. Hampshire, England, November 23d, 1818. He came to this country with his father at fifteen, and learned printing with Horace Greeley. He removed to Rochester a year or so after learning the trade, cultivating flowers as an amateur, and giving his experience freely to the newspapers. He was employed by Luther Tucker, and eventually issued and edited the New Genesee Farmer. On the death of A. J. Downing by the burning of the Henry Clay, (not the Swallow, as stated by the Garden,) he published the Horticulturist, which however did not prove profitable enough to continue, and was sold. Then he edited the Rural New Yorker, and in 1857 commenced the seed business, which, as our readers know, has come to be one of the largest in the world.
As we go to press, the telegraph brings news of the death of this distinguished horticulturist in Rochester, on Tuesday, May 16th, in his sixty-fourth year. The immense influence he has exercised on the great progress of American horticulture is too well known to need any more than a passing note at this time.
"We make room for the following from a correspondent :
"James Vick is dead! Sadder words than these my pen could not utter. Wherever a flower is grown, in this broad land, there will be hearts touched with sorrow at this mournful news. In more than a quarter of a million gardens, there will be, this summer, monuments of flowers to remind that he who sent them has finished his labors.
" No man, in his day, has so endeared himself to the people. No man, in private life, was so widely known. His death will be mourned over the whole country. Everybody who met him was his friend.
"None knew him but to love him, None named him hut to praise.
James Vick was, in the fullest sense of the word, a Christian gentleman. His daily life was a record of good works and kind deeds. The road from his heart to his pocket was ever a straight and a broad one, and no grass ever grew in it for want of use. To high and humble he was the same cheerful, genial man, with a pleasant, hopeful word for all.
"It has been my privilege to meet him almost daily for many years, and if there is in the world a better man, I have not yet seen him.
"Mr. Vick died of pneumonia on the morning of May 16th, after a very brief illness. He was born in Portsmouth, England, November 23d, 1818, and was, therefore, about sixty-four when he died. He has been in his time printer, editor, author, publisher, merchant. He came to America in 1833, and learned the printer's trade in New York* and set type with Horace Greeley. From New York he came to Rochester, and became interested in various publications, among others the Horticulturist, and Moor's Rural New Yorker. When engaged on the latter he first commenced to grow flower seeds in his garden, and send them out gratis to those who, like himself, loved flowers It made the commencement of his great business. He commenced the business practically in 1860. His success has been marvelous. Three thousand (3,000) letters per day was not an unusual occurrence, and more per day has often been received. He has paid more than thirty thousand dollars ($30,000) per year for postage, and his Floral Guide has a circulation of over 200,000 copies.
All this has been accomplished by hard work and faithful interest to his customers".