1908 - 1917
The seed for the formation of the Ohio Nursery and Landscape Association (formerly, the Ohio Nurserymen's Association) was planted on January 9, 1908 by Mr. J. H. McNary in a letter to the nurserymen of Ohio.
In his letter, Mr. McNary wrote in part, "I have just learned that an effort is likely to be made this winter to change the present nursery inspection law. The State Board of Agriculture has expressed a desire to know what changes in the present law, if any, the nurserymen of the state desire. I hereby call a convention of the nurserymen of Ohio to meet on Wednesday, January 15, 1908 for the consideration of this matter, and also the consideration of the desirability of a state organization with properly constituted committees to attend to the interest of the nurserymen of the state in just such emergencies as this".
On January 15, 1908, nurserymen in attendance at this first formal meeting approved a motion to form a permanent organization of the nurserymen of the state to be called the Ohio Nurserymen's Association. Officers elected were J. H. McNary, president, H. N. Scarff, treasurer, Robert George, vice-president and W. B. Cole, secretary.
The new president appointed the following five nurserymen as the first board of directors: Robert George of Painesville, F. D. Green, Perry, E. G. Cox, Proctorville, John Siebenthaler, Dayton and A. R. Pickett, Clyde.
A motion was moved and carried that the annual membership fee be one dollar.
The second annual meeting of the ONA was held on January 13, 1909, in conjunction with the State Horticulture Meeting in Columbus. The financial statement for the year-old association showed income of $39, disbursements of $11.70, with a balance in the treasury of $27.30.
While recapping the entire history of our association is not feasible, it might be interesting to look at some of the highlights of years gone by.
In 1911, during the fourth annual meeting (and quoting here from the actual minutes), "Mr. F. J. Dinsmore of the Farmers Nursery Company, Troy, read a very interesting paper on root gall and hairy knot."
Also, at this same meeting, the secretary of the State Board of Agriculture, Mr. A. P. Sandles, clarified a letter he had sent to nurserymen explaining the need for more funds for the inspection of nurseries. Mr. Sandles suggested a license fee of $5 or $10 for agents who sell nursery stock and a special tax of $25 to $50 per year for growers of nursery stock.
After a somewhat heated debate, W. B. Cole moved, with a second from T. B. West, that this association is opposed to the enactment of any law creating a special tax on agents or nurserymen. The motion was unanimously adopted.
Also, during the fourth annual meeting of the ONA, Mr. W. N. Scarff read a paper on the value of barnyard manure in small fruit growing.
By the tenth annual meeting, held on February 1, 1917 in Columbus, the treasury had grown to $110.75 and the membership stood at 27. The hot topics of conversation at that meeting were the necessity of organization and cooperation, the necessity of raising prices to offset the increased operating expenses and to place the nursery business on the same basis of profit as other lines of business, plus more economical and profitable distribution of nursery products. By this time, Mr. Dinsmore of the root gall and hairy knot fame, was president.