Monroe Evans Gardner Papers 1910-1975

Gardner, M. E. (Monroe Evans), 1895-1975
3 linear feet

For current information on the location of these materials, please consult the Special Collections Research Center Reference Staff.

Call number
MC 00167

Includes correspondence, newspaper articles, typewritten manuscripts, printed publications, photographs and ephemera that belonged to North Carolina State University Professor Emeritus M. E. Gardner. The collection spans Gardner's academic, professional and retirement years. The material dates from 1910 to 1975.

Biographical/historical note

North Carolina State University Professor Emeritus of Horticultural Science, Monroe Evans Gardner was born on October 3, 1895, in Blacksburg, Virginia. He was educated at the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and served in the Army Air Corps during WW I. He held positions with the Virginia Agricultural Experiment Station and Clemson College before joining the North Carolina Agricultural Experiment Station in 1927. In 1933, he was appointed head of the Department of Horticultural Science at North Carolina State University where he remained until 1956 when he stepped down to pursue teaching and research. Gardner retired in 1965 but remained deeply involved in agricultural activities.

M. E. Gardner was active in North Carolina's agricultural industry for nearly 50 years. He initiated the movement that resulted in the first appropriation for agricultural research ever made by the North Carolina State Assembly. He was responsible for the organization of the N.C. Association of Nurserymen, the N.C. Commercial Flower Growers and the N.C. Apple Growers' Association. In addition, he had notable achievements in the development of modern disease and pest resistant plants, and wrote a garden column, Garden Time that was published in over 150 North Carolina newspapers. Gardner was named a Fellow by the American Horticultural Society in 1967 and the M. E. Gardner Arboretum was dedicated on the N.C. State campus in his honor in 1973. The arboretum was designed as a place of beauty and as a functional teaching and research facility. In addition, Gardner was active in civic affairs, taking part in the administration of the Pullen Memorial Baptist Church in Raleigh and serving as chairman of the YMCA board of directors for fifteen years.

Extolled as a horticultural pioneer and accomplished as an educator, scientist and administrator, students remained Gardner's absorbing interest. He once said, "There is nothing glamorous about teaching as far as professional recognition is concerned, but there are deep and lasting satisfactions." M. E. Gardner died in January of 1975 at the age of seventy-nine.


The collection of papers belonging to Monroe Evans Gardner is made up of an initial donation given to North Carolina State University in 1983 that consists of correspondence with former horticulture students who served in WW II. Additional material belonging to M. E. Gardner was donated in 2001. That donation consists of personal correspondence, biographical material, newspaper clippings, photographs, photographic proof sheets and photographic negatives, certificates of commendation and emblems of achievement, and also horticultural industry and academic print publications. The collection consists of seven series.

Physical description

2 archival box


The collection is organized into seven series. The first series, Correspondence With Former Horticulture Students Who Served In WWII, consists of correspondence maintained by Gardner with North Carolina State College students serving in the armed forces during the Second World War. Series contains letters, newsletters, holiday cards and photographs. The next series, Personal Correspondence, is a collection of personal correspondence arranged chronologically covering a time span from 1926-1975. The remaining series are: Virginia Polytechnic Institute, Writings, Certificates and Letters of Commendation, M. E. Gardner Arboretum Dedication and, Magazines and Publications Collected by M.E. Gardner.

  • Agriculture -- Competitions
  • Agricultural exhibitions -- North Carolina
  • Agricultural exhibitions -- North Carolina -- Raleigh -- History
  • American Horticultural Society
  • Fruit -- Diseases and Pests
  • Fruit -- Diseases and pests -- Control
  • Gardening -- North Carolina
  • Gardening -- North Carolina -- Wake County -- Periodicals
  • Gardens
  • Gardner, M.E. (Monroe Evans) 1895-1975
  • Horticultural products -- North Carolina
  • Horticulture -- North Carolina -- Periodicals
  • Horticulture -- Periodicals
  • Horticulture -- Research -- North Carolina
  • Horticulture -- Study and teaching (Higher)
  • Horticultural products -- North Carolina
  • M.E. Gardner Arboretum
  • Men's Garden Club of Wake County, N.C.
  • Muscadine grape -- Research
  • North Carolina Apple Growers Association
  • North Carolina Association of Nurserymen
  • North Carolina Commercial Flower Growers Association -- History
  • North Carolina State University. Dept. of Horticultural Sciences
  • North Carolina State University -- Faculty
  • North Carolina State University -- History
  • North Carolina State University. Horticulture Club.
  • North Carolina State University. Horticultural Club -- Periodicals
  • Orchards -- Diseases and pests -- Control
  • Orchards -- Management
  • Orchards -- North Carolina
  • Potatoes -- Diseases and pests -- Control
  • Potatoes -- Varieties
  • Pullen Memorial Baptist Church (Raleigh, N.C.) -- History
  • Soldiers -- United States -- Correspondence
  • Victory gardens
  • Virginia Polytechnic Institute. Alumni Association
  • Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University -- Alumni and alumnae -- Biography
  • Viticulture -- Research
  • V-mail
  • Young Men's Christian Association -- North Carolina

Use of these materials

North Carolina State University does not own copyright to this collection. Individuals obtaining materials from the NCSU Libraries' Special Collections Research Center are responsible for using the works in conformance with United States copyright law as well as any donor restrictions accompanying the materials.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Monroe Evans Gardner Papers, MC 00167, Special Collections Research Center, North Carolina State University Libraries, Raleigh, NC

Related material

Source of acquisition

Have not received the deed of gift for second acquisition. Collection is open pending receipt. Gift of Monroe Evans Gardner, Jr., 1983 and Mrs. A. J. Gardner, 2001.

Gift of Monroe Evans Gardner, Jr., 1983 and Mrs. A. J. Gardner, 2001.

Correspondence with former horticulture students who served in the armed forces during World War II 1940-1945
Size: 0.5 linear feet

Series contains correspondence, including some snapshots from former horticultural students. Additionally there are newsletters with information about activities at the North Carolina State College of Agriculture and Engineering and information on the activities of fellow students. The correspondence includes holiday cards, V-Mail, and forms notifying Gardner of current addresses organized by students' last name.

1 archival box

Andrews, F. S. 1940
Box 1, Folder 1
Baird, Guy 1943
Box 1, Folder 2
Banadyga, Albert 1942-1944
Box 1, Folder 3
Bannerman, Paul E. 1943-1945
Box 1, Folder 4
Brewer, Jimmie E. 1944
Box 1, Folder 5
Bullard, Ervin T. 1943
Box 1, Folder 6
Correll, Franklin E. 1943-1945
Box 1, Folder 7
Crew, James 1944
Box 1, Folder 8
Carver, Irving 1943-1944
Box 1, Folder 9
Davis, George W. 1942-1944
Box 1, Folder 10
Frink, J.C. 1942
Box 1, Folder 11
Gibson, Paul 1943-1945
Box 1, Folder 12
Krochmal, Ace 1942-1946
Box 1, Folder 13
Lentz, William 1942-1944
Box 1, Folder 14
Lewis, W.M. 1943-1944
Box 1, Folder 15
Maynard, Gerald 1942-1945
Box 1, Folder 16
Niswonger, George B. 1943
Box 1, Folder 17
Patton, James 1942
Box 1, Folder 18
Perlmutter, Frank 1942-1945
Box 1, Folder 19
Poe, Clarence 1943
Box 1, Folder 20
Purifoy, Dan 1942
Box 1, Folder 21
Robbins, Thomas J. 1943-1945
Box 1, Folder 22
Robbins, William Dudley 1942-1945
Box 1, Folder 23
Schmidt, Robert 1943-1945
Box 1, Folder 24
Schmidt, F. H. 1942-1945
Box 1, Folder 25
Sprinkle, George 1942-1943
Box 1, Folder 26
Thompson, Walton 1943-1944
Box 1, Folder 27
Tilley, Thomas M. 1942
Box 1, Folder 28
Tinga, Jacob 1942-1945
Box 1, Folder 29
Underwood, Von H. 1943-1945
Box 1, Folder 30
Vaughn, Jack 1943
Box 1, Folder 31
Watson, Van 1944-1945
Box 1, Folder 32
Whitfield, J. V. 1943
Box 1, Folder 33
Wilson, John 1943-1944
Box 1, Folder 34
Yancey, William 1943
Box 1, Folder 35
York, Thomas Lenoir 1943-1945
Box 1, Folder 36
Letters returned to sender 1943-1945
Box 1, Folder 37
Letters and address lists 1943-1944
Box 1, Folder 38
Unidentified photographs
Box 1, Folder 39
Personal Correspondence 1926-1975
Size: 1.25 linear feet

Contains a collection of personal correspondence (handwritten and typed). The correspondence is arranged chronologically.

2.5 archival boxes

February, 1926-June,1930
Box 2, Folder 1
September, 1930-November, 1931
Box 2, Folder 2
January, 1932-January, 1936
Box 2, Folder 3
April, 1936-July, 1937
Box 2, Folder 4
August, 1937-September, 1940
Box 2, Folder 5
October, 1940-September, 1941
Box 2, Folder 6
January, 1942-June, 1943
Box 2, Folder 7
June, 1943-November, 1945
Box 2, Folder 8
August, 1946-August, 1953
Box 2, Folder 9
October, 1953-December, 1955
Box 2, Folder 10
June, 1956-November, 1956
Box 2, Folder 11
March, 1957-November, 1958
Box 3, Folder 1
December, 1958-May, 1960
Box 3, Folder 2
June, 1960-December, 1961
Box 3, Folder 3
February, 1962-October, 1963
Box 3, Folder 4
December, 1963-October, 1965
Box 3, Folder 5
May, 1965-November, 1965
Box 3, Folder 6
December, 1965-December, 1967
Box 3, Folder 7
February,1968-December, 1968
Box 3, Folder 8
January, 1969-December, 1969
Box 3, Folder 9
February, 1979-November, 1970
Box 3, Folder 10
January, 1971-December, 1971
Box 3, Folder 11
January, 1972-October, 1972
Box 3, Folder 12
January, 1973-January-1974
Box 4, Folder 1
February, 1974-March, 1974
Box 4, Folder 2
April, 1974-August, 1974
Box 4, Folder 3
September, 1974-December, 1974
Box 4, Folder 4
January, 1975
Box 4, Folder 5
Virginia Polytechnic Institute (VPI) 1918-1969
Size: 0.25 linear feet

Contains VPI Alumni Association correspondence, fifty-year reunion correspondence and photos of VPI 1918 class. Throughout his life, M. E. Gardner remained in touch with his alma mater through the VPI Alumni Association, and through personal correspondence with classmates. Gardner took responsibility in 1968 for coordinating the fifty-year reunion of VPI's Class of 1918.

0.5 archival boxes

Alumni Association Correspondence 1926-1956
Box 4, Folder 6
50th Reunion, (1 of 2) 1968
Box 4, Folder 7
50th Reunion, (2 of 2) 1968
Box 4, Folder 8
General, (1 of 2) 1969 -1975
Box 4, Folder 9
General, (2 of 2) 1969-1975
Box 4, Folder 10
Photographs, [no date] 1918-1970
Box 4, Folder 11
Publications 1972
Box 4, Folder 12
Writings 1928-1967
Size: 0.75 linear feet

Gardner wrote prodigiously. His work appeared regularly in horticultural publications and in over 150 newspapers in North Carolina. As the head of North Carolina State University's horticultural department, Gardner collected material relevant to horticultural research and to the promotion of the State of North Carolina's production of horticultural products. Series contains typewritten copies of articles by Gardner that were used in university and horticultural publications with technical papers on the development of pest and disease resistant plant cultivars (Sequoia Potato) and an article on "The Origin of the Scuppernong Grape." Series contains newspaper articles written by Gardner. There are also copies of papers collected by Gardner that were written by members of the North Carolina State University Department of Horticulture and papers and articles written by members of North Carolina's Cooperative Extension Service. In addition, there are papers by other members of the region's horticultural industry. Contains material written to promote North Carolina's horticultural industry (fruit growers, vegetable/truck farming business, seed articles) and copies of news articles that reference M. E. Gardner as a source of information pertinent to the state's horticultural industry. Series also contains copies of news articles collected by Gardner with general information on North Carolina's horticultural industry, and copies of articles saved by Gardner that were of personal importance.

1.5 Boxes

M.E. Gardner
Research Papers
Box 5, Folder 1
[No date]
Box 5, Folder 2
[No date]
Box 5, Folder 3
[No date]
Box 5, Folder 4
[No date]
Box 5, Folder 5
Newspaper Articles
Box 5, Folder 6
N.C. State University Horticulture Department
Box 5, Folder 7
[No date]
Box 5, Folder 8
[No date]
Box 5, Folder 9
[No date]
Box 5, Folder 10
[No date]
Box 5, Folder 11
Newspaper Clippings
Quote or Reference M. E. Gardner
Box 6, Folder 1
Box 6, Folder 2
Box 6, Folder 3
North Carolina Horticultural Industry
Box 6, Folder 4
Box 6, Folder 5
Box 6, Folder 6
Certificates and Letters of Commendation 1944-1975
Size: 0.125 linear feet

Contains certificates of membership and appreciation and letters of commendation. Gardner's life and career were marked repeatedly with recognition for his accomplishments and his contributions to the horticultural industry, the world of academia and to the community at large. Series contains numerous certificates of achievement and appreciation.

0.25 archival boxes

General 1944-1975
Box 6, Folder 7
L. M. Ware Award February, 1961-July, 1961
Box 6, Folder 8
Fellow - American Horticultural Society September, 1967-January, 1968
Box 6, Folder 9
M.E. Gardner Arboretum 1972-1973
Size: 0.125 linear feet

A place that had once been a weed lot on the North Carolina State University campus was transformed in 1973 into the M. E. Gardner Arboretum. Series contains photographs of the M. E. Gardner Arboretum dedication ceremony, news articles, dedication ceremony program, personal correspondence and memorabilia relating to the arboretum's opening.

0.25 archival boxes

Program and Articles February, 1972-July, 1973
Box 6, Folder 10
Dedication and plaque
Box 6, Folder 11
Box 6, Folder 12
Box 6, Folder 13
Dedication, proofsheets and negatives
Box 6, Folder 14
Publications 1910-1975
Size: 0.5 linear feet

Series contains magazines and newsletters collected by Gardner over his career. The publications have a horticultural and academic focus. Material is dated from 1910-1975

1 archival box

Box 7, Folder 1
Box 7, Folder 2
Box 7, Folder 3
Box 7, Folder 4
Box 7, Folder 5

Access to the collection

This collection is open for research; access requires at least 48 hours advance notice.

For more information contact us via mail, phone, or our web form.

Mailing address:
Special Collections Research Center
Box 7111
Raleigh, NC, 27695-7111

Phone: (919) 515-2273

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Monroe Evans Gardner Papers, MC 00167, Special Collections Research Center, North Carolina State University Libraries, Raleigh, NC

Use of these materials

North Carolina State University does not own copyright to this collection. Individuals obtaining materials from the NCSU Libraries' Special Collections Research Center are responsible for using the works in conformance with United States copyright law as well as any donor restrictions accompanying the materials.