Harold H. Hume (1875-1965)
St. Mary Nurseries Company
State Plant Board
Inter-American Institute of Agricultural Sciences
Cultivation of Citrus Fruit
Grand Old Man of Agriculture
H. Harold Hume was born in Russell, Ontario, Canada in 1875. He attended Ontario Agricultural College and Iowa State College, receiving BS and MS degrees in 1899 and 1901. Hume began his career in 1904 at the Florida Agricultural College at Lake City (which later became the University of Florida). Not long after Hume was employed as secretary and general manager of the St. Mary Nurseries Company, a leading producer of citrus trees. From 1917 through 1929, Hume served as President and then Chairman of the Board. Hume continued his research and writing, authoring numerous publications, including “Cultivation of Citrus Fruits” (1926), which became a standard in the field and enjoyed many editions, the last of which appeared in 1957.
In 1930 Hume joined the faculty at the University of Florida and in 1938 became the dean of the College of Agriculture. Hume progressed steadily in the administration at the University. In 1943 he became provost for agriculture and in 1947-1948 he served as interim president. Hume was known for spending at least ten hours each day in the president’s office, but he always found time to tend to the affairs of the College of Agriculture. He often spent his lunch hour in his office speaking with department heads, students, or anyone who wished to see him.
Subsequently, Hume was named chairman of the administrative committee of the Inter-American Institute of Agricultural Sciences and was later recognized with an honorary doctor of science degree from Clemson University.
As President of the Florida State Horticultural Society, Hume helped develop standards to control shipment of immature fruit and was instrumental in establishing the State Plant Board. Hume remained provost of the School of Agriculture until he retired on June 30, 1949, after which he continued his work in the field as author of several articles and books. Affectionately known as the “Grand Old Man of Agriculture,” Hume died four months after his 90th birthday on Oct. 10, 1965.