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Maxwell, Earl G. (1884-1966) | Purdue University Libraries, Archives and Special Collections

Name: Maxwell, Earl G. (1884-1966)

Historical Note:

Earl George Maxwell was born on October 23, 1884 in Indiana. He received a bachelor of science degree from Purdue University in 1910. Maxwell then went to the University of Nebraska in 1914 and worked on his master's degree. After his graduation in 1915, his first job was as an agricultural agent for Douglas County, Nebraska. He administered the Clarke-McNary Tree Distribution Program for Nebraska.

Maxwell taught at NU from 1915 to 1917 and in 1918 became the first county extension agent in Douglas County, serving for 12 years. As administrator of the Clarke-McNary Tree Distribution Program for 18 years, he distributed more than 20 million trees to farmers and ranchers in Nebraska.

Trees were not Maxwell's only interest. Friends called him "a searcher for beauty" and "a lover of woody plants and a keen observer of western plains flora." He became one of the state's leading wildflower experts and was a peony fancier whose plants won prizes in flower shows. As an evangelist for tree planting, Maxwell spoke to many garden clubs and civic groups and was known for ending his talks with recitations of poems of James Whitcomb Riley.

Maxwell died in 1966 at the age of 82. In 1967, the Earl G. Maxwell Arboretum, 5 acres on the East Campus of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, was named in his honor.


Retrieved August 6, 2010 from


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