E. Dexter Davis Papers (PP)

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The New York Botanical Garden
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This finding aid was produced in English.

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Collectors: Davis, E. Dexter, 1911-2000?.
Title: E. Dexter Davis Papers (PP)
Dates: 1930-1984
Dates: bulk, 1930-1938
Abstract: Collection consists of incoming and outgoing correspondence, newspaper clippings, plant lists, notes, and inventories.
Quantity: 16 folders; 1 box.
Call Phrase: E. Dexter Davis, (PP)

Biographies of E. Dexter Davis and Robert H. Montgomery

Very little is known about E. Dexter Davis. From the collection, it can be discerned that Davis was educated at Cornell University in the field of Horticulture. He began employment with the Montgomery Evergreen Nursery in August of 1931 and remained on staff for several years. He was originally from New York and relocated to Holliston, Massachusetts sometime before 1962, where he died around 2000.

Robert Montgomery acquired his Connecticut estate in 1920 and later willed the property to the town of Greenwich for use as a public park and a preserve for the hemlock and other rare conifers. Now refered to as the Montgomery Pinetum, it is operated by the Greenwich Garden Center. His other property, 83 acres of land in Coconut Grove, Florida, is now the site of the Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, dedicated in 1938 and named for David Fairchild, a close friend and plant explorer.

Montgomery became a leading tax authority and was an outstanding amateur horticulturist. In 1945 Montgomery donated approximately 200 specimens of pine, spruce, hemlock, yew and cedar trees to the New York Botanical Garden from his one-hundred acre estate, Wild Acres, in Cos Cob, Connecticut. His donation is currently the core of what is now called the Benenson Ornamental Conifer Collection. Montgomery also served on the Board of Managers of the New York Botanical Garden from 1935 until his death in 1953.

Montgomery wrote many professional papers and received numerous honors, including an honorary degree from Dickinson College in 1941, election to the Accounting Hall of Fame at Ohio State University in 1950, and the Frank N. Meyer Medal of the American Genetic Association in 1951 for his contributions to horticulture. Several of the books he wrote, a memorial biography, and a pamphlet about the Pinetum are in the Garden's LuEsther T. Mertz Library.

Scope and Content

The papers of E. Dexter Davis are devoted to plant lists, notes and correspondence regarding the Montgomery Pinetum in Cos Cob, Connecticut, as well as Davis' employment history with the Montgomery Evergreen Nursery. Included are notes and correspondence from Robert H. Montgomery, founder of the Montgomery Pinetum as well as correspondence from other nursery staff and members of the Greenwich Garden Center, of which the Montgomery Pinetum is currently a part of.


The collection is organized into two series:
Series 1: Montgomery Pinetum. 1930-1984 and undated. Arranged chronologically.
Series 2: Correspondence. 1931-1984 and undated. Arranged alphabetically.


Access restrictions

This collection is open for research with permission from Mertz Library staff.


Requests for permission to publish material from the collection should be submitted in writing to the LuEsther T. Mertz Library of the New York Botanical Garden.

Indexing Terms

The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.
Davis, E. Dexter, 1911-2000?
Montgomery, Robert Hiester, 1872-1953.
Horticulture--New York State.
Cos Cob (Conn.)
Montgomery Pinetum.
New York Botanical Garden.
Document Types
inventories. aat.
letters (correspondence). aat.

Related Material

New York Botanical Garden.

VF Montgomery, Col. and Mrs. Robert H.

PP Robert H. Montgomery Photographs

Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden.

Robert H. Montgomery Collection

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

E. Dexter Davis (PP), Archives, The New York Botanical Garden.

Acquisition Information

This collection was donated to the New York Botanical Garden by Robert Fincham in December 2000.

Processing Information

Processed April 2005 by Kathleene Konkle under a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) PA-50678-04.

Container List


Series 1. Montgomery Pinetum.

Scope and Content:

This series contains inventories, plant lists, notes, and a narrative of the history of the Montgomery Pinetum written by both Robert H. Montgomery and E. Dexter Davis. There are also miscellaneous newspaper clippings regarding Montgomery in his professional capacity as an accountant; also includes road maps of his properties located in Greenwich, Connecticut and Coconut Grove, Florida.

Folder Title Date
1.1 Random Notes on Conifers undated
1.2 List of Seeds and Plants Not Represented undated
1.3 Notes and narrative-Montgomery Pinetum History undated
1.4 Mortality List 1930-1934
1.5 Checklist of Conifers 1930/1934
1.6 Inventory of Propagated Material 1934
1.7 Miscellaneous Clippings 1934/1937/1983
1.8 Greenwich (Conn.) Garden Center 1962/1984

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Series 2. Correspondence.

Scope and Content:

This series contains incoming and outgoing correspondence of E. Dexter Davis. Correspondence between Robert Montgomery and Thomas Little covers Mr. Davis' employment at the Montgomery Evergreen Nursery in Cos Cob, Connecticut, as well as requests for grafts and clippings. Correspondence with lawyer George Blattmachr includes a statement by Mr. Davis that testifies to the nature of Montgomery's nursery as a for-profit venture.also includes a two miscellaneous photos of Montgomery and conifers donated to NYBG.

Folder Title Date
1.9 Blattmachr, George 1938
1.10 Fincham, Robert 1984
1.11 Graves, George 1938
1.12 Greenwich Garden Center 1962-1968
1.13 Jennings, C.S. 1938
1.14 Little, Thomas W. 1935-1938
1.15 Montgomery, Robert H. 1931-1938
1.16 New York Botanical Garden 1962
1.17 Photographs-Portrait of R.H. Montgomery and Montgomery conifers donated to NYBG ca. 1950s

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