Topic: Thomas Meehan

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Thomas Meehan (21 March 1826 Potters Bar, which was in Middlesex at the time and is now in Hertfordshire, England – 19 November 1901), was a noted British-born nurseryman, botanist and author. He worked as a Kew gardener in 1846–1848, and thereafter he moved to Germantown in Philadelphia. He was the founder of Meehan’s Monthly (1891–1901) and editor of Gardener’s Monthly (1859–1888).

Meehan grew up on the Isle of Wight. His interest in plants was sparked by his father, who was a gardener. He published his first botanical contribution at age fourteen, which led to his membership of the Wernernian Society. His knowledge and skills resulted in his securing a position at Kew Gardens from 1846 to 1848, where he was influenced by William Jackson Hooker.

Meehan travelled to Philadelphia in 1848 and worked for the owner of Bartram's Garden, who was pioneer locomotive builder Andrew M. Eastwick (1811–1879) and who, with Thomas De Kay and Joseph Harrison, had contracted to build the first railroad in Russia . Meehan started a nursery in partnership with William Saunders in Germantown near Philadelphia, where he lived with his family for the rest of his life. When his business with Saunders ended, he started Meehan’s Nurseries, which became Thomas Meehan & Sons in 1896. His three sons Thomas B. Meehan, Mendelson Meehan and J. Franklin Meehan also had notable careers while they ran the nursery. J. Franklin designed parks and golf courses including Spring Ford Country Club, Ashborne Country Club and North Hills (originally called Edge Hill Golf Club). He left Edge Hill to design Sandy Run Country Club, where he also served as its first president.

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