Whitman Howard Jordan, director of the New York Agricultural Experiment Station. at Geneva, Ontario county, New York, since 1896, is most thoroughly conversant with every detail of the important work entrusted to his care. His life has always been an active one, and he is one of those restless, energetic men whose whole lives are an incessant battle to overcome problems the solution of which will be of inestimable benefit to the great cause of humanity.
James Jordan, father of Whitman H. Jordan, was horn in Raymond, Maine, January 3, 1806. The active years of his life were spent in the pursuit of agriculture, in which he was eminently successful. His religious affiliations were with the Free Baptist denomination, and his political support was given to the Republican party. He married Sarah Symonds, who was born in Raymond, Maine, April 6, 1809.
Whitman Howard, son of James and Sarah (Symonds) Jordan, was born in Raymond, Maine, October 27, 1851. His elementary education was obtained in the rural district school and he then attended the Nichols’ Latin School, in Lewiston, Maine. Subsequently he was a student at the University of Maine, which conferred upon him the degree of Bachelor of Science. He was then engaged for some time with graduate work at Cornell University. Later the University of Maine conferred upon him the degrees of Master of Science and Doctor of Science, and the Michigan Agricultural College bestowed that of Doctor of Laws. He was his father’s assistant on the farm until he entered college at the age of twenty years and in this manner gained a practical knowledge of all the details of farm cultivation which proved of inestimable value in his later studies. After his graduation he was the principal of Dennysville High School, Dennysville, Maine; assistant to Dr. W. O. Atwater, 1878-79; instructor at the University of Maine, 1879-80; professor of agriculture and agricultural chemistry, Pennsylvania State College, 188185; director of the Maine Agricultural Experiment Station, 1885-96; director of the New York Agricultural Experiment Station at Geneva, 1896, to the present time. Mr. Jordan has been the fortunate discoverer of some exceedingly valuable facts concerning scientific cultivation in the course of his numerous experiments, and his bold and enterprising methods, combined with the careful execution bestowed upon the numerous experiments undertaken by him, lead frequently to results which cannot be too highly estimated and which are of universal benefit. Mr. Jordan is a supporter of Republican principles, and while taking a lively and earnest interest in all matters concerning the public welfare has never aspired to political office, deeming his time best employed when attending to the duties which he nearest to him. He is a member of the Patrons of Husbandry and the University Club of Geneva, and attends the services at the Presbyterian church. In financial circles his opinion is regarded as carrying authority, and he has been elected and is serving as a trustee of the Geneva Savings Bank. He is a man of social disposition but finds little time to spend in social gatherings, preferring to devote his spare hours to the reading of publications connected with the subjects in which he has so deep an interest.
Mr. Jordan married at Orono, Maine, March 3, 1880, Emma Louise, daughter of Nathaniel and Abigail A. (Colburn) Wilson; they have no children. Mr. Wilson was a lawyer and served as a member of the Maine legislature.