See also

Family of David Grandison FAIRCHILD and Marian Hubbard "Daisy" BELL

Husband: David Grandison FAIRCHILD

  • Name:

  • David Grandison FAIRCHILD

  • Sex:

  • Male

  • Father:

  • -

  • Mother:

  • -

  • Birth:

  • Apr 7, 1869

  • East Lansing, Ingham County, MI

  • Death:

  • Aug 6, 1954 (age 85)

  • Coconut Grove, Dade County, FL

Wife: Marian Hubbard "Daisy" BELL

Child 1: Alexander "Sandy" Graham Bell FAIRCHILD

  • Name:

  • Alexander "Sandy" Graham Bell FAIRCHILD

  • Sex:

  • Male

  • Birth:

  • Aug 17, 1906

  • Washington, DC

  • Death:

  • Feb 10, 1994 (age 87)

  • Gainesville, FL

Child 2: Barbara Lathrop FAIRCHILD

  • Name:

  • Barbara Lathrop FAIRCHILD

  • Sex:

  • Female

  • Birth:

  • Mar 18, 1909

  • Washington, DC

  • Death:

  • Jan 18, 1998 (age 88)


Child 3: Nancy Bell FAIRCHILD

  • Name:

  • Nancy Bell FAIRCHILD

  • Sex:

  • Female

  • Birth:

  • Nov 6, 1912

  • Washington, DC

  • Death:

  • 1976 (age 63-64)

  • Washtenaw, MI

Note on Husband: David Grandison FAIRCHILD

David Grandison Fairchild was born in East Lansing, Michigan on April

7, 1869. In 1888 Fairchild graduated from Kansas State University of

Agriculture, Manhattan. He also conducted graduate work at the

University of Iowa, Iowa City, and at Rutgers College, New Jersey.

In 1889 Fairchild joined the United States Department of Agriculture

(USDA) in Washington, D.C. as a botanist and plant explorer in the

plant pathology section. Fairchild searched the world for plants of

economic and aesthetic value that might be cultivated in the United

States. Excursions throughout the orient fostered in Fairchild a

passion for exploration and tropical horticulture -- an interest he

would pursue throughout this life.

In 1897-98, Fairchild helped fellow explorer Walter T. Swingle

organize the USDA's Office of Foreign Seed and Plant Introduction;

from 1904 to 1928, Fairchild served as its Chairman. During that time,

many kinds of plants were introduced into the country. Dr. Fairchild

was instrumental in establishing several plant introduction gardens

throughout the U. S. to screen plants with a potential to improve the

diets and industry of Americans.

Among the facilities established by the Office of Foreign Seed and

Plant Introduction was a new subtropical laboratory and garden in

Miami. Fairchild's associate Walter Swingle convinced railroad tycoon

Henry Flagler to give the USDA an acre of land along Biscayne Bay to

be used for construction of a laboratory to study plant diseases. He

also persuaded another historic Miamian, Mary Brickell, to give him

six acres across Brickell Avenue from Flagler's plot for use as a

plant introduction site. In 1898 the USDA decided to lease, not own,

these properties and the tropical agricultural program took off in

earnest. Fairchild visited the garden in 1898, his first trip to


In 1903, Fairchild became acquainted with Alexander Graham Bell and

his family in Washington DC. Two years later, he married Bell's

daughter, Marian Hubbard ("Daisy") Bell, and the couple settled in

Chevy Chase, outside of Washington DC. Their son Alexander ("Sandy")

was born in the summer of 1906; daughter Barbara was born in spring

1909. In 1917, the Fairchilds began wintering in Coconut Grove. They

purchased property at 4013 Douglas Road, naming it "The Kampong"

(which means 'a cluster of houses' in Malay). Fairchild continued to

travel all over the world collecting plant specimens and brought them

back to his Coconut Grove home. In 1928, he and Marian built a

two-story residence there, amid some of his collections. When

Fairchild retired several years later, the Kampong became the family's

permanent residence.

A new area of interest developed for Fairchild in 1929 -- the movement

to establish a national park in the southern Everglades. As the first

president of the Tropical Everglades Park Association, Fairchild

brought his considerable reputation to the movement. He wrote essays,

accompanied inspection parties, and provided testimony regarding the

region's natural values.

The plant introduction facility that Swingle and Fairchild established

in Miami moved to southern Dade County in 1921, after the War

Department offered the abandoned Chapman Field to the USDA. On April

26, 1923, the first trees were planted at the new USDA Plant

Introduction Garden at Chapman Field. The period of great plant

explorations continued unabated through the 1930s, with Fairchild and

others bringing thousands of new plant specimens into the station for


Dr. David Fairchild died on Aug. 6, 1954, in Coconut Grove, Florida.

He is credited with overseeing the introduction of more than 80,000

species and varieties of plants into the United States, among them the

flowering cherry, Chinese soy bean, pistachios, nectarines, bamboo,

avocados, East Indian mangoes and horseradish. Fairchild also wrote

several books, including Exploring for Plants, (1930) and the

autobiographical The World Was My Garden (1938).