Berckmans, Prosper Julius A.–(1829-1910)–Augusta,
Georgia–was born near Brussels, Belgium in 1829. Spent his boyhood
on the estates of his father, Dr. Louis Berckmans, who was a noted horticulturist.
He was educated in France and when he returned home to Belgium in 1847,
he spent the next three years working on his father’s estates and studying
botany at the Botanical Gardens of Brussels. In 1850 Berckmans came
to the United States, and in 1851, Prosper’s father, Dr. Berckmans, brought
his family and a great collection of plants to a farm in Plainfield, New
Jersey. Prosper moved south in 1857 to establish the Fruitland Nurseries,
near Augusta, Georgia by purchasing a half interest in the nurseries of
D. Redmond. The following year he bought the other half interest
and became sole owner. Berckmans imported seeds, cuttings, and plants.
In the later years he grew many different kinds of camellias and plants
suited to the Georgia climate. He became a life member of the American
Pomological Society in 1860 and was elected president in 1887. He
founded the Georgia State Horticultural Society in 1876 and was its president
until his death in 1910. In 1883-84 he went to Europe for the U.
S. government to collect horticultural exhibits for the New Orleans Exposition
of 1884-1885. He was the editor of Farmer and Gardener for
several years. He retired in 1907.
CHSJ-Apr. 1966; Slosson;