Biographies of American Seedsmen and Nurserymen Vaughan, John Charles–Chicago, Illinois–started out selling nursery stock but began selling seeds when his customers started asking for seed.  He opened his first store, called Vaughan’s Seed Store, in the ‘loop’ of Chicago in 1876.  Later the greenhouse trade started asking for horticultural supplies, and the Vaughan Seed Company expanded their business to include those supplies.  Vaughan issued eight different catalogs annually, each one designed for a specific market.  Its Corn and Potato Manual of 1882 addressed its customers in academic terms to satisfy a growing public interest in scientific agriculture. It was filled with dissertations on botany, chemistry, and biblical references to plants.   The company was later headed by Leonard H. Vaughan and then John C. Vaughan II.  In the late 1950s, the company bought the Merion Bluegrass seed market and became one of the dominant figures in the grass seed market.  It was during this time that the company expanded outside of Chicago to Bound Brook, New Jersey.  With the expansion of the business in the 1960s, the company moved to Downers Grove, Illinois.  At that time they discontinued their home garden catalog and concentrated on the commercial market.   In 1972, the company bought the Jacklin Seed Co., Inc. of Dishman, Washington.   The company then became known as the Vaughan-Jacklin Corp.  Many other companies were absorbed into the business in the 1970s. In July 1989, Sandoz Corp. purchased the company, and then Novartis Seeds purchased the Sandoz Corp.   Novartis Seeds is now the world’s second largest seed company.  The U.S. headquarters remain in Downers Grove, Illinois.  Today the company operates in three major areas: horticultural plant products, plastic products, and grass seed production and marketing.
Sources:  NB; GG; Hort