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Hybridizer Sydney B. Mitchell --(1878-1951)

Berkeley, California, USA

After an illness of six weeks, Sidney B. Mitchell passed away at his home in Berkeley, California. Mr. Mitchell, founder and Dean Emeritus of the University of California School of Librarianship, was seventy-three years of age at the time of his death. He is survived by his wife, Mrs. Rose Mitchell and his sister Mrs. C. A. MacKenzie, of Winnipeg, Canada.
....Prof. Mitchell was a native of Montreal, Canada, and held Bachelor and Master of Arts degrees from Magill University. Also he held an honorary Doctor of Literature degree from Occidental College. Having studied at the New York State Library School, he joined the University of California staff in 1911 and was appointed chairman of the department of library science in 1924. In 1927 he was named professor and director of the school of librarianship and in 1944 dean of the school. In 1946 he retired as Dean Emeritus.
....He was a member of the executive board of the American Library Association and former vice-president of the California Library Association, president of the Association of Library Schools, and a fellow of the American Library Institute. At one time he was advisory editor of the Library Quarterly.
....Throughout his life Prof. Mitchell was keenly interested in horticulture. Until recently he was president of the California Horticultural Society and editor of its journal. Widely acclaimed as a lecturer and speaker, he also was an author of world renown. His more recent works include Your California Garden and Mine and Iris for Every Garden. While other flowers interested him from time to time, it was the love for the tall bearded iris, brought with him from Canada when he moved to California, that remained with him until his final illness.
....He was active in the affairs of the AIS for many years and was a frequent contributor to the Bulletin. Prof. Mitchell was one of the sixteen writers who contributed to the Society's publication The Iris- An Ideal Hardy Perennial. Until very recently he was chairman of the Species Committee and for many years was Custodian of the California division of the Farr Memorial Library. His interest in breeding dates back to his association with the late William Mohr in the late 1920's. While his hybridizing work embraced a wide field, it was in the development of the large plicata and the large tetraploid yellow that he attained his greatest success.
....The Society's loss is irreplaceable in the death of this great man -- horticulturist, hybridizer, writer, speaker, wit, and above all else, thinker -- but the greatest loss is to those who were fortunate enough to have studied and worked under him and to those close to him who knew him and loved him as a friend. BAIS Jan.

Honored with the American Iris Society Hybridizer Award in 1941. A recent reflection on his impact is A Step into the Past of Iris Lore: Sydney B. Mitchell by Bryce Williamson, World of Irises blog, October 23, 2023.


Arilbred: 'Bellorio' 1923-24, 'Morera' 1928.

Intermediate Bearded: 'Dark Horse' 1936, 'Primavera' 1926. 'Valencia' 1926.

Tall Bearded: 'Advance Guard' 1945, 'Aida' 1938, 'Alameda' 1927, 'Alta California' 1931, 'Alvarado' 1926, 'Anaconda', 'Anza', 'Aphra' 1941, 'Asilomar', 'Aurifero' 1927, 'Azulado' 1923-24, 'Bali Belle' 1946, 'Bandollero' 1926, 'Bargain Day' 1950, 'Belle Brunette', 'BerkelyBelle', 'Berkely Copper', 'Bonita' 1928, 'Born Yesterday' 1950, 'Bravura' 1926, 'Bridal Veil', 'Carissima' 1936, 'California Gold' 1933, 'Charleston', 'Charm' 1937, 'Claridad' 1926, 'Color Harmony' 1954, 'Colusa', 'Conchita' 1928, 'Contra Costa' 1946, 'Coronado' 1925, 'Coronation Finery' 1954, 'Dark Magic' 1954, 'Dark Tower' 1950, 'Don Quixote' 1927, 'Dulcinea' 1925, 'Edith Laura' 1950, 'El Capitan' 1926, 'Elegante' 1931, 'Estrallon', 'Evening Storm' 1954, 'FairElaine', 'Fairy Foam' 1948, 'Fancy That', 'Fortuna' 1927, 'Frieda Mohr' 1926, 'Golden Bear' 1936, 'Good Fortune' 1945, 'Happy Days' 1934, 'Hayward', 'Hidalgo' 1925, 'Isabellina', 'La Playa' 1950, 'Los Angeles' 1927, 'Love Affair' 1946, 'Lovelace' 1948, 'Mariposa Mia' 1946, 'Mirasol' 1929, 'Mistress Mine', 'Misty Rose' 1943, 'Monterey' 1929, 'Mount Diablo' 1950, 'Mrs Sydney Mitchell', 'Naranja' 1935, 'Natividad' 1932, 'Obispo', 'Occidental' 1945, 'Oklahoma' 1945, 'Old Lace' 1945, 'Oruga' 1930, 'Padre' 1930, 'Peacemaker' 1934, 'Portola' 1935, 'Precious' 1945, 'Purissima' 1927, 'Querida' 1930, 'Rameldo' 1925, 'Raspberry Supreme' 1950, Rayo De Sol' 1930, 'Ronda' 1932, 'Rosy Asia' 1934, 'Rubeo' 1931, 'Sacramento' 1929, 'San Diego' 1929, 'San Luis Rey' 1928, 'San Rafael' 1930, 'Santa Barbara' 1925, 'Santa Clara' 1931, 'Santa Cruz' 1945, 'Santa Fe' 1930, 'Santa Maria', 'Santa Rosa' 1943, 'Senorita' 1928, 'Shasta' 1927, 'Silver Tower' 1950, 'So Sweet' 1954, 'Sonoma' 1929, 'Sorrel Top' 1943, 'Sunburst' 1937, 'Sunol' 1933, 'Suntan' 1935, 'Sylista', 'Taos' 1935, 'Valencia', 'Wayfarer' 1948, 'Woodmont Plume' 1954, 'Yuma' 1945.

Mitchell Sydney B

At the Nurseries of Messrs. Cayeux et Le Clerc. Photo by Percy Murrel, 1930 _Yearbook_
Left to right -- Sidney B. Mitchell, Geoffrey L. Pilkington, Olive Murrel, Ferdinand Cayeux, Rose Mitchell.

I Attachment Action Size Date Who Comment
1952_01_AIS Sydney B. Mitchell.pdfpdf 1952_01_AIS Sydney B. Mitchell.pdf manage 339 K 27 Nov 2023 - 20:18 UnknownUser In Memoriam
Mitchells_Pilk_Mur_F_Cay.jpgjpg Mitchells_Pilk_Mur_F_Cay.jpg manage 63 K 11 Jan 2011 - 15:57 UnknownUser Courtesy of Mike Lowe from original HIPS website
SydneyBMitchell (2).jpgjpg SydneyBMitchell (2).jpg manage 107 K 31 Dec 2018 - 20:12 UnknownUser AIS Bulletin 124(January 1952):9.
Topic revision: r35 - 17 May 2024, davepote
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