READING, John

This article originally appeared in Vol.60 No.2 of Pioneer Magazine

By Ronald W Andersen

John Reading joined the Church on July 3, 1853, and married Mary Ann Brown on May 29, 1856. She was nine years his senior and had been a member of the Church for almost 10 years. The year they married, they came in a wagon company to Utah.

John was a horticulturist and set about building a nursery. According to Andrew Jenson, Reading’s nurseries and flower gardens consisted of five large greenhouses covered with 7,000 square feet of glass, the most extensive nursery of its kind in Utah at the time.

An advertisement appearing in one of the old Salt Lake City directories read as follows:

JOHN READING
Nurseryman—Seedman
Florist—Evergreens—Fruit Trees
Ornamental Trees
Full stock of Field, Garden, and Flower Seeds
Bouquets, Wreaths, and Crosses for Weddings and Funerals—A SPECIALTY

The ubiquitous Lombardy poplar, seen everywhere in Utah, is native to Italy and other Mediterranean countries. John Reading is credited with introducing it into Utah in 1862.

On January 28, 1874, the Horticultural Society of Utah met and discussed the codling moth question. All were of the opinion that a united effort on the part of the owners of orchards in the infested districts would be necessary in order to destroy or even check the insect. John Reading stated that he was corresponding with gentlemen in the east who were qualified to give information that he would lay before the society as soon as received.

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