Webber, Herbert John, 1865-1946

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Herbert John Webber was born on a farm near Lawton, Mich. on Dec. 27, 1865, spent his childhood in Iowa and Lincoln, Neb., and attended the Univ. of Nebraska, receiving his B.S. in 1889 and M.A. in 1890. He married Lucene Anna Hardin in 1890, and in 1892 accepted a position with the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture and was sent to Eustis, Fla. with Walter T. Swingle to investigate citrus diseases. In 1907, he became professor at Cornell University, and from 1909-10 also served as acting director of the New York State College of Agriculture. In 1912, Webber accepted an offer from Univ. of Calif. to become director of the Citrus Experiment Station in Riverside and Dean of the Graduate School of Subtropical Agriculture; in 1919-20, he moved to Berkeley to become Director of the Calif. Agricultural Experiment Station. He resigned in 1920 to become general manager of the Pedigreed Seed Co. of Hartsville, S.C., but in Oct. 1921 returned to Berkeley as professor of Subtropical Horticulture and Director of the Citrus Experiment Station. During a sabbatical in 1924-25, he studied their citrus industries for the governments of South Africa and Rhodesia. The Webbers returned to Calif. in 1926, residing in Riverside, where he retired as Director of the Citrus Exp. Station in 1929; Webber died on Jan. 18, 1946.

From the description of Herbert J. Webber papers, 1886-1946. (University of California, Berkeley). WorldCat record id: 85035722


Herbert J. Webber was born on December 27, 1865 in Lawton, Michigan. His family moved to Nebraska in 1883. Dr. Webber earned both his Bachelors degree and his Masters degree from the University of Nebraska. On September 8,1890 he married fellow University on Nebraska student Lucene Anna Hardin. Between 1890-1892 Dr. Webber worked as a botany assistant at Washington University in St. Louis Missouri. In 1892, he was offered a position with the US Department of Agriculture as an assistant pathologist and was sent to Florida to study citrus disease. This is where he met Walter T. Swingle, a fellow plant scientist. Dr. Webber and Walter Swingle would collaborate and publish research together many times throughout their scientific careers. Dr. Webber earned his Ph.D from Washington University in 1901 after discovering motile antherozoids in Zamia plants. In 1907 Cornell University asked Dr. Webber to come to New York and lead the new department of experimental plant biology. He also served as the director of the New York State College of Agriculture between 1909 and 1910. In 1912 Dr. Webber was appointed director of the new Citrus Experiment Station (CES) in Riverside, California. He was also named dean of the graduate school of subtropical agriculture. Dr. Webber would spend the next 30 years involved in the orchards at CES. Between 1923-1924, Dr. Webber traveled to South America where he studied the South American citrus industry as a special commissioner. He returned to Riverside California in 1926. Even though Dr. Webber retired in 1936 and became professor emeritus he continued his scientific research focusing on citrus, avocado and guava. The first volume of his book The Citrus Industr y was published in 1943. Dr. Webber died on January 18, 1946 in Riverside, California.

  • 1865:: Born in Lawton, Michigan on December 27.
  • 1889:: Received a B.S. degree from the University of Nebraska.
  • 1889:: Accepted a position as a botany assistant at the University of Nebraska.
  • 1890:: Married Lucene Anna Hardin on September 8.
  • 1892:: Accepted a position as an Assistant Pathologist at the US Department of Agriculture.
  • 1897:: Moved to Washington DC and was promoted to physiologist in charge of plant breeding.
  • 1901:: Received his Ph.D from Washington University in St. Louis Missouri.
  • 1907:: Moved to New York to become the head professor of plant breeding at Cornell University.
  • 1913:: Relocated to Riverside California to become the director of the new Citrus Experiment Station and the dean of the graduate school of subtropical agriculture.
  • 1919:: Became the director of the California Agricultural Experiment Station in Berkeley, California.
  • 1923:: Traveled to South Africa to study the citrus industry and agriculture.
  • 1929:: Retired as the director of the Citrus Experiment Station in Riverside, California to focus on his scientific investigations.
  • 1936:: Retired at age 70 and became professor emeritus.
  • 1943:: Published the first volume of The Citrus Industry with Dr. Batchelor.
  • 1946:: Died in Riverside, California on January 18,

From the guide to the Herbert J. Webber papers., 1894-1968, undated, 1915-1944, (Rivera Library. Special Collections Department.)

Role Title Holding Repository
Direct Relationships
Relation Name
associatedWith Abrams, Le Roy, 1874-1956. person
associatedWith California Agricultural Experiment Station. corporateBody
associatedWith Citrus Experiment Station (Riverside, Calif.) corporateBody
associatedWith Ellis, Job Bicknell, 1829-1905. person
associatedWith Fairchild, David, 1869-1954. person
associatedWith Howard, Walter Lafayette, 1872-1949. person
correspondedWith Immigration Restriction League (U.S.). corporateBody
associatedWith Jenkins, Anna Eliza, 1886-. person
associatedWith Jepson, Willis Linn, 1867-1946. person
associatedWith Kellogg, Theo. S. person
associatedWith Powell, Harold Clark, 1900-1938 person
correspondedWith Provine, William B. person
associatedWith Smuts, Jan Christiaan, 1870-1950. person
associatedWith Swingle, Walter T. (Walter Tennyson), 1871-1952. person
associatedWith Topswain, Thomas. person
associatedWith Trelease, William, 1857-1945. person
associatedWith Tukey, Harold Bradford. person
associatedWith University of California (1868-1952). College of Agriculture. corporateBody
associatedWith University of California (1868-1952). Dept. of Agriculture. corporateBody
associatedWith University of California Riverside. Citrus Research Center and Agricultural Experiment Station, corporateBody
associatedWith Vasey, George, 1822-1893. person
Place Name Admin Code Country
United States
South Africa
Citrus fruit industry
Botanical gardens


Birth 1865-12-27

Death 1946-01-18


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