Wilder, Marshall Pinckney 1798-1886
Wilder was a distinguished amateur pomologist and floriculturist. He inherited a love of country life and chose farm work in preference to a college education. He finally became a prosperous Boston merchant. He purchased a suburban home at Dorchester, Massachusetts and developed there a pear orchard containing at one time 800 cultivars. During his life he tested 1200 cultivars of pears and exhibited 404 in 1873. He produced several new cultivars and introduced the Beuree d'Anjou cultivar. He imported many fruits and flowers into this country.
He had a Camellia collection of 300 cultivars at one time and raised many new kinds. He also had a notable collection of Azaleas. In fact he was the first to import, cultivate or exhibit in this country hardy kinds of Azalea, the Japanese lilies, and other now well known species.
His greatest services to horticulture were connected with the Massachusetts Horticultural Society and the American Pomological Society, the latter of which he was one of the founders. The American Pomological Society is still extant and established the "Wilder Medal" which is given to pomologists who have contributed most to evaluation and improvement of cultivars of various kinds of fruit in this country.