Sunday, March 31, 2013

Ezra Parmalee Prentice

Ezra Parmalee Prentice was born on the 29th July 1863 in Davenport, Scott in the state of Iowa, United States of America.  He is the son of Sartell and Jemima Prentice (nee Parmalee).  His father was born in New York and his mother was born in Vermont

Ezra studied at Harvard University from where he got a degree in non-Judicial Law

In the census of 1900, Ezra was living in Tower Place in the North Town area of the City of Chicago with his parents, his father was a real estate broker and Ezra was practicing as a lawyer

Ezra married Alta Rockefeller, the third daughter of oil tycoon John D Rockefeller and his wife Laura Celestia Spelman in 1901

Alta and Ezra had two children, John Rockefeller Prentice born in 1902 and Mary Adeline Prentice born in 1907

In the census of 1910, Ezra and Alta are living at Fifty Third Street, Manhattan, New York City with their two children John Rochefeller and Mary Adeline Prentice and Era continues to practice as a lawyer.  In the same year, Ezra and Alta bought 1,400 acres of land near Williamstown, Massachusetts that would later be known as Mt Hope Farm

Ezra and Alta's youngest child, Spelman Prentice was born on 1911

In the census of 1920, Ezra and Alta continue to live in Manhattan, New York City where Ezra continues to practice as a lawyer while all his three children are living at home and are students

In the early 1920's Ezra would become acutely aware of and concerned with the increased global population and the interplay of hunger and history.  Mt Hope Farm would be used to conduct research to improve farm animals, poultry, sheep, swine and cattle and he built a 72 room summer home called Elm Tree House on Mount Hope Farm which was completed in 1928

In the census of 1930, Ezra was living with his wife Alta and three children at West Fifty Third Street, New York.  The considered value of his property at that time was $200,000

In the 1930s and 1940s, Ezra employed several geneticists to develop more profitable farm animals, especially cattle and poultry. He would later write a book which was published in 1944 by Harper and Brothers.  The book was called Food, War and the Future which was about agriculture and the supply of food

Ezra died on the 17 Dec 1955, aged 92

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