Historical portrait of a man
Professor William Saunders
© William James Topley / Library and Archives Canada / PA-140405 / Copyright: expired

William Saunders was designated a national historic person in May 1952.

Historical importance: Expert in scientific agriculture, director of the Experimental farms branch of Department of Agriculture.

Commemorative plaque:

Born in England, William Saunders came to Canada in 1848 and became a pharmacist. A recognized expert in scientific agriculture, he was appointed director of the new Experimental Farms Branch of the federal Department of Agriculture in 1886. There, he created many promising varieties of fruit and grain, and began the research which led to the development of Marquis wheat by his son, Charles. Co-founder of the Royal Society of Canada and president in 1906–1907, Saunders was a distinguished member of numerous learned societies and author of many ground-breaking articles, papers, and reports. He lived here.

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