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June 6th, 2013 by Samuel Mix

Hadwen Arboretum #2

May 11, 2013

Since I last posted, I did an online search on Hadwen Arboretum and Obadiah Hadwen to see what comes up. For the arboretum, Wikipedia has only a scant four sentences:

Hadwen Arboretum is an arboretum in Worcester, Massachusetts. Located in Worcester’s West Side, it is owned and protected by nearby Clark University. The arboretum was bequeathed to Clark by Obadiah Hadwen for historical and ecological purposes upon his death in 1907. A 1978 report by Clark students cataloged 40 different types of trees in the area.

It was categorized as a “wikipedia stub.”  The link is below.

Wikipedia article for Obadiah was not much bigger. It talked about where he lived, what he did, where he when to school, and that he gave Clark University his home (aka Hadwen Arboretum). Very basic.

Clark also has some historical notes on its website, in the form of a PDF from 2006 ( It was the main reference for the two Wikipedia articles, and was written by Greg Doerschler (Clark’s Outing Club adviser) for “talking points”. It had a little bit more information about the arboretum and Mr. Hadwen. I learned that the school had thought of selling or developing the arboretum a few times. I want to know more about this.

At this point, I realized very that I couldn’t understand the arboretum without understating the Man…

The group HAS TREES, is a student group focusing on Hadwen Arboretum. As a member, I was given Obadiah Hadwen’s obituary from The Worcester Magazine, providing many additional details about the man. He was in many ways a Clarkie. His experience with plants began early while working as a farmer. While he eventually became Worcester’ biggest milk producer, he remained incredibly passionate about agriculture and horticulture. He became well respected in these fields, and was involved in numerous clubs and societies. He had dipped his toes into politics. He was also a very important board member at both UMASS and the park commission. After look over his obituary and seeing what he had done, it was clear to me that he was someone special.

Looking at the Clark University’s Arboretum historical notes, it revealed that the information was obtained from Clark’s rare book collection/archives. I know now where I am going to go next.

Read more from Sam Mix, Social Sciences

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