Woman of the Century/Annie L. Jack
JACK, Mrs. Annie L., horticulturist, born in Northamptonshire, England, 1st January, 1839. ANNIE L. JACK. She is of English blood. Her maiden name was Annie L. Hayr, a name well known to readers of the "Waverley Magazine," to which periodical she contributed many articles. In 1852 she came to America and was at once sent to Mrs. Willard's seminary in Troy, N. Y. There her literary talent was recognized and developed. One of her first published productions was a school composition, an allegory, which Mrs. Willard caused to be published in the Troy "Daily Times." Before she was sixteen years old, she passed the required examination and gained a position as first-assistant teacher in the city free schools. After a time she moved to Canada, where she became the wife of Mr. Jack, a Scotch fruit-grower of intelligence and position, a man of sterling worth. Mrs. Jack found congenial surroundings and employment on their fruit farm, called "Hillside," which is beautifully situated on the Chateauguay river. The home is one of culture, refinement and prosperity. Mrs. Jack has made herself widely known as a writer on horticultural subjects, in which field she is a recognized authority. She has won several prizes in competition in the "Rural New Yorker" and other periodicals. The family at Hillside is made up of five daughters and six sons, and (heir varied tastes and requisitions have kept the mother busy. Her oldest son developed a taste for botany and entomology, and he is now on the staff of the Harvard Arboretum and a regular contributor to the columns of the New York "Garden and Forest." Another son has developed a talent for scientific writing. The family are noted for clear and wholesome thinking, and the genius of both parents is seen reflected in each member. Mrs. Jack's literary friends and acquaintances are chiefly Americans. Her success in horticulture attracted the attention of the venerable John Greenleaf Whittier, who in a letter to her wrote: "Many women desire to do these things, but do not know how to succeed as thou hast done." Her library contains many fruit and farm books, but not all her work is given to the tempting grapes, strawberries, raspberries, apples and other fruits to whose culture she has given so much attention. During all the busy years of her farm life she has found time to write poems and short stories by the score. One series of stories, showing the fields of work that are open to women, attracted much attention, and it resulted in an order from "Harper's Young People" for an article on that subject from her pen. To the Montreal " Witness," over the pen-name "Loyal Janet," she contributed a series of Scotch articles that hit upon social topics. Mrs. Jack's management of her home has shown that it is possible to make a farm-house a home of comfort, refinement and luxury, with art, music, flowers and education quite as much at command as in the crowded towns. In Hillside all the Scotch and English home traditions are preserved, and the accomplished mistress has made the country farm-house one of the landmarks of the Dominion of Canada.