Stark Brothers Nurseries and Orchards

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Stark Brothers Nurseries were the marketers of the Red Delicious and the Golden Delicious apple.


In 1816, James Hart Stark moved from Kentucky to Louisiana, Missouri. He brought with him a bundle of apple scions. From his bundle he started a nursery business. They bought the rights to the Red Delicious apple in 1893.[1]

In 1914, the Stark Golden Delicious apple was discovered and developed. The original tree was found on the Mullins' family farm in Clay County, West Virginia and was locally known as Mullin's Yellow Seedling and Annit apple. Anderson Mullins sold the tree and propagation rights to Stark Brothers Nurseries, which first marketed it as a companion to their Red Delicious in 1914.[2][3]

They collaborated with Luther Burbank who willed over 750 of his varieties to the company.[1]

In June 2001 the possibility of closure to Stark Brothers Nurseries, Louisiana, Missouri's oldest and largest employer, famous worldwide for the fruit trees it grew and sold was a reality. [4] However, the alarm was short-lived. By fall of that year, Stark Bro's was back as two separate business Stark Bro's Fulfillment Services and Stark Brothers Nurseries and Orchards.


  • James Hart Stark[1]
  • Clay Stark Logan[5]


  1. ^ a b c "The Beginning". Stark Brothers Nurseries. Retrieved 2008-07-27. "In 1816, James Hart Stark and a small band of pioneers moved west from Kentucky and settled on the west bank of the Mississippi in a place that would later become Louisiana, Missouri. ..." [dead link]
  2. ^ Higgins, Adrian (August 5, 2005). "Why the Red Delicious No Longer Is. Decades of Makeovers Alter Apple to Its Core.". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2008-07-27. "When Stark's successors, in a similar stunt, found and named the Golden Delicious growing in West Virginia in 1914, the Delicious became Red Delicious." 
  3. ^ "Dunbar Man 'Discoverer' of Golden Delicious Apple". Charleston Daily Mail. October 18, 1962. Retrieved 2008-07-27. "The Starks sent a man to look at the tree, just like you've heard, and they bought the tree and the ground for 30 feet around it, and eventually they fenced it. They were to get all the fruit from the tree, down to the last apple." 
  4. ^ "Louisiana, Mo., Survives by Adapting to Change". (April 2008). Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis: [1]
  5. ^ Yang, Linda (July 11, 1991). "Year-Round Beauty, And the Berries Aren't Bad, Either". New York Times. Retrieved 2008-07-27. "Small fruiting plants like blueberries are becoming increasingly popular with homeowners, said Clay Stark Logan, president of Stark Brothers Nursery of Louisiana, Mo. "Probably only strawberries are presently more popular," said Mr. Logan, whose family-owned company, which dates to 1816, ships fruiting plants nationwide." 

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