Grady Auvil

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Grady Auvil (December 7, 1905 – December 28, 1998[1]) was the founder of the Auvil Fruit Company.

He established the Washington Tree Fruit Research Commission and first cultivated the Granny Smith apple in the United States. In addition, Auvil received the state of Washington's highest honor, The Washington Medal of Merit, from Governor Gary Locke.


Grady Auvil was born on December 7, 1905, in Yeager, West Virginia, to Llewellyn Auvil and Ida (Ashworth) Auvil. At the age of two years, Auvil's family moved to Entiat in Washington state. Auvil was raised in Entiat, where in 1922 he graduated from high school. Auvil attended and graduated from Washington State University and in 1928 moved to Orondo. At the age of 22, Auvil founded Auvil Fruit Company. In 1934, Auvil married Lillie O. Grandt in Withrow at Lillie's parents' house.

During Auvil's time in his business "Auvil Fruit Company", he made many industry introductions with new fruits and innovations that revolutionized not only his business but the entire field that it was in. For instance: Auvil introduced the "Red Haven Peach" to the North Western United States in 1941, he developed the practice and use of grass cover for orchards in 1948. In 1952, Auvil also proved the effectiveness of using poplar trees for windbreaks. In 1953, Auvil was made the President of the Washington State Horticulture Association. Auvil was named the "Grower of the Year" in 1954. Auvil introduced to the market the "Red Gold Nectarine" in 1960. In 1967, Auvil came up with the practice and use of "undertree sprinklers" for the purpose of frost control. In 1968, Auvil established the "Tree Fruit Commission". In 1972, Auvil introduced the "Granny Apple" to the north western United States and in 1973 he had led the way in using the M26 rootstocks for practical use. In 1975, Auvil brought the "Rainier Cherry" to the north western United States and in the next year he developed double row planting for Granny Smith apple trees.

In 1981, Auvil was named for the second time "Grower of the Year" on top of being awarded the "The Outstanding Citizen of the Year" award by the Apple Blossom Festival. In 1986, the Washington State Cherry Commission honored Auvil the "Cherry King". In both 1989, Auvil had received the Gamma Sigma Delta "Award of Merit". To kick off the new decade in the 1990s, Auvil was named for the third time "Grower of the Year" in 1990. In 1998, Auvil was a recipient of the "Washington State Medal of Merit" awarded be the Washington State Legislature; the Medal of Merit is regarded as the State of Washington's highest honor of achievement that a citizen of Washington could be bestowed with.

For fifteen years, Auvil served on the Orondo Public School Board and for twenty years he had served on the Douglas County School Reorganizational Committee. For six years, Auvil had served as the Douglas County P.U.D. commissioner and member. Auvil also served on the Washington State University Tree Fruit Research Commission Scholarship Committee. For over fifty years, Auvil was a member of the Orondo Grange. His most valued hobbies were his rose and vegetable gardens. Auvil died on December 28, 1998, in the Central Washington Hospital. Auvil was survived by his one daughter and two sons; his wife Lillie died a few years after he did.[2]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ "Grady Auvil". genealogybank. Retrieved 4 February 2014. 
  2. ^ Find a Grave Memorial; March 2009