I got this request from a dear friend that got a call recently from the daughter of Dewey Compton asking if someone had information about the roses named for Dewey and Curtis Compton. The daughter would love to learn more about the history of the roses and who bred them. My friend was having trouble posting the request.
Maybe the roses were bred by an early RHA member?
My friend writes:
"Dewey Compton was a famous professor/extension agent from Texas A&M. He started several radio programs, one of the most famous was “Garden Line” which continues today with more than a million listeners on Saturdays and Sundays. My grandfather used to listen to “Ole Dew’ every weekend morning and as little kids my sister and I had to be absolutely silent when we stayed with him so that he did not miss a word of “his program”.
Dewey and his wife were killed in 1976 in a airplane crash of a private plane that Dewey and his son were piloting, ferrying plants from a location in Texas to College Station and A&M’s campus. About the time of their deaths, two roses were introduced in the names of Dewey Compton and Curtis Compton in recognition of their work in Texas’ horticulture. I got a call last night from Dewey’s daughter who was 16 at the time of her parent’s death. She has asked for help in trying to find the roses or identify the breeder.
Neither cultivar is listed in the International Rose Registry, Modern Roses, The Combined Rose List, the US Patent & Trademark Office or HelpMeFind. That the roses are not listed in any of these places makes me think that an amateur hybridizer probably bred them and gifted the cultivar(s) to the family. Thinking the roses may have been part of Texas A&M’s breeding program, I checked with Dr. Byrne and he says neither came from A&M. Dr. Byrne suggested I try the RHA."