About Henry Solon "Harry" Graves
Henry ("Harry") Solon Graves (May 3, 1871 – March 7, 1951) was a forest administrator in the United States. He founded the Yale School of Forestry (now the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies) in 1900, the oldest continuous forestry school in the United States. He served as the second Chief of the United States Forest Service from 1910 to 1920.
Graves was born in Marietta, Ohio. He attended Phillips Academy, Andover, graduating in 1888, and Yale University, graduating in 1892. He received a Master's degree from Yale in 1900. At Yale Graves was a member of the secret society Skull and Bones.
Graves and his good friend Gifford Pinchot founded the Yale School of Forestry in 1900, the first graduate school dedicated to forestry in the United States. He served as its first Dean and as Professor of Forestry at Yale University for a total of twenty-seven years. The school later changed its name to become the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. In 1900, he and Pinchot were also two of the seven founding members of the Society of American Foresters.
Graves served as the second Chief of the United States Forest Service, from 1910 until 1920. Pinchot had served as the first Chief from the foundation of the Forest Service in 1905, but he was fired by President Howard Taft in 1910 for speaking out against Taft's environmental policies. As the leader of the Forest Service, Graves was considered very strict. During his ten-year term, Graves was faced with a lot of work. He had to try to restore the power that the Forest Service had before Pinchot was fired, and he also had to prove that his agency was the most qualified and best suited to control and manage the national forests, because many states wanted to manage their own forests.
He was commissioned as a major in the Corps of Engineers in 1917, during the First World War, and sent to France to prepare for the arrival of the 10th Engineers (Forestry) (later the 20th Engineers). He was promoted to lieutenant colonel and returned to the U.S. in 1918 and to the Forest Service. Later that year, he started a movement to help develop national forest policy for the United States of America. His nerves frayed, he resigned in 1920 and returned to Yale two years later, where he served for another fifteen years as dean.
For his many years of dedication to the conservation and management of forests, Henry was the third person to receive the Schlich Memorial Award in 1944.